Judges to explain benefit assessment decisions

Disabled man at work The government will look at the judges' explanations over the summer

Related Stories

Judges in England and Scotland are being asked to explain why they believe someone is unfit to work, in a move ministers hope will improve the decision-making process on benefits.

Tribunals in London, Liverpool, Glasgow and Birmingham will offer feedback when they overturn rulings on employment and support allowance (ESA) on appeal.

Critics of the test used to determine eligibility claim it is flawed.

But ministers say 85% of decisions have been upheld on appeal since 2008.

'Learn lessons'

All those in receipt of ESA - formerly known as incapacity benefit - and new applicants are having their claims reviewed in a process begun by the last Labour government and accelerated by the coalition.

The Work Capability Assessment conducted by private contractor Atos has proved controversial, with campaigners saying that it has made too many wrong decisions which are overturned on appeal.

The explanations provided by the judges will be analysed by the Department for Work and Pensions over the summer.

Work and pensions minister Esther McVey said: "With recent changes to disability benefits we need to make sure the appeals process is transparent and working well.

"We will use this information to learn lessons and improve the standard of decision-making and appeals processes. It will also be helpful for claimants to understand why an appeal has been allowed or dismissed."

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK Politics stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • A cow wearing sunglasses overlaid with the phrase 'Can't touch this'Cow row

    Thousands rally against the ban on beef in India


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • StudentsBull market

    Employers are snapping up students with this desirable degree

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.