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.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    I've been on ESA assessment phase since February 2010 and have a hearing date for the appeal on 22 February.

    However, this morning I received a letter from the DWP Appeals office stating that they have looked again at the facts and evidence and changed their decision in my favour.

    I can hardly believe this, as I thought once it went to the Tribunal Service the DWP did not look again at the case but awaited the Tribunal Service decision.

    Has this happened to anyone else recently? Should I expect a letter from the Tribunal Service saying that the hearing is now cancelled? How do I know which group I have been placed in? Will I receive a further letter explaining this all in more detail?

    This letter just says if I have any queries about payment of arrears of benefit I should call the Benefit section.

    Can it really be all over, without the dreaded hearing?

    If anyone knows anything about this that might help please let me know. I'm reluctant to jump the gun and phone up about an increase in benefits as it might all be a terrible mistake!


  2. #2
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    Default Re: DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    Congratulations. I wonder if this could be down to the ammount of people they have on appeal and are using a little comon sence reading again, proof and comparing with atos sham reports. Thinking have atos got is right or is it obvious claimant is genuine in need of help. If so maybe a few more will appear, I dont think you are the first to say ruled in favor prior to appeal after expecting a fight. Compared to how many are on appeal on this forum it is a low ammount overturned in advance of appeal posting here, but who knows maybe a change is in the air, hope is a lovely thing.

    Best wishes.


  3. #3
    Basic Account Holder stalin's dead Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    Congrats on that. I am on appeal at present for epilepsy and depression. Can I ask what your condition was or not if you feel the need for confidentialityicon?

    I would rejoice if the same happened to me!


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Life-Goes-On Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    Glad to hear some good news Blue


  5. #5
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    Default Re: DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    Yes myself and a few others have had one of these letters recently.

    There's currently teams of DWP DMs reviewing all TS appeals.

    Nothing to be afraid of! You will have to contact the ESA helpline to find out which group you are in (support or WRAG) if it doesn't say.

    Other than that congratulations.


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Re: DWP change of decision at appeal stage

    Thanks for all the replies and congratulations I received! I'm now starting to believe it might be true.

    I'm not sure how to answer people directly but if Stalin's Dead checks back here - I don't mind saying I am a life-long sufferer with bi-polar disorder/anxiety/depression - so I was very worried about trying to convince the appeal panel that there is something wrong with me, even though I look "well kempt and healthy" - as the ATOS doctor remarked on my medical! Things are changing slowly but for so many years it's been difficult to get people to take depression seriously. I'm sick of the attitude than we can just "pull ourselves together". Do these people really think we choose to sit at home unable to have a normal life? So, if you do get have to continue with your appeal I'd like to wish you all the best. I hope, though, that you too will receive a letter saying they've changed their decision.


  7. #7
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    Hi, I have been receiving housing and council tax benefit since April 2010, not fully covering both but this week I received a decision notice stating their had been a Change of Liability and my payments are to be cut by 36.65 per week

    As nothing in my circumstances has changed I am at a loss as to why this notice has been sent out. I have emailed my local authority, with no reply and telephoned. The person I spoke with could also not understand why this reduction has been made and promised a return phone callicon, by his supervisor. I am still waiting for that call.

    Has anyone else had a similar notice? The new rate starts from 30 March, so could it be something to do with the new regulations coming in on 1 April? I thought we were getting 9 months adjustment period before any cuts were made?

    Any advice or information please?


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    You privately rent I take it? Rather than housing assosiation. You should have 9 months, although some sites say that only applies if you have been getting housing benefit since before 2008. But I am sure it applies as long as you are claiming it now. But if you let them know of any changes before those 9 months are up, then it'll start from then unfortunately
    Hopefully they'll ring you back & it'll be sorted.


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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    It shouldn't be affecing you yet. But it looks like they may have pulled a fast one, so make sure they speak to you monday..

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...ng_allowance#1


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    Thanks for replies. If I don't get a call I think I'll go in and see them. Nothing in my circumstances has changed which is why this is such a shock. Even with the changes coming in April there shouldn't have been such a big reduction. I'm hoping the whole thing is a mistake - or is that just wishful thinking?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    Quote Originally Posted by bluetoffees View Post
    Thanks for replies. If I don't get a call I think I'll go in and see them. Nothing in my circumstances has changed which is why this is such a shock. Even with the changes coming in April there shouldn't have been such a big reduction. I'm hoping the whole thing is a mistake - or is that just wishful thinking?
    Well lets hope not!
    Does that sounds too much from what you have been told it will be cut down to? What about the overoccupied 15 pounds bonus, because they are stopping that too remember.
    But believe me they can & DO make mistakes, I know from bitter experience, & fingers crossed that's what has happened with you. x


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    still now phone callicon! When I use the benefit calculator it always tells me I should be getting more than I am. Even if they stop the 15 bonus, I only get 5.53 per week anyway so it doesn't explain what the rest of the reduction is for!


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    tbh you can't expect a call until tomorrow, office opening hours are Monday to Friday usually 9am until 5pm.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    How many beds in your property? and how long ago did you claim?


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder pandaspot Novitiate pandaspot Novitiate

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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    Have you got a non dep in your property? The non dep deductions have greatly increased from April

    Any lha rate will definitely not affect you do soon


  16. #16
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Re: Housing Benefit cut without change of circumstances

    To answer all your questions (and thanks for the interesticon!). I did get a call back on Sunday (my LA works 24/7) but the benefit advisor still couldn't see a reason why my rate had changed. I asked about the April changes and he said no, nothing to do with that. He's sent a request for further information and I have to ring back in a week. That's a week of sleepless nights, but they don't seem to worry about that!

    Leemack, I claimed a year ago, on March 30 and there are two bedrooms, but I only get a one bedroom rate, I think, as I live alone.

    Pandaspot, no, there is no-one else living here.

    The adviser I spoke to on Sunday seemed to think the notice I'd been sent was a mistake. He says my entitlement hasn't changed and could see no reason to send out the notice.

    I'm trying not to worry until I get a better explanation!!!


  17. #17
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default HB/CTB interview under caution

    Hi, in a panic over a letter from HB Counter Fraud section received this morning, Friday about an interview on Monday, under caution as they think my claim is fraudulent. This claim is one year old and the only thing that's happened recently is I queried a notice about a reduction in the next payment and to support my claim I pointed out my capital had reduced and was asked to end in recent bank accounts, which I did.

    It seems these accounts are different to the declared bank accounts when I made the claim last year, which they are. I opened a new online savings account with slightly higher interesticon rates (not that it makes much difference with the rubbish interest rates).

    When I rang to see what this interview was about it's because they think I've closed and opened bank accounts without telling them so I must be committing fraud.

    The letter advised me to seek immediate legal advice in case they decide to prosecute!

    I don't have the time or money to find a solicity before Monday. Nor could CAB provide anyone at such short notice. Should I just go along and try to explain why the account numbers are different from those I gave them a year ago and hope that that satisfies them?

    The person I spoke to at the CF section said he could get the appointment delayed but I know I will not sleep for 3 days as it is, so to have this looming over me for any longer would probably put me back in hospital. I suffer from bi-polar disorder and anxiety and sleepless nights is not very helpful!

    Any advice, suggestions would be very welcome!


  18. #18
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    Default Re: HB/CTB interview under caution

    Sorry, I dont understand. So you have opened a new bank account since you started claiming a year ago, & this could mean you have commited beneit fraud???
    Since when has everybody got to let them know when they open a new bank account?
    They must be planning to hammer me soon then because I did that. When a compliance officer came in feb to do a review I showed her a bank statement for an account they didn't know about.
    I had an IUC not long after that, but for a different reason, & the investigation has just been closed with no further action. Bank accounts weren't ever mentioned.
    You're sure it's definitely about that?


  19. #19
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    Default Re: HB/CTB interview under caution

    the counter fraud section will invite you for an IUC if they have grounds to suspect there may have been benefit fraud

    if, as you say, the only issue is that you have moved money from a previously declared account to a new account, this should not be much of an issue

    my advice at this stage, would be to review your benefit assessment letters and double check that the information they have used to assess your award are correct, do they have all your income and capital included? are the figures correct?

    has there been any changes in your income/capital/household that you have forgotten to declare? a lot of people forget to notify changes in their tax credit rates

    hopefully, it will just be that they have identified that the account you are using is a different account number to those previously declared, and they want to check that it is not additional moneys that you failed to declare previously

    you can ask them to postpone the IUC whilst you seek representation - i would usually advise getting a solicitor if possible, as they will give the solicitor disclosure of the suspicion/allegation prior to the interview, this will ensure that you know what it will be about before it starts

    if you do decide to attend without representation, please remember you can stop the interview and leave at any time, and seek representation


  20. #20
    Basic Account Holder bluetoffees Novitiate

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    Default Re: HB/CTB interview under caution

    thanks for the advice id6052. The letter states that they will inform me (and my solicitor if I have one) of the allegations once I am at the IUC. Can I then refuse to continue if I haven't managed to get a solicitor to go with me. Will this affect their decision to prosecute or not? The letter is full of legal warnings but when I spoke to them on Friday they said the letters have to be worded that way. How long can I reasonably expect them to delay the IUC? I don't want to delay it at all, if possible, as my health will suffer the longer this stress continues. This is why I am prepared to go in alone and get a solicitor afterwards if it does not go well.



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