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Social Security Benefits: Appeals

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 43706, tabled on 5 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) employment support allowance and (b) personal independence payment tribunals have been postponed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak since 16 March 2020.

Answered on

15 May 2020

The information requested is not available.

The latest period for which data about appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) are available is October – December 2019.

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

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working hard to keep our justice system functioning during this unprecedented public health emergency. We are focusing on priority cases, changing working practices and introducing new procedures to minimise risks to the judiciary, staff and all those who use our courts and tribunals.

In line with government guidance, face to face hearings in the First-tier Tribunal SSCS have been replaced with telephone hearings and the use of other remote hearing technology to facilitate as many hearings as possible being held remotely. All parties to the hearings are being contacted directly to confirm new hearing arrangements.

In addition to holding remote hearings in all regions, appeals may also be decided by judges sitting alone in chambers, using the evidence before them in the case papers.

These changes to Tribunal practice are authorised by Practice Direction of the Senior President of Tribunals (effective 19 March 2020) and amendments to the relevant Tribunal procedure rules:

www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2020/416

www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/General-Pilot-Practice-Direction-Final-For-Publication-CORRECTED-23032020.pdf

www.judiciary.uk/publications/pilot-practice-direction-panel-composition-in-the-first-tier-tribunal-and-the-upper-tribunal

The latest advice and guidance from the government and judiciary in relation to appeals within the Tribunal during the coronavirus pandemic is updated regularly and can be viewed using the following links:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation

www.judiciary.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-guidance