Social Security Benefits: Appeals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Grahame Morris Grahame Morris Labour, Easington

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 20 September 2018 to Question 172598, if she will set a reasonable waiting time target for the hearing of cases by the social security tribunal.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

The Ministry of Justice recognises that there are delays in the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) jurisdiction, which is the part of the tribunal system which deals with benefit appeals, and is tackling them by recruiting extra judicial office holders. We have appointed 225 medical members and 119 disability-qualified members have recently been recruited. The SSCS jurisdiction will also benefit from the fact that 250 fee-paid judges and 100 salaried judges are being recruited across tribunals more widely. In addition, we have recently launched a new digital service to enable speedier processing of appeals and provide a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Information on the new digital service can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-online-service-launched-for-pip-appeals.

The Ministry of Justice is not planning to set a waiting time target for the hearing of cases by the SSCS jurisdiction. This is because waiting times fluctuate geographically owing to a number of factors including venue capacity, the volumes of benefit decisions made locally, the complexity of the case and the availability of panel members. Furthermore, the listing of appeals, including consideration of whether a hearing should be expedited, is a function of the Tribunal’s judiciary.

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