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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of employment and support allowance appeals lodged in each quarter of the last two years were determined (a) within six weeks, (b) between six and 12 weeks, (c) between 12 and 18 weeks, (d) between 18 and 26 weeks and (e) more than 26 weeks after submission.
The following table shows the time taken from the date of a disputed Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision for employment support allowance being lodged with DWP to the date of clearance by the Tribunals Service.
|Time in weeks from date of ESA appeal lodgement to clearance by Tribunals Service|
|Number of appeals|
|Less than 6||6 to 12||12 to 18||18 to 26||Greater than 26|
|(1) There are no data for quarter 3 of 2008-09 as ESA as a benefit came into existence in October 2008 and the appeals did not start to be received nationally until the last quarter of 2008-09.|
The Tribunals Service's target is to issue a final decision for 75% of Social Security and Child Support appeals within 16 weeks of receipt from the DWP. Employment support allowance appeals take 9.2 weeks from the date of the original DWP decision to arrive at the Tribunals Service.
The Tribunal has received an unexpectedly high level of appeals, against employment support allowance decisions. In response, the Tribunals Service has significantly increased its capacity and, nationally, 47% more Social Security and Child Support appeals were cleared in September 2010 compared to September 2009.