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Benefit Appeal Hearings (Disabled People)

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether provision exists to help people with disabilities to attend benefit appeal hearings. (92661)

Appellants with disabilities can travel to their tribunal hearing by taxi, the cost of which will be met by the tribunals service. Arrangements can also be made to hear a tribunal at a person's home if they are unable to travel due to their disability.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what provisions are in place to allow the postponement of appeal hearings in benefit cases when a disabled claimant does not have the resources to attend. (92662)

Provisions exist to allow appellants or their representatives to request the postponement of appeal hearings but the decision to allow the postponement is a judicial decision. The tribunals service supports the attendance of appellants at appeal hearings and will reimburse travelling expenses where appropriate. Provisions are also in place to enable appellants to request a payment for travel in advance of the hearing to enable those that do not have the resources, to attend their appeal hearing.