DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Our Ref: FOI2019/18036
Date: 03 June 2019
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 11 May 2019. You asked: “Please can you give me the figures for the following questions, please give the figures also for
the years I list.
1) How many disability benefit tribunals have there been, at the instigation of a claimant?
2) How many disability benefit tribunals have there been, at the instigation of the DWP?
3) Of those disability tribunals at the instigation of the claimant, how many of them did the
DWP or a representative of the DWP attend and how many did they fail to attend?
4) Of those disability tribunals at the instigation of the DWP, how many of them did the DWP or
a representative of the DWP attend and how many did they fail to attend?
Please note -
For the purpose of this FOI request and clarity "Disability benefit tribunal" in this question
context, is deemed to include any benefit claimed by a claimant that is classified as a disability
benefit e.g DLA, PIP, Attendance Allowance, ESA & Carers Allowance.”
I cannot deal with your request without clarification of the information you seek. To help me do
so, I would like to know:
Please clarify the level of Tribunal that information is requested for where disability
benefit tribunals is stated.
o This further clarification is required in order to ascertain what “at the instigation of
in Parts 2 and 4 is specifically referring to.
Please also provide which years information is required for.
Under section 16 of the Act we should assist you in helping you focus your request.
Tribunals have a two-tier structure. The First Tier tribunal (FtT) hears first instance appeals,
primarily (but not exclusively) against certain decisions made by Government departments or
other public bodies). Cases can be progressed to the Upper Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and
ultimately to the Supreme Court. The Upper Tribunal generally hears appeals from decisions of
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (SoS) is the respondent in the FtT. The SoS
responds to Notices of Appeal in writing. Where the SoS is additionally represented, in person,
it is usually by a Presenting Officer (PO). Presenting Officers represent the Department at
tribunal hearings and provide valuable feedback to both Decision Makers and Health Care
Professionals. It is the Department’s main objective to ensure that POs attend hearings of
those complex cases where their presence will be of most benefit to the tribunal in reaching
the right decision.
There are a small number of occasions when the SoS instructs counsel to represent her before
the FtT. This information is not recorded separately.
With regard to Part 1 of your request, there is already some related information in the public
domain published by the Ministry of Justice on the number of appeals cleared at the FtT which
can be found in Table SSCS.2 here:
With regards to Part 3 of your request, the Department holds data on the number of Personal
Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) FtT hearings
and whether a Presenting Officer was in attendance or not. Data is available from 1st April
2016 to 31st December 2018. For Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance Allowance
(AA) and Carers Allowance (CA) management information is available on the number of
tribunal hearings where a Presenting Officer attended from April 2017 to December 2018, but
equivalent information is not available on the number where a Presenting Officer did not
attend. You may wish to resubmit your request requesting this specific information that the
Department has available.
Once you've reviewed this material you may want to refine your request accordingly.
We will consider afresh any revised request however we cannot guarantee that any revised
request will fall within the cost limit.
If you have any queries about this letter, please contact us quoting the reference number
DWP Central 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-information-
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
or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745