Campaigners have branded the system “disgraceful” and a “sham” after the policy was slipped out by the government.
The government faces outrage after it was accused of setting a target to turn down the vast majority of benefit appeals.
Critics branded the system a “sham” after the policy was released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The row involves Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) – internal reviews people must go through if their claims for welfare are rejected, before they can launch a full appeal.
MRs were already under fire because they are far less likely than full appeals to end in victory.
Now it’s been revealed staff have a performance measure that says 80% of decisions “are to be upheld” – in other words, MRs reject 80% of claims.
They met this ‘Key Performance Indicator’ between April 2016 and March 2017 after rejecting 87% of claims, the DWP statement said.
Following a backlash DWP sources insisted the measure is “not a target” and is used to judge the accuracy of original decisions – not pre-judge MRs.
But critics said it had exposed the “disgraceful” system as a “sham”.