Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder BettieBoo Novitiate



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    Default ESA tribunal advice

    Hi guys,

    Got my letter through today saying I've got 14 days to send off my letter should I want to go to a Tribunal.

    Does anyone who's been to a tribunal have any advice and suggestions of things I should do to help my case. I was reading that representation is the most important thing to consider as it helps your case. Who should I contact to help me, CAB, Welfare Rights?
    Due to being on benefits I couldn't afford a proper solicitor.

    Also what sort of evidence should I get together? I've only been seeing my councillor a few times & my doctors only sent off a letter towards my ESA appeal as of yet.

    I'm pretty unsure of what to do really as this is all new to me

    any help and advice would be greatly appreciated


  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder BettieBoo Novitiate



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Just a quick note, I rang Welfare Rights and they said they couldn't represent me as I'm not getting social care etc and I'm only seeing a GP/councillor. CAB also said they don't represent.....I don't know what to do now


  3. #3
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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Don't worry at this stage - long long way to go yet! Send off your form saying you want to go to tribunal and include any supporting evidence you may have. But don't fret about it yet. A DWP decision maker will review the file and decide if the decision should be reversed. This will take several weeks. If they stand by their decision, they will forward your appeal to the tribunals service. It will be between 6 and 9 months before your hearing. You can send supporting evidence to the tribunal service at any time up to 14 days before your hearing...
    Best wishes
    Rae


  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Hi there, sorry to welcome you to the failed Atos community. I have a sticky at the top of all the Benefits threads, about how to prepare for a tribunal [later on]. You need to use the back arrow to get out of this thread and then scroll to the top of the page where the stickies are. Or if you can't find it, I'll post a link, but if I move away from what I'm typing, I know I'll lose it. You may find other stickies that will help you.

    Have you had the Appeal Pack from the DWP, especially the copy of your Atos computer assessment?

    Please keep posting, we'll help.

    HB x

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  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder BettieBoo Novitiate



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Hi guys,
    I'm pretty peed off that I don't think I'll be able to find anyone to help represent me at my case but to be honest I'm not worrying too much as of yet because I'd rather focus on trying to get evidence and all the other bits sorted for the tribunal first.

    I received my appeal pack back, all 100 pages of it lol. It was basically a complete and utter load of crap....in a nutshell they said that they'd reviewed my case and were sticking by their guns.....despite my enormous appeal letter! ( I felt I had so many points to make)
    I knew this was going to happen really so it wasn't somethingthat totally threw me off balance although it is as always, extra stress that I don't need!
    The guy from welfare rights I chatted to today was nice enough, he just simply explained that they didn't have the time to go to every single persons tribunal and that people receiving social care were more of a priority to them. He said that in his opinion 80% of the tribunals decisions are based upon the evidence provided & not that of a representatives presence helping to put forward your case.
    He's sending me out some letters etc and giving me some advice on what to do etc but that's as far as it goes.

    I would have really liked to have had the opportunity of getting a rep elp me out as I feel myself personally wouldn't be great at the tribunal putting my case across

    I'm seeing my councillor tomorrow & will explain things to him and see if he can get me a letter written up to help with my case etc & I will have to talk to my GP- the last letter she wrote wasn't brilliant (for my appeal) but in all fairness she didn't charge me.

    I don't know how they think we can afford to pay for all these letters if we're scraping by on benefits!


  7. #7
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Hi there, I know how you feel. I'm not surprised welfare rights are overwhelmed, and we all know who's to blame for that, don't we? Starts with A, ends in tos.

    Welfare rights have a great reputation and if they're offering you documents to help, then I would hope they'll be just that, helpful.

    Forgive me if I missed it, but do you have a specialist or consultant to back you up?

    At this stage, months out as Kelcou says, I wouldn't worry about representation. Two ladies that I know about from the forum have represented themselves, which I couldn't have done, but then I'm a wimp. And both won.

    In my own case, my OH who wrote the document that is my sticky with me, went with me. I think we handed it in on the day of the tribunal, but I'd have to check that with him because I don't remember. In my case they said it was very helpful. It's written in DWP speak and has a dissection of all the things they said about me that weren't true. We won too .

    It's a shame about your GP, because a lot of people on the forum have had good support. Is it a practice where you could find someone else to speak for you? The more the merrier, I think.

    Stay strong, HB x

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BettieBoo View Post
    Hi guys,

    Got my letter through today saying I've got 14 days to send off my letter should I want to go to a Tribunal.

    Does anyone who's been to a tribunal have any advice and suggestions of things I should do to help my case. I was reading that representation is the most important thing to consider as it helps your case. Who should I contact to help me, CAB, Welfare Rights?
    Due to being on benefits I couldn't afford a proper solicitor.

    Also what sort of evidence should I get together? I've only been seeing my councillor a few times & my doctors only sent off a letter towards my ESA appeal as of yet.

    I'm pretty unsure of what to do really as this is all new to me

    any help and advice would be greatly appreciated
    I am at the same stage in the neverending saga as you. I've just got the letter myself. I'm going to the CAB tomorrow to see if they have anyone who is good at this stuff. If not, I have had an offer from a very nice person on this site.

    It's all going to take time. By the way, anyone, what is a "signer"?

    dj


  9. #9
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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    To be honest - and I speak of my own tribunal - I had a rep from CAB, I really wished I hadn't bothered as he was very much superfluous to requirements. The tribunal panel [in my case a chairman and a medical 'expert'] will want to speak to you not anybody else.
    Mine focussed almost exclusively on the ESA50, we went through it almost line by line. Honey-bees templateicon is excellent [was too late for me to use it but it will form the crux of my next tribunal - see how optimistic I am with the ESA system...!].
    You can also build up your case with online research. Also, look your condition up on the DWPs A to Z of medical conditions [google search will give you the site].
    Best wishes
    Rae


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder cbbc Novitiate



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Hi,
    I agree Rae, The questions they asked me could only really be answered by me.
    I was also closely questioned about my ESA50.
    I had notes so if I forgot anything I could refer to them.
    I thought I would be asked how I coped from day today with shopping, driving, bathing etc. but I wasn't. It was all to do with the medical and ESA50.
    I could not find any organisation to help me anyway.
    The tribunals probably vary too. I had 2 ladies. They were very direct and professional.
    Everything that is said is written down by a clerk too, its a shame that this doesn't happen during the ATOS interview. I think I will take my daughter if ever I have to go to an ATOS medical again as she does short hand. I wonder if it could be used as evidence in a tribunal.

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  11. #11
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Interesting point cbbc about documenting an Atos 'medical'. I apologise if it's hijacking the thread for a moment, because this is going backwards, but I also remember a debate on the forum about recording them, do you Rae, I think you were around then?

    I remember that Atos were not at all keen or even refused that. If you tell them of course . Shorthand skills aren't as common as they were, are they, it would be interesting to know what Atos say on that?

    HB x

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  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Honeybee I do indeed remember that debate and the comments made that ATOSH refused to conduct a recorded assessment. Very interesting comments about short hand note taking though! I was considering seriptitiously recording mine, but I doubt I'd be able to afford anything to record with. I will, however, ask around and see who I know that can take shorthand...
    Best wishes
    Rae


  14. #14
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    I don't know about cost, Rae, and we have cleverer techies than me here. I thought your average mobile could do it. Or maybe a cagger could lend you a daughter or son to come with you.

    I don't see how it's contentious, although Atos would probably disagree with this. I guess you're allowed to take notes, just depends how fast you write, I'm thinking.

    Btw Rae, up the revolution, maybe this is part of it . HB x

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  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder Yet_Another_Atos_Victim Novitiate



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Quote Originally Posted by honeybee13 View Post
    Interesting point cbbc about documenting an Atos 'medical'. I apologise if it's hijacking the thread for a moment, because this is going backwards, but I also remember a debate on the forum about recording them, do you Rae, I think you were around then?

    I remember that Atos were not at all keen or even refused that. If you tell them of course . Shorthand skills aren't as common as they were, are they, it would be interesting to know what Atos say on that?

    HB x
    Hi Honeybee13, when I went to my WCA on 19/03/10 they tried to intimidate me into not writing notes - even just the name of the 'Health Care Professional' who assessed me. It put them in a right tailspin when I insisted on writing things down. They aborted the WCA using some lame excuse. Since then they have spewed out a string of silly lies to DWP and myself, taken 10 weeks to refund my travel expenses and got the DWP to stop my ESA. Luckily DWP listened to me and paid me last week ( a day late). I requested sight of their official policy document on note-taking and they lied about that too. They reckon that we can tape record
    At the WCA they explained that claimants may tape record proceedings, but only if we use a double tape deck, make 2 simultaneous copies and give them one copy. This brings up images of ITV's 'The Bill' - but do they seriously expect someone on £65.40 per week to go out and buy such a machine? I have seen a brilliant website detailing the shocking experience of a brain tumour sufferer at the hands of Atos, and his very brave and erudite fight against the Atossers: DWP Atos Healthcare Medical Services Contract. Anyway, have read several of your excellent posts and wish you good luck in your own personal fight x


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder Yet_Another_Atos_Victim Novitiate



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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Quote Originally Posted by BettieBoo View Post
    Just a quick note, I rang Welfare Rights and they said they couldn't represent me as I'm not getting social care etc and I'm only seeing a GP/councillor. CAB also said they don't represent.....I don't know what to do now
    Hi BettieBoo, I gather that CAB and Welfare Rights resources vary from place to place and I've read one post where CAB were unable to help. In my part of the East Midlands we have a well-funded CAB and an active Welfare Rights and both offer help at the Appeal stage subject to availability of an advisor on the Appeal hearing date. I had my WCA aborted on some lame excuse but it was really because I insisted on taking notes. Atos have 'punished' me by taking 10 weeks to refund my travel expenses and by telling lies to DWP to try and get my ESA stopped. It's a shame that a massive plc with a £500 million contract with DWP feels the need to be so spiteful. Good luck with your case x


  17. #17
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    Default Re: ESA tribunal advice

    Hi Yet Another, very interested in what you have to say about note taking etc. Would you mind starting a new threadicon on the subject? I think you'll garner some interest...

    Click here:

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ewthread&f=160

    Just copy and paste your existing posts to it. [Of course, a member of the Site Team may wave their harry Potter wands before you see this...]

    Best wishes
    Rae


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder doktorjohn Novitiate doktorjohn's Avatar



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    Exclamation Re: ESA tribunal advice

    I hear don't give a Atoss are on TV tonight.

    Atos wonít be happy about this and they probably arenít very pleased about featuring in a TV programme tonight, Wednesday 26th May. Who's Cheating Who?, which questions whether employment and support allowance is fit for purpose and whether profits are being put before welfare, is on at 10.45pm on BBC1 Scotland. (Even if you donít live in Scotland, you should be able to watch if you have freeview ,Sky or cable TV).

    Should be fun.



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