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Industrial Diseases: Compensation

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many former miners have (a) applied for and (b) been granted industrial injuries benefit for miners' knee; and what have been the five most frequent reasons for refusing applications. (310922)

Since the addition of osteoarthritis of the knee to the list of prescribed industrial diseases on 13 July 2009, 33,602 claims have been received.

13,376 claims have been processed of which 5239 have received an award of, or an increase of, industrial injuries disablement benefit.

Information is collected about the three most frequent reasons for refusing applications. These are as follows:

3,420 were diagnosed with the disease but the assessment was less than 14 per cent., which means IIDB is not payable;

2,344 did not satisfy the occupational criteria;

2,189 did not have the disease diagnosed.

This information is based on an informal count by the Jobcentre Plus offices dealing with industrial injuries disablement benefit. We are looking into arrangements to publish this information as official statistics.

My colleague, Lord McKenzie of Luton, had a very helpful meeting with the National Union of Mineworkers on 14 January to discuss how the scheme is operating in relation to osteoarthritis of the knee claims, in particular the medical assessment process, and to identify ways to improve its administration. Officials will be having further meetings with the mining unions to discuss this work in more detail.