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Appeals: Employment and Support Allowance

Justice written question – answered on 2nd February 2011.

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Photo of Duncan Hames Duncan Hames Liberal Democrat, Chippenham

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.

Photo of Jonathan Djanogly Jonathan Djanogly The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

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
Weeks
Number of appeals
Less than 6 6 to 12 12 to 18 18 to 26 Greater than 26
2008-09
Quarter 3(1) n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Quarter 4 71 45 6 0 1
Total 71 45 6 0 1
2009-10
Quarter 1 270 1,100 780 120 3
Quarter 2 370 3,300 4,200 3,000 270
Quarter 3 500 3,800 6,500 9,900 2,600
Quarter 4 360 2,700 6,300 12,600 11,600
Total 1,500 10,900 17,780 25,600 14,500
2010-11
Quarter 1 310 3,500 5,300 9,300 17,000
Quarter 2 470 4,700 6,300 9,100 22,000
Total 780 8,200 11,600 18,400 39,000
(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.

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