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Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what conclusions he has drawn from responses to the recent consultation on the industrial injuries disablement benefit scheme on an extension of the period within which claims must be made after injury occurs in regard to work-related illness with long gestation periods; (242855)

(2) what conclusions he has drawn from the responses to the recent consultation on the industrial injuries disablement benefit scheme in relation to those suffering from mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos at work.

The consultation period ended on 22 October 2008. The consultation asked specifically how we might reform Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit to provide better support to help people adjust to their new circumstances while maintaining the work focus of the modern welfare state, whether lump sum payments are a good way of meeting people’s needs, whether they give people more choice and control and whether we could make more use of them.

In the White Paper published on 10 December we have made it clear that while some respondents to the Green Paper consultation supported the principle of lump sum payments for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits customers, others commented that there was a need for ongoing support for some people injured or made ill by work, particularly for those with serious progressive illnesses. We believe that there remains a strong case for continuing to provide particular support for people whose disability arises from work and we think the current Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits scheme is the best way to do this.

We have no plans for further consultation on the new scheme relating to lump sum payments for those suffering from mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos at work.