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My experience at a ESA tribunal
One of the hardest decisions I had to make after appealing a DWP refusal to accept my mandatory reconsideration was should I actually attend the tribunal. I have suffered all my life with chronic anxiety and panic attacks so it was a situation I would obviously normally avoid. However, I felt that a judge could really not appreciate my situation by written reports alone. I had to wait a horrendous 7 months for my hearing, but in that time, utilised all the help I could from the citizens advice and from my local community mental health social support worker. On the day of the hearing I was in a permanent state of panic and my support worker certainly had her work cut out! In the tribunal - which was over in minutes - The judge and doctor were very kind, understanding and patient. The judge basically said after a couple of minutes he could see the distress I was in and directed a few brief questions to my support worker and I just had to acknowledge I understood what was being said. I won the appeal and upon leaving burst into tears as the accumulated stress of nearly a years process had been lifted off me. Im sure not everyone wins their appeal but I feel it went a long way in my case because I attended. If you are facing one soon and have support I would reccomend attending. The more people that manage to go then the better the judges actually get to see how distressing the whole process is. If there are any points I can help you with then please ask.