§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is his policy in respect of reclaiming previously paid sickness benefits from sufferers from asbestos-related diseases who have won compensation through the courts;
(2) what is the basis (a) for requiring sufferers from asbestosis and mesothelioma have to repay compensation for industrial injury and (b) for not requiring sufferers from pneumoconiosis to do so;
(3) what is his policy in respect of the pursuit of claims for repayment of sickness benefit from asbestosis sufferers after death if they win court cases for damages posthumously.
§ Mr. Scott
I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave him on 21 June at column147. The value of all relevant benefits, including sickness benefit, should be deducted from compensation awards exceeding £2,500. The provisions also apply to posthumous settlements.
Payments made under the pneumoconiosis compensation scheme are exempted from recoupment because the scheme has been subject to Government funding and it was structured to supplement, rather than replace, social security benefit payments.