This policy will introduce a new discretionary power to allow the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, respectively, to issue a direction prohibiting the disclosure of a document or information to a person ("the recipient") if a registered medical practitioner or a registered nurse has advised that the information is likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the recipient or some other person.
There is a risk that harmful information that is shared with the First-tier Tribunal or the Upper Tribunal during an appeal could be shared with a person at risk of harm. Although we expect that the need to withhold harmful information will only occur in exceptional circumstances, the repercussions of disclosing a document or information that would cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of a person could be devastating for individuals and their families.
The change will apply across all devolved benefits that carry a right of appeal. However, as this policy will give the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal a discretionary power to issue a direction to prohibit disclosure of a document or information if it could cause the recipient serious harm, it is expected that people in receipt of disability assistance will be the most likely to be affected. This is because applications for disability assistance generally include consideration of a person's physical and/or mental health while applications for other devolved social security benefits generally do not.
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