To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry why payments under the coal workers' pneumoconiosis scheme were suspended; and after what period they recommenced. 
The coal workers' pneumoconiosis scheme (CWPS) is linked to the Department of Work and Pensions' (DWP) scheme for paying industrial injury disability benefit (IIDB) for pneumoconiosis. To claim under the CWPS a claimant must have qualified for, and be in receipt of IIDB. Changes by the DWP to the way they assess qualification for IIDB meant that it was prudent to investigate how these changes impacted upon the CWPS.The Department has now concluded it's investigations and despite there still being some concerns about the how the scheme operates, it is clear that those who have applied as a result of receiving IIDB under the DWP's new rules are due compensation under the CWPS and have been processed accordingly as from 5 March 2003.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether claims under the coal workers' pneumoconiosis scheme are now being processed normally. 
Claims under the coal workers' pneumoconiosis scheme are being processed normally in line with the procedures set out in the scheme.