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Social Security Administration Act 1992

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

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53Power of adjudicating authorities to refer matters to experts

(1)An authority to which this section applies may refer any question of special difficulty arising for decision by the authority to one or more experts for examination and report.

(2)The authorities to which this section applies are—

(a)an adjudication officer;

(b)an adjudicating medical practitioner, or two or more such practitioners acting together;

(c)a specially qualified adjudicating medical practitioner appointed by virtue of section 62 below, or two or more such practitioners acting together;

(d)a social security appeal tribunal;

(e)a disability appeal tribunal;

(f)a medical appeal tribunal;

(g)a Commissioner;

(h)the Secretary of State.

(3)Regulations may prescribe cases in which a Commissioner shall not exercise the power conferred by subsection (1) above.

(4)In this section “expert” means a person appearing to the authority to have knowledge or experience which would be relevant in determining the question of special difficulty.

54Claims relating to attendance allowance, disability living allowance and disability working allowance

(1)Before a claim for an attendance allowance, a disability living allowance or a disability working allowance or any question relating to such an allowance is submitted to an adjudication officer under section 20 above the Secretary of State may refer the person in respect of whom the claim is made or the question is raised to a medical practitioner for such examination and report as appears to him to be necessary—

(a)for the purpose of providing the adjudication officer with information for use in determining the claim or question; or

(b)for the purpose of general monitoring of claims for attendance allowances, disability living allowances and disability working allowances.

(2)An adjudication officer may refer—

(a)a person in respect of whom such a claim is made or such a question is raised;

(b)a person who has applied or is treated as having applied for a review under section 30 or 35 above,

to a medical practitioner for such examination and report as appears to the adjudication officer to be needed to enable him to reach a decision on the claim or question or the matter under review.

(3)The Secretary of State may direct adjudication officers to refer for advice to a medical practitioner who is an officer of the Secretary of State any case falling within a specified class of cases relating to attendance allowance or disability living allowance, and an adjudication officer may refer for advice any case relating to attendance allowance or disability living allowance to such a medical practitioner without such a direction.

(4)An adjudication officer may refer for advice any case relating to disability working allowance to such a medical practitioner.

(5)A medical practitioner who is an officer of the Secretary of State and to whom a case or question relating to an attendance allowance or a disability living allowance is referred under section 53 above or subsection (3) above may refer the case or question to the Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board for advice.

(6)Such a medical practitioner may obtain information about such a case or question from another medical practitioner.

(7)A medical practitioner who is an officer of the Secretary of State and to whom a question relating to disability working allowance is referred under section 53 above may obtain information about it from another medical practitioner.

(8)Where—

(a)the Secretary of State has exercised the power conferred on him by subsection (1) above or an adjudication officer has exercised the power conferred on him by subsection (2) above; and

(b)the medical practitioner requests the person referred to him to attend for or submit himself to medical examination; but

(c)he fails without good cause to do so,

the adjudication officer shall decide the claim or question or matter under review against him.

55Medical examination etc. in relation to appeals to disability appeal tribunals

(1)Where an appeal has been brought under section 33(1)(a) above, a person who may be nominated as chairman of a disability appeal tribunal may, if prescribed conditions are satisfied, refer the claimant to a medical practitioner for such examination and report as appears to him to be necessary for the purpose of providing a disability appeal tribunal with information for use in determining the appeal.

(2)At a hearing before a disability appeal tribunal, except in prescribed circumstances, the tribunal—

(a)may not carry out a physical examination of the claimant; and

(b)may not require the claimant to undergo any physical test for the purpose of determining whether he satisfies the condition mentioned in section 73(1)(a) of the Contributions and Benefits Act.

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