ESA tribunal

Well here goes. ESA tribunal today at magistrates court. I have had no money since January and my health has deteriorated due to lack of nutrition. I have been told the members of the tribunal can come across as very aggressive so not looking forward to it. I have been told I have a very strong case, but being the eternal pessimist I am, I'm not too sure if I will be successful. Earlier this year I attempted suicide and I know if the tribunal goes against me that I will attempt it again (more successfully this time I hope). I know I can't go on like this anymore. I haven't been able to pay my rent for months. Gas and electric bills have mounted up to the stage where I don't think I'll ever clear them. My whole life rests on this tribunal. Wish me luck (I'm going to need all the luck I can get).

17 Replies

  • Good luck Hollykarma. You'll be fine just tell them the truth, if they come across as too aggressive then tell them that you are feeling intimidated by their manner and your just trying to tell the truth and that you are not on trial for murder or any illegal activity, but just here to tell the truth about your situation. Hope all goes well

  • I agree with are not on trial, you are there because you have a health problem which has got worse and has caused upsetting changes in your life. They need to hear this and the effects it has had on your wellbeing. Good luck for today and let us know how you get on.

    Tannels xx

  • I think you are on trial, we are all on trial by this corrupt kangaroo court system set up to ignore qualified doctors and specialists medical reports, to be replaced by reports done by people who we have never met and have no medical qualifications whatsoever. Good luck anyway Holly, I hope the sham court rules in your favour.

  • Just got back from my tribunal. I won !!! I am over the moon. At last after a year of struggling and upset things have been sorted. I should have been put in the support group from the start !!!

    To everyone out there, keep fighting. Its hard, I know I've been there, but things can get better.

    Thank you all for all your messages and I wish you all the best in your continuing fight against the system.

  • Hi HollyKarma.... thats great news. Can i ask what happens at the tribunal please. I am waiting for a date for mine and im really worried...

  • Be aware that your trial starts from the moment you get out of the car and reach the tribunal place. They will be watching you from the windows, just as they do if you go to an Atos assessment centre. A DWP person will be watching you closely, but they do not say who they are. Once you go in, you will see three people at the table and a man to one side (DWP representative). The man or woman in the middle is the judge, there will be a lay person the other end of the judge and a retired doctor the other side of the judge. The judge is neutral generally and tends to be on the side of the claimant, The lay person will ask questions about how you are affected by your disability or illness, what you can and cannot do. The doctor will ask medical questions. Some are very nice, others not. Take someone with you to take notes, to help you personally. Do not carry a handbag, the same applies to an Atos assessment. Get your friend to take your coat off and help you sit and stand. Do as little as possible. Take your time answering questions.

    Good luck

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  • Please don't worry. Do you have representation ? They don't have to be there physically but they help prepare paperwork etc which is a great help. Welfare rights is totally free and they will help you. Usually the tribunal takes approximately 40 minutes. Mine was a little longer as I also had a living together appeal as well (I share a house with someone and they accused us of living as man and wife). In the tribunal for the appeal to be put in the support group, there were a magistrate and a doctor. They both asked me questions about my disability and my limitations due to this. I then went out of the court and waited about 5 minutes until being called in for the living together appeal. At this there was only the magistrate. She asked me lots of questions which I answered truthfully and then asked me to wait outside while a decision was made. I attended the tribunal in my wheelchair as I am unable to mobilize on my own. I was in a lot of pain yesterday too. I was called in and told both my appeals had been successful. I admit I cried with relief. Sometimes at a tribunal they will not be able to make a decision straight away, all circumstances are different. They will contact you on another day to tell you of the outcome. If this happens don't worry, they may want to check paperwork etc so they can make the correct decision. Again I was lucky as they gave me their decisions on the same day. Please try and not worry, it will only make you feel worse. Get in touch with welfare rights (if you haven't already). I waited a year for my support group appeal so I know how hard it is. As long as you tell the truth, they can't catch you out on anything. Good luck and please let us know what happens X

  • What a load off your shoulders.. Been there done that etc...make sure you get the back pay that is owed to you.. Treat yourself to something you enjoy.. You deserve it.. Xx

  • Unfortunately any back pay I get will have to pay off bills. Since my money stopped in January I haven't been able to. It will take quite a while until I can sort my debts out. Pity we can't claim compensation as well because of the mess they leave you in. I might get a pack of chocci biscuits to celebrate X

  • Peace of mind to pay off your bills... Can you get DLA...?or PIPS it is now... (Yes. Chocolate is the answer!!lol!)x

  • Do you have fibro Holly? So pleased you won x

  • Yes I've had fibro for 14 years. I also have osteoarthritis.

  • I'm glad things went well for you, its just such a shame that you had all the stress leading up to it.

  • Well done Holly :) proving yet again that Atos and the DWP between them are bloody disgrace and not fit for purpose.

  • Well its seems strange that at my ATOS medical the person stated she couldn't do the medical because it was obvious I was in too much pain. I could hardly move and yet they still put me in the work group !! Over the past year I was told so many conflicting things from the DWP, every time I phoned they would tell me something different. It got the the stage where I really thought I was losing my mind. I really don't know what I would have done without the help from the welfare rights representative. They put my case across so well.

  • The DWP ignores every rule in the book when it suits them. A similar thing happened to me couple of years ago, Atos stated I was not fit for work, the DWP disagreed and stopped ESA so I had to appeal just to get ESA. The Tribunal judge wanted to know why the DWP disagreed with their own doctors report.

    Even when Atos and the DWP agree that you are not fit for work, they put you in a work group.

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