Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Tribunal isn't Worth the paper it's written on?

Natemac76Natemac76 Member Posts: 2 Listener
I am disabled I was deemed fit for work by some bright spark at an esa assessment nearly a year ago I had my tribunal two weeks ago and won which I thought was great at first I contacted esa today to ask about my claim to be told by a very rude and abrupt lady that the tribunal isn't. Worth the paper it's written on tribunal is not legal binding and they can only ask the job center to take consideration to what they say so being awarded esa and to back date it nearly a year means nothing I was told that nothing will change I will stay on universal credit I won't go back on esa even thoe the tribunal said I was awarded esa and its up to the job centre. To decide if they will give me any back pay since being on universal credit it's put me in alot of debt a d severe depression I've waited nearly a year won the tribunal for nothing? 


  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community champion Posts: 7,162 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Natemac76 welcome to the community!

    Sorry to hear what has happened. I am unsure how to advise however there are lots of knowledgeable members in the community who will be able to help you and will be in contact with you soon.

    Please let us know if you need any further help! :)
    Community Champion
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi @Natemac76 The information you have been given in respect of the tribunal's decision "not being worth the paper it is written on" is totally incorrect. A tribunal's decision is legally binding on the DWP unless they follow formal appeal procedures.  These are firstly obtaining a Statement of Reasons from the tribunal (which they have to do within 1 month unless there is a good reason for doing it later).  This is a full explanation of the decision.  They then have to identify an error in law and seek permission to challenge the decision in the Upper Tribunal (again within 1 month of being sent the Statement of Reasons).  So unless that process is started within 1 month of your hearing, the tribunal decision is binding on the DWP.  However it is not all good news.  If Universal Credit is now fully operational in your area, you will not be able to go back onto ESA, but would be due any arrears for a time when you were not getting ESA due to the decision which has now been changed.  The decision that the tribunal made should also carry forward onto your Universal Credit claim and so you should speak to your work coach about this as you may now have less conditionality on your UC as a result of the tribunal's decision. 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,394 Disability Gamechanger
    What they may have been referring to is the length of time the tribunal recommended until the next assessment. That isn’t boring. The rest is.
  • Natemac76Natemac76 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    OK thanks I, ll wait to see what letters I get I, ll keep you posted
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