Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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ESA Tribunal

Hello, 

I’ve got myself in a bit of a pickle and I’m unsure where to turn and I think I’m currently in the middle of a bit of a panic attack.

i have a tribunal hearing regarding my ESA which I was award 0 points for during an assement. I made a very detailed letter for my mandatory reconsideration highlighting each point and why I disagreed with it. This was obviously also disregarded and now I’m at the appeal stage. 

My hearing is on the 19th of this month. I had asked for a postponement due to awaiting for a specialist appointment in London and wanting to use the report from this appointment as further evidence regarding my EDS on the 6th of February 3 days after I received my tribunal date however after hearing nothing for a month I called to ask what was happening. I was told this would be looked into and there was still time. I wait another week and hear nothing still so I call again as my tribunal is now only 7 days away. The man I spoke puts me on hold as he has to investigate what is happening and after some time comes back and says a letter was coincidentally sent this very day (yesterday in real time) stating that the postponal has been denied. i received the letter this morning basically meaning I have only had 6 days of knowing whether my tribunal is going to be happening.

After freaking out about all this and going over all 113 pages of court documents I also see the DWP have requested that the judge only look at one point as they claim it’s the only one I’m contesting in my appeal. In my appeal I refer back to my mandatory reconsideration and state that those are the points that I am contesting however I don’t detail them individually. I refer to one point regarding my mental health as the assessor made a completely fictitious claim that my mother only takes me to appointments for the ease of getting a lift and not because I am unable to go anywhere unattended.

I am now freaking out that the other 6 categories I highlighted in clear detail in my mandatory reconsideration that I refer I am appealing against in my appeal papers are going to be completely overlooked as the DWP have asked to judge to only consider the only mental health category of “Getting around on your own” (I can’t remember the exact descriptor)

The assessor has made a number of falsities in the report which I highlight in my mandatory reconsideration and even though it has also been submitted as evidence by the DWP why aren’t the points detailed there considered in my appeal? 

I really regret not getting legal advise for all of this as I serveraly under estimated the complexity of the tribunal as someone born with a debilitating genetic condition I didn’t realise I would have to fight so hard against a government body that blatantly lies and makes it as hard as possible to you to get the help you need. 


Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    It's perfectly normal for DWP to contest what you say because they don't think you qualify. Personally i wouldn't worry because the Tribunal panel are very fair usually.

    It's very difficult to give advice on an internet forum but i will point out that for ESA Support Group (LCWRA) it's not about scoring points, that will be the WRAG (LCW) Support Group is about satisfying at least one of the descriptors the majority of the time or reg 35. All explained in the following links.



    Also the Tribunal will only take into consideration what you were like at the time the decision was made. Any worsening of condition since then will not be taken into consideration.

    Evidence should ideally have been sent to arrive no later than 10 days before the hearing date.



    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • CurtisBirdCurtisBird Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Poppy,

    Regarding the worsening of a condition, I completely understand this however what I seem to be unable to get though peoples heads is that I have been waiting to see this specialist for over a year, long before my assement even took place. 

    I don’t know what it’s like where everyone else lives but where I am it takes around 4-6 weeks just to see your GP (unless you’re actually in the process of dying) to ask to be refered. Due to the speciality of the doctor for my condition I had to first be referred to a rheumatologist which took 7 months, after that the rheumatologist then had to refer me on to the only hospital in the U.K. that specialises in my condition. The appointment was canceled once and in total took another 8 months before I finally saw them yesterday. I knew as soon as I got my tribunal date that I wasn’t going to be able to submit the evidence I needed and requested the postponement due to this. They have stated I can bring any new evidence on the day which I shall do as I have no other choice now.


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The reason why i gave you the advice of the worsening condition is purely because i have/had no idea you knew, so for me this was just advice an nothing more. People on an internet forum have no idea how your conditions affect you, which is why face to face advice is always recommended.

    Yes, i know what it's like waiting for referrals because i'm waiting for one for myself.

    Good luck with the Tribunal and hopefully the right decision will be made for you.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • CurtisBirdCurtisBird Member Posts: 3 Listener
    The reason why i gave you the advice of the worsening condition is purely because i have/had no idea you knew, so for me this was just advice an nothing more. People on an internet forum have no idea how your conditions affect you, which is why face to face advice is always recommended.

    Yes, i know what it's like waiting for referrals because i'm waiting for one for myself.

    Good luck with the Tribunal and hopefully the right decision will be made for you.
    I’m sorry I don’t mean to come across argumentative, having a very hard time dealing with this.
  • BenistmonkBenistmonk Member Posts: 343 Pioneering
    Any worsening of condition since then will not be taken into consideration.

    I beg to differ, as long as it relates to the same condition, you can submit further new evidence to show there has been no improvement.
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