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To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of employment and support allowance appeals have been adjourned since 28 February 2011; and how many such appeals were classified category used in social security and child support appeal tribunals.
Appeals against decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions on an individual's entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) are heard by the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support).
A total of 12,565 ESA appeals were adjourned between
There are four adjournment categories used in SSCS tribunals and the adjourning judge determines the most appropriate category for the case being dealt with. The following table shows a breakdown of the reasons for adjournments in this time period:
|Appeals adjourned March to September 2011|
|Adjournment r eason as recorded at hearing||Number of appeals||Percentage|
|Tribunal Not Ready to Proceed||197||2|
|Administrators Not Ready to Proceed||524||4|
|Applicant Not Ready to Proceed||3,868||31|
|First Tier Agency Not Ready to Proceed||7,976||63|
Some examples of the circumstances under which the four categories may be used, are as follows:
Tribunal not ready to proceed
Where the Tribunal requires additional evidence.
Where an applicant was known to a tribunal panel member.
Administrators not ready to proceed
Failure by administrative staff to provide sufficient notice of the appeal hearing.
Failure to observe a previous direction given by a judge.
Arrangement of incorrect panel composition.
Applicant not ready to proceed
Where the applicant requests more time to submit evidence or appoint a representative.
The applicant is unable, due to medical or other reasons, to continue with the hearing.
First-tier Agency not ready to proceed
The submission from the Agency is incomplete/defective or illegible.
The Agency may seek more time to consider evidence handed in on the day.