Work Capability Assessment: Appeals

Justice written question – answered on 2nd September 2013.

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Photo of Tom Greatrex Tom Greatrex Shadow Minister (Energy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department of appeals made against the outcome of work capability assessments was in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13.

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

The First-tier TribunalSocial Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by HM Courts & 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 outcomes themselves.

The estimated total cost of the 189,459 ESA appeals in which the work capability assessment was a factor disposed of during the period April 2011 to March 2012 is £43 million.

The estimated total cost of the 234,055 ESA appeals in which the work capability assessment was a factor disposed of during the period April 2012 to March 2013 is £58 million.

These estimated costs were calculated by multiplying the average cost of an individual SSCS tribunal case in 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively by the number of ESA appeals disposed of, in which the work capability assessment was a factor.

The increased cost is due to inflationary uplifts and also due to the expansion of the tribunal to deal with the increased volume of appeals received.

HMCTS constantly reviews and continually improves its administrative processes in order to drive down the costs of SSCS appeals.

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