HC Deb 31 July 1997 vol 299 c523W
Mr. Robert McCartney

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to her answer of 23 June,Official Report, column 404, if she will make it her policy to ensure that disability living allowance reviews and appeals are costed and the price published; and if she will make a statement on the success rate for reviews and appeals. [10476]

Mr. Worthington

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Social Security Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Alec Wylie, and I have asked him to arrange for a response to be given.

Letter from Alec Wylie to Mr. Robert McCartney, dated 29 July 1997: I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on the costs and success rate of Disability Living Allowance reviews and appeals. As explained in my letter of 17 June 1997, the Social Security Agency does not maintain records on the costs of Disability Living Allowance reviews and appeals, processes to which people who are dissatisfied with adjudication officer decisions have a statutory right of access. Compiling and maintaining this information would require a major clerical work programme at disproportionate costs and the Agency has no plans to introduce such a system. Current available information indicates that around one third of reviews and appeals for Disability Living Allowance are successful. This is broadly in line with other similar benefits. While the Agency aims to get as many decisions as possible correct at the initial claim stage, it frequently happens that, when given a decision on their application, customers provide further evidence of their disability which then has to be reviewed. This is the main reason for the success rate for reviews and appeals. I hope this explains the position for you but I would be happy to provide any further information you require.