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Miners' Compensation

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received in the past month about extending the miners' compensation scheme for those with chest diseases to those who worked as cokemen. [123234]

I am aware that the hon. Member has raised this issue with the Leader of the House. The Department has received no representations this month.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reasons have been given to former coal miners by IRISC for the denial of claims received from Moss Solicitors of Loughborough for compensation payments for (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder and (b) vibration white finger for the period (i) April 2000 to April 2001, (ii) April 2001 to April 2002 and (iii) April 2002 to April 2003. [123215]

The Department's claim handlers, IRISC, are unable to provide detailed reasons in the format requested.I can advise that, under the terms of the British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation, claims are denied where the respiratory specialist who assessed the claim is of the opinion that the claimant is not suffering from any compensatable disease, or he was not employed with British Coal after 1954 (1949 in Scotland), the date of liability.Claims for Vibration White Finger are denied where the claimants' employment records indicate that he was not employed in an occupation with British Coal whereby he would have been exposed to excessive vibration, or he was not employed with British Coal, after 1975, the accepted date of liability, or the full Medical Assessment Process (MAP) report determines that he is not suffering from VWF.This is in accordance with the High Court Judgments.