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The Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999

Sections 6 to 10: Reviews and appeals

Under the present NHS charges scheme there is no procedure for review. Section 6 allows for internal review of any certificate and this can be initiated either by CRU or on application by the compensator. The terms of the new scheme follow closely the provisions for review found in the Social Security (Recovery of Benefits) Act 1997, as amended by the Social Security Act 1998.

Section 7 covers appeals. The grounds of appeal set out closely follow those in the benefit recovery scheme. It is intended that procedures to be set out by regulation will also be modelled on that scheme's rules. As in the benefit recovery scheme, a right of appeal will not arise until such time as the liability to repay NHS charges has been discharged.

The same tribunals which hear appeals in compensation recovery cases will hear NHS charges appeals in England and Wales. Currently compensation recovery cases are heard by Medical Appeal Tribunals, although in the course of 1999 these appeals will transfer to the Unified Appeal Tribunal introduced by the Social Security Act 1998.

Appeals in Scotland will initially be dealt with in the same way although it is intended that regulations will provide for an alternative tribunal service not later than devolution.

In the benefit recovery scheme further appeal is made first to the Social Security Commissioners and then to the courts. There is no appeal to the Social Security Commissioners in the case of NHS charges. Section 9 provides an avenue of appeal on a point of law direct to the courts.

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