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Pneumoconiosis: Claimant's Right Of Appeal

Volume 417: debated on Monday 9 February 1981

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asked Her Majesty's Government:On how many occasions the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security has had his attention drawn to erroneous decisions by insurance officers of his department, refusing claimants the right of appeal to a medical appeal tribunal on the grounds that before the date of the decision by a pneumoconiosis medical board on a diagnosis question arrived at after 6th April 1979, the claimant had not been turned down by the board on at least three previous occasions; and whether they will now ensure that all officers are aware of the provisions of Article 49(5) of the Social Security (Industrial Injuries) (Prescribed Diseases) Regulation 1980, which makes it a condition of appeal that only one previous refusal shall have been given by a board.

There are known to be two cases in which my right honourable friend's attention has been drawn to a regrettable failure by the local office staff to give correct information about the right of appeal to the medical appeal tribunal against an adverse diagnosis decision by a pneumoconiosis medical board. The correct information has been available in all local offices since the regulations were amended in 1979 and staff are being reminded of the effect of the amendment.