It would seem that the drive by the DWP to decrease the numbers of claimants appealing decisions has been successful, as the latest figures from the Ministry of Justice (responsible for the tribunals service) has shown.{jcomments on}

Since the introduction of Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) in October 2013, the volume of DWP appeals has decreased significantly.

The figures published relate to the whole of October (before MR was introduced on 28th) and up to the end of December 2013 - two months following the introduction of MRs.

In the period October to December 2013 there were 79,865 Social Security & Child Support appeals received; a decrease of 39% when compared with the same period of 2012.

In particular, there were decreases of 61% in receipts of Employment Support Allowance (ESA, the largest numbers of appeals) and 46% in Disability Living Allowance (DLA) since October to December 2012.

However, appeals against Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) increased by 49%

Of the 144,000 cases disposed of in the 3 months; 64% were for ESA; 14% for JSA and 11% for Disability Living Allowance. Disposal is the closure of a case when work is complete. This can be through a claim being withdrawn, settled, dismissed or being decided at a hearing, either orally or on paper.

In October to December 2013, 84% of all tribunal cases were cleared at a hearing, slightly higher than last year.
Of these the overturn rate was 40%, i.e. 40% had the initial decision revised in favour of the claimant.

This has increased from 38% in October to December 2012.

The overturn rate varies by benefit type with 45% of ESA cases, 42% of Disability Living Allowance and 17% of JSA cases that were cleared at hearing having the original decision revised in favour of the claimant.

The report also gives figures on the first Personal Independence Payments (PIP) disposals. There were eight in October to December 2013 and all of these were disposed before reaching a final hearing.

Worryingly, it appears that decisions made by the DWP are still incorrect four out of ten times – not including those that have already been revised in favour of the claimant.

The report is available to view on the government website


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