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Online Appeal System Scrapped Before It Begins

October 16, 2020

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

 

Continuous Online Resolution (COR), a revolutionary new way of deciding PIP, and eventually all other, appeals online has been scrapped following an unsuccessful pilot, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has announced.

COR was not the same as simply lodging your appeal online.

Instead, COR was a system whereby an appeal panel considered your appeal online and gave a ‘preliminary view’ of what award of PIP, if any, you should get after reviewing the documents and asking you written questions online.

If you and the DWP agreed with this decision then the appeal was completed. If you didn’t agree then the appeal went to a normal appeal hearing.

COR was originally set to be trialled with 1,000 appellants in the Midlands, Sutton and North-West Tribunal Panel area.

In the event, only 254 claimants accepted the invitation to join the pilot and of these only 145 cases were considered suitable and went ahead.

69 cases were resolved by an online panel and all but one of these increased the DWP’s award.

Claimants involved in the pilot had mixed feelings about it.

Those who got a decision they were happy with from the online panel were positive about the experience. Those who had to go through the online process and then on to a normal appeal were frustrated and disappointed.

Some appellants said they accepted a preliminary decision that they were not happy with simply because “they felt they had waited long enough already and did not want a further delay caused by waiting for a face-to-face hearing.”

HMCTS has now announced that the system will no longer be rolled-out, primarily because it costs too much to select suitable cases and carry out all the admin tasks that were not automated within the software.

According to HMCTS

“Evaluation of the wider context of COR and the administrative resource required to deliver it, revealed that a substantial admin resource was required to support COR in selecting, sifting and onboarding cases, as well as carrying out time-consuming tasks which were not automated by the COR system. This therefore had resource implications for any scaling up of the pilot on a national basis, particularly given the low levels of suitable cases.”

HMCTS say they will continue to look for ways in which appellants can interact with a tribunal online.

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