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UC WCA tribunal advice

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Jonny12
Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
Hi, I have a UC WCA telephone tribunal coming up to hopefully be moved from LCW to LCWRA and I'm incredibly anxious. I'm just looking for some advice really on what to expect from anyone who has gone through this kind of tribunal themselves.

If possible, a breakdown of what happened in your UC tribunal stage by stage would be very helpful and I think mentally prepare me a little. Thanks

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  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Broadly the tribunal panel with introduce themselves and outline the process. They will then ask you questions to help them get a better understanding of your difficulties. They will not ask you about things they are already clear about. When they’ve asked the questions and heard your answers they will ask you if you want to say anything else. That will close the proceedings and they will go away to discuss and make their decision and you will be notified of the decision later. In some cases they will reach an instant decision in which you will be told straightaway.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thank you for your help @calcotti. I hope you don't mind me asking but have you been through one of these tribunals yourself?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2023
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    Jonny12 said:
    Thank you for your help @calcotti. I hope you don't mind me asking but have you been through one of these tribunals yourself?
    I have attended (a few) tribunals as an adviser for claimants, not as a claimant.

    I should have said that there may be a DWP ‘presenting officer’ in attendance in which case they will be offered the opportunity to speak.

    Remember that you are not on trial. The process is no adversarial but inquisatorial. The tribunal is simply supposed to establish the facts and make a decision accordingly.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    I have been to my own tribunal and was exactly as calcotti advised 

    I prepared notes on the points I wanted to get across and also a closing statement for when they asked if I wanted to add anything 

    Have a fully charged phone and a drink ready 

  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thank you @calcotti and @janer1967. I feel a bit better now knowing that I'm not going to be in a situation where someone's trying to trip me up or have my words twisted which unfortunately has been the case from the offset with the DWP. 

    Is there anything else you think I should know in terms of what could help my tribunal. Also anything to avoid saying or doing?
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2023
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    Just remember that the tribunal are trying to find out information. Don’t give yes/no answers. Try and give full answers and highlight your difficulties but try and respond to their question. Don’t get worried if you get flustered, tribunal will be used to this and will not hold it against you.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,981 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2023
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    Glad to hear you feel a bit better now @Jonny12. That's always really positive  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Just wanted to post a follow up as I've now had my telephone appeal hearing to be switched from LCW to LCWRA and happy to say that they decided in my favor which is great.

    The hearing didn't quite go as I had expected so just wanted to share my experience so that people can be prepared for what to expect.  Please bear in mind that all Judges and Doctors may have a slightly different approach so my experience may differ quite a bit from yours.

    The tribunal clerk rang 1hr before my hearing to take a few details. Then rang back 15 mins past the time that my appeal hearing was booked for. She was very friendly and put me at ease. She then introduced me to the panel which was a Judge and Doctor (a DWP rep can also be present).

    The first question the Judge asked me was "What are your reasons for feeling that you have been placed into the wrong UC group?"

    It may sound really silly but I wasn't expecting this as my reasons had been clearly stated several times already in the appeal evidence that I had supplied. Combine this with high levels of anxiety and my mind just went completely blank.

    Luckily I had already gone through my appeal bundle and noted down the page numbers of my evidence. The thing that helped me with this was my WCA MR supporting letter which listed all the reasons I felt that I had been put into the wrong group and the descriptors which I felt I met. I referred to this and the Judge said "Ok lets go through this point by point".

    We did and along the way he and the Doctor started asking me questions. Some were quite probing. He said " Let me refer to the Job Center offer on page .... ".

    He then selected a few more demanding work related activities and said. "So you could do a classroom based IT course couldn't you?".

    I thought by this point that my hearing wasn't going well at all and felt quite defensive but tried to stay composed.

    I said "No, I can't because ....".  I went on to explain why I couldn't. They then questioned me about my work history. When I last worked, what I did for work and why I stopped. They then asked me if I had anything else to say.

    I thanked them for listening to me and said a couple of other things. They finished by wishing me all the best to which I thanked them again and asked when I would find out the decision. They told me that a decision would be sent out in the post.

    I finished the 30 min hearing feeling that I hadn't represented myself or my disabilities well at all and likely hadn't had a successful hearing so imagine my surprise when yesterday I received a positive outcome in the post.

    Takeaway's from this are:

    -Have your appeal bundle in front of you

    -Have your MR supporting letter or something similar in front of you which sums up why you disagree with DWP's decision and what descriptors you feel you meet.

    -Look at the more demanding work related activity shown in the Job Centre offer if you have one. (It will be in the appeal bundle) and ask yourself honestly if you can do what's shown. If you can't, be prepared to explain why.

    -Be prepared to talk about your recent work history. When you last worked, what you did and why you had to stop.

    Lastly, just because you don't get a decision on the day or feel that the Judge and Doctor aren't siding with you, don't let this dishearten you as my experience proves that the hearing might have gone much better that you thought.

    Please also remember that these Judges and Doctors are doing several of these Hearings a day so if it feels a little impersonal and to the point that's probably why. Also I'd imagine that by them asking certain questions in a certain way, this can cleverly provide them the truthful answers that they are looking for which isn't a bad thing. 

    All the best to anyone waiting for an appeal hearing or who might have one in the future. Hopefully this helps a little.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    Thanks Jonny12, that’s an informative post for those not familiar with tribunal process.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    My pleasure @calcotti . I just wanted to give back a little as I've had some good advice on here including the advice you gave which helped prepare me a little more for my hearing so thank you.
  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Just wondering. Once you have won an appeal to be put into the LCWRA group, is it worth contacting UC straight away though your journal to confirm if they have received this information or could this slow the process down and would it be better to say nothing and just wait for it to be processed?  Thanks
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    It's not unusal to be waiting up to about 8 weeks to pay your award into payment and pay what they owe you. The Tribunal would have sent DWP the decision letter at the same time they sent yours.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Jonny12
    Jonny12 Community member Posts: 11 Listener
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    Thank you @poppy123456. So contacting them probably won't make any difference?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,119 Disability Gamechanger
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    Probably not at this stage. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
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