PIP appeal numbers have risen by 119% compared to last year, as the social security appeal system heads for massive backlogs, the latest appeal statistics show.
The July to September statistics show that the number of social security appeals lodged increased by 74% and the number of appeals that are outstanding increased by 96%. However, the number of cases dealt with over the same period increased by only 18% compared to last year.
The number of PIP appeals increased by an astonishing 119% whilst UC went up by 28%.
Overall, the success rate for social security appeals that were cleared at hearing stands at 61%.
However, 28% were cleared before a hearing. In many of these cases the DWP will have made an improved offer which the claimant accepted, though it may not have been as high an award as they hoped for or were entitled to.
The success rate varies according to the benefit involved:
For PIP the success rate was 68%, similar to the same quarter last year.
DLA success rates are at 61%, down 6%.
ESA success rates are at 53%, down 1%
UC success rates are at 49% an increase of 7%
The average wait time for a hearing was 31 weeks, which is 8 weeks down on last year, but it is likely that this will begin to increase over the coming quarters.
There were 63,000 outstanding cases at the end of September, an increase of 96% compared to last year. This is far from a record high: there were 125,000 people waiting in 2018.
But with PIP claims at record levels, it seems entirely possible that the previous waiting list peak will be rapidly surpassed unless extra investment in appeals is made as a matter of urgency.
Sadly, there seems little chance of that happening when there is no additional cost to the state in keeping claimants waiting for justice.
You can read the full appeal statistics here.