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Work Capability Assessment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of Tom Greatrex Tom Greatrex Shadow Minister (Energy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff were employed by the Tribunals Service to deal with appeals against the work capability assessment in each month of 2012 to date.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) (decisions in which the work capability assessment is a key factor) rather than appeals against work capability assessment decisions themselves.

It is not possible to identify how many staff deal specifically with ESA appeals. The following table shows the number of administrative staff employed in relation to the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) Tribunal as at the end of each month between January and September 2012 (the latest date for which figures have been published). The Tribunal hears appeals on a range of benefits, of which ESA is one.

Of the 994 staff in post as at 30 September 2012, 886 were permanent staff and 108 staff were on fixed term contracts. A number of efficiency improvements have been made and continue to be made in the SSCS Tribunal. These enable each member of staff to process more cases.

Social Security and Child Support Tribunal staff numbers, January to September 2012
  Number of staff(1)
January 1,002
February 996
March 1,010
April 996
May (2)996
June 1,001
July 1,007
August 1,007
September 994
(1) The data are taken from management information. The figures quoted refer to the total number of people employed and includes those who work part-time or on a full-time basis and on temporary or fixed-term contacts. Some of the staff included may work in multi-jurisdictional centres dealing with other work as well as SSCS appeals. Equally some staff working in multi-jurisdictional centres who deal with SSCS appeals may not be included. (2) This figure is different from the figure of 988 given in answer to PQ 115318 on 9 July 2012. The reason for this is that staff have been moved retrospectively into a different budget code.

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