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Sickness Benefit

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1964.

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Photo of Lord  Balniel Lord Balniel , Hertford 12:00 am, 27th April 1964

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance whether he will amend the regulations which disqualify a person from receiving sickness benefit whilst abroad so that persons who are chronic invalids and in receipt of sickness benefit shall not be deprived of such benefit if they take a limited holiday abroad on the advice of their doctor.

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

The regulations already allow such people to go on receiving their benefit if they are abroad temporarily in order to be treated for their disability.

Photo of Lord  Balniel Lord Balniel , Hertford

I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer. Would not he agree that it seems rather hard that a person who is chronically sick and in receipt of sickness benefit, who saves up and takes a very limited holiday abroad on the advice of his doctor for the general interest of his health and not for specific treatment, when he has the honesty to declare this fact to the local Ministry of Pensions office should be stopped from receiving his sickness benefit? Will my right hon. Friend look at this matter again?

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

I will continue to look at this matter. It is a difficult problem, as my hon. Friend knows, because clearly the incapacity from illness which can be checked and controlled if a person remains in this country is more difficult to check and control if he is abroad. However, I will look at what my hon. Friend said.

Photo of Mr Archibald Manuel Mr Archibald Manuel , Central Ayrshire

The hon. Member for Hertford (Lord Balniel) was talking about a limited period. Can the Minister indicate how many times the individual is examined? Would not many of the cases instanced by the hon. Member he within the period when normal examinations take place and on which there would be no check?

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

When people are in this country, we obviously have the facilities to check incapacity for work.

Photo of Hon. Richard Wood Hon. Richard Wood , Bridlington

It is done in a great many cases. If the hon. Member will put a Question down, I will give him the exact figure. But there are problems here, and I will certainly continue to look into them.