More than half of North Lanarkshire's disability tribunals have favoured claimants -not the Government

Thousands of people in North Lanarkshire have taken the Government to tribunal over disability benefit payments – and more than half won, figures show.

Since 2013, hundreds of thousands of benefits decisions have been overturned across the UK after disabled people battled a "complex and distressing" appeals system to win their case at tribunal, disability charities say.

Anyone denied Personal Independence Payment – which covers the additional expenses faced by people with disabilities and is worth between £23 and £150 a week – can request a reconsideration.

If someone is still unhappy with the result of this, they can further appeal it at an independent tribunal.

Department for Work and Pensions data shows roughly 3,660 cases from North Lanarkshire were taken to tribunal between April 2013 and the end of 2021.

Around 53% saw the DWP's decision overturned in their favour over the period.

Nationally, claimants have won more than two-thirds of the cases that have reached tribunal since 2013.

Overall, the DWP assessed 39,800 applications for PIP from people in North Lanarkshire between 2013 and 2021, with the benefit awarded in 27,064 (68%) cases. Dissatisfaction with initial decisions led to 8,570 people submitting an initial mandatory reconsideration request, with 17% of those awards changed as a result.

Charity Disability Rights UK say they have worked with many disabled people who had been assessed by DWP workers without appropriate knowledge of their condition.

Ken Butler, from Disability Rights UK said this resulted in "poor and inaccurate initial medical assessments" by people who did not understand the nature and effects of disabilities.

Mr Butler also stressed that a tribunal hearing was often the first time a claimant "felt properly listened to".

A DWP spokesman said the overturned cases represented just a fraction of millions of decisions made following assessments and said the majority of PIP decisions were right.

He added: "All assessments were carried out by professionals trained to consider the impact of an individual's condition or disability, but we are exploring what more we can do.”