HC Deb 01 March 1999 vol 326 c598W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will investigate the case of Mrs. Karen Adams of Llithfaen, Pwleheli, (Ref. D42/190/1998/00070) to establish the reasons for her appeal against the reduction of the attendance component of her disability living allowance not being determined; and if he will undertake an inquiry into the workings of the appeal system. [72821]

Angela Eagle

Appeals in respect of claims for Disability Living Allowance are matters for the Independent Tribunal Service (ITS). A copy of the letter the right hon. Member sent on 19 February 1999 to the Secretary of Medical Appeal Tribunals in Cardiff has been passed to ITS Headquarters so that a reply can be sent to the right hon. Member directly.

We are currently overhauling the whole decision making and appeals system. We are firmly committed to tackling the unacceptable delays in the appeals service—currently averaging seven months, with some appellants waiting over a year for the decision on their case. Regulations will be debated shortly under affirmative procedures. Under the provisions of the Social Security Act 1998, which paves the way for modernising the delivery of Social Security, one of the major areas of change will be to reduce substantially the current waiting times for appeals. The intention of these changes is to provide a more effective and faster service and to reduce the kind of lengthy waiting period that Mrs. Adams suffered.