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My case was adjourned. I'm still waiting for a new date after 2 months and an urgent hearing request

helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
edited April 12 in PIP, DLA and AA
I applied for PIP back in October 2019 and I was awarded 0 points total and got the same result for my mandatory reconsideration a few months later. I appealed to tribunals around May/June ish 2020 and early January this year I got a date for the 25th of January. The hearing lasted 5 mins and I was told by the judge that my solicitor should collect more evidence to submit to my case and the judge also wanted the tribunals to be able to access my medical records. My solicitor strongly believes that I should have been awarded 26 points for daily living and 14 for mobility and I think the judge didn't want me to have an unfair trial and adjourned the case so that further evidence can be collected and that I can then be awarded what I deserve. Fast forward to today and 2 months after all the evidence was collected and my case has been ready to list, I'm still waiting for a new date even though I won an urgent hearing request 3 weeks ago. I call and they tell me the same thing every time, "as soon as a date is available we will give it to you" but I'm not buying it. what should I do?

Replies

  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    I applied for PIP back in October 2019 and I was awarded 0 points total and got the same result for my mandatory reconsideration a few months later. I appealed to tribunals around May/June ish 2020 and early January this year I got a date for the 25th of January. The hearing lasted 5 mins and I was told by the judge that my solicitor should collect more evidence to submit to my case and the judge also wanted the tribunals to be able to access my medical records. My solicitor strongly believes that I should have been awarded 26 points for daily living and 14 for mobility and I think the judge didn't want me to have an unfair trial and adjourned the case so that further evidence can be collected and that I can then be awarded what I deserve. Fast forward to today and 2 months after all the evidence was collected and my case has been ready to list, I'm still waiting for a new date even though I won an urgent hearing request 3 weeks ago. I call and they tell me the same thing every time, "as soon as a date is available we will give it to you" but I'm not buying it. what should I do?
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 3,775 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @helpme121 and welcome to scope, if you keep calling and getting the same reason I suspect all you can do is wait for a new date.
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    All you can do is wait unfortunately there are backlogs 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmm. Personal opinion but I’m not a fan of solicitors and social security appeals with one or two honourable exceptions. They’re not a good mix. Tend to see tribunals as courts, which they are not. That aside, if an appeal lasts 5 minutes and the tribunal are advising that you need “more” evidence and medical records then what you’re really being told is that as it stands you’ve not presented a case for PIP at all let alone 40 points. I don’t know how long you’ve had a solicitor as rep but you may want to ask the question as to how it gets as far as a hearing with insufficient evidence. 

    Your solicitor may be making a general point about how easily you ought to qualify for both components of PIP but you may also want to check that they understand that a tribunal will stop at 12 points for each component and go no further. No-one is going to be awarded 40 points whether eligible or not. 

    Next point to make is that it’s a tribunal not a court. You will not be on trial and the criminal burden of proof does not apply. You are essentially attending a relatively informal question and answer session where you’re the guest speaker.

    Now, onto your main question. Aside from GP records what else has been “gathered”? GP records and medical evidence can be helpful but rarely win appeals in themselves. Has a written submission been put in? Have you detailed anecdotal examples on a Lee descriptor basis showing what happens when you attempt to perform the points scoring activities reliably? Whilst evidence has been “gathered” has it actually been submitted? Have you received numbered versions of your evidence back from HMCTS showing that your evidence has in fact been added to the bundle? If not then your appeal is not actually ready for listing. If yes then as you say you’re awaiting a slot. 

    At present few appeals are face to face. Only when there is some huge reason for why that might need to be the case. Most will be telephone hearings. As far as expediting/speeding up your hearing is concerned I’d be interested to know how you “won” this. It’s not a thing to be win. It’s requested and you get an answer of yes or no. Is that what actually happened? 

    At present tribunal listings have fallen through the floor so there are no delays as such in most areas. Thus an expedited hearing may have been approved but you’d get a relatively quick hearing anyway. It’s not obvious to me why you would be given an expedited hearing. Any clues? An immediate risk of homelessness would be one example of solid grounds. Being terminally ill might be another. 

    Calling won’t help if you’re calling their call centre number rather than the regional centre itself as the former simply won’t know when you’ll be listed. Only the listings clerk at your regional centre would have any clue about that. 

    Now here’s the catch. There’s a pandemic. Many regional centres are barely open and few clerks are present in the office. Those who are able to go in have a list of jobs which is unimaginable. Do they issue appeal papers; send letters; add evidence and distribute it; list hearings or run hearings? Most are trained to do one of those things but with staff working at home; some shielding; some doing home schooling; some caring and some having C19 then expectations have to be tempered considerably. Same applies to tribunal members. Availability is limited. 

    In the circumstances there is no way I would be expecting an appeal to be listed as quick as you seem to expect and I’m not clear why you’re not “buying it”. 
  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    woodbine said:
    hi @helpme121 and welcome to scope, if you keep calling and getting the same reason I suspect all you can do is wait for a new date.
    janer1967 said:
    All you can do is wait unfortunately there are backlogs 

    I had been promised a date within a month of the 25th jan, so its really fustrating. Any ideas on the waiting times right now on urgent hearings ?
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 9,210 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry impossible to say as it depends on each area 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Please see my response on your second thread on this.
  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hmm. Personal opinion but I’m not a fan of solicitors and social security appeals with one or two honourable exceptions. They’re not a good mix. Tend to see tribunals as courts, which they are not. That aside, if an appeal lasts 5 minutes and the tribunal are advising that you need “more” evidence and medical records then what you’re really being told is that as it stands you’ve not presented a case for PIP at all let alone 40 points. I don’t know how long you’ve had a solicitor as rep but you may want to ask the question as to how it gets as far as a hearing with insufficient evidence. 

    Your solicitor may be making a general point about how easily you ought to qualify for both components of PIP but you may also want to check that they understand that a tribunal will stop at 12 points for each component and go no further. No-one is going to be awarded 40 points whether eligible or not. 

    Next point to make is that it’s a tribunal not a court. You will not be on trial and the criminal burden of proof does not apply. You are essentially attending a relatively informal question and answer session where you’re the guest speaker.

    Now, onto your main question. Aside from GP records what else has been “gathered”? GP records and medical evidence can be helpful but rarely win appeals in themselves. Has a written submission been put in? Have you detailed anecdotal examples on a Lee descriptor basis showing what happens when you attempt to perform the points scoring activities reliably? Whilst evidence has been “gathered” has it actually been submitted? Have you received numbered versions of your evidence back from HMCTS showing that your evidence has in fact been added to the bundle? If not then your appeal is not actually ready for listing. If yes then as you say you’re awaiting a slot. 

    At present few appeals are face to face. Only when there is some huge reason for why that might need to be the case. Most will be telephone hearings. As far as expediting/speeding up your hearing is concerned I’d be interested to know how you “won” this. It’s not a thing to be win. It’s requested and you get an answer of yes or no. Is that what actually happened? 

    At present tribunal listings have fallen through the floor so there are no delays as such in most areas. Thus an expedited hearing may have been approved but you’d get a relatively quick hearing anyway. It’s not obvious to me why you would be given an expedited hearing. Any clues? An immediate risk of homelessness would be one example of solid grounds. Being terminally ill might be another. 

    Calling won’t help if you’re calling their call centre number rather than the regional centre itself as the former simply won’t know when you’ll be listed. Only the listings clerk at your regional centre would have any clue about that. 

    Now here’s the catch. There’s a pandemic. Many regional centres are barely open and few clerks are present in the office. Those who are able to go in have a list of jobs which is unimaginable. Do they issue appeal papers; send letters; add evidence and distribute it; list hearings or run hearings? Most are trained to do one of those things but with staff working at home; some shielding; some doing home schooling; some caring and some having C19 then expectations have to be tempered considerably. Same applies to tribunal members. Availability is limited. 

    In the circumstances there is no way I would be expecting an appeal to be listed as quick as you seem to expect and I’m not clear why you’re not “buying it”. 
    i was promised another hearing date within a month of the adjourned one and its been nearly 3 now. The reason for the request of additional evidence is because in the time of my first appeel and the hearing date, a lot of stuff happened which my solicitor included in my case but there was no medical evidence to go alongside it but its now been collected and the case can be properly dealt with. My solictor has dealt with alot of benefit apeels and said i would be entitled to 26 and 14 points.
  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Please see my response on your second thread on this.
    i have done and have replied, much appriciated
  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    janer1967 said:
    Sorry impossible to say as it depends on each area 



    okay thank you

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,989 Disability Gamechanger
    Nope, that’s a clear misunderstanding. You won’t have been promised a relisting within a month. A judge may set a deadline of a month for evidence to be submitted and then suggest that, if received, the case then ought to be listed within the month after that but it’s not within their gift to insist on when as that’s the role of the listings team and as described previously there’s a lot of variables in play there at present. The more formal way of trying to speed things up is by including a direction in the summary decision. That assumes a clerk will read it and act on it. Rarely happens without someone prompting them to go back and look. So, does your summary decision explicitly say “please relist by date x”? I’m guessing not. 

    Stuff that happens around the time of your appeal hearing is rarely relevant as the tribunal are confined to looking at what you were like at the point you claimed. Anything subsequent to that is irrelevant unless it lights up circumstances around the date of claim. 

    I stand by my original assertion. Tribunals can’t go past 12 points for either component. Case law to confirm this is easy to find. See for example https://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j4979/CPIP%202337%202016-00.doc.

    I’ve no idea how experienced your solicitor is but that’s a pretty basic thing to not know and I suspect/hope you have misinterpreted what has been said as your tribunal will award 24 points at most. They hear 8 cases or more per day and on a practical level simply don’t the time to waste on exploring extra points once 8 or 12 points has been reached. 
  • helpme121helpme121 Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Nope, that’s a clear misunderstanding. You won’t have been promised a relisting within a month. A judge may set a deadline of a month for evidence to be submitted and then suggest that, if received, the case then ought to be listed within the month after that but it’s not within their gift to insist on when as that’s the role of the listings team and as described previously there’s a lot of variables in play there at present. The more formal way of trying to speed things up is by including a direction in the summary decision. That assumes a clerk will read it and act on it. Rarely happens without someone prompting them to go back and look. So, does your summary decision explicitly say “please relist by date x”? I’m guessing not. 

    Stuff that happens around the time of your appeal hearing is rarely relevant as the tribunal are confined to looking at what you were like at the point you claimed. Anything subsequent to that is irrelevant unless it lights up circumstances around the date of claim. 

    I stand by my original assertion. Tribunals can’t go past 12 points for either component. Case law to confirm this is easy to find. See for example https://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j4979/CPIP%202337%202016-00.doc.

    I’ve no idea how experienced your solicitor is but that’s a pretty basic thing to not know and I suspect/hope you have misinterpreted what has been said as your tribunal will award 24 points at most. They hear 8 cases or more per day and on a practical level simply don’t the time to waste on exploring extra points once 8 or 12 points has been reached. 

    So a large portion of my case revolves around my mental health and during October 2019 and January 2021 i had alot of events such as being sectioned, suicide attempt etc, and other major events that explicitly show my difficulties. the judge wanted to explore more of this as documentation/medical evidence wasnt present at the time and had to be obtained. What you said about the 24 points makes sense, im just explaining what DWP should have given me vs what they actually did. As long as i qualify for enhansed rates on both its what matters. Id like to thank you aswell for finding the time to give detailed explanations, we need more people like you in the world.
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,192

    Scope community team

    Hello @helpme121 and welcome to the community, glad you've joined us. 

    I hope the responses you have received have been helpful for you. 

    Just on your last comment about your mental health, do you have support in place to manage that aspect of your life? I'm concerned to read about your previous suicide attempts and I hope you are in a better frame of mind at this moment in time. Please note, if you do ever feel as though you might harm yourself you should contact the emergency services rigght away.

    If you ever do want to speak to someone, or access immediate helpful resources, you can also do the following:
    Online Community Coordinator

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