To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether the HM Courts and Tribunals service has the capacity to reduce the waiting time for an appeal for personal independence payments.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HCMTS) is taking positive steps to reduce the waiting time for appeals to be heard in the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) jurisdiction. In 2018, 232 medical members and 118 disability-qualified members were additionally appointed to the SSCS jurisdiction and an extra 129 fee-paid judges have recently been appointed. The SSCS jurisdiction will also benefit from 100 salaried judges and 170 fee-paid judges being recruited across tribunals more widely. In addition, HMCTS is developing a new digital system with a view to enabling speedier processing of appeals and a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Case-management “triage” sessions are also being conducted, with the aim of reducing the number of cases that need to progress to an oral hearing.