The  DWP are to send presenting officers to the first 400 oral PIP appeals in order to put the DWP's case to tribunals, it has been revealed.  So far there have been very few, if any, PIP tribunals in spite of almost two thirds of PIP claims being refused.{jcomments on}

According to tribunal president Judge Robert Martin, giving evidence to the work and pensions committee earlier this month:

“For the first 400 PIP appeals we are going to do, the idea is to send a presenting officer to explain the Department’s decision and the reasoning, see what the tribunal makes of it, go away and learn some lessons, but, again, it is very piecemeal.”

Presenting officers currently appear at a great deal fewer than one percent of hearings, but at one time it was the norm for them to attend appeals.

Some were decent, diligent individuals who saw their role as a friend of the court, helping the tribunal to understand how a decision had been reached and readily conceding where they felt an error had been made.

Others, however, would aggressively cross examine claimants in an apparent attempt to catch them out and generally behave as if every pound that a tribunal might award was coming from their own pocket.

We will watch with interest to see which school PIP presenting officers turn out to be from.


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