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DLA/PIP TRIBUNAL POSTS FOR DISABLED CLAIMANTS

The Judicial Appointments Committee (JAC) is recruiting 314 disability members to sit on three person appeal tribunals considering DLA and PIP appeals.

You don’t need to be legally qualified, but if you are applying on the grounds that you are disabled yourself you do need to be getting DLA or AA. If you work with people who are disabled you can be a volunteer rather than a paid worker, but JAC say that:

‘If you are working with disabled individuals you need actual involvement in dealing with the disability, not simply advising on disability issues such as welfare benefits.’

Disability members will be guaranteed a minimum of 15 days’ work per year, but ‘with the option for significantly more work’, though not more than three days in any week. JAC say that carers can also be present and that reasonable adjustments will be made.

Sitting on tribunal panels to help decide whether people pass hugely unfair benefit tests, where it is likely that the majority of appeals will be unsuccessful, may be something you would not be willing to consider.

Or you may take the view that having one person on the panel who understands the claimant’s daily life and who can bring out the difficulties they face by intelligent and sympathetic questioning is a very positive thing and may lead to a higher number of awards. We suspect that many Benefits and Work members would be very pleased to have a fellow member on their DLA or PIP tribunal.

If it is something you would be interested in, however, the uncertainty about the number of days available may still be extremely off-putting for many claimants, because of the effect sporadic paid work can have on benefit claims.

Recruitment for disability members has not yet begun, but is scheduled to start on 27 November.

2 Replies

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  • Sounds as though this could be a good thing Julie. When I went to an appeal panel held for a friend though the "disability" member was the hardest on her. He was a wheelchair user. Problem is she was not and he could not seem to understand that you can be able to walk a little and still be disabled enough to need the mobility component of DLA.

  • yes, the right people will be needed, you're right. Prejudice and unthoughtfulness is everywhere unfortunately !