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Attendance And Mobility Allowances

Volume 175: debated on Monday 25 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many doctors are employed by his Department for the purpose of assessing attendance allowance and mobility allowance claims in (a) Inverclyde, (b) Strathclyde and (c) Scotland as a whole; on what basis they are employed; what salaries or fees they receive; and whether such payments are related to the number of claimants they examine.

The numbers of doctors who carry out examinations of claimants to attendance and mobility allowances in the areas mentioned are: (a) Inverclyde—30, (b) Strathclyde—428, (c) Scotland—982. The work is of a casual nature, the available cases being allocated among the doctors who are available and have been trained in the work. Payment is from a scale of fees agreed between the Treasury and the medical profession's representatives. A fee is paid for each case completed, individual case fees depending on the time taken to deal with that case.

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average and what is the longest delay in hearing of appeals against refusals of mobility allowances, during each of the last five six-month periods for which records are available.

Appeals against refusal of mobility allowance can be made to a social security appeal tribunal if the decision was not on medical grounds and to a medical appeal tribunal on medical questions. Information about these appeals is not available in the form requested. The national average clearance times, during the last 10 quarters, for appeals on mobility allowance to social security appeal tribunals, from date of lodgment to hearing, were as follows:

Quarter endingWeeks
30 June 198719·1
30 September 198720·6
31 December 198720·1
31 March 198823·3
30 June 198820·1
30 September 198820·5
31 December 198820·8
31 March 198921·8
30 June 198918·8
30 September 198917·6
The Department has recently began compiling information on the clearance times for appeals to medical appeal tribunals, but this has not been running long enough to provide representative figures. Information about the time taken to have a hearing on an appeal to a medical board is not kept.Information about the longest delay in hearing any of these types of appeal can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.