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I have my WCA Tribunal in 2 weeks

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wizboque
wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
I have a tribunal for LCWRA in 2 weeks, I was awarded LCW due to autism but I cannot afford to live and the process was disgustingly overdrawn for me, I want to challenge their decision so I want to know what to expect.

I was unable to take the call for my initial assessment so they said they’d call me
another time.

They did not ring back until a year later, after I’d called multiple times to chase it up. It took 15 months to get a callback date. Every time I’d call I’d get told I was still in the booking stage and they’d get back to me.

They finally sent me a letter saying that my appointment would be between 2-6pm on X date (It was a long while ago now I do not remember exactly which date).

On the date of the assessment, they called me at 10AM to ask if I’d be available to take the assessment between 2-6PM. I found it strange. I said yes and the phone call ended. They then rang me back 5 minutes later to do the assessment.

I was completely thrown off because I mentally prepared myself for 2-6PM and was a nervous wreck in the assessment. The lady said I definitely wasn’t in a place to be working.

They awarded me with LCW but nothing changed. The payments were the same, they were still booking appointments for me to meet them face to face despite fit notes for social anxiety and autism.

I also have hyperinflated lungs and a whole bunch of discomforts since January 2022. I’m under the long covid clinic but my appointment with them was recently rescheduled to January 2023. So I’ve not seen them yet.

I have the local community advice and law centre as an advocate but I’ve only actually spoken to the lady maybe 3 times and now I have a date I have no idea what to expect.

I just know there’s 3 people there, but is my advocate going to be there? Does she speak for me? Do I speak? What gets said?

Can someone please explain?

Comments

  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    If you have an advocate then your arrangement with them is between you and them. The tribunal will expect to speak to you not your advocate but your advocate may be able to make comments. The tribunal will have read the paper tribunal and will want to speak to you about the difficulties you experience in respect of the PIP advocates. They will want to ask you about matters which are unclear from the paperwork. 

    They are not interested in the process of your claim. They simply want to get sufficient understanding of your difficulties to be able to reach a decision about an appropriate level of PIP award..
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,016 Disability Gamechanger
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    calcotti said:
    If you have an advocate then your arrangement with them is between you and them. The tribunal will expect to speak to you not your advocate but your advocate may be able to make comments. The tribunal will have read the paper tribunal and will want to speak to you about the difficulties you experience in respect of the PIP advocates. They will want to ask you about matters which are unclear from the paperwork. 

    They are not interested in the process of your claim. They simply want to get sufficient understanding of your difficulties to be able to reach a decision about an appropriate level of PIP award..

    It's not a PIP Tribunal, it's for LCWRA.
    OP you should be speaking to your advocate regarding this because they will know everything there is about your case.
    You should also be concentrating on the reasons why you think you should have been found to have LCWRA, rather than what happened in the past.
    If you haven't seen the descriptors for LCWRA then you can see them here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/universal-credit-uc/uc-faq/limited-capability-for-work-related-activity
    Please also be aware that the Tribunal will not take into consideration any worsening of condition.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Community member Posts: 10,010 Disability Gamechanger
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    It's not a PIP Tribunal, it's for LCWRA. .
    Thanks, poppy. Apologies OP. However the principle remains the same, the tribunal speak to you about your difficulties in order for them to make a decision about an appropriate LCW/LCWRA decision.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • wizboque
    wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    calcotti said:
    They will want to ask you about matters which are unclear from the paperwork. 
    What sort of things could that be? I have no idea what is happening with it, it’s stressed me out to the point that the crisis team had to
    come here to check on me recently because I’m not in a good state mentally. So much lays on this one decision and Im not very good at expressing myself when speaking face to face.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,016 Disability Gamechanger
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    What they will ask you will depend on your case and how your conditions affect you. We can't tell you what the panel will ask because we don't know anything about your case. Are you able to speak to your advocate? they will know all there is to know.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • wizboque
    wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
    Options
    Just as an update - I was granted LCWRA.

    The tribunal went okay but I did get lost on the way there which really had me feeling flustered.

    My advocate didn't actually say anything during the trial, I spoke to her for a few minutes before being called in and when they asked if she had anything to add, she said that I'd covered everything.

    The judge spoke at first and introduced everything in a very formal way that made no sense to me but I mentioned that when I got to speak. The doctor seemed lovely and I felt like she really understood when I said "I can tell the time but I struggle to perceive it passing".

    I think my medical evidence did a lot of the speaking for me, but I was definitely visibly anxious and I certainly struggled with eye contact (which was a big concern of mine).

    They asked me questions about how I'd feel in working environments and how I feel about people, in working environments and at home.

    I also sort of fixated on the water that was available because I felt uncomfortable and ended up drinking 3 cups!

    After we'd spoken for maybe 30 minutes I was sent back into the waiting room with my advocate and 5 minutes later we were called back in and there was a piece of paper on the desk. My heart dropped because I assumed the worst but after some more formal speak the judge said that they said they were awarding me with LCWRA.

    It's been a long time coming (over 2 years now) but I finally feel vindicated. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,016 Disability Gamechanger
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    Good news. Just for anyone else reading this, when taking a benefits decision to Tribunal you are definitely not on trial because it’s not a court. 
    It’s normal for the Judge to introduce everyone on the panel. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • wizboque
    wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
    Options
    poppy123456 said:
    Good news. Just for anyone else reading this, when taking a benefits decision to Tribunal you are definitely not on trial because it’s not a court. 
    It’s normal for the Judge to introduce everyone on the panel. 
    Yeah I thought that it would be in a big courtroom but it was just a regular room with a few tables, almost like a classroom. It was very quiet in there which I was very thankful for because certain noises make me tense up. I actually mentioned it in response to one of their questions. It wasn't eerily silent but there were no phones or keyboards tapping away like there would be in an office either.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,561 Disability Gamechanger
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    This must be a great relief for you @wizboque and very positive news! :)

    Well done for getting through it, and I hope you can enjoy the weekend now it's done and dusted.
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