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Disparities of appeal wait times across the country

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
Hi everyone,

As in my previous posts I got my enhanced DL & standard mob at MR. I emailed my MP to tell him I logged my appeal for enhanced mob and asked what the wait times were. He said they currently stand at 18 months!!! I assume this is currently getting longer by the day due to the pandemic.

I knew appeal times were long but I didn't know they were this bad. My heart breaks for people who are still on 0 points and not getting anything having to wait that long :'(

Are wait times different across different regions of the country? I assume London & South East is the worst as it's so densely populated (where I am). Or is this common across the country.

There is a strong possibly I'll be moved to another part of the country in the next 6 months - would my appeal be moved to another region or still where I am now?

Replies

  • neuromum4neuromum4 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    Hello, it's been 65 weeks since I first claimed for pip and and 41 since waiting for appeal tribunal since MR outcome. I did have a tribunal booked on April 1st and that was cancelled. I am still waiting. I was told a few months but I guess it will be alot longer.

    I have read on here alot of people have had tribunals alot quicker. Covid19 has really mad it worse.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @jessica9876 Welcome to the community, there is a different length of waiting times in different areas but it is anybody's guess where the quickest areas are. It is all down to the number of cases in the area, the availability of the people that hear the tribunal.

    If you mover area you would have to inform the court of the move and this could result in a longer wait as they may put you to the bottom of the pile so to speak

    I hope yuou get a hearing soon
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    The average wait time at present is 32 weeks and the longest is 38 weeks... if you lodged an appeal now. Earlier appeals will have waited longer. Recent ones absolutely won’t. There’s literally no evidence COVID-19 has made it worse and largely it’s made it better as salaried judges are able to make decisions on the papers where they can and so consequently can get through a lot more than the 8 per day they might get through as oral hearings. 

    If you move to another area you would need to notify HMCTS but you wouldn’t go to the back of the queue in your new area. 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
    The average wait time at present is 32 weeks and the longest is 38 weeks... if you lodged an appeal now. Earlier appeals will have waited longer. Recent ones absolutely won’t. There’s literally no evidence COVID-19 has made it worse and largely it’s made it better as salaried judges are able to make decisions on the papers where they can and so consequently can get through a lot more than the 8 per day they might get through as oral hearings. 

    If you move to another area you would need to notify HMCTS but you wouldn’t go to the back of the queue in your new area. 
    My MP has literally just said the pandemic has worsened it and that for my area it is 18 months though? I appreciate you may have knowledge for your area but I think my local MP would be better informed with the tribunal system in his constituency. So 38 weeks may be longest for your area but it’s 78 weeks for mine. Which had answered my question for disparities across the country. 

  • neuromum4neuromum4 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    @jessica9876, I was told the same.
    Many people off sick. I have a representative from CAB who has told me this.
  • neuromum4neuromum4 Member Posts: 69 Courageous
    I'm in London.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    The average wait time at present is 32 weeks and the longest is 38 weeks... if you lodged an appeal now. Earlier appeals will have waited longer. Recent ones absolutely won’t. There’s literally no evidence COVID-19 has made it worse and largely it’s made it better as salaried judges are able to make decisions on the papers where they can and so consequently can get through a lot more than the 8 per day they might get through as oral hearings. 

    If you move to another area you would need to notify HMCTS but you wouldn’t go to the back of the queue in your new area. 
    My MP has literally just said the pandemic has worsened it and that for my area it is 18 months though? I appreciate you may have knowledge for your area but I think my local MP would be better informed with the tribunal system in his constituency. So 38 weeks may be longest for your area but it’s 78 weeks for mine. Which had answered my question for disparities across the country. 

    No, I don’t have knowledge for “my area”. I am citing the statistics provided by HMCTS on the gov.uk web site i.e. the official stats. Current longest delay is 38 weeks. Average is 30 30.t of you want to be wholly accurate. See https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/hmcts-continues-to-reduce-backlog-of-social-security-appeals-as-number and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891444/HMCTS_Management_Information_for_Apr19_to_Apr20_.xlsx

    Latter literally published overnight so more up to date than anything being cited by an MP and most likely your local HMCTS office. Here in the NW HMCTS continues to tell people that asking for an adjournment risks an exceptionally long delay. Most cases are being listed at around the 12/13 week point at present. 

    If your appeal was lodged in 2018 then there will be a few which still haven’t been heard for a wide variety of reasons but for appeals lodged from mid 2019 onward there has been a fall from 52 weeks plus down to the 38/30 split described above. 

    Today the latest stats - https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/social-security-tribunal-appeal-receipts-in-three-months-to-march-2020-decreased-by-more-than-a-third-compared-to-same-period-last-year - were published by HMCTS and they show that whilst the number of hearings fell by 70% it’s now back on the rise once more. This is because the emergency legislation allows salaried judges to triage cases and award provisionally on the papers where they can. In turn that allows a judge to get through far more than the 8 a day they’d get through as oral hearings. So, whilst the numbers which make it to telephone hearings at present is low there are 2 reasons for that:

    1 - some cases will always need an oral hearing.
    2 - literally thousands of cases have been cleared on the papers so the delay continues to fall. 

    It also helps that the number of PIP claims made have fallen so the number progressing to appeal will also fall. See https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/number-of-new-pip-claims-reduced-by-almost-40-per-cent-in-april-2020-compared-to-same-time-last-year


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
    The average wait time at present is 32 weeks and the longest is 38 weeks... if you lodged an appeal now. Earlier appeals will have waited longer. Recent ones absolutely won’t. There’s literally no evidence COVID-19 has made it worse and largely it’s made it better as salaried judges are able to make decisions on the papers where they can and so consequently can get through a lot more than the 8 per day they might get through as oral hearings. 

    If you move to another area you would need to notify HMCTS but you wouldn’t go to the back of the queue in your new area. 
    My MP has literally just said the pandemic has worsened it and that for my area it is 18 months though? I appreciate you may have knowledge for your area but I think my local MP would be better informed with the tribunal system in his constituency. So 38 weeks may be longest for your area but it’s 78 weeks for mine. Which had answered my question for disparities across the country. 

    No, I don’t have knowledge for “my area”. I am citing the statistics provided by HMCTS on the gov.uk web site i.e. the official stats. Current longest delay is 38 weeks. Average is 30 30.t of you want to be wholly accurate. See https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/hmcts-continues-to-reduce-backlog-of-social-security-appeals-as-number and https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891444/HMCTS_Management_Information_for_Apr19_to_Apr20_.xlsx

    Latter literally published overnight so more up to date than anything being cited by an MP and most likely your local HMCTS office. Here in the NW HMCTS continues to tell people that asking for an adjournment risks an exceptionally long delay. Most cases are being listed at around the 12/13 week point at present. 

    If your appeal was lodged in 2018 then there will be a few which still haven’t been heard for a wide variety of reasons but for appeals lodged from mid 2019 onward there has been a fall from 52 weeks plus down to the 38/30 split described above. 

    Today the latest stats - https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/social-security-tribunal-appeal-receipts-in-three-months-to-march-2020-decreased-by-more-than-a-third-compared-to-same-period-last-year - were published by HMCTS and they show that whilst the number of hearings fell by 70% it’s now back on the rise once more. This is because the emergency legislation allows salaried judges to triage cases and award provisionally on the papers where they can. In turn that allows a judge to get through far more than the 8 a day they’d get through as oral hearings. So, whilst the numbers which make it to telephone hearings at present is low there are 2 reasons for that:

    1 - some cases will always need an oral hearing.
    2 - literally thousands of cases have been cleared on the papers so the delay continues to fall. 

    It also helps that the number of PIP claims made have fallen so the number progressing to appeal will also fall. See https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare-rights/news/item/number-of-new-pip-claims-reduced-by-almost-40-per-cent-in-april-2020-compared-to-same-time-last-year


    Thanks for sending me statistics. I’m going to trust my MP and other people’s experiences on this one as I don’t think he’d lie for any particular reason.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2020
    LOL. And where do you think your MP got their “accurate” data from?

    People aren’t going to come on here and complain their appeal was heard quickly, 

    The plural of anecdote is not evidence.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
    LOL. And where do you think your MP got their “accurate” data from?

    People aren’t going to come on here and complain their appeal was heard quickly, 

    The plural of anecdote is not evidence.
    Mike on my previous post you also said similar about my MR and I got it 3 days later.... I’ve come on this forum for help with my disability and benefits and even though I’d like to believe your intentions are good you consistently spread negativity and have the thought process that you’re always right because you have access to government statistics. As you’ve previously stated I agree this is a public forum but for the second time I’m asking now please just refrain from commenting on my posts. Every time I see your name pop up I actually dread reading the comment and this isn’t what these forums are about. Wish you all the best but kindly leave me alone. Thanks.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,498 Disability Gamechanger
    Personally I believe that statistics are just numbers that can be made to say what anyone wants them to say, e.g a 40% fall in the number of PIP claims in my view is probably because we are almost at the end of transfers from DLA to PIP.
    But I would have to say that @mikehughescq does his best to impart the knowledge he has in a positive way.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    edited June 2020
    Lies, damn lies and statistics indeed. The key thing about stats is that if interrogated properly they always tell some story. So HMCTS will no doubt present that latest stats as though no appeal will ever take more than 38 weeks when of course we know there’s some 2018 cases still in the system sadly taking much longer. 

    Thank you for your brief but kind words @woodbine. Frankly @jessica9876 comments are bewildering. Someone telling you that an appeal is demonstrably likely to be heard much quicker than your MP is telling you is “spreading negativity”. That’s some weird voodoo right there. 

    Sorry for that bad news there!!! 

    I address the last post below @woodbine but to take your point first we’ve been at the tail end of DLA to PIP conversions for 3 years now so that would be an unlikely explanation for a 40% fall in this specific period. The likely % fall has been discussed in WR circles for a while before we saw today’s stat. The consensus is that it’s caused by 

    1 - telephony staff being much reduced in numbers during the pandemic. Some people trying to order a claim pack had to queue for up to 2 hours and so gave up.

    2 - there has, as the posts on this forum amply demonstrate, been much misinformation about what is and isn’t being processed during lockdown so some people have wrongly assumed there was no point in claiming at present.

    3 - a number of people who might have been eligible to claim have died or been hospitalised because of Covid-19.

    4 - whilst advisers are responsible for a small number of the many claims which are submitted many people want help with firm completion and either assume it isn’t available at present or live in a location where perhaps an advice service has been unable to convert to a telephone/email based service. 

    5 - some renewals are counted as new claims and many such awards have simply been extended so will count as existing rather than new. 

    6 - many decision makers being moved to UC. 

    I’d say 1 and 2 are the big ones but 3 and 4 will have contributed. 

    As for @jessica9876 last post... it doesn’t make the information or the stats. wrong if something is achieved quicker than average. Averages are arrived at by some things being quicker and some things being slower. 

    I’m not “always right” because I have “access to government statistics”. I posted multiple links to data is in the public domain. The point remains. Appeal in 2018 then it’s likely you’ve waited more than 52 weeks no matter where you live. That applied to appeals all the way through to early 2019. After that the times fall and they are continuing to do so. The current average wait is 30.5 weeks. 

    Are you saying your MP has access to some statistics HMCTS, the people who administer the system and do the counting, do not? No-one is accusing your MP of lying but where do you think he gets his data from? He won’t personally know it. He’ll get it from his assistants/researchers. They have two options. Record what constituents tell them and/or look at the official stats. It’s doubtful that an MPs researcher would realise that just because the last person through the door took 58 weeks to get their appeal sorted the next one won’t because times are falling. Your MP literally said 78 weeks when the stats says it’s half that. There’s not a person on this forum in the 4 years I’ve been here who has posted about a delay that long even when delays were at their worst. The longest I’m personally aware of is 66 weeks and that was in the North East. Your MP is saying the exact opposite of what the HMCTS stats published today say. Is that a reason to have more faith in your MP???

    This forum gives you the tools to ignore my posts. You’ve been advised of that previously but presumably chosen to ignore it. If I see a question I think I can contribute to I will continue to do so.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
    Lies, damn lies and statistics indeed. The key thing about stats is that if interrogated properly they always tell some story. So HMCTS will no doubt present that latest stats as though no appeal will ever take more than 38 weeks when of course we know there’s some 2018 cases still in the system sadly taking much longer. 

    Thank you for your brief but kind words @woodbine. Frankly @jessica9876 comments are bewildering. Someone telling you that an appeal is demonstrably likely to be heard much quicker than your MP is telling you is “spreading negativity”. That’s some weird voodoo right there. 

    Sorry for that bad news there!!! 

    I address the last post below @woodbine but to take your point first we’ve been at the tail end of DLA to PIP conversions for 3 years now so that would be an unlikely explanation for a 40% fall in this specific period. The likely % fall has been discussed in WR circles for a while before we saw today’s stat. The consensus is that it’s caused by 

    1 - telephony staff being much reduced in numbers during the pandemic. Some people trying to order a claim pack had to queue for up to 2 hours and so gave up.

    2 - there has, as the posts on this forum amply demonstrate, been much misinformation about what is and isn’t being processed during lockdown so some people have wrongly assumed there was no point in claiming at present.

    3 - a number of people who might have been eligible to claim have died or been hospitalised because of Covid-19.

    4 - whilst advisers are responsible for a small number of the many claims which are submitted many people want help with firm completion and either assume it isn’t available at present or live in a location where perhaps an advice service has been unable to convert to a telephone/email based service. 

    5 - some renewals are counted as new claims and many such awards have simply been extended so will count as existing rather than new. 

    6 - many decision makers being moved to UC. 

    I’d say 1 and 2 are the big ones but 3 and 4 will have contributed. 

    As for @jessica9876 last post... it doesn’t make the information or the stats. wrong if something is achieved quicker than average. Averages are arrived at by some things being quicker and some things being slower. 

    I’m not “always right” because I have “access to government statistics”. I posted multiple links to data is in the public domain. The point remains. Appeal in 2018 then it’s likely you’ve waited more than 52 weeks no matter where you live. That applied to appeals all the way through to early 2019. After that the times fall and they are continuing to do so. The current average wait is 30.5 weeks. 

    Are you saying your MP has access to some statistics HMCTS, the people who administer the system and do the counting, do not? No-one is accusing your MP of lying but where do you think he gets his data from? He won’t personally know it. He’ll get it from his assistants/researchers. They have two options. Record what constituents tell them and/or look at the official stats. It’s doubtful that an MPs researcher would realise that just because the last person through the door took 58 weeks to get their appeal sorted the next one won’t because times are falling. Your MP literally said 78 weeks when the stats says it’s half that. There’s not a person on this forum in the 4 years I’ve been here who has posted about a delay that long even when delays were at their worst. The longest I’m personally aware of is 66 weeks and that was in the North East. Your MP is saying the exact opposite of what the HMCTS stats published today say. Is that a reason to have more faith in your MP???

    This forum gives you the tools to ignore my posts. You’ve been advised of that previously but presumably chosen to ignore it. If I see a question I think I can contribute to I will continue to do so.
    Im not even going to bother reading what you’re babbling on about. You’ve said yourself you don’t even suffer from a disability and you don’t work for Scope so it’s all a bit weird. I actually wasn’t informed but shall do it now. To be honest you seem like an internet troll that works for Capita. I really wish you the best in life because by the sounds of it you need it. I am ignoring you on this site but now this is the 3rd time I’m asking you to leave me alone I’m just going to remind you you’re bordering on harassment at this point.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 15 Listener
    woodbine said:
    Personally I believe that statistics are just numbers that can be made to say what anyone wants them to say, e.g a 40% fall in the number of PIP claims in my view is probably because we are almost at the end of transfers from DLA to PIP.
    But I would have to say that @mikehughescq does his best to impart the knowledge he has in a positive way.
    Im glad he’s managed to help you and I’m sure he has other members. Unfortunately he’s only really been negative towards myself and refused my polite asks for him to leave me alone. Hopefully no one else as experienced this but since he’s had a few flagged spam comments it doesn’t seem I am the first.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,621 Disability Gamechanger
    Im not even going to bother reading what you’re babbling on about. You’ve said yourself you don’t even suffer from a disability and you don’t work for Scope so it’s all a bit weird. I actually wasn’t informed but shall do it now. To be honest you seem like an internet troll that works for Capita. I really wish you the best in life because by the sounds of it you need it. I am ignoring you on this site but now this is the 3rd time I’m asking you to leave me alone I’m just going to remind you you’re bordering on harassment at this point.
    With all due respect my information to you was that an appeal lodged now will be heard way before your MP says it will and to provide you with absolute proof of that. Your response was to 

    - accuse me of “spreading negativity”
    - call me an “internet troll”
    - accuse me of working for Capita 
    - assert that I don’t even “suffer from a disability”.
    - accuse me of “bordering on harassment”.

    On that basis I have reported your post and asked that the thread is closed. 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 8,001

    Scope community team

    Hello @jessica9876. There are large disparities across the country and some of our members have waited incredibly long periods of time, which as you say is particularly difficult if they are appealing a zero points decision.

    Anecdotally though, we are seeing more cases come through that measure up with the statistics @mikehughescq has linked to and it would seem that wait times for tribunals are falling. Interestingly, the average wait time for an MR decision has increased though. 

    Fingers crossed you won't be waiting anywhere near the 18 months cited by your MP. 

    I understand you're unhappy with @mikehughescq responding to your posts and I would suggest the best option there would be to place him on ignore. However, I would also remind you of the community guidelines. While we welcome open discussion, conversations should remain civil and criticisms should be focused on the content of the post, rather than the poster.

    Since this discussion seems to have served its purpose, I'll be closing it.
    Community Manager
    Scope
This discussion has been closed.