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DLA tribunal - advice desperately needed please(9 Posts)
I know there isn't much traffic here but I was hoping someone might see this & have some advice.
I have my tribunal in 3 weeks & am terrified. CAB helped me prepare but won't be with me on the day. What do I need to do? or not do? Or say? How can I convince them that I desperately need this?
I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I just wanted to wish you the very best of luck. Sending you lots of strength!!
I've been to a dla tribunal I'll post more when I get home and not on my phone xx
Chipping, I need lots of strength!
Polter, the CAB have written an appeal letter, quoting lots of caselaw that show why they should not have refused me. I don't know of any other organisation that might be able to help.
Gallifrey, no rush but thank you.
What do you want to know?
Mine was held in a hotel and there were 3 people on the panel, a doctor, a lawyer and someone from DWP (I think) they go through all the paperwork that has been sent to them from your doctor and CAB etc, then ask you if you want to add anything. I basically told them everything that had happened and how it affected me. I applied for DLA in january but my appeal was in october! By then I had improved considerably and had gone from being in a wheelchair to being able to walk short distances. They agreed that I should have been given DLA in the first place as I was unable to walk and that's what it's for!!!
I was sent into the next room while they discussed my case and I was asked to go back in about 10 mins later. They said I was entitled to mobility and lower rate care to be backdated from when I first applied but as I was so much better they paid it up to the date of the tribunal and said they appreciated my honesty. The next week I had about £6000 paid into my account!!
They were very nice and very fair, they actually listened to what I had been through too.
A couple of days later I received another claim form for DLA saying that on further discussion they felt I was still entitled to it and to apply again.
I was so much better by then that I didn't apply but have had to again recently as my condition has worsened
Good luck with it and try not to worry, anything else you need to know then ask xxx
Thank you gallifrey, that's really helpful. I guess I just wanted to hear about other people's experiences & to know what kind of questions they might ask. I hate any sort of meeting but this, where it is so important to me and when I feel I have already lost, is making me really stressed. Now I just have to hope I am very ill on the day so they can see how bad I can be.
Just wanted to say I have an appeal looming as I had my DLA stopped and had to appeal. I've been to the CAB and they were great, and I have been back to the consultant, who we have asked to write a letter of support (which will cost me about £60 to acquire, so I really hope it works!) I'm anxious about the tribunal as well as the whole process thus far has been so Kafkaesque I have no faith in anyone listening to me.
Well, I have been to mine. Horrendous. It took place in the local council offices. First of all I had to go to a reception desk miles from the disabled parking. I was ignored while people chatted about their social lives at the desk. Finally a G4S receptionist demanded to know why I wasn't in a wheelchair, which seemed strange and inappropriate. Then a G4S minder walked me to the waiting room. It was a longer walk than I usually do in the course of a day. All the names of people attending tribunals that day were listed on a big whiteboard for everyone to see.
There was a judge, a doctor and someone who had experience of being a carer. I was told they were supposed to be independent of the DWP but frankly you could have fooled me. They were more like a fundamantalist wing of the DWP.
The judge, whose fake smile never reached his eyes, did not listen properly to what I was saying, and had not read case law properly, having fundamentally misunderstood the 50 yard test for mobility in relation to chronic pain management, where there are apparently various precedents. He talked over me a lot and did not chair the tribunal well at all, so they overran. (I still don't know what the outcome is as they said they would write to me but the letter hasn't arrived).
The doctor had clearly not read my paperwork properly in advance of the tribunal, labouring under the misapprehension that I had back pain for about 2/3 of the tribunal (I don't have back pain, I have sacroiliac pain that refers to my hip, as it said in all of the 50+ pages of documents I had supplied them with), and his medical knowledge was rather lacking - at one point I had to explain what neuropathic pain was and how this interacted with sacroiliac pain, along with the typical medication approaches taken in pain management clinics to deal with this. Luckily the person who had been a carer chipped in to help - she knew more than him as well. (My husband observed that if he had been any good as a doctor he probably wouldn't be wasting his time serving on tribunal panels. Same went for the judge. That guy was never going to make silk, that was for sure).
Finally the carer person managed to patronise me at one stage and upset me to the point of tears at another (at one point in the tribunal I fell apart and I have to say came very close to walking out). Then a representative from the DWP chipped in reeling off various adaptations suitable for people with bad wrists, etc, giving away that she had not read the paperwork properly, as I don't have anything wrong with my wrists. Then when I told her this she said on bad days I should be cooking by sitting on a perching stool whilst simultaneously managing crutches and a hot grill pan. This was a bizarre notion and would be completely impossible to carry out safely in practice. The crowing glory was when she suggested buying an adapted car (£15K?) and installing a stair lift in my house, which because of our set up at home would cost north of £5k, money I would have to find myself. I've been told to avoid using these things and struggle on in order to maintain a decent level of CV fitness, but this person knew it all better and was obsessed with all these adaptations and aids I ought to be using, aids which would cost more than a year's salary after tax and commuting/childcare costs to put in.
I am pretty tough but having to explain the entire history of my disability issues, along with accounting for every single decision I had taken regarding my care along the way, really got to me and the best description was that I left feeling mentally raped/mugged.
My advice to anyone on here would be to take a specialist lawyer in with you (I had consulted with CAB but they did not really make all of the process clear enough, with hindsight).
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