Hooper v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, May 24, 2007, [2007] EWCA Civ 495

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Hooper v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, May 24, 2007, [2007] EWCA Civ 495

Neutral Citation Number: [2007] EWCA Civ 495

Case No: C3/2006/2227/SSTRF

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

ON APPEAL FROM A SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSIONER

Mr Commissioner Jacobs

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

24/05/2007

Before :

LORD JUSTICE WARD

LORD JUSTICE DYSON

and

LORD JUSTICE THOMAS

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Between :

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(Transcript of the Handed Down Judgment of

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Mr Simon Cox (instructed by Messrs Will Rolt) for the Appellant

Mr Martin Chamberlain (instructed by Solicitor for Department for Work and Pensions) for the Respondent

Hearing dates: 03 May 2007

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Judgment

Dyson LJ:

Introduction

1. This appeal raises two issues of law arising from the incapacity benefit legislation. They arise from decisions by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (``SSWP'') (i) to supersede an award of incapacity benefit to the appellant for the period 9 September 2002 to 20 April 2004 and replace it with a decision that there was no entitlement to incapacity benefit for that period, and (ii) that an overpayment of incapacity benefit in the sum of £6989.77 is recoverable from the appellant. These decisions were upheld by an appeal tribunal whose decision was in turn upheld by Mr Commissioner Jacobs. The appellant appeals with the permission of Sir Henry Brooke. Before I come to the statutory framework and the issues in more detail, I need to summarise the facts.

The facts

2. The appellant is 49 years of age. At the age of 8, he was injured in a road traffic accident, as a result of which he suffered significant brain damage. He was unemployed, and on 4 June 1987, a decision was taken under the then applicable legislation to award him invalidity benefit. In 1995, the invalidity benefit regime was replaced by a new regime by the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) Act 1994 (``the 1994 Act''). This introduced a new Part XIIA into the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and replaced invalidity benefit with incapacity benefit. Under the Social Security (Incapacity for Work) (Transitional) Regulations 1995 (``the Transitional Regulations''), an award of invalidity benefit took effect as an award of incapacity benefit. Central to the new regime was the ``personal capability assessment''. On 22 August ...

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