Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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I would like advice on how to win a tribunal appeal

smokey24smokey24 Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi everyone.
I am looking for some advice if anyone can help me please?
My husband failed his work assessment with the dwp, and also the mandatory decision. 
There was quite a few in the results that were untrue, we asked for him to be seen at home as
He was involved in a serious car accident in Feb 2018, which has left him with physical injuries, and very bad PTSD.
The assessment officer was a physiotherapist, although I feel not qualified to deal with mental health conditions, which cannot be addressed for another seven months on the waiting list.
He rarely goes out of the house, sits in the back of the car blind folded, as he is so frightened.
Further conditions that relate to PTSD.
I would like advise to how to possible win the appeal in a tribunal. Does he have to go or can I  represent him.
I am very disappointed with the dwp to have to put us through this ordeal especially as the car crash was not his fault, and he is unable to return to his job......He is presently on universal credit as a joint claim.
Hope you can help
Kind regards


  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @smokey24

    Welcome to our online community/family.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your current situation/problems.

    Unfortuntley you aren’t on your own with this.

    We have got many members going/gone through the same situation. 

    I do hope that they will be in touch shortly!!!!!

    But please please come back to me if they haven’t.

    I will post some info below for you:

  • Liam_AlumniLiam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,113 Pioneering
    Hi @smokey24,

    Welcome to Scope's online community. It's great to have you here.

    I'm sorry to hear about your husband's car accident and the problems he has been having with his work assessment.

    I have moved this into our Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) category. You may also find our page on appealing a DWP benefits decision useful.

    I hope this helps. If you have any other questions then please do get in touch!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,592 Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2018
    He needs to go. You should avoid representing him. 

    You can be 

    - a representative - you don’t talk for the appellant because they’re there but you do get to outline what award you’re looking for and what the legal case is as well as pick up on any issues the tribunal or appellant miss or misinterpret.

    - observer - sits away from the tribunal but you are watching only. You do not and cannot take part.

    - witness - you give your own evidence to support the appellants own case. You don’t get to comment on anything else. You watch silently, do your bit and you’re done.

    - appellant - the person making the claim being appealed. The only person allowed to present their evidence and answer questions on it unless they have an appointee. 

    Most family members struggle to be observers as it’s hard to be silent. They struggle to represent as they don’t know enough of the law, case law or guidance and confuse the role with speaking for the appellant and get shot down in flames to the detriment of the case. They often make poor witnesses as they haven’t been prepared by a rep and want to rehear the whole case instead of focusing on what they know. 

    The temptation to talk for any appellant needs to be resisted. You’ll always get people saying “but...

    - they’re not articulate.
    - they’re nervous.

    and many orher arguments. Bottom line - nothing makes the case for the consequences of someone’s ill health better than a poorly appellant. 

    The other side of having representative is that, as you’ll read on here, people get incredibly stressed with the process; what comes when; what letters mean; what is good evidence; what will happen on the day. A good rep explains all and covers all the bases. It’s typical that people think representation is just about what happens on the day and the outcome. That’s about 10% of what gets done. A good rep should also keep you off web forums (seriously). All your questions should be answered by them. If people come on here because they need answers and they have a rep. that is concerning. 

    Now, having said that, tribunals are inquisitorial so it’s perfectly possible to win a case without a rep just as it’s equally possible to lose a case with a rep. However, a badly presented case can win with a decent tribunal but won’t with a poor one People who have won without representation tend to almost always ascribe this to something they did rather than the skill of the tribunal pulling out what was relevant. Having seen tribunals over three decades, including many times as an observer, it’s almost never the case. I’ve never yet heard of anyone unrepresented winning two tribunals for themselves. 

    Finally, don’t confuse an organisation with a good reputation as meaning all their reps will be good. Good organisations have bad reps. Reputationally poor organisation have good reps. How can you tell? Walk away from anyone who wants to tell you their success rate? It’s a fave tactic of organisations that charge but also of inexperienced or renegade/boastful reps. That tells you that they’re either lying or cherry picking only cases which are clear cut winners and probably would be anyway with a decent tribunal and without them. Good reps do not guarantee a win but they will take in winnsble cases rather than likely winners and they’re the more likely to turn a marginal case into a winner. They’ll also know their law, case law and guidance and be able to cite it but in plain English. 

    I hope that makes sense. 
  • smokey24smokey24 Member Posts: 2 Listener
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