Social Security Benefits: Appeals

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 7th January 2019.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Chair, Committee on Exiting the European Union

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time is for appeals to the Tribunal against (a) personal independence payments and (b) employment and support allowance assessments to be heard in (i) Leeds and (ii) England in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Information about the average waiting time for (a) personal independence payment (PIP) and (b) employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals, to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) is published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

SSCS appeals are listed into the hearing venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. The published data (which can be viewed at the link above) provide information about waiting times for PIP and ESA appeals for hearing venues covering (i) Leeds and (ii) England for the period July – September 2018, the latest period for which data are available.

Waiting times are calculated from receipt of the appeal to its final disposal. An appeal is not necessarily disposed of at its first hearing. The final disposal decision on the appeal may be reached after an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier for its final disposal.

Latest figures (to June 2018) indicate that since PIP was introduced, 3.5 million decisions have been made, and of these, 9% have been appealed and 4% have been overturned at tribunals. For ESA, 3.5m ESA (post Work Capability Assessment) decisions have been made between April 2014 and March 2018 and of these, 8% have been appealed and 4% have been overturned at tribunals.

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