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Representation needed DLA


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Hello. I have had a bad blow. My welfare worker who has filled out my forms has been drip feeding me information and now I have what I think is all of it I can see I would have made quite different decisions had he been upfront and told me everything in the beginning.

 

I'm now very panicked as he just told me they no longer provide representation. So why did he suggest appealing when he knew I wouldn't be able to do this alone!

 

Anyway I am in desperate need of representation and realise that even if I can find it someone will need time to get familiar with it.

 

Can anyone assist?

Also can anyone tell me what happens when you submit appeal papers? What happens with medicals and when will it be:?

 

My thanks for your help.

 

I feel so let down and utterly deceived by this information being witheld and my right to full disclosure violated thus affecting decisions I made.

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Hello and thank you for your response.

No is the answer. I asked if, under the circumstances he could refer me anywhere and I got a vague, 'health organisations.'

I have spent all morning calling any and every source I can think of. I spent half an hour on an 0845 number giving all my personal details to only then get two solicitor numbers who, when called, do not offer legal aid.

I am exhausting all avenues and quite understandably, and as I thought, many agencies won't take my case up as they didn't prepare the paperwork.

It's not looking good so far hence my appeal to the board for any other suggestions.

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Hi. Have just got off the phone to DIAS and they can't take the case at this stage because they didn't prepare the paperwork which is fair enough.

 

What can the council do? My local council is best not dealt with, it's hard to find anyone who isn't abusive on the phone and then hangs up on you!

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Read your last thread less than 3 days ago

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?369771-Advice-about-reconsideration-decision-needed&p=4022517&viewfull=1#post4022517

 

on DLA

 

I'm struggling to understand exactly what advice your after in this thread !

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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Any longshot is appreciated at this stage.

Should you choose to read the thread that is linked by someone above please bear in mind it has absolutely no bearing on this question. Best not to muddy the waters by confusing issues.

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Their service has always included reprsentation at appeal. During our first meeting he told me tales of appeals he had attended.

When my award was reduced he urged reconsideration to which I asked, what if...to which he replied, 'then we'll appeal'.

On this basis I made the decision to ask for reconsideration where the award was withdrawn.

Only yesterday when I told him of the decision did he ask me if I knew they no longer did representation.

How was I to know this when all he spoke of was reminiscenses of attending.

I would have made different choices had full disclosure and the extent of current services been provided to me.

However I am now in this situation and must deal with it.

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OK. Firstly you have a cause of complaint against your adviser. He should have confirmed whether you regularly visited your doctor and had medical evidence dated within 6 months. Challenging the DWP decision when there will be no in date medical evidence available is highly irresponsible of him to advise. Were I you, I would put in a complaint to the manager of the service, explaining that you have been improperly advised, have now lost all of your DLA, and your adviser, to top it off is refusing to offer full representation at Tribunal. Explain to them that if you fail to win the appeal you will be seeking full compensation from them for loss of benefit due to their inappropriate advice, so it is in their interest to fully represent you to the best of their ability (which means their most experienced adviser, preferably a supervisor).

 

ETA: lots of services did have advisers go to appeals in the past, but are no longer able to do it due to funding pressures, but this should also have been made clear to you at the outset.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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estellyn, I can't thank you enough for this clarity.

I have physical and mental health issues which I have been managing away from drugs and benefitting from. I knew none of this and thought I had been advised by a professional.

I am going through so many mixed emotions and have exhausted myself today finding out what your last paragraph explains.

I thank you so much for this, it explains everything but I don't think I'm brave enough to take on the advice agency alone either and would need representation for that too. I really wish I was though as I am so angry and upset about this.

To be given information piecemeal, to not have full disclosure which would affect my decisions feels such a violation to me.

I thank you for giving me perspective on this, you explain things perfectly.

Had I been given this information up front I should have found another agency who do represent at appeal but obviously no one will take on half a case now.

Wouldn't making a complaint and saying I would seek full compensation from them mean I would have to go to court? It seems so daunting.

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Advice centres have to have insurance in case advice they give results in financial loss. They take the quality of their work seriously and complaints are investigated thoroughly.

 

From the information given on both your threads, regarding not having been to see a health professional in a long time and having no recent (within 6 months) medical evidence, you should never have been advised to challenge the original decision lowering your DLA award. This is where you were misadvised. It led directly to your financial loss, and if the adviser failed to ask you about what evidence you could provide, or when your most recent vist to a doctor or health professional was before advising a course of action, then they failed you as an adviser, and as I said led to your financial loss.

 

You don't need to follow through with seeking compensation if you don't want want to - an initial letter laying down the situation, and that you are aware of your rights (certainly at my advice centre) would have led to an upgrade of adviser, and guarantee full representation at Tribunal.

 

Most advice centres cannot afford court costs or increased insurance premiums, so if you lose your appeal and you do take the matter further with the advice centre, there is a good chance they would agree to settle. But of course this would depend on what was and was not said at the original interview with your adviser.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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You are so good at this. I am encouraged by what you write that (once he prepares my appeal papers) I could indeed write such a letter following your excellent wording. Don't know if I will, am still awash with adrenaline over this business.

Whilst you may not be at all interested in this, what was said at the original interview was mostly by him. Along with tales of appeals, he mostly spoke about his difficult childhood. When I went to illustrate a point with an example he stopped me and said we were pressed for time. The more he spoke of his problems the more I felt shut down about my own so from the begininng I felt unheard. Just for your information.

My problem with complaining to them is his supervisor is also his romantic partner. Now she was good, she did one of my applications before and very businesslike. So I am afraid really but that's the wretched anxiety for you.

Again my thanks.

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He sounds like an appalling adviser - talking about personal issues during an interview is a big no-no.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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Thank you estelle. I did find it quite bad at the time but there are so few agencies to access and I had previous good experiences with the woman there so it was a case of putting up with it thinking it would all be done professionally.

What makes me feel so much worse is I feel so pressured to take drugs/visit doctors just to satisfy this aspect of the process when in fact I have taken my health in my own hands and am making slow progress with alternatives yet I feel judged and condemned because I'm not a dribbling prescription junkie.

I'm sure you understand the pressure is coming from all sides. Yet had I known frequent visits to the doctor and the multiple usesless pills I used to be on would make a difference I simply wouldn't have challenged them.

My thanks again.

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Is the welfare worker employed? Or a volunteer? What is the organisation they represent?

 

As for them telling you part way in to the process that they no longer represent in person, this is widespread due to the cut in Government funding providing legal services under legal aid.

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Hi, employed by them. I am reluctant to name the agency on an open forum though. In fact at our first meeting he told me the whole story of how he had been ill then took up the post part time. It kind of stifled my telling him about me, you know it sounds like you're in a competition for who has the most problems and I hate those conversations.

Surely they knew this was a possibility though and he was irresponsible in his direction.

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When I said what agency, I had thought it might be something national like CAB, hadn't realise naming it would pinpoint it's location, sorry. So it would seem it is a small independent organisation.

 

The trouble with suing the agency, should you be successful then either they claim on their insurance which would mean their insurance goes sky high and isn't affordable so the agency closes down and no one gets any help or support, or they choose not to use insurance and pay out meaning they cannot employ anyone or pay costs of running the service and so they close down and no one gets help or support. That's if you are successful which is a big if. Also suing them is something people who are mentally well would find stressful. I know I couldn't do it.

 

I would just get what advice you can from agencies. MIND have advocates if you qualify for their help. You'd need to be under the care of your CMHT to qualify. They've been very helpful to me and came to my DLA Tribunal with me.

 

What advice are you after wrt your Tribunal?

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Yes, I agree with what you have said, those thoughts also occurred to me. You will also note I said I wasn't up to it.

I'm not after any advice, I'm desperately seeking any long shot representation. It's been an exhausting day trying to find it though I didn't have much hope.

I have already spoken to MIND and just about anyone else I could think of but suggestions are welcome.

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It's not long since I went to DLA Tribunal and was successful so if you have any questions do ask. I went with a MIND representative but they mainly only spoke to me. I'd previously been in receipt of HRC and LRM and on review went to nothing. Tribunal awarded me MRC and LRM. It would seem that the review was called by the DWP as they'd realised the HRC was a mistake! As the Tribunal pointed out this was not my fault and it was up to the DWP to prove a change for the supercession. The DWP representative was a tad sheepish.

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When I said what agency, I had thought it might be something national like CAB, hadn't realise naming it would pinpoint it's location, sorry. So it would seem it is a small independent organisation.

 

The trouble with suing the agency, should you be successful then either they claim on their insurance which would mean their insurance goes sky high and isn't affordable so the agency closes down and no one gets any help or support, or they choose not to use insurance and pay out meaning they cannot employ anyone or pay costs of running the service and so they close down and no one gets help or support. That's if you are successful which is a big if. Also suing them is something people who are mentally well would find stressful. I know I couldn't do it.

 

I would just get what advice you can from agencies. MIND have advocates if you qualify for their help. You'd need to be under the care of your CMHT to qualify. They've been very helpful to me and came to my DLA Tribunal with me.

 

What advice are you after wrt your Tribunal?

 

My point was that making a complaint with the threat, will encourage them to treat him well during his appeal - for instance representation at tribunal, he doesn't have to go through with it.

 

Regardless, a complaint should be made as this adviser is not doing a good job by the sounds of it and needs further training so that future clients don't suffer the same issues. We had a volunteer and a paid worker who both had issues which only became known due to complaints - they had more training regarding how to deal with clients and things were better.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office ~ Aesop

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For what it's worth estellyn, I don't see how allowing him to continue doing this to people is of any benefit to them anyway. I don't know if I am strong enough to challenge it unless I had representation to do it for me but I don't like to think of him doing this to others. My first thought was I wonder how many more have had this feeling, who weren't told this.

 

Your suggestion was very valid and the course I believe it should take.

 

I wish I could take it on but I am so consumed with this situation I've found myself in and am awash with so many feelings right now I don't think I can do that as well. And the truth is, I don't feel very good about that.

 

I'm glad people had the courage to make complaints at your advisory service. We are far too touchy about feedback. We have lost everyday politeness in this country but one of the most aggravating things about the English character; is the persistence of 'politeness'. We shirk to say anything negative and we recoil in horror or behind defences when we perceive 'criticism'. If we frame it right and if we all stop being so damned touchy we can learn from these things. We think of it as negative when we need to see it as constructive. We learn from our mistakes. Look what crimes have been committed because someone didn't like to say something.

 

You make excellent points and sound as if you have a legal mind.

Edited by a2o
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In case this helps anyone

http://www.disabilityonline.org.uk

Just had a call returned, these guys are hero's and offer representation. So if you think your case is hopeless don't despair. Of course there is no guarantee but if you want the relief of representation it's worth checking out.

Just paying it forward for anyone who needs help.

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I'm so pleased you've found some practical help a2o.

 

I notice they offer face to face help only in the Lancashire area it is based in, do I take it that is where you are and that is why they can help you? Only checking really to make clear to other readers who they are able to help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well after six months of denying he had borrowed an old copy of a DLA application I got tough with him and guess what, he 'thinks' he sent it with my DLA renewal as 'medical evidence'.

He has done everything imaginable and many things which are unimaginable but what he hasn't done is anything remotely requiring common sense or true ability. He is a total moron and I could have done this better myself.

He says he'll write to the DWP who apparently will be very happy to send it to me. It was all I had and he abused the loan.

I am definately suieing. These bad people must be stopped from losing people's claims.

So I am definately sueing their *ss. Wish me luck!

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