Personal Independence Payment: Appeals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 3rd November 2017.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on people with autism of participating in a potentially stressful personal independence payment tribunal.

Photo of Dominic Raab Dominic Raab The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) is very sensitive to the needs of people with a wide range of physical and mental challenges. Tribunal staff, and judicial office holders, are trained accordingly, with the HMCTS reasonable adjustments policy, and guidance on this policy is published.

Anyone starting an appeal before the Tribunal is asked at the outset on the appeal form if they have any special needs requirements and made aware that they can have a friend or other helper with them if they wish to attend the hearing. If they do not want to attend, the appeal can be decided as a paper hearing. In rare circumstances, the hearing might be held at the appellant's home, or a medical centre

The Tribunal is an informal and non-adversarial forum for the settling of disputes, and the judge and panel members are highly experienced and expert in their fields. A personal independence payment hearing will have a panel made up of a judge, a doctor and a person with experience or relevant qualification in disability matters. During the hearing the panel will be attentive to the circumstances and needs of the appellant, and a hearing can be paused for a rest break where required.

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