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Tribunal Hearing, ESA, Housing Benefits, and Universal Credit

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
edited February 2018 in Universal Credit
The user and all related content has been deleted.

Replies

  • Pippa_ScopePippa_Scope Member Posts: 5,856 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @claudiathompson, and welcome to the community!

    I'm sorry to hear about this, it sounds like everything's come at once for you! I can imagine that you feel really unsettled at the moment, but try not to worry as these things can be sorted out. I've moved your post to our Ask a Benefits Advisor category, and somebody will be in touch as soon as possible.

    In the meantime, it would be good to know if you've had any contact with the DWP since finding out about your tribunal: do they know that you're moving/ you've moved?
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited February 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited February 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited November 2017
    Hi claudiathompson,

    Universal Credit, at the moment, is only for claimants who need to make new claims for income-related benefits so if you win your appeal you will stay on ESA and will continue to do so either until you are migrated to UC (which probably won't be for a couple of years) or until there is a break in your claim.
    Of course, if you lose your appeal that will be a break in your claim and if your area has moved to "full service" by then you will have to apply for UC online as JSA will no longer be available, and your UC will include a housing element for your rent and your HB will cease as you will get it paid in your UC instead.
    Your tribunal hearing being put on the same date as UC becoming full service is just a coincidence, nothing more.
    It is important that you focus on your tribunal now, by pointing out the inaccuracies of the medical report, looking at the descriptors and identifying which ones apply to you, trying to provide medical evidence from GP or other involved medical professionals if you haven't done so already, and trying to seek representation from your council's Welfare Rights team, if they have one. Good luck!

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited February 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited November 2017
    Hi Claudia, 

    As you have received a tribunal date, prior to this you will have received a bundle of documents relating to your appeal. This is the same bundle that the panel on the tribunal will have read before you enter the hearing.
    In this bundle, you will find a lengthy medical report by the person who assessed you. This report will contain things that you have allegedly said, and will also include the conclusions of the healthcare professional. There will be probably be statements attributed to you that you probably don't remember saying as they can twist what you say to make it into something else (I'm not saying they lie but they can use what you say to make it into something that may not reflect how it is for you). It is important to look at this report and pick out these inaccuracies. You should either send a letter to the tribunal 7 days in advance of the hearing notifying them of these or just make a note of them so you can tell the tribunal on the day. Failing to point these out may mean the tribunal may conclude that you think everything said is true.
    Also in the bundle is a list of descriptors which score you points. These are the descriptors that the tribunal have to consider whether you meet them and how many points you should score for each one, which will eventually lead to the decision as to whether your appeal will be successful or not.
    Identifying these points and descriptors, whether in a letter to the panel or verbally on the day of the hearing itself, will enable the tribunal to focus on the most important activities that affect you and eliminate the activities where you are not affected. A tribunal should know what these are anyway by your answers on the ESA50, but it won't harm your case by trying to do it yourself too.

    Lee
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0 Listener
    edited February 2018
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    claudiathompsonclaudiathompson,

    If you made these points in the mandatory reconsideration letter then yes, I'm sorry but you may have to make them again. However, if your MR request is in the bundle (which it should be) then you can simply refer to that - there should be page numbers in the bundle making this a bit easier. 

    You don't have to have a prepared speech at all. The tribunal (a medical professional and a judge) will ask you questions. But it's a good idea to make it clear where you disagree with the Maximus (the firm that did your ESA assessment) report. It's really up to you whether you want to send the tribunal a statement (called a submission) of points you particularly want them to consider. It can help to show why you think you are entitled to those points and why the Maximus report is wrong.

    Are you on ESA at the moment, whilst you wait for the appeal? It's just that you do need to submit sick notes to get this. If you are not on ESA now, then this is an option (it isn't a new claim, it is a revival of the ESA you were on when the assessment took place). As Lee has advised, if you win the appeal, your ESA will continue.

    Make sure the local authority are kept informed of everything that happens - this can help your housing benefit to continue too. And make sure you are claiming any help with the council tax that you are entitled to, also from your local authority.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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