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  1. Article from the Guardian. The Department for Work and Pensions has been unlawfully stopping people going to tribunal to appeal against decisions to refuse them benefits, three senior judges have ruled. The upper tribunal found it was wrong for the DWP to refuse claimants the right to appeal if they took more than a month to ask for a review of the benefit decision. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/aug/04/uk-judges-rule-dwp-wrong-to-deny-appeals-over-refused-benefits HB
  2. Hi, I'm a 60 year old man and have suffered severe depression for the past 14 years. During that time I have been investigated for benefit fraud about 6 times. On each occasion I was found to have done no wrong. During the past two years I have been accused of LTAHAW. Subjected to Crown Court prosecution etc. In January a Tribunal agreed that my landlady and I are not a couple. Reversed an IS decision and stated I was entitled to HB as a 'passported benefit'. The HB appeal was heard at the same time, but at the last minute the council asked that REG 9 be considered. This caused an adjournment and a further hearing. I lost at that hearing. I appealed for leave to appeal to the Upper Tier. This was refused Frankly I don't know the law or how to do this. I'm alone and don't know how to argue the matter or what to say. Losing makes me liable for about £12,000. Can someone help? Or point me at someone who can? My local CAB are overwhelmed by work and daunted by the complexity of the case. Time is running out for me.
  3. Press release by Public Law Project http://www.publiclawproject.org.uk/documents/press_release_WCA_assessment_discriminatory.pdf Case numbers http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Decisions/forthcoming3JPs.htm DWP Twitter Response (who wasn't expecting this?) https://twitter.com/dwppressoffice Press coverage: http://mind.org.uk/news/show/8895_victory_for_welfare_campaigners_as_judges_rule_controversial_disability_benefits_procedure_is_unfair http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/may/22/fitness-work-tests-mental-health-unfair http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22620894 Twitter
  4. http://www.osscsc.gov.uk/Aspx/view.aspx?id=3830 'Where,however, the disability analyst is a physiotherapist and the problems she is dealing with are mental health problems the opinion of the physiotherapist as to the conclusions to be drawn have no probative value whatsoever. This is because the physiotherapist has no professional expertise in mental health matters. Although the strict rules of evidence do not apply, a tribunal can only take into account evidence that has probative value' I can only express my surprise that in a case where the only issue was the mental health of the claimant and its effect in relation to the mental health descriptors, the report was prepared by a physiotherapist following a 15 minute interview. It is plainly important that questions of mental health should be assessed by a disability analyst with appropriate mental health qualifications if their opinion is to be of any evidential value. Even then tribunals should beware of placing too much weight on such reports, based as they are on a very short interview with a claimant and without access to medical records. Given the evidence that the claimant was irritable and abrupt at a 15 minutes interview, and given a history of frequent loss of control of his temper, and the absence of medical records, I do not see how any competent mental health professional could have expressed any firm opinion as to the risks if the claimant was found not to have limited capability for work-related activity. The opinion of somebody with no mental health qualifications in such circumstances should have carried no weight at all. I would add that in addition I am not even clear how far the physiotherapist was aware of what those work-related activities would be. Sorry about the formatting I am not good at that.
  5. Hi all In short, my Fibromyalgia wife got her 15 point at tribunal after failed WCA and put in WRAG group. We did request support group and had good reasons for this on Reg 35(b).The first tribunal's decision was that: "We cannot see, however, how being asked to attend the occasional job focused interview could constitute a serious risk to the appellant's physical or mental health" I replied to the first tier Tribunal to ask for a change of mind or permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. I included a supporting report from my GP who supported our view. Their statement of reasons said that 'attending the occasional interview in our view would not constitute a serious risk to the appellant's health'. The ESA wrag group requirements from the gov.uk website which states that persons “have to go to regular interviews with an adviser. The adviser can help with things like job goals, improving your skills, work-related issues”. In my view, 'occasional' and 'regular' are 2 very different things and noted this in reply to First tier. Now they have said they can't change their decision and refused perission to appeal to Upper tribunal. I know I can appeal directly to the Upper Tribunal which I intend to do. I know the Upper Tribunal can't accept any new evidence, but could someone advise me on whether the First Tier had a duty to consider the GP report which we gave them after they refused support goup for my wife. Many thanks JTucker
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