Average waiting times for disability living allowance (DLA) and employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals are now over six months, according to employment secretary Chris Grayling.

The figures, given by Grayling in a written answer to a parliamentary question earlier this month, cover the period up to August 2011.

The average time it took from the DWP receiving an appeal to the papers being sent to the Tribunals Service was 32 days for a DLA appeal and 35 days for an ESA appeal.

The average waiting time after that, before a hearing was held, was 25.5 weeks for a DLA appeal and 23 weeks for an ESA appeal.

In total then, the average waiting time between an appeal being received by the DWP and a hearing taking place is currently around:

30 weeks for a DLA appeal.
28 weeks for an ESA appeal.

Grayling claims that the long waiting times are due to ‘​an unexpectedly high level of appeals’​, but he added that the Tribunals service cleared 72% more appeals in the first six months of this year than it did in the same period two years ago.

He also claimed that, each month for the last eight months, more appeals have been cleared than have been received, meaning that waiting times should gradually reduce.

Grayling’​s full answer is on They Work For You.


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