Recent figures released by the Ministry of Justice show that the average length of time for the Tribunals Service to administer an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) appeal in Coventry was 29 weeks between April 2013 and March 2014 (the latest period for which figures are available). This is well above the national average in England for the same period, which stood at 23 weeks, and above the West Midlands regional average of 27 weeks.
The Tory-led Government had previously provided assurances that they would implement a number of measures to ensure that the average appeal waiting time in Coventry reached parity with the national average. However, in spite of the actions taken by the Government to reduce waiting times, it continues to takes an additional 6 weeks on average for the disposal of a Coventry appeal when compared with the national average in England.
The average ESA appeal waiting times in Coventry have now been persistently higher than the regional and national averages for the duration of this Government’s time in office.
The Ministry of Justice statistics also revealed that the proportion of ESA appeals decided in favour of the appellant in Coventry in 2013/14 (the latest period for which figures are available) stood at 48%. These figures clearly show that had the original decision to disallow a claimant’s ESA been made correctly in the first place, the number of appeals would have been reduced by half over the period. This would have freed up significant capacity in the courts and ensured that the remaining appeals were heard in a timelier manner.