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DWP fail to attend two ESA tribunals?


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A close friend did not get enough points on an ESA ATOS medical in April 2013. She put in appeal forms on time, along with all the medical evidence she could. She had leg and foot issues causing mobility problems, severe gastric problems and PTSD.

 

She got her first tribunal date on 7th January. She got all worked up, went along and found the DWP hadn't sent anyone. She was told the tribunal would be adjourned.

 

In the intervening months she has had many hospital appointments, started specialist psychotherapy for the PTSD which has mentally made things worse, had a gastroscopy confirming her stomach issues as well as finding more issues. She has had an MRI and knee surgery and now been diagnosed with further issues requiring treatment and probably further surgery.

 

All of these things she has supplied info and evidence to the DWP and tribunals service.

 

Today she went for another tribunal only to be told the DWP had once again not attended. The two people on the tribunal said there were over 300 pages of evidence in her case and they couldn't read them all. They have adjourned this again.

 

As you can imagine, my friend is now in a right state. She has turned up twice hoping to resolve this and just been sent off again.

 

She has not been able to get any help with this appeal from her local council welfare rights who say they are too busy, though they have helped her claim PIP. She was awarded low/standard rate mobility for this, though she has been told to appeal as she only need another couple of points and they have made blatant mistakes on the medical decision.

 

Is there anything she can do? If she hadn't turned up they can make a decision against her, but the DWP haven't turned up twice- with no reason given. Every time she has sent them more evidence, the DWP have just sent back a standard letter saying they have looked again at the decision and will not change it.

 

How can they just get away with doing this to a blatantly ill person? It's worse than ever and she is cracking with the strain.

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I think if this was me I would send a really snotty letter damning them for their actions. You'd end up with 20 years if you didn't turn up.

 

 

And copy any letters you send to your MP. Your MP

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The DWP hardly ever attend tribunals, that way they avoid being asked very awkward questions by tribunal judges.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

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The DWP hardly ever attend tribunals, that way they avoid being asked very awkward questions by tribunal judges.

 

Yes. What's puzzling is why the Tribunal judge has adjourned because of this. Could it be that the DWP has not responded at all, even in writing?

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The DWP hardly ever attend tribunals, that way they avoid being asked very awkward questions by tribunal judges.

 

Yes the DWP are very rarely there at all and them not being there is no reason at all to adjorn a Tribunal. I've attended many Tribunal's and the DWP have only attended one and as you say, the Judge gave him a right earful!

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I just don't understand why they've adjourned twice now.

 

We've supplied everything they've asked for- information, medical records, hospital info.

 

To adjourn again just seems cruel. She's obviously ill, walking on crutches and in constant pain. She gets severe migraines and the stress has increased them to two a week which she has to have special strong wafers otherwise she has similar symptoms to a stroke. It's awful to watch what they are reducing her to.

 

She needs them to make a decision and not leave her constantly worried on the assessment rate. She has involved her MP but the DWP just brushed her off. I've contacted her again today though to ask for more help.

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Thames Credit -statute barred sent 13/11/08

BCW- prove debt letter- 14/08/08

Apex- CCA 14/08/08

Redcats UK- SAR 14/04/09

Call Serve- CCA 14/08/08

Littlewoods- no CCA letter 03/09/08- Lowells now

Wescot- CCA 19/9/08

Capital One/Debitas- now with Lowells

 

Any opinions are without prejudice & without liability. All information has been obtained from this site. If you are unsure, please seek professional advice. .

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I think perhaps the volume of evidence supplied is overwhelming and if the tribunal feel they have to trawl through the lot it's bound to lead to delays. However one would assume that cherry picking the most relevant evidence and basing a decision on that would be the sensible way to proceed.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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I just don't understand why they've adjourned twice now.

 

We've supplied everything they've asked for- information, medical records, hospital info.

 

To adjourn again just seems cruel. She's obviously ill, walking on crutches and in constant pain. She gets severe migraines and the stress has increased them to two a week which she has to have special strong wafers otherwise she has similar symptoms to a stroke. It's awful to watch what they are reducing her to.

 

She needs them to make a decision and not leave her constantly worried on the assessment rate. She has involved her MP but the DWP just brushed her off. I've contacted her again today though to ask for more help.

 

The MP should contact HM Tribunals service and ask for an explanation as to why the hearing has been adjourned. As we've pointed out, it's not at all unusual for the DWP not to send a representative to a tribunal.

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I've attended or been involved with several hundred tribunals - I've never had a single one adjourned because the dwp/la didn't attend, and can count on one hand the number of times the dwp sent a rep.

 

Unless this was a tribunal under the new system, and as Antone said, the dwp hadn't responded at all......but then why would a hearing be scheduled without an appeal pack.....and if there are 300 pages of evidence then it suggests that they do have a full pack.

 

I hate to say this, but it could be laziness on the part of the Judge, not wanting to take the time to read through the material, and using the lack of dwp rep as an excuse. This sort of thing is rare, but it happens.

 

What your friend needs to do is prepare a submission putting forward the case, what the conditions are, what descriptors they feel they meet, the flaws in the ATOS assessment report and in the DWP submission, with page references to the the appeal pack, and evidence, where appropriate, and send to the Tribunal Service well in advance of the next hearing. This will help focus the Judge's mind on the important facts and arguments - an essential thing where there is a large appeal pack.

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my DLA tribunal kept been delayed because of the DWP attitude, basically the tribunal service kept asking the DWP to send evidence why I was refused my claim and the DWP either didn't respond or sent hand written short notes stating things like "lack of clinical evidence" which the tribunal kept rejecting as inadequate reasoning, eventually my hearing went ahead after nearly 2 years.

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