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Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2001, Official Report, column 204W, how many applications for Disability Living Allowance were received in each quarter of the last

10 Apr 2001 : Column: 616W

three years; how many of these were (a) successful, (b) unsuccessful, (c) subject to review, (d) successful at review, (e) unsuccessful at review, (f) subject to reconsideration, (g) successful at reconsideration, (h) unsuccessful at reconsideration, (i) subject to supersession, (j) successful at supersession, (k) unsuccessful at supersession, (l) subject to appeal, (m) successful at appeal and (n) unsuccessful at appeal; what the average number of days taken was to process applications; and how many decisions had not been reached at the end of each quarter for (i) first claim, (ii) renewal, (iii) review, (iv) reconsideration, (v) supersession and (iv) appeal stages. [157424]

Mr. Bayley: Available information is in the tables.

Initial claims for Disability Living Allowance in each quarter from March 1998 and whether successful

Initial decisions
Quarter endingClaims receivedSuccessfulUnsuccessful
March 199897,38747,79257,148
June 199896,12542,95451,796
September 1998103,06143,89951,754
December 199896,02244,15752,083
March 1999103,06944,58752,564
June 199998,99745,75753,746
September 199997,54246,97452,716
December 199991,31139,05338,248
March 2000104,74949,25745,680
June 2000104,07951,71850,554
September 2000100,67057,28357,814
December 200096,33348,35846,708


DSS Information Centre: 100 per cent. data

Initial claims for Disability Living Allowance which were successful on review, reconsideration(42) or appeal in each quarter from February 1998

Quarter endingIn time reviewReconsiderationAppeal
February 19988,500--3,300
May 19986,900--3,400
August 19986,700--4,200
November 19986,600--3,900
February 19996,700--3,800
May 19995,900--4,100
August 19996,800--4,600
November 19996,0004003,700
February 20002,8002,6003,500
May 20009003,8004,100
Aug 2000--4,3004,400

(42) Reconsiderations replaced in-time reviews under the new system of decision making and appeals which was introduced in October 1999


DSS Information Centre: 5 per cent. data

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Average number of days to process initial claims, reviews, reconsiderations(43), supersessions(43) and appeals in each quarter from March 1998

Year to date(44)Initial claimsReviews(45)ReconsiderationsSupersessionsAppeals
March 199837.252.3----33.2
June 199831.547.0----32.2
September 199832.449.0----34.6
December 199833.949.5----35.1
March 199935.049.7----36.1
June 199937.554.8----40.7
September 199938.757.3----46.4
December 199940.0--34.442.047.0
March 200042.6--55.467.552.7
June 200050.9--59.870.367.2
September 200049.1--52.364.663.5
December 200047.8--49.361.459.4

(43) Reconsiderations and supersessions replaced reviews under the new system of decision making and appeals which was introduced in October 1999

(44) Figures relate to the period starting on April 1

(45) Includes both 'in time' and 'out of time' reviews


BA Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate

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Decisions not reached at end of quarter

Quarter endingInitial claimsRenewalsReviews(46)ReconsiderationsSupersessionsAppeals
March 199835,90721,83849,406----4,503
June 199836,69626,68352,502----4,812
September 199843,50126,50753,873----4,835
December 199842,81323,26850,417----3,064
March 199947,95025,57955,520----4,342
June 199946,84229,09862,765----6,012
September 199944,21127,14561,407----6,502
December 199957,45739,491--28,35224,05811,964
March 200067,25746,338--23,49543,19019,869
June 200068,30937,178--17,73335,97723,634
September 200053,08424,737--14,73625,53120,413
December 200053,64323,419--11,04723,39311,086

(46) Includes both 'in time' and 'out of time' reviews


Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate

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The number of people who receive Disability Living Allowance continues to increase. Significant backlogs of work accrued in the processing of these benefits last year, because of the growing caseload and introduction of a new system of decision making and appeals. The Benefits Agency tackled the backlog as a priority and it has now been substantially cleared. The continuing high level of appeals outstanding reflects the increase in the numbers received following the introduction of the new procedures.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many complaints have been received about the Benefits Agency regarding claims to Disability Living Allowance for each month since May 1997. [155416]

Mr. Bayley: The administration of Disability Living Allowance is a matter for Alexis Cleveland, Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Alexis Cleveland to Mr. David Willetts, dated 10 April 2001:


(47) Figures for March 2001 are not yet available

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It should be noted that while the statistics show the number of all types of complaints about the standard of service received, they also include cases in which dissatisfaction has been expressed with the outcome of benefit decisions which must be pursued through the decision making and appeals process.
There was a steady increase in the figures throughout the period up to June 2000. This can be attributed to an increase in work on hand before and after the introduction of new decision making and appeals procedures. It is well-documented that changes to Disability Living Allowance procedures introduced in October 1999 led initially to a significant increase in the time taken to process each case. This created a temporary backlog of work, which resulted in an increase in the number of complaints. The backlog was tackled as a priority and has now been cleared with the result that the level of complaints have steadily decreased each month since July 2000.
I hope this information is helpful.

Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give a breakdown in number and relevant percentage of the DLA decisions on (a) the number of claims received in (i) 1999 and (ii) 2000, (b) the number which went to appeal in (i) 1999 and (ii) 2000, and the number which were turned down, (c) the number which went to tribunal in (i) 1999 and (ii) 2000 and in each year how many were turned down and (d) the

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average time it took for a decision to be taken (i) initially, (ii) on appeal and (iii) on further appeal to the tribunal in (A) 1999 and (B) 2000. [157983]

Mr. Bayley: The available information is in the tables.

Disability Living Allowance claim, review and appeal decisions

Claims received390,919405,831
Number received307,903263,840
All decisions278,365303,874
Successful as percentage of all decisions3340
Number received49,166104,578
All decisions49,85757,522
Successful as percentage of all decisions4847

(48) Figures include reconsiderations and supersessions under the new system of decision making and appeals introduced in October 1999.

(49) Figures relate both to cases where benefit is awarded and cases where the value of an award is increased.

(50) Figures relate to cases at appeal tribunals.


DSS Information Centre: 100 per cent. data.

Average clearance times for Disability Living Allowance claims in days

Type of decision1998-991999-20002000-01
New Claims (normal rules) 35.0042.6046.80

(51) The BA does not routinely collate figures by calendar year.

(52) Reconsiderations and supersessions were introduced in October 1999 under a new system of decision making and appeals.


BA Disability and Carer Benefits Directorate.

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