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Coal Health Claims

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what complaints procedure is available in respect of the handling of coal health claims by claims handlers. (114797)

Under Part 2 of the Compensation Act 2006, anyone providing a regulated service on a commercial basis in certain specified areas which includes personal injury, will be required to obtain authorisation and comply with regulatory rules. The rules require claims management businesses to establish an internal complaints handling procedure. If a complaint cannot be resolved satisfactorily, the complainant will be able to refer their complaint to the regulator who can investigate the handling of the complaint or the complaint itself. The provisions are expected to be fully commenced on 6 April 2007.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what her Department’s policy as the regulator of claims handlers is on the right of an individual to access to his client papers for industrial disease claims where a claims handler represents him and a Government Department is the defending party. (114799)

Businesses authorised under the Compensation Act 2006 by the Department for Constitutional Affairs to provide a regulated claims management service are required to provide to the regulator any information that he reasonably requests. If an individual represented by an authorised business makes a reasonable request for papers to that business we would expect the business to provide these. The regulator can direct an authorised person to provide information or documents in relation to a complaint or the conduct of the matter under which the complaint arose, and further direct that these are made available to the client.