ESA Tribunal won with anger and passion! Make sure you do the same!

I approached my 3rd Tribunal in as many years for ESA last week with quiet confidence but an amount of trepidation too. As I sat in that sterile and soulless waiting room, there was a huge feeling of deja-vu which continued as I entered the room and faced the Judge and Doctor. My previous track record was "Won One, Lost One" so I was pretty openminded as to the outcome! ATOS had previously awarded me 6 points for sitting difficulties so I need another 9 and it was my mobility score of 0 points that I was questioning. I suffer from lumbar spondylosis and fibromyalgia and for a man of 53, my walking is dreadful. I took my blue parking badge as extra evidence and started to answer the very pleasant lady judge's questions about my work history - I had worked continually for 35 years before these conditions took hold - and all was going well until this kid of a doctor, no more than about 27, started questioning me over and over again about walking aids, distances, OTs, courses - anything he could throw at me to try to catch me out. It was then that my anger exploded and over three years of frustration about this entire system came out! I remarked about his aggressive nature, how the tribunal was meant to be impartial but clearly was not and how dare he try to belittle me and my conditions. Once I started, it felt so good that I just continued to explain that I had brought up 3 children, worked all my life and how disgraceful it was that I had to sit there and justify myself to someone I didn't know, who knew nothing about me and who was clearly enjoying trying to wind me up. I respectfully told the Judge how disgraceful his behaviour was as did my father who had taken me and come in to support me. At the end, I picked up my mobility badge, threw it on the table and yelled.."now Sir, try to argue with that!!!" The judge then said that she had enough info, we scowled at the doctor, bid her farewell and left. You have no idea how good it was to finally tell these people how I felt - liberation indeed! Imagine how amazed I was when 2 days later, I received notification that my Appeal had been allowed and that I had been given my 9 extra points! I think this proves that with some fire in your belly and some determination too, these Appeals can be won! I urge all of you out there to take the same stance as I; go to tribunal with confidence and a forthright attitude - AND TAKE CONTROL!. Do NOT sit there like a quiet and scared little mouse - use your anger to get your point across and get your points increased to continue with your well deserved Employment and Support Allowance claims. Good luck to you all!!!

29 Replies

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  • Well done you !!! really pleased for you!

    I have sent off my 3rd ESA form ( had to go to tribunal for previous 2 and won)the start of this month I expect when Atos have done their medical again I will be heading for my 3rd tribunal. The first tribunal was terrible, I kept my nerve and explained everything I was feeling, I had to get up and move about as I can't sit for long with out pain, I went from 0 points to 18, my second tribunal was ok they were really nice, I was very anxious (I suffer from depression and anxiety as well as fibro) I was in there about 5 mins and the judge asked how many points I got in my last tribunal, they sent me out to wait (even tho we were told no decisions would be made on the day as they were so busy) I went back in and the judge said I couldn't let you go home without knowing our decision as your so anxious and we don't want to cause you anymore, they awarded me 18 points and ask atos not to assess me for another 12 months. 12 months later in pops the eas form from our friend ATOS. i'm sick to death of these people oh how I wish I could work.

  • Thanks! Make sure you use your anger to pummel these people into submission. You've won twice before and you can do it again! These people don't know us or anything we go through - make sure you think of this as you sit there in front of them! Good luck and I know you're gonna do well!

    J.

  • I'm glad you won! You are much braver than me, I got myself into such a bad state when my appeal was due that I wrote and told them that I couldn't go through with it. I had my GPs backing and my husband was very supportive. and let me choose what I felt I could cope with best. He would have come with me to the tribunal but the date was during a course he had to do at work. I find driving difficult and don't drive the distance to our centre. They sent me a route showing me how to get their. It started with a 2 mile walk down our muddy, single track lane and over a footpath on a field. Then 2 bus trips followed by another walk of 1.5 miles! Now thats easy for someone with fibro and spinal arthritis! So good on you, its great to hear of someone with the guts to stand up to these people!

  • Well done .... no-one should have to go through being constantly undermined. It's the norm for any animal to defend themselves when under attack. The powers that be have sunk to the lowest of levels to justify their pay checks. It makes you wonder if they get bonuses for each one of us who fails to get the pittance ! I won 2 tribunals ....I didn't even go - I knew they were breaking their own policies & truly felt that if they'd stoop so low I wasn't going to let them humiliate me any more (as if that was possible). Whomsoever was adding his bit on behalf of the secretary of state after the ATOS professionals had interviewed, was twisting & totally undermining their findings - I STRONGLY DISLIKE BULLIES - IF I had any money or even the energy I would have found someone to act for me & challenged his lies. In one of their Jobcentre interviews when asked what I felt I could do - they were told I could study LAW, as there's still a brain that works, that I had been given the incentive by the government & that I was looking forward to seeing them in court in the future for how they had personally treated me. (I have a bladder condition, caused by surgery, and they wouldn't allow me to use their loo - I ended up urinating in the gutter between 2 cars outside/opposite the townhall in Torquay during that very interview). Disgusting people. Just cried at every question on tribunal 3 - went to that one - & when I got up I lost my balance & sort of ran at the wall (I stiffen when I'm immobile) & my legs were in a hurry to leave but my back wasn't!! IS IT ANY WONDER SO MANY INVOLVED IN THESE PROCEDURES END UP DEPRESSED OR EVEN SUFFERING PTSD's? It's cruel and goes on forever. Thx to the professional at ATOS who actually read my medical notes & eventually made it all stop after telling me that she thought I'd been treated appallingly. They tell me that what goes around comes around - I don't think so - what has been happening is EVIL & it is said that the devil looks after his own. Phew feel better now that's out there ..........

  • Thank you! Take my advice and if you have to go through this again, try to get there and tell them exactly what you think of the whole system! Once you get going, you'll be on a roll and you'll be fine. Try to get someone to take you and don't be pushed around. We're adults, not kids in the schoolyard! I want to inspire as many people as I can to take control and be the masters of their own destinies. If I can do it, so can you, believe me ;-)

  • please check your language swearing will ot be accepted

  • Whatamug - united we stand, divided we fall! You were treated appallingly and this type of thing must stop! If I can help one person to make a stand then I've done my job here! It felt so GOOD standing up to these wretched people and I want others to enjoy that pleasure too! We can win - we just have to keep up the momentum and turn the tables on those who would oppress us! Stay strong my friend ;-)

  • Well done u c

  • I think you did really well to stay articulate during your tirade! I seem to loose the power of coherent speech when stressed so I don't think it would help for me to lose my temper, but I take you point. I have a brown envelope waiting to be looked at and filled in. It came with a letter telling me that it wasn't due until February, but if I were to fill it in it would speed things up, oh and by the way, there will be no reminder! Ha. So they know about Fibro Fog then do they? Looks like they don't. :o( I won't let that defeat me. I have set myself the task during half term. I work in a school and have enough to do keeping myself fit enough to continue!

    Soft hugs

  • I think it's all about determination. Why should we allow strangers to abuse us, belittle us and strip us of that to which we are all entitled. It's NOT the way things should be and as far as I'm concerned, it's not the way things WILL be! We've been treated by trusted GPs and specialists yet these people think they know us? How could this be possible? We must stand up and fight or else we have no chance of changing things. I may sound like a flower power revolutionary but all I really want is fairness - is that really too much to ask? We're all human beings and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect x

  • Congratulations on your win! It is so stressful playing the waiting game when we already know what we are entitled too. The dishonest people of the world have made this entire process so difficult. I myself, have been dealing with the system for about 4 years in the U.S. They say I should have an answer by the end of the year. I can't take much more of this. I may be wrong, but it appears your system is much more fair than mine.

  • Good for you! I admit I did that on behalf of my son years ago in the form of a letter. They had refused him anything but I sent a very rude letter and all of a sudden they decided he was enitled to middle rate care a low mobility with it backdated! So it does work if we stand up for ourselves, especially with the backing to proove it.

    I haven't yet had the nerve to even apply for anything as yet as some days I do feel well enough to work. Yesterday I did, today, typing hurts my left arm quite alot. And I think that is a problem for many of us. We don't see ourselves as 'disabled' as we actually are and that often shows in the way we fill out forms and speak to others.

    Admitting our illness to ourselves is difficult; even when we say we have accepted it, how often is it true? We all continue to fight it, even though it makes no difference, mostly because we see that as giving in or giving up, like waiting for death as oppose to fighting for our lives. These things are an ordeal for that very reason and for those that are there judging us to play on that and make it all the harder for us is so wrong. So good for you, standing up for yourself in the face of one of those people.

    Pamela.

  • Thanks to you both! I don't think the system these days is fair anywhere and that's what angered me so much. We just have to keep fighting until things change and decent, honest people are treated as they should be. If we all do a little, alot can be achieved! Who says the little people don't count for anything eh ;-)

  • It is hard to believe the TS is impartial the way they act towards appellants. Considering no one from the DWP or ATOS turns up to give evidence against you, the TS is acting on behalf of the DWP & ATOS. That's not how a bona fide legal system works, no witnesses, no case, that's how it should be. Why should you be the only one who is questioned?

    So you are 100% right, IMO the system is not only not fair, it is not legal either, so well done for pointing that out to them on the day. We want to see the individuals responsible for these dubious decisions in the dock so we can ask to see their qualifications and get them to explain why a nurse and a DM ignored your doctors medical evidence when they are not medically qualified to make such judgments.

  • I think they got more than they had bargained for! If I was gonna go down, it was gonna be with a fight and that's exactly what they got! Their tactics of "good cop, bad cop' was so transparent and once the attack began, I had no choice but to let them have it with both barrels! All the years watching shows like "Justice", "Crown Court" and "Law & Order UK" really paid off...LOL! Once again, I urge everyone to do the same. These people are not invincible ;-)

  • I never go to those sham ESA trials in person, although I did attend a tribunal a few years ago to do with a JSA sanction, I lost the plot completely and ended up shouting at the judge and told him to go to hell. I pointed out he was totally biased in favour of the DWP but the law was on my side if he dared to ignore that as well. Based on the evidence he was trying to ignore, he had to rule in my favour, and of course there was no one from the DWP present to argue against me, except for the very dodgy judge going way beyond his remit, there was no case to answer. ;)

  • Well done! See, it proves yet again that we can win if we make a stand! So what if we need to scream and shout - it's not something the tribunal members expect or want. If more people acted as we have , the win percentage would rise even further ;-)

  • Exactly, it is no good sitting there quietly expecting things to go your way. If you don't stand up for yourself they will walk all over you. Scream and shout as loud as you like, let them know you won't take any crap from them. The law is the law, you have been declared unfit for work by a qualified GP, who the hell are they to say any different, are all NHS GP's liars? Tell them and their kangaroo court system to go and get stuffed, that's my advice. The whole idea of being put on trial to get a benefit you are legally entitled to is about as stupid as it gets. ;)

  • My sentiments exactly! The whole system isn't fit for purpose and someone has to tell them that. It might as well be the likes of us - and loudly too!!! ;-)

  • good on u jayman! you made me feel a bit less worried reading that,i am waiting a date for my tribunal im worried tho.do they shout & bawl at you as if yr a criminal? i get scared its taken me 2 yrs to take dla to tribunal for the mobility component,ive been getting low care but all of a sudden when i put in my renewal ive made a recovery & can sit & cook! i wish :( :)

  • They are pretty cool, calm and collected but make sure you're in control. Start off nice and politely but if they start to pressurise you with their questions make sure you answer them confidently and forcibly. Always remember that you have the truth on your side and also the backing of doctors and specialists - don't let them make you feel as if you're in the wrong. They don't know you or your history! Good luck to you! ;-)

  • thank you il try to remember that,il let you know how i get on! :)

  • Please do! ;-) xxxx

  • will do,i dont even have a date for hearing yet,i did put on my form that i didnt want to attend but i do now so do u no if i can call the tribunal & say i want to attend.it must be coming up soon as that was in june/july that i put in my appeal.xx

  • For sure - give them a call and say you want to attend. It's really the only way there's any chance of winning so give yourself that opportunity. Remember, they are ogres, just ordinary people so go and give 'em what for ! ;-)

  • thanx jayman,excuse late reply,i went to c.a.b yesterday as dla have withdrawn my low care i was getting i wanted to no if i had to make a seperate appeal it turns out i do c.a.b foned tribunal to ask & to c if i can now attend.it turn out that my case has been heard & ive been refused!

  • Shame! I think you can put in another appeal though so try that and see what happens. If not, I'm sure you can reapply for the benefit ;-)

  • hi, i had my appeal in october and lost. they walked all over me at every point,i wrote asking to have my appeal looked at again as i did not agree with it, they told me it was a waste of time me doing this as i would not win and my money would stop, How have you been able to go to 3 appeals?. My mp has sent them a draft letter ( not really sure what that is) but to be honest feel deflated with it all, have not a clue what to do next, went to work related interview on tuesday and the woman said come back in april as they could not help as i am under 3 specialist, phewwww really confused

  • I'm sorry to hear that but keep fighting! 3 separate claims ended in 3 different tribunals - 2 wins, one loss! I wish you lots of luck; just remember never to let these bastards grind you down. You're right and they're wrong and yo deserve to win! ;-)

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