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DLA tribunal, paper to oral hearing

moojoolesmoojooles Member Posts: 10 Listener
edited March 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
My 7 yr old daughter has a connective tissue disorder (with chronic pain), lactose intolerance, GI issues, bowel issues, bladder issues, and suffers night terrors and sleepwalks.
A couple of years ago, she was awarded middle care. I had to ask for a MR, and it was awarded on the basis I am a mother of 4, and could categorically state that my youngest daughters care needs were substantially greater than any of my other children.
On renewal, however, she was dropped to "no award". I asked for MR, sent in her school care plan, reports from a geneticist and paediatric rheumatologist,  and a copy of her daily physio exercises. Still no award, so applied for tribunal, paper hearing (also sending in supporting evidence that even Royal Courts of Justice agree she has greater care needs, due to my medical negligence case).
I heard back the other day, saying that the tribunal adjourned my case for an oral hearing, so I give evidence in person, and they requested updated GP reports.
However, most of my daughters treatment has been private, arranged through my solicitor, and not all reports are available for disclosure yet.
I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. Anyone else had their paper hearing changed to an oral hearing, what happened in court, what questions did they ask, and what was the outcome?


  • debsidoodebsidoo Member Posts: 327 Pioneering
    Hi moojooles
    Can you not get a letter from your solicitor stating what has been arranged and why they cannot disclose you can submit this before the oral hearing and then take it from there.You will be asked about your daily routine and can tell them about the non disclosure in person.Hope this helps.It May be a good idea to speak to your solicitor and see if there are any regulations in place to cover your situation.
  • moojoolesmoojooles Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hi, thanks for reply. I already sent in letter from solicitor about sensitive information, but confirmed the various health professionals involved in the case.
    I also sent in a detailed 7 day diary, which demonstrated how often she wakes through the night in pain, as well as wandering around the house in the dark, etc, and how her conditions also affect her throughout the day.
    Along with all the information I already put in the claim form (which was virtually identical to the last one, for which she was awarded middle rate care) I cannot see what possible additional information they could want?
    My daughter has very complex care needs. It's not just one thing, but everything as a whole....so if it's not one thing, it's another. 

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,560 Disability Gamechanger
    A paper hearing is generally a bad idea and the success rate is low even for good cases. However, even when an appellant asks for a paper hearing a tribunal can decide that an oral hearing is more appropriate and that's what they've done here. That increases your chances of success immediately.

    The key thing missing from the above is a request to have all the evidence from the initial DLA award included in the appeal papers including the claim pack and decision. You need to either provide this from your own records or write to HMCTS saying that, as nothing has changed, DWP should be asked to include the above so they can demonstrate what has changed. 

    The fact their writing to your GP is just them covering their backs to further justify adjourning for an oral hearing (tribunal adjournments are not popular with senior HMCTS staff) and it's neither here nor there really. Ditto the lack of reports. The key evidence here will always be your own and, as you've already noted, the key thing is not just showing the care/mobility needs but showing they're substantially in excess of the norm. Few medical reports will cover that territory explicitly. 

  • moojoolesmoojooles Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thanks for that info. I have my copy of the appeal pack, and it DOES also contain a copy of my previous claim (for which she was awarded middle care). Thanks for the tip, I shall ask the DWP representative to show me what is so different about the claims that they chose not to award my daughter the same level of DLA. I had a read through, and apart from the fact my daughter now has an ADDITIONAL 30mins physio per day, and more night-terrors/sleepwalking......they basically say the same thing! She is STILL taking the same meds, and STILL has the same issues.
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