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Esa tribunal in jan 2014


downmum
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Hi all,

 

im trying to get some advice re esa tribunal for a friend who is in pieces at the short hearing date - only had 15 days to prepare.

 

A big pack has arrived which contains all the paperwork from both atos and him and well its a minefiled.

 

I cant understand some of the paperwork as their is a lot of legal jargon.

 

Problem he faces - everyone including dr and hospital consultants are away over xmas and new year so he is unable to get any supporting documents in time.

 

2 questions really.......

 

1. Can we request a later hearing date

 

2. If the hearign still goes ahead how should we approach it.

 

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

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just to add there is a medical report from 2010 - carried out independantly by his work place - which outlined in detail his health condition. Is it a good idea to use this as I believe it is still valid to his current medical conditions. admittedly it does not mention much about the care needs.

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Here's a link to the forum stikky about tribunals.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?251737-Appealing-or-going-to-a-Tribunal-Some-useful-information%281-Viewing%29-nbsp

 

One of the things you can do is to go through the Atos report and find any errors, contributions and omissions in it. That's where I started when I had my tribunal. That information should help you start to add to the template in the stikky and start the submission document. You need to mug up on the DWP's descriptors [link in the stikky] and figure out which apply to your friend and how many points they should have scored.

 

I'm sure the forum guys will have other suggestions about medical information, tribunals and so on.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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:downmum:

 

Suspect the preparation for this tribunal's been put off until the last minute? :-) And now it's panic stations. Not an unusual scenario with the end of funding for help with first tier tribunals. Your friend can apply in writing for a postponement, but it's unlikely to be granted unless there's a genuine last minute bereavement or domestic emergency, or he's only received the 'bundle' from Jobcentreplus within the last few days. And he shouldn't assume a postponement without written confirmation.

 

With the bank holidays your friend's already out of time for a submission of written evidence via the Tribunals Support Centre, but if he gets something prepared it can be sent directly to the venue or three copies taken on the day. The tribunal will hear the case as scheduled unless there isn't time for them to read a 'book'. Even at this late stage it's worth preparing a written submission of evidence cos it clarifies thinking and helps the appellant to answer the questions from the tribunal panel.

 

The booklet at the sixth link of :honeybee13:'s guide has the exceptional/special circumstances for an award of employment n support on pages 10 - 12 and the descriptors for activities that are relevant to the workplace on pages 18 - 28.

 

One way to approach a written submission of evidence is to identify the descriptors you and your friend believe he meets, then write each one at the top of a separate sheet of A4 or word doc. For each descriptor quote what Atos have said, then write a paragraph to explain where Atos got it wrong. Followed by several paragraphs about how it really is for your friend. Along the lines of; cos of X, can't do Y. Refer to the medical evidence you've got and illustrate what you're saying with examples from day to day life. For example; cos the nearest bus stop is n metres away, my friend has to leave work early to take me to the doctor/hospital/collect medication from the pharmacy.

 

Slot the paragraphs into the template. Then, if applicable, add a paragraph about why being found fit for work/work related activity would constitute a substantial risk to the health of your friend or someone else.

 

The 2010 medical report can be used so long as it's relevant to your friend's ability, or inability, to perform the specified descriptors at the time of the Atos assessment. (Cos articular cartilage doesn't regenerate, I once had a tribunal influenced by a ten years old scan which showed missing cartilage.) And I've also put statements from carers to good use. Doesn't have to be an officially registered carer, so long as s/he can put together a few paragraphs about the care they give the appellant cos of the descriptors the appellant can't do. And even better if the carer's prepared to be a witness.

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :panda:

Edited by **Margaret**
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  • 3 weeks later...

Quick question

 

is each area scored out of 15 points as i have now gone through them all and have got a total fo 120 points my friend should have been given. From the threshold of 15 points to 120 sounds a lot to me.

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Quick question

 

is each area scored out of 15 points as i have now gone through them all and have got a total fo 120 points my friend should have been given. From the threshold of 15 points to 120 sounds a lot to me.

 

If you have looked at each criteria separately and scored them accurately, then yes, you total the score. I only managed 93! Does your friend meet any of the support group criteria?

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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:downmum:

 

It's important to understand that eligibility for employment n support with the support component doesn't depend on points or a score. Some of the 15 point descriptors are also descriptors for the support component, but not all of them.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/esa214-a-guide-to-employment-and-support-allowance-the-work-capability-assessment

 

Exceptional circumstances for being found to have limited capability for work related activity (support group) on pages 11 - 12.

 

Descriptors of limited capability for work related activity (support group) on pages 26 - 28. Only one needs to be satisfied.

 

Margaret.

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Thanks Margaret.

 

My friend won his appeal & he has been put in a support group!

 

I'm over the moon for him :)

 

Just now need to understand what happens now. I'm presuming they will back date any payments owed to him.

 

How does the support group work? Is anyone on here that might know & shed some light?

 

Once again a massive thank you all for the support & advice as it shows even at the last stage of prep everything helps no matter how small. I couldn't have done it without ur guidance on the site :)

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All payments should be backdated to when the money was originally reduced to the appeal rate or, if it is a new claim, to week 14.

 

Support group means that he doesn't have to do anything - no work focussed interviews or anything. If the tribunal recommended a period before he should be reassessed then DWP should but may not adhere to it.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Congratulations! It may take a few weeks for back pay to be sorted. However long it takes, no money will be lost and your friend will get all the money owed to him.

 

With support group, you don't have to do anything. You can contact an adviser at the JCP if you wish.

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Well done. As said, it can take several weeks for back payments to be made. Actually, it can take several weeks before the DWP are made aware of the Tribunal result.

Once it's been finalised, your friend should receive a letter confirming everything. What it won't do, is say how long he / she is in the Support Group for. As this can vary widely, I'd suggest a phone call to their BDC to confirm length,

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Thanks both.

 

For now we're just happy tribunal went in our favour.

 

Having read the decision myself it also states on the letter "tribunal recommends xxxxx should not be reassessed for a period of 2 years". I'm presuming this is the length of time my friend will be in support group!

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But the recent review did suggest that DWP should start adhering to tribunal recommendations and should anyway have a minimum of 6 months between a tribunal and reassessment so any suggestion of an earlier assessment should be challenged I think.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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:Reassessment Following a Tribunal:

 

Has been a thorny issue since 2012, when tribunal panels started to qualify their decisions with very brief reasons for a decision added to decision notices. And one line reasons, from a drop down menu, of why the panel disagreed with Jobcentreplus. At the same time tribunal panels began to recommend an interval before further reassessment but usually it was far from clear as to when the recommendation ran from; date of the Jobcentreplus decision or date of the tribunal decision. Following some freedom of info responses;

 

Unless there's a statement to the contrary, the default recommendation is the original recommendation from the date of the Atos assessment and Jobcentreplus decision.

 

Some judges are now giving recommendations of an interval (n months or years) from 'today's date' or the date of an upheld appeal.

 

Neither of the above are binding on Jobcentreplus who frequently ignore tribunal recommendations.

 

Doctor Paul Litchfield who conducted the fourth independent review of the decidedly flawed work capability assessment has made further suggestions concerning the intervals between appeal and reassessment.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-4

(Pages 42 - 43 and 47.)

For claimants who find themselves with another ESA50 within months (or sometimes days) of an upheld tribunal, it's worth attaching a copy of the tribunal decision notice (and the statement of reasons if it was applied for) to the new ESA50.

Margaret.

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Thanku all for the info :)

 

We will make a call to them to find out exactly the length of time for support group. I'm hoping they adhere to the tribunal recommendation but as u all said it's not binding but fingers crossed!

 

As for another esa50 I think if that happens then we will definitely attach the tribunal recommendation and question it if it happens straightaway.

 

I must admit it's all so complicated but thanks for making me understand it & be able to follow it.

 

Margaret - i will look at the link (thanks) when I can absorb the info properly. It looks interesting!

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Indeed, downmum. Keep all the information you have as it will form the basis of the next ESA50 - even if that's a couple of years away. I keep an updated file at home of all my medical correspondence and just add to it as additional evidence comes my way.

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