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Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been paid to people with (a) mesothelioma, (b) asbestosis, (c) bilateral pleural thickening and (d) other prescribed asbestos diseases (i) under the Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979, (ii) through industrial injuries disablement benefit for disease and deafness, (iii) under Part 4 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 and (iv) through other disability benefits in each of the last three years; and how much of that money has been recovered by the Government in accordance with the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997. 
Information on payments to people under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 is only available for all work-related diseases
covered by the scheme, not individual diseases. The available information is in the table.
|Financial year||Payments (£ million)|
Figures rounded to the nearest £ million
DWP statistical and accounting data
The available information on monies paid through Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit is in the following table. Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit expenditure on particular diseases is estimated using annual statistical data. The latest finalised annual statistical data are for 2006-07.
|Payment through Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit in 2006-07|
|(1) Less than £1 million.|
1. Figures rounded to the nearest £ million except where stated.
2. The estimate for (b) is for primary carcinoma of the lung with accompanying evidence of one or both (A) asbestosis (B) unilateral or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening.
3. The estimate for (c) is for unilateral or bilateral diffuse pleural thickening.
4. The estimate for (d) is for pneumoconiosis, which is prescribed for occupations involving working with asbestos and a number of other occupations.
DWP statistical and accounting data
The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 made provision for the new 2008 Diffuse Mesothelioma scheme (known as the 2008 scheme) which enables lump sum payments to be made to people who suffer from diffuse mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos in the UK, and who do not currently qualify for help from the Government. This scheme has only been running since October 2008. Information is only available for all work-related diseases, not individual diseases. The expenditure up to March 2009 is £5.5 million.
This excludes Northern Ireland payments made under this scheme.
DWP statistical and accounting data.
|Recoveries of Pneumoconiosis etc. (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 Lump Sum payments-October 2008 to March 2009|
|Recoveries of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit payments|
|Recoveries of Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 Lump Sum payments-October 2008 to March 2009|
|Recoveries of payments through Other Disability Benefits|
1. Information is rounded to the nearest thousand pounds.
2. Any lump sums paid under the 1979 Act or the 2008 scheme are recoverable under the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997. The lump sum payments are recoverable from all cases where the compensation is paid on or after 1 October 2008. Prior to that date data were not separately captured on these cases.
3. For Pneumoconiosis etc (Workers Compensation) Act 1979 'Other prescribed asbestos diseases' include Cancer, Pleural Plaques and Non-Coded diseases.
4. For Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit and Other Disability Benefits 'Other prescribed asbestos diseases' include Cancer, Pleural Plaques and Other Work Related Diseases.
DWP accounting data
Helen Goodman: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State visited St. Marylebone Jobcentre (part of Central London District) on 8 June and Leith Jobcentre (part of Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders District) on 1 July.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much Jobcentre Plus has spent on (a) acquiring office space, (b) extending existing office space and (c) converting existing office space as a result of an increased level of demand for its services in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the right hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to respond to your questions asking how much has been spent by Jobcentre Plus on (a) acquiring office space, (b) extending existing
office space and (c) converting existing office space as a result of an increased level of demand for its services. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus is continuously reviewing existing service delivery arrangements in order to meet the challenge of the current economic climate and the planned welfare reform changes for the next two to three years.
In the light of the increased customer demand we have secured the required funding to convert or extend our existing buildings where necessary. In addition we aim to make our services accessible to customers by providing a range of support through outreach facilities, often delivering advisory and other support on partners' premises. We are supplementing these measures by operating extended opening hours in some locations where the need for this is identified locally. This includes some offices opening to the public on Saturday. We will only acquire new space where all other measures are insufficient.
To date estates work has been undertaken and completed on 18 of our buildings at a cost of £1 million, increasing our capacity to deliver additional customer service to the public. Estates work is planned for a further 151 buildings. This work is currently at an early stage and therefore the costs are not fully known.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 1154W, on jobseeker's allowance, how many people claiming jobseeker's allowance in each local authority area had been claiming it for a period of (a) up to three months, (b) between three and six months, (c) between six and 12 months, (d) between 12 and 24 months and (e) more than 24 months in each month since January 2009; and if she will make a statement. 
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether she has made provision for benefit claimants with swine influenza to sign on for their benefits without attending the jobcentre plus office in person; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 16 July 2009]: There is already an easement to the normal jobseeker's allowance conditions of being immediately available for work, capable of work and actively seeking work. The easement allows someone who is sick for two periods of up to two weeks, within a 12 month period, to be treated as capable of work and continue to receive jobseeker's allowance.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been (a) awarded and (b) refused a Sure Start Maternity Grant in each of the last five years; and on what grounds such refusals have been made. 
|Sure Start Maternity Grants|
|Number of awards and initial refusals|
|Number of initial refusals by reason for refusal|
1. The number of awards includes awards made after re-consideration or appeal.
2. The number of initial refusals is the number of claims refused at the initial decision-making stage. Some claims which are refused at the initial decision-making stage may be successful on re-consideration or appeal. As a result, some claims may be counted under both awards and initial refusals.
3. Up to two reasons for refusal can be recorded for each claim which is initially refused. Therefore, for each year, the total number of reasons for refusal exceeds the number of initial refusals.
4. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100.
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System.
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