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    • Dear All,   BN - Thank you for your comments.    My wife had prepared the relevant notice to the court and rather than spending time redacting I am sending it as PM to the contributors to this thread. It covers everything we have been discussing and is in line with  your comments and our discussions.   For the benefit of readers oif CAG I will redact and post it later as we have pressing family medical matters to attend to.    Warm regards BF  
    • Maybe have a third chamber, The Peoples' House 😃
    • Thanks for the images. It's shocking. This more than ever reinforces my view that you should take this to court. The number of people they must be fobbing off with this three months story is incredible – and they need pulling into line. If you simply complain to the CEO then they may sort out your problems – but the rest of it will go on as usual. They need something very serious here. In fact, I would think about suing them for £200 because I think that once they realise about the mistake they are making, they will be extremely anxious not to go to court. On the basis of this, I'm afraid I don't think I would even alert the CEO. I would send a letter of claim which will probably simply be seen by drones – and then issue the papers. I think you have an easy win on this case. Also, once they realise that they are dealing with a court case, they will look at the whole situation more carefully and they will probably sort out all of the problems at the same time. If they don't, then these two have laid down your marker and they will know that you're not mucking around and they will take you seriously.
    • These are the two incidents from Virgin Chat where their Live chat has informed me of the 'only 3 months' decision.... 15 April was the date they acknowledged receipt of my SAR. Apparently anything from before that date can't be included!
    • You could try both routes at the same time. Send your letter of claim by email to the CEO email address. Confirmed by letter. That way you have communicated with the CEO – but given a very definite deadline and a very definite promise as to what will happen if they don't comply. Then on day 15 sent the claim. Don't make a threat of legal action if you don't intend to carry it out. Don't bluff – but it is very easy to do
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      The boiler was removed and replaced by a reputable installer,  and the old boiler was returned to ASG thus ending our contract with them. What's mad is I saved in excess of £1000 in the long run and got a new boiler with a brand new 12yr warranty. 
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    • Dazza a few months ago I discovered a good friend of mine who had ten debts with cards and catalogues which he was slavishly paying off at detriment to his own family quality of life, and I mean hardship, not just absence of second holidays or flat screen TV's.
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Incapacity Benefit/Income Support Appeal

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if you go on I.S whilst your appeal is ongoing then you get IS at the appeal rate about £51.45 for a single person

if you win your appeal then your arrears are paid to you, plus the disability premium if you are long term sick, over twelve months

if you lose your appeal then your IS claim closes and you have to claim JSA or ESA


if you make a claim to ESA/JSA whilst on appeal then you get full benefit, single person rate £64.50

but you have to submit medical certificates on ESA and look for Employment on JSA


then if you win your appeal you can go back on IS and get arrears of the disabilty premium then, if due


if you lose you have to stay on ESA or JSA

Edited by Jack Daniels
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because all new claims for sickness related benefits are now ESA

IB ceased for new claimants last October


if you win your appeal, then yes IB will be reinstated and so will your I.S if you were on it


and if you are claiming ESA or JSA while your appeal is heard then you would close the claim and make a new claim to I.S if you won your appeal


but if you lose your appeal then you cant make a new claim to IB


and your IS appeal rate claim would close as you would have no grounds



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If you lose the first appeal, then you can appeal about the appeal, but only if there was an error of law.


If you lose that, bye bye IB.

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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No idea re I.S but people have won IB ones.


You can search all commissioners decisions here

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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i am waiting for an appeal date following a fiasco of an IB assessment by Atos at Romford, the GMC are looking into the doctor and i really dont hold much hope of them doing much but its got to be worth giving her some hassle for what she has caused me. I was on IB due to anxiety disorder/depression, or so i thought, i have now found out that i was diagnosed bipolar 2 yrs ago but had not understood, this explains the dreadful time i have had over the past 2 yrs trying to cope on meds that werent enough to do the job, due to serious family probs and my condition i missed 2 appts with the CPN and they threw me off the programme, i just battled on in ignorance, when the dwp suddenly cancelled my IB as a result of the test, and refused to reconsider, my bipolar went into orbit, i have now been put back on a care programme by a CPN and am waiting appt with psychiatrist next week for my medication to be altered or added to, i have now informed the dwp of this, i am hoping they dont still put me through an appeal, but if they do i will need help, would i need someone with mental health knowledge as opposed to CAB?....any advice welcome

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Well, my tribunal finally rolled around today. I won! I was quite shocked actually, but I have to say that both the solicitor and the doctor (who, thankfully, was a woman so understood!) were both very nice and understanding. In direct contrast to the doctor from October '08! They both listened to what I had to say, how I was feeling now and how I had been feeling last year (which is basically the same as now) and neither of them rushed me. So it really does look like it's dependant on the folks you see on the day. They actually awarded me 16 further points, which meant I was well over the minimum points needed to qualify for IB. Now, if this had happened in October last year I would have avoided almost a years worth of financial stuggles and a fair amount of worry!


Just out of interest, does anyone know where I can find a list of what the numbers mean on the medical? I'm guessing they've changed as my original medical had abreviations, but the Decision Notice today has a list of numbers and the points awarded; i.e 18b=2 and so-on. I don't have to know what I've been awarded points for but it'd be interesting to see if they're the points I raised a year ago.

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i am having problems finding a solicitor that deals with this kind of thing, i need advice now and help for my appeal (no date yet), i am on the reduced IS whilst i wait, can anybody give me any info on solicitors or the like who can help me on legal aid?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had a bit of a shock yesterday. Despite winning my tribunal over two weeks ago, I received a letter from Atos dated 11th September saying I had to fill out the IB50 questionire again! :(


I was really angry and very upset about this yesterday. I've been fighting for over a year to get them to see I'm not fit for work. The Doctor and Solicitor at the Tribunal agreed and even gave me more points! And now the damn people want me to go through it all again?! I can only conclude that, as they owe me over a year's worth of backdated money (which I make roughly £1600) they're trying to get out of paying it.


Can they do this? After a year of fighting and finally getting a good outcome can they really ignore the Tribunal people and make me take another medical? It's so unfair! I hate saying that, because I'm fully aware that life isn't fair, but I feel really strongly that this is definately unfair! If their goal is to push me into a mental institution they're going about it the right way; I'm near breaking point!


I've e-mailed my MP and asked if there's anything he can do. He was a real help last year when JC Norwich stopped my money without so much as a by-your-leave (which I found out later they weren't allowed to do!), so I'm hoping he can help again. But is there anything else I can do? I really can't go through all this again. I've not got the mental strengh for it. :(

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No, I just assumed they'd sent it out as a stalling tactic. To be honest I gave up direct contact with JC Norwich last year as they just kept ignoring my letters. But you're right, I should have phoned them to ask it just never crossed my mind to do so! D'oh!

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Getting Free Legal Advice to help with benefit appeals

I thought it might help to post about getting free legal advice for social security appeals.


It is quite a lottery depending on where you live in the country and which advice agencies exist, the level and subject areas of advice which each provides.


First point is - please try to see an adviser/solicitor as early as possible. Preferably before you put in the appeal, or if you put it in yourself to avoid missing the time limit, go for advice before there is any appeal date on the horizon at all!


Another reason why it can be useful to see an adviser before you submit your appeal is that sometimes they can hit the mark in terms of presenting the relevant facts and quoting chunks of law. All appeals are reviewed by a DWP appeals officer before they are forwarded to the tribunal and a good number will get allowed at that stage if it is blindingly obvious to the Appeals Officer that the DWP has simply got it wrong.


The national resource for finding sources of free legal advice is the community legal advice website communitylegaladvice.org.uk


The Legal Services Commission runs this site. Their main job is contracting with solicitors, law centres and non-solicitor advice agencies to give advice under the Legal Help Scheme. An organisation who has a contract with the LSC to give advice in an area of law will be listed as providing advice at the Specialist Help level.


This site also lists organisations who give advice at the General Help Level. These are organisations who do not have a contract with the LSC. Some of these will only be giving general advice and you may need someone with more in depth knowledge to fight an appeal. However, others have very experienced advice staff or appeals workers but they have just opted out of the LSC contracting system. The problem is you can’t always tell from the site itself!


To do a search at the communitylegaladvice.org.uk website I recommend that you

Click on find a Legal Adviser

Put in your postcode

Select the area of law (Welfare Benefits)

If you do this search the list it comes up with will include all sources of advice, whether at the Specialist level or Generalist level.


If you want to search only for sources of Specialist Advice, or to try to find an adviser who works with a particular client group, at the bottom of this screen there is an option to do an Advanced Search. Click this…

Select the level of advice (usually Specialist Help for appeals!)

Do you want a legal aid provider (Yes)


Whichever search you do, I suggest you click on each agency in the list to read the full details of each when considering whether to make an appointment. The full details may include whether they serve a particular catchment area or client group or even if they can do representation.


If you are in a town with few choices, try another search for your neighbouring town and see if that gives more leads.


Under Legal Help the adviser will be paid a fixed fee to deal with your case.

Legal Help is available to people who meet financial eligibility criteria.

There is a legal aid calculator on the site so you can check your eligibility.


However Legal Help will not pay the cost of a representative to go to a tribunal hearing with you.


This causes a lot of problems for people with Benefits and Employment problems. The Legal Aid scheme will normally pay the cost of representation in a Housing case or other cases (not small claims) which go to a court but not those heard by the tribunal system. For this reason most private solicitors may be unable to actually represent you at a tribunal hearing unless you are in a position to pay, or if they are able to refer you to a free representation service.


Law Centres, some CABs, and some independent advice centres may be more able to provide representation at a tribunal. It really depends on whether they have grant funding and enough staff or legal volunteers to meet demand. Some services are not able to offer representation at all because their funding is tight, others can offer it to a reasonable number of clients.


There are also in some areas "Second Tier" representation organisations. The best known of these are the Free Representation Unit, Bar Pro Unit and Law Works. All of these try to draw on private solicitors and barristers to give up a few days of their time each year to advise clients for free. There are also in some areas standing arrangements between groups of not for profit advice agencies and law centres to refer cases through to an appeal worker.


For all of these 2nd tier arrangements it depends on whether the organisation who you approach has the established referral links to the 2nd tier organisation. None can guarantee representation, but having a longer time to find a rep from another organisation makes it more likely one will be found. Mostly it is NfP organisations who have these links in my experience most private solicitors don't.


A few of the 2nd tier representation services will take cases on direct application from an individual but most restrict or strongly prefer the case to have been prepared with help from an advice agency, law centre or solicitor.


Non specialist agencies


Some CABs and Advice Centres have opted out of the Legal Service Commission way of funding things. Also some organisations like MIND or Disability Advocacy organisations have never really take up this way of funding advice.


Some but not all of these organisations employ dedicated Welfare Benefits Advisers, and again, depending on the service offered some of these will do appeals.


In most areas of the country local authorities employ Welfare Benefits Officers but their remit can be narrowly restricted to working with those who are eligible for community care services. A few Housing Associations also employ Welfare Benefits specialists, so if you are a tenant of one you could also ask there.


A search of the community legal advice service may not find all these Welfare Benefits Advisers if you only search for advice at the "specialist" level. A search for generalist advisers should show most of them but will throw up a lot of organisations who may not be able to help at all with a matter heading for an appeal.


You may simply have to work through the list, contacting the each organisation to find out if they have a Welfare Benefits adviser who is able to help with an appeal against refusal of X benefit. I recommend that you discuss the likelihood that the organisation can provide representation at your first meeting rather than on the phone. Because there is not adequate funding for legal representation, the organisation may have to make an assessment based on the merits of your case, how well you may do if you have to go on your own, and what juggle they can pull off amongst the staff, volunteer or 2nd tier resources they have at their disposal before they can give an honest answer to this question.

Edited by RosaofEdge
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could anyone please help?? my dad has just lost his tribunal case for incapacity benefit. is there anymore appeal processes after this???


You can appeal an appeal, but only if the first tribunal made an error in law.


I would suggest finding a welfare rights advisor (quickly) to discuss the issue, as you must file the appeal within the time limit (not sure what the time limit is, I would guess it may be the same 30 days as for a normal appeal, but cant say for sure)

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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its madness, if i cant afford a representative and more people succeed with one, which i cant afford as i am on reduced benefit, and the dwp know this, what chance have people like me got


Is there not any welfare rights advisors in your area?


Try ringing the council and asking them if there are any welfare rights advisors in the area that can help with an appeal, or look in yellow pages, use google etc.


They should be free, if you can find one.

Plus a welfare rights advisor is probably better than a lawyer, as most laywers dont specialise, or know much about, benefits.

Note - all posts are my opinion only, and no action should be taken on any advice given without consulting independant advice from a suitably qaulified advisor.

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Try the communitylegaladvice website Ruby.


While I agree that there are not many solicitors who know much about welfare rights, if you pick a solicitor from those listed as giving specialist level advice in welfare benefits they should have good experience of that area of law.


But don't expect a private solicitor funded under legal help to be able to actually accompany you to the tribunal to represent you in 99/100 cases!


Dedicated Welfare Benefits Advisers and Welfare Benefits Solicitors employed by law centres and other not for profit advice services may be more able to help with this side of things... but like I say its a funding lottery :(

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I`ve been in touch with CLA people myself and as far as i`m concerned they are FAR more helpfull than anyone at DWP/IB/IS etc.


In my case the person dealing with me has said they can help finding someone to represent me at my appeal, whenever that is.

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