asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether there is any provision to help appellants from supplementary benefit appeals tribunals to argue points of law before the Social Security Commissioners.
Assistance is available to appellants under the legal advice and assistance—Green Form—scheme in the preparation of applications for leave, and subsequent appeals, to the Social Security Commissioners. The scheme does not extend to representation before the commissioners.Appellants who seek leave to appeal to the commissioners are told of the availability of this legal assistance, and also that they can get free advice from citizens' advice bureaux.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many appeals from decisions of the supplementary benefit appeals tribunal were made in each of the past five years.
I regret that information in the form requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, between 1 January 1977 and 23 November 1980 there were 19 applications for judicial review and 141 appeals under the Tribunals and Enquiries (SBATs) Order 1977. That order was revoked with effect from 24 November 1980, and between that date and 25 November 1981 there were 969 applications for leave to appeal to the Social Security Commissioners. So far, leave to appeal has been granted to 154 applicants.