Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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My experience at a ESA tribunal

westy2112westy2112 Member Posts: 9 Listener
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. 


  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for posting a positive experiance, it will help many people facing the same.
    As you say, it is always best to attend a tribunal hearing but if a person really cannot do so then this should not stop them from appealing. Even a paper based appeal is better than just accepting a wrong decision. It does not have to be hard, in most cases the hard work has been done, filling in the form and collecting the evidence. The usual problem is not the evidence itself but the way is is read (or not)

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @westy2112

    Welcome onboard our Website/Online Community.

    What a "Great Result"

    Yes it is always best to be there yourself as it gives them the chance to see you in person.

    They can see you & your condition & how it affects you.

    Please please let me know if I can help you with ????
  • janice_in_wonderlandjanice_in_wonderland Member Posts: 265 Pioneering
    Well done & I hope many more share the same news 
  • westy2112westy2112 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    So do I and thankyou  :) 
  • lisacorrinelisacorrine Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Brilliant news westy I will go to my tribunal as hard as it will be but I will have no support worker just me but I hope I get a positive out come and many more that deserve it as I believe I do 
  • westy2112westy2112 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Have you no one at all to go with you? Even a friend would be a big help even if they cant speak for you 
  • lisacorrinelisacorrine Member Posts: 5 Listener
    No I'm afraid I haven't I find it difficult to make friends as I'm socially anxious I don't do groups of people so I never meet any one keep my head down walk through and keep going trying not to think about what people think of me I've got mental health issues that cause me struggles everyday even the school run is hard to do for me but thank you 
  • westy2112westy2112 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Well I really hope you get the outcome you deserve. Can your GP not refer you to any form of social support? 
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