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Incapacity Benefit: Appeals

Volume 464: debated on Thursday 11 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons a general practitioner may not attend an appeal hearing with a client with respect to an application for incapacity benefits; and if he will make a statement. (155958)

I have been asked to reply.

Appeal hearings in respect of incapacity benefit decisions are heard by appeal tribunals which are constituted by the Lord Chancellor and are independent. The tribunal has an inquisitorial function and appellants we encouraged to attend and to present their case, which may include any written or oral evidence from those who may support their appeal such as medical practitioners. There is nothing in the tribunal rules that would exclude an appellant's general practitioner from attending such an appeal hearing.