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PIP tribunal date confirmed

rosie118
rosie118 Member Posts: 30 Connected
So, I've had my tribunal date confirmed. Fair to say I am absolutely terrified. Not sure anyone can say much to ease my worry, just figured this was a safe space to vent and people may understand my fear. 

I am autistic and so far have just been tied in knots by the people I have spoken to throughout the assessment, MR etc. Part of my disability is being unable to communicate very well verbally so it is easy for them to confuse me and me lose track of what I'm saying. I feel I have done very poorly so far and will just mess up at tribunal. 

My partner will be there with me (on the phone) but I don't think she is allowed to actually answer anything? I am so scared and already having meltdowns and panic attacks about the call. I am pretty sure i will just cry and struggle to even talk. Which is never going to help them understand anything. 

Anyway I guess I just wanted to vent. The letter says it will start with them introducing themselves. I don't know if I will then have to introduce myself but even that terrifies me. If anyone knows if there is any kind of structure beyond the introductions that would be great. Will they focus on the points I have disputed? Will they generally talk about my claim? Will they want examples again? Will they ask specific questions or just ask me to explain? Literally any information will really help me to plan for it. The only thing that can in any way ease my anxiety and panic is to know as much as I can about what will happen (I appreciate a lot is just going to be unknown). I will research autism and tribunals as much as i can to try and feel in some way ready. 

Sorry to offload! I have put so much into this process I'm just scared I do what i did on the MR call and just don't explain very well at all. 

Comments

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,234 Disability Gamechanger
    Well let’s start here then.

    https://forum.scope.org.uk/discussion/56379/representation-and-tribunal-hearings#latest

    It’s not as simple as having your partner nearby or on the call. You need to decide and notify their role.

    Is there some reason you don’t have a representative?
  • rosie118
    rosie118 Member Posts: 30 Connected
    @mikehughescq She is the person named throughout, she gets all the post as well etc. I think I do still need to confirm she will be there with me though, doing the call as well. I'll re read the letter today and see what I need to do. 
    I don't have a representative because I couldn't cope with the need to constantly communicate with a new person. Yes I know that isn't helpful. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,234 Disability Gamechanger
    rosie118 said:

    The letter says it will start with them introducing themselves. I don't know if I will then have to introduce myself but even that terrifies me. 

    If anyone knows if there is any kind of structure beyond the introductions that would be great. 

    Will they focus on the points I have disputed? 

    Will they generally talk about my claim? Will they want examples again? 

    Will they ask specific questions or just ask me to explain? Literally any information will really help me to plan for it. 

    I hear what you’re saying about communicating with a new person but think it would do you good to read back all your questions and your previous posts about your anxiety about all this and ask yourself what’s worse? You can get a rep. via https://advicelocal.uk and I strongly recommend you give it further thought. There are many people who turn up to tribunals and cry or emote, often quote dramatically. It will almost always go against you. So, you need to decide which is worse? Talking to a new person or not getting PIP?

    A rep. Is not allowed to speak for you, because after all you will be there, but they could answer all of your questions in advance and make sure nothing goes badly wrong. Anyway, I have broken down your questions and will deal with them in turn. 
    • No, you will not need to introduce yourself. All tribunals start with the judge introducing the panel; the DWP (if present) and the process they intend to follow.
    • There is no structure. The only principal is that justice must be seen to be done i.e. matters should be conducted fairly. However, most tribunals start with the intro. and then, if there’s a rep., move on to clarify what is at stake. If no rep then you usually go straight into one tribunal member asking about daily living and one asking about mobility. At the end you will be invited to say anything else you wish to. You will likely get a call back with a decision but that isn’t always practical so you’ll get a summary decision through the post a few days later.
    • A tribunal is a blank slate. You start with zero points. However, if you’ve identified areas of dispute and the points you ought to have then a tribunal ought to focus on those (unless they think other descriptors may apply). In practice the two wing members tend to ask whatever they usually ask regardless of instructions from the judge. They are asking about you though. There will be nothing you can’t answer.
    • There is no “general” talk. The focus will be on the points scoring activities. Yes, they will want examples and those examples are effectively what they’ll be asking you to provide when each member questions you. If you had detailed real world anecdotal examples in your PIP 2 then you’ll have that in front of you as part of the appeal papers. You don’t have to produce new examples. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying “As I say on page 23…” or similar and just expanding on those examples. If there were no detailed examples in your claim then that is likely why you’re now at appeal and you and your rep now need to prepare a list for each activity you want to score points on so you can be prompted by that on the day. Think of recent incidents. They will always be the best. The more detail you provide the better. Don’t worry. If the tribunal stop you. That;’s either cos you’ve misunderstood the question or you have already said enough. 

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