HC Deb 06 April 1998 vol 310 cc137-8W
Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many cases are awaiting hearing before the Disability Appeal Tribunal; and what is the average time between an appeal to a disability tribunal being received and the hearing date. [38075]

Mr. Keith Bradley

The operation of the appeals system is a matter for the Independent Tribunal Service (ITS) who report that in July 1997 there was an overall total of 29,566 outstanding appeals to Disability Appeal Tribunals and an overall average clearance time of 30 weeks.

We are determined to reduce the current delays and complexity in the appeals system. The Social Security Bill, which paves the way for modernising the delivery of Social Security, including the handling of appeals, is currently being debated in Committee in the House of Lords. The Secretary of State will assume responsibility for the administration of the appeals system. She will set and publish demanding targets for the administration of appeals and report on the results.