HC Deb 05 February 2002 vol 379 cc823-4W
Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of disability living allowance benefits appeals were won by claimants after the medical examination in(a) the West Midlands and (b) the UK in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [30738]

Maria Eagle

Disability living allowance appeals cleared at hearing in Great Britain and those processed through the Appeals Service's Birmingham regional centre during the period 1 October 2000 to 30 September 2001:

Great Britain Birmingham regional centre
Cleared at hearing1 90,935 8,330
Found in favour 46,770 3,595
Percentage found in appelant's favour 51.4 43.2
1 Includes both oral and paper hearings


All figures are subject to change as more up to date data become available. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.


100 per cent. download of the Generic Appeals Processing System

Ms Walley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of claimants for disability living allowance have been refused benefit after they have been receiving disability living allowance for(a) one year, (b) five years, (c) 10 years and (d) 20 years since medical testing was introduced. [30742]

Maria Eagle

Information is not available in the form requested. Since its inception in 1992, decisions about entitlement to DLA have been made on the basis of all the available evidence about a severely disabled person's care and/or mobility needs. In some cases, this evidence includes a report from the claimant's general practitioner or from an examining doctor, but there is no "medical test" which determines entitlement.

Mr. George Howarth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many representations he has received over the last 12 months about the Benefits Agency's use of inadequately qualified and experienced doctors to assess disabled living allowance applicants; and if he will make a statement. [30971]

Maria Eagle

Information on representations received regarding inadequately qualified and experienced doctors undertaking examinations for disability living allowance is not collected. The Department takes steps to ensure that only doctors with appropriate experience and qualifications conduct such examinations.

The chief medical adviser must approve all such doctors. There are strict recruitment criteria and doctors must undertake prescribed training and demonstrate competence in these examinations. Ongoing approval is subject to satisfactory performance and attendance at an agreed programme of continued medical education. Complaints are taken into account in determining performance.

Mr. Chope

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was the average time taken for a review of disability living allowance in the last 12 months. [33638]

Maria Eagle

Reviews of disability living allowance (DLA) were replaced by Reconsiderations under the system of decision making and appeals introduced from October 1999.

The average clearance time for DLA Reconsiderations in the year to December 2001 was 38.9 days.