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Wednesday, 12 October 1983
Page: 1695

Question No. 461


Mr Blanchard asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 7 September 1983:

(1) What is the delay in each State for invalid pension applicants awaiting medical examination.

(2) What is the delay in each State for invalid pension appellants awaiting (a) a hearing before the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and (b) determination of the case.


Dr Blewett —The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The average number of days from lodgement of an invalid pension claim to examination by a Commonwealth medical officer is 22 days.

(2) It is not possible to provide separate processing times for (a) and (b) because the available statistics relate to the following 3 periods-

from registration of the appeal with the Tribunal to the date of transmission of the file to the Tribunal;

from the date of transmission to the date of the Tribunal recommendation; and

from the date of recommendation to finalisation (the date when advice of the delegate's determination is sent to the appellant).

Moreover, processing time statistics for medical appeals aggregate invalid pension, sickness benefit and handicapped child's allowance appeals (although invalid pension appeals comprised an estimated 95 per cent of medical appeals finalised in the June 1983 quarter). In respect of medical appeals finalised in the June quarter, the most recent quarter for which statistics are available, the mean and median processing times for cases considered by the Tribunal are as set out in the following table-

Registration to

Transmission to

Tribunal

Transmission to

Tribunal to

Recommendation

Tribunal

Recommendation

to Finalisation

(weeks)

(weeks)

(weeks)

Mean Median Mean Median Mean Median

New South Wales 20.6 20.0 20.9 17.9 3.4 0.7 Victoria 21.5 19.5 10.9 6.8 0.9 0. 5 Queensland 29.7 27.4 12.2 7.3 1.4 0.9 South Australia 11.8 10.3 10.3 7.8 6.1 2.5 Western Australia 9.5 8.7 3.9 2.2 1.5 1.2 Tasmania 11.0 10.2 23.7 24.0 1.9 1.6 Northern Territory 8.3 7.0 7.0 7.0 2.7 1.8 Australia 21.3 19.2 15.8 10.5 2 .6 0.8

Processing times are not estimated for appeals which are conceded by the Department without necessity for consideration by the Tribunal. No estimates for the Australian Capital Territory are shown in the above table because all medical appeals finalised in the June quarter had been conceded.