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Telephone Tribunal. Help Needed.

Adele78
Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
Hi All, 
I have a telephone tribunal tomorrow for my son, aged 10. 
I am going through the tribunal pack to try and mentally prepare and I am a little confused. I would appreciate some advice so I don't embarrass myself tomorrow. 

The tribunal is in relation to High Rate Mobility and as you may be aware in order to receive this my son must have Severe Mental Impairment and Severe behavioural problems. His main diagnosis is Downs Syndrome. So that ticks the SMI box.
At the Mandatory Reconsideration they stated that he 'cannot be considered to have incomplete or arrested development of the brain' (SMI) because he sees a Speech and Language therapist at school and uses a PECS book. 
Obviously I have and will dispute this wholeheartedly. 

Confusingly at the beginning of the tribunal pack, The Secretary of States Response, states that it is accepted that he does have arrested and incomplete development of the brain and does meet criteria for SMI but theres not enough evidence about his behaviour. 


My question (embarrassingly) is who is the Secretary of the State? Is this who will be holding the tribunal tomorrow? 

Sorry it's so long I felt as if I had to give you some background rather than simply ask! 
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi

    The Secretary of State for this is otherwise known as DWP. The Tribunal is held by HMCTS and has nothing at all to do with DWP.

    May i also point out that you should be concentrating on the reasons why you think he should be awarded high rate mobility, rather than concentrating on what was or wasn't said by DWP.

    Good luck for tomorrow.
  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Hi Poppy, thanks for that.

    Yes I am absolutely concentrating on proving how he meets the criteria and they have a shed load of evidence from various professionals to refer to. I simply saw the blatant contradiction and wondered who on earth the SoS was Haha! 

    The PECs statement absolutely made my blood boil, hes 10, non verbal and uses PECs in a very simplistic way with very little understanding. Thankfully his SaLT has written a great report so I dont need to tackle that. 

    He has a dual diagnosis of DS and Autism, hes a complex little man and his behaviours are extreme to say the least. I've sent as much as I can in from his MDT and school as evidence so I plan on just answering the questions as honestly and as clearly as possible. 

    I made the application 60 weeks ago so it's trying to take myself back to then, to answer all the questions as I would've done then rather than now. But I will do my best. 

    I'm grateful that its happening at all to be honest!


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,265 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Adele78 - & welcome to the community. I would just like to add my best wishes for you with your son's tribunal tomorrow. :)
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    You're welcome. You may not have a decision tomorrow as sometimes it's not possible to make a decision on the day of the hearing, which is perfectly normal. If this happens you will receive a decision letter from HMCTS within the next few weeks.

    Do let us know the outcome please, if possible.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,095 Disability Gamechanger
    Good luck for tomorrow 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,154

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community! Wishing you the very best of luck for tomorrow @Adele78 :) 
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  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Thank you so much. I do feel anxious but I am certain that he meets all the criteria and I will absolutely do my best to prove that. 

    He sleeps between 3 and 6 hours per night...I hope tonight's a good one and he has the 6 otherwise they might get a blubbering idiot Haha!

    Am I right in thinking that there will be a judge, a doctor and a member of the DWP? 

    I will let you know how we get on.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    Usually there's a Judge, a Doctor and a disability adviser. Very rarely someone from DWP.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Two things:

    1 - the tribunal are not especially going to concentrate on papers once the hearing has started. As long as you know what is where in the papers you can largely ignore them too. The focus will be on real world examples of extreme behaviour. You should be writing those down tonight so you have them in front of you and can refer to them during the hearing. 

    2 - in recent weeks the phrase disability specialist or disability expert has popped up on this forum quite a bit. It’s largely nonsense. The tribunal has a DQM - a “disability qualified member”. This simply means someone with “experience” of disability. They have no “expertise” or qualifications. They might be a social worker, a welfare rights officer, a carer and so on. Similarly, there’s no “doctor” on a tribunal. There is a “medical professional”. Might be a surgeon. Might be a physio. 
  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Ahh thank you so much, you have been so very helpful Poppy. 

    Mike I've written down lots of extreme regular behaviours, and I've got an incident log dating back to when I initially completed the form that will give them real life examples of how the behaviours impact on his daily life. Theres lots to go on. 

    My main problem will be keeping my emotions out of it, it's not going to be easy because as his main carer, the majority of his aggression is directed at me. I find admitting that and talking about it quite difficult. But I shall put my big girl pants on and crack on...his life would be so much easier and safer if we win this. 

    Thank you so much for the insight into the panel members, it's eased my mind. I feel as though the telephone tribunal will be less stressful than actually being in court, I'm in the comfort of my own home and can wear my pyjamas if I want ? but part of me wishes that I could see the tribunal panel and they could see me. But as I said I'm relieved and grateful its being done finally. 

    Will keep you all posted!


  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Our tribunal is at 10.45am, I recieved a call from a private number at 09.30, I was in the shower but they left a voicemail, unfortunately other than the word tribunal and my name I cannot hear a word of the voicemail, it's all broken up and then it goes silent. 

    My stress levels were already high, they're now through the roof. I'm on the phone trying to get through to HMCTS!
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,095 Disability Gamechanger
    They not to worry sometimes the clerk rings before to explain the process you are doing all you can by contacting them 
  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Ah thank you. I was on hold for 15 minutes and decided to leave it incase the lady was trying to call back. I'm going to take some very deep breaths and calm my nerves. 
  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Well it's gone 10.45 and no phone call ?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    I advise you to try ringing again because if they tried ringing you again while you were on hold the first time, then you would have missed the time slot.
  • Adele78
    Adele78 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    It's ok...panic over they phoned at 11, the judge was lovely, sounded like Judge Rinder! It was over very quickly and they didnt ask many questions, I answered as honest and as fully as I could. The judge asked no questions, the disability rep asked about 4 and the medical rep asked 1! They're having a meeting to discuss it and phoning me back. I wasnt even asked if I wanted to ask anything! Definitely a rush job that doesnt fill me with hope! But we shall see ?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,395 Disability Gamechanger
    They will only ask the questions if there's some to ask and not asking many doesn't mean it's bad news.
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Adele78, I hope they don't leave you waiting long. Very best of luck! 
    Scope

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,095 Disability Gamechanger
    Great news so pleased for you . Go get some much needed rest now 

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