DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
1 February 2018
Dear Sev Franklin,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 4th January 2018. You asked:
“The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr David Gauke) and other
DWP ministers have stated several times in the House of Commons that the
percentage of assessments that are overturned on appeal, whether for ESA or
PIP, is running at about 4%.
Can you please provide the data that was used to support this statement?
Can you also provide the most recent data showing the percentage of claimants
having their original decision of ESA Disallowance overturned by mandatory
reconsideration, and also the percentage of claimants, who having failed to have
their original decision overturned at mandatory reconsideration, were
subsequently awarded ESA at a tribunal”.
Since PIP was introduced, and up until September 2017, 2.9 million decisions have
been made. In the same period 241,200 appeals were lodged, which accounts for 8%
of decisions, and 107,800 appeals were overturned – which accounts for 4% of all
Based on the latest data published in December 2017, between April 2014 and June
2017, 2.6 million ESA Work Capability Assessment (WCA) decisions were made. In the
same period 211,200 appeals were lodged, accounting for 8% of decisions, and
117,100 appeals were overturned, accounting for 5% of decisions. The percentage of
decisions overturned at appeal was 4% for the period April 2014 to March 2017, based
on the data published in September 2017.
The figures on the number of PIP decisions up to September 2017 (which refers to the
number of clearances excluding those withdrawn) can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/
Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html
The figures on the number of ESA decisions (WCA) from April 2014 to June 2017 are
in Tables 2a and 2b of the publication “ESA: outcomes of Work Capability
Assessments including mandatory reconsiderations and appeals: December 2017”,
which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-
The figures on appeals up to September 2017 have been taken from Tables SSCS.1
and SSCS.3 in “Tribunals and gender recognition certificate statistics quarterly – July to
September 2017” published in December 2017, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunals-and-gender-recognition-certificate-statistics-quarterly-
I cannot deal with the second part of your request without clarification of the information
you seek. Mandatory reconsiderations can be requested after the first decision on the
ESA claim itself (on lay grounds e.g. not habitually resident or ID not verified) or after
the WCA decision. To help me to deal with the second part of your request, I would like
you to clarify what you mean “by original decision of ESA Disallowance” and whether
this covers the ESA claim and/or the WCA decision.
Under section 16 of the Freedom of Information Act we should assist you in helping you
focus your request. There is already some related information in the public domain
concerning ESA Mandatory reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals by outcome of MR
and appeal, based on ESA WCA experimental cohort statistics, which can be found in
Table 17 of the published Excel tables and pages 3, 8 and 9 of the accompanying
Quarterly Bulletin. These can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-
Once you've reviewed this material you may want to refine the second part of your
We will consider afresh any revised request however we cannot guarantee that any
revised request will fall within the cost limit.
Please note that if I do not receive appropriate clarification within three months from the
date of this letter your request will be treated as closed.
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference
DWP Strategy FoI Team
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing freedom-of-
or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill
Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information
Commissioner’s Office for a decision. General y the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you
have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk