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  1. I've got a couple of questions I'd like to clarify about Carer's Allowance. I think I know the answers but I'm not certain. I've read the gov.uk website guidance but I know that the website is not necessarily the fount of all correct wisdom. (1) My mother died recently. I was her primary carer, spending 40+ hours per week looking after her. I received no income. She was definitely eligible for Attendance Allowance (and had been for more than a decade) but would not claim it and did not receive any other benefits. As a result I did not claim Carer's Allowance, although I would certainly have been eligible had she claimed AA. My question is: Could I have claimed Carer's Allowance using any other route, such as certification by a healthcare professional? (2) If the answer is yes to the above question, is it possible to make a retrospective clam for Carer's Allowance after the death of the person who was being cared for? (I have just today discovered Carer's Credit which can be claimed using the healthcare professional certification route, even retrospectively after the death of the person being cared for, and I was wondering if there was a similar, unpublicised, route to claim Carer's Allowance). As an aside, for anyone else in my position, you definitely should be claiming Carer's Credit. The person being cared for does not have to receive a qualifying benefit for you to claim it; you just need to be looking after them for 20 hours or more a week and to obtain a certificate from a healthcare professional working on the case. Carer's Credit won't pay you money but will ensure that your NI credits are kept up to date. I've received no NI credits for more than a decade.
  2. Thanks everyone who assisted above. Here is the PoC I intend to submit via MCOL. I have redacted it to remove private details.
  3. Yup, I appreciate that in general. It's just that in simple cases where the bones of it are in fact all there is to it, it seems to me that one would serve as the other. In other words, where the space for the PoC on the form offers the room to say everything that the claimant would need to say in a witness statement then an additional separate witness statement seems functionally redundant to me. Note also that the paper N1 form has separate spaces for 'Brief details of claim' and 'Particulars of Claim', further implying to the non-expert that the PoC could be used in this way in simple cases. Thank you for this. It's very helpful. In the normal course of events, if the witness statement is not ordered at the same time as disclosure, will there be an explicit order made to enter a witness statement? [Oops, I missed you saying that "you will be ordered to file and serve witness statements by the Court at the appropriate time further on in the claim".]
  4. Well, that's exactly what I was going (after I discovered that the MCOL PoC was so small) to do but it now seems like it's not the usual way to do things. I only came here to ask questions because I had some fairly minor (I thought) uncertainties about procedure. ;-) Can I just ask (because despite all this I'm still not clear on it): If one does not use the PoC as one's witness statement, at what point is is normal to enter the witness statement? I presume it should be with all the other documentation at the disclosure stage?
  5. For the avoidance of doubt, I don't care where my detailed case (which I now understand to be my witness statement) is entered or disclosed. I simply need to be sure that it is at the correct stage in the overall procedure. I came to this thread because I thought that the natural and obvious place for this piece of information would be in the PoC. However, I was confused because the MCOL PoC box is too small for anything other than a few words. The PoC space on the paper N1 form, however, is just the right size for what I would need to say. I learned that it is in fact normal practice for the PoC to be very terse. Ok, that makes sense. However, I took it from stevemLS's comments that the reply to defence stage was an appropriate place to enter my witness statement. It seems that this is not necessarily so. Note that I had no special desire to enter my witness statement at this stage. I am just looking for the right place to do it and I would have expected it to be as early as possible in the proceedings so that the defence knew to a reasonable degree what they were defending against. In more complex cases I can well imagine that a witness statement might go much further than the PoC could or would need to but, in this case, it seems to me that the witness statement and PoC could effectively be identical. Indeed, if I was filling in the paper form I'd just have gone ahead and written what I needed to on that. And that is why I was confused about why MCOL's PoC box was so small.
  6. So... to get the procedural story straight for what should be a simple case (where I am claiming for money based upon a contract that has not been fulfilled), the following is my understanding of what happens when. Please do correct me if I am wrong on any of these points:- 1) It is usual in simple cases like this to provide nothing other than the barest details in the PoC? No supporting documents are normally supplied with the PoC. A long time ago (pre-MCOL) I worked for a business which often had to issue summonses for non-payment. (It was not my job but I was familiar with what happened). In that case I know it was normal practice for them to send a copy of the unpaid invoice and Ts&Cs together with the N1 form. It seemed to work for them. Was this in fact incorrect procedure? 2) It is possible to enter a reply to the defence but this is not necessary unless there is some overwhelming need to do so? I find this odd: It makes no sense to reply to the defence at this stage when the defendant has not yet had a chance to see any details of the claimant's case. If the PoC is as sparse as I now understood it to be then the defendant could only enter a similarly sparse defence at this stage. I also infer that entering a reply to the defence is NOT commonly done in simple County Court cases, especially, as I also infer, if it is not normally the procedure for the Court to tell claimants that they can do this. Is this correct? 3) It is normal to supply a more detailed description of my case (my witness statement) later on? In my case, this would be a rather brief one page document. It could not possibly hope to fit in the MCOL PoC box but would fit well in the paper N1 form's PoC box. 4) The stage at which a more detailed description of my case (i.e. my witness statement as well as any supporting documents or other documents that I might wish to refer to in a hearing) would be supplied is the disclosure stage?
  7. Ah, that's interesting. Thanks for the clarification about re-disclosing them. I have no special strategy for wanting to disclose the key documents at the reply to defence stage. It simply seems the logical time to do it since my witness statement must refer to them. There is nothing secret about them: They are just the set of document that constitute the contract between myself and the defendant in this case. There is no disadvantage to me in disclosing them and no advantage to the defendant. They are simply what the court will need to make a decision. This is a very simple case (famous last words). The reason for my questions here are that I simply need to understand the flowchart of procedure. There is a lot of documentation and guidance available but, in my view, it is not well joined together and what is available seems to miss out key information that a layperson would ideally need. In my case, I have to say that the natural and logical place to explain my case would seem to be in the PoC. But you say that is not the place. The lack of space on the MCOL PoC concurs with what you say. But to me, as a non-expert, that seems strange and counter-intuitive. Indeed, whilst researching what can go in a PoC I have found several examples that were much longer and detailed than my own one would need to be. However, these were in personal injury cases and overcharging claims against banks. There is no way that these claims could have been entered on MCOL (other than by choosing the option to send additional PoC later).
  8. Thank you very much. That makes a lot more sense. May I impose upon you once more by asking one more question for clarity: Would it be a massive procedural faux pas for me to include copies of the main supporting documents (specifically the original agreement and closely relating emails) with my witness statement when I respond to the defence? There aren't many such documents (5 or 6) and it would seem like the natural time to make them available. Later on at the disclosure stage I would in fact send some more documents, specifically print outs and records of all communications exchanged with the defendant since I may refer to some of them in a hearing (if necessary) but they are not the key basis for my case.
  9. Thank you for your response, that's most informative. Assuming that a defence has been entered and the Allocations forms have been sent back to the Court then I see that the Court will issue directions to the parties to send copies of all documents to each other and to the Court. I take it that is the disclosure stage. Is that correct? That leaves the "witness statement". At what stage is that to be provided? From reading all the guidance notes I can find, it does not seem to clear to me when I would get the opportunity to make a witness statement, other than verbally at a hearing. I am asking these rather detailed questions because on a previous occasion some years ago I issued a County Court summons and the case went to a hearing. However, I had no opportunity to make any kind of statement whatsoever at the hearing itself. The Judge had already decided the outcome to the case (not in my favour) when we arrived at the hearing and in retrospect I feel I had not provided adequate information to support my case since, at the time, I was not aware of any opportunities to do so. Therefore I really need to be clear this time as to exactly what steps occur at what stages and when I can add more detailed information. It seems, as above, that the disclosure stage follows the allocation questionnaire stage but at what stage (before or after this) should a more detailed explanation of my case be provided?
  10. I have some questions about the correct procedures for County Court summonses. I'd be really grateful if anyone could advise me on any of these queries. I have read the guidance notes for both online and paper forms but still have some uncertainties. Background: I am about to issue a County Court summons for unpaid compensation for use of part of my property by a builder. The basis of the compensation is set out in an agreement and related emails. My questions: 1) When sending in a paper N1 form, is it correct to send supporting paperwork with it? E.g. Copies of agreements, contracts, print outs of related emails. 2) Exactly how many copies of the N1 form, defendant's notes, and supporting documents (if these should be sent with the N1) do I need to send? I assume from the guidance that it should be a total of three copies of everything: One copy (i.e. the original form) for the court, one copy for the defendant, and one copy for me (to be sent back to me). 3) I was originally planning to issue the summons online but the Particulars of Claim box on the MCOL website is absurdly small. How does anyone explain the key points of their case with so few characters and lines to work with? Any help on these queries will be really helpful. Edit: I have found the answer for question 4. Questions 1, 2 and 3 still confuse me. Answered question below: 4) I am aware that one can send additional PoC by post if using the online form but, as I understand it, these later PoC are only to be sent to the defendant. The Court and the Judge will not see them unless and until the case comes to a hearing. Is this correct, or should one send additional PoC to the court as well as to the defendant? Answer: I see that form N215 'Certificate of service' requires that documents sent to the defendant must also be sent to the Court.
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