I have my Tribunal next week and not ... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
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I have my Tribunal next week and not sure what to expect?


I was put on work activity group, but I have had several operations, and complications, and I asked to be put on the support group because I was not able to look for work, due to being in and out of hospital. But they took the request as an appeal, I submitted them all the paperwork of discharge and admissions in and out of hospital and the surgeries I have had.

I get further surgery on the 22nd October, but not sure what to do with regards to my appeal as I have the physical proof due to the scars and treatments. but think they will be looking at what I can do instead.

They sent me the report from my assessment, which was quite indepth, in how I was acting, looking, what I was wearing, how I got to the venue, how I acted in the assessment, etc,

I only want to go on the support group whilst I am recovering from these surgeries and treatments,

I am also trying to deal with the chronic pain of fibro, and acute pain from the surgery and treatments, any help or advice would be greatfully apprecaited.


8 Replies

Hi I wld take someone to represent your who is used to tribunals as iv heard it can be very intimdating I aslo hav to go to one took me ages to find help until I came on here xgood luck x

Having been through this process (and failed) My only advice would be to weigh up each question asked very carefully before answering. Bear in mind they couldn't care less about your pain, how much you are suffering, or what you cannot do. They are there for one purpose only and that is to keep you in WRAG by finding anything they think you can do.

Although questions might seem quite innocent and the judge and the doctor may seem very friendly and try to put you at your ease, they will still try to trick you into admitting that you can do certain things, so be careful.

Absolutely take someone with you. Use them for support walking if you need to, and be sure they help you off with your coat etc. Also ask them to take notes.

Go clean and tidy, but don't dress up, wear make up, or style your air, as it does go against you,

When answering the questions, answer as to how you are on your worst day, and don't appear confident in your answers.

I was well prepared and not intimidated by them. They decided I was well organised and highly intelligent, so that too went against me. It didn't matter that it had taken me two weeks to get that organised or that I am in constant pain. They cannot see the pain, so don't much care about it.

They also will not take into consideration any surgery, conditions, appointments or letters that have occurred since the date of their initial decision.

If you fail, you can ask for a statement of reasons, and can appeal only if there is an 'error of law' in the statement. Alternatively if your condition has deteriorated since the initial decision, you can ask for a new ESA 50 and re apply.

Very best of luck with it.

Em x

Em x

i have just lost my appeal to be placed in support group. i word of advice......the panel can only take into account your condition when you had a medical and appeal papers went in. for me this was nov last year. my condition has gotten worse in the waiting time but they couldnt take that into account. he said that i should be in support group but there is nothing legally he can do about it. the judge said to phone dwp and ask for another medical and he would forward a copy of my refusal to them which states that i am in wrong group and he recommends i be moved. i also was awarded full mobility dla and lower rate care in aug which again they could not take into account. they will ask lots of questions about your condition, how it affects you and your everyday life and a doc will ask about medication etc. it is very intimadating but be assertive and make sure you tell them everything when they give you the chance at the end. i have had 4 appeals in 3 years for dla and esa so am an expert at them lol.


Be aware that the tribunal will start before you enter the building. Someone from the DWP will be there to represent the DWP and they will be watching from the window to see how you get out of the car, how you walk and how far from the car to the venue. They will observe you. So dress sloppily, get them to repeat the questions, or ask the person with you what does the question mean. Act as if it were your worst day, and only describe things as your worst day. Make sure you lean on the person, they support you, take your coat off. Also do not carry a hand bag however small. Make sure they carry your bag, put your coat on you when leaving. This also happens at Atos, the assessment starts before you get into the building.

There will be a judge, a lay person and a doctor. The judges should be neutral, as should the other two.

Good luck.

I had my tribunal 2wks ago I took a welfare officer with me, medical note from surgeon & list of meds. they try & catch u out. 3 people firing questions @ u, I didn't enjoy the process @ all. luckily I won ny appeal after 1yr

thanks for all your help, i spoke to the tribunal office yesterday to ask if I need to hand in my admission letter for surgery on 22nd, they said no as they were only taking into consideration anything that happened prior to May 2012, I said but my assessment at ATOS was in November and any paperwork I have completed has been at present time, not May last year, she said that is the only part they are looking at. I said but May last year was when they transferred me from Incapacity Benefit to This new WRAG, and I was ok with that until I got surgery in August and October last year, and I was advised to contact them to go onto the support group, when I did they then sent me an appeal letter, and it has gone from there. I told the lady yesterday that I have done everything they have asked me to do, but again she said that it is only May last year and prior to that date.

I am so confused as to what is going to happen at the tribunal now, as all my paperwork from the assessment has been in November 2012 and February this year, and that is the assessment they have sent me for the tribunal.

Nothing is from May last year and prior to that date.

How do I go about this, and I am so confused as to what answers I need to give as I will be giving them present answers but sounds like they want may last years answers.

I mean I cannot remember this morning (fibro fog) let alone last May !!



If you have a partner who is working you may find this is all a smokescreen. I have been on the fibro and lupus forums and this seems to come up quite regularly.

They put you into contribution based esa for 365 days. This is like a warning to the time when you will be on income based esa. Naturally most people in WRAG who have money coming in from somewhere else will be refused this. If you can manage to get in the support group then this does not apply.

I wish the government would come clean with this, it is less of the state of your health, more of the state of your wealth.

I am in WRAG with an appeal in since May. Last week when I had Job Centre interview the lady was surprised to see me, she could see on the computer my appeal was in and sent off an e-mail asking them to make a decision as soon as possible. One good outcome is that she has said she will phone me in future rather than having to travel to see her.

I don't actually hold out much hope as my condition has worsened since then but they will be unlikely to take this into consideration. My appeal is based on a decision made only on the questionnaire and without a medical assessment. Hey-ho, fingers crossed. (Yes, I am married and hubby is working.)

You should try and get into the Support group on regs 35 where if you're not found to have limited capability for work-related activity it would be detrimental to your mental or physical health but would need medical back up and also someone to represent you,

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