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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 estimate he has made of the cost to his Department of the Employment and Support Allowance Appeals Tribunal Service in each of last two years.

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

Employment and support allowance (ESA) was introduced to replace incapacity benefit and income support from 27 October 2008. The Department for Work and Pensions forwards ESA appeals to the First-tier Tribunal-Social Security and Child Support. The Tribunal then aims to issue the final decision for 75% of appeals within 16 weeks. The time taken between appeals being lodged with DWP and being decided by the Tribunal means that 125 ESA appeals were decided during 2008-09. This increased to 70,500 during 2009-10.

The cost of ESA appeals calculated by multiplying the average cost of an individual First-tier Tribunal-Social Security and Child Support case by the number of appeals decided during each year was £35,000 in 2008-09 and £19.8 million in 2009-10.

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