HELP PLEASE: I am waiting for a... - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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I am waiting for a Tribunal date, I have never heard of such things so have no clue as to what it's all about and what I need to do to prepare me for it, My anxiety will be through the roof I feel like a criminal having to go to court in order to get my case heard. I am terrified literally and need all the help I can get, it's my mobility I am disputing as many lies were told on mine things I did not say, I am so distressed and it is just hanging over me. Is there anyone out there who can help and support me? God bless you all and thanks and keep safe. AMO

10 Replies

H Viking.

An employment Tribunal I presume. It is a junior Court and it is meant to be open to members of the public to bring claims without legal costs. A full tribunal will be heard by three judges consisting of a Chair and two lay panel members. One will advocate for you and the other for the Respondent. The Chair will have the casting vote either way. Simple cases are heard by one Judge.

It really helps if you have a Trade Union and they offer you a Lawyer. If not you can litigate in person but there is a lot to learn and it will feel onerous.

Try to get an appointment at a Citizens Advice Bureau for some free advice - if you are lucky some solicitors offer very limited free consultation time to give you pointers.

Look up Employment Tribunals on both the Citizens Advice Bureau and the ACAS websites. There is now a good guide on the ACAS site apparently.

You are required to try Early Conciliation via ACAS before you apply to Court with the aim that the matter is settled easily out of Court. An employer is not obliged to use ACAS but will suffer penalty costs if they lose their case and your award would be higher.

You didn't say if you are still working but if you are that actually helps. No employer can take any action against you whatsoever if you take them to Court. But if you have left they can be very obstructive. But you should be aware that damages for offences under the Equality Act are unlimited and pay-outs can be substantial for the hurt you have suffered.

Any court is awe inspiring and if you are up against lawyers that can be quite intimidating. You can apply to the Court to find out dates of hearings so that you can attend and sit-in to see what happens.

If you are going to represent yourself than that does help somewhat. The Court is required to balance the proceedings and the employer is expected to be perfect in their behaviours. You would just have to speak it as it happened and good notes or records you kept are important. The Employer must present a near perfect story to come out unscathed because minor deviations on disability are just not permissible.

Also note that on this forum there is an Employment booklet and it is good - take a look to the right of you screen and you will see the link.

From people I know who have been through the experience, they say it is daunting but the Courts are very considerate of any person with a disability and who might be suffering stress. You can take a friend or supporter to Court but they are there to support you not to speak. If you have special needs the Court will make Reasonable adjustments for you.

In any Court - just be honest, say what happened and speak only when you are spoken to. You address the Judge as Sir or Ma'am.

Hopefully that gives you some pointers. That is about he limit of my knowledge because I don't have direct experience - only what I have learned from others. Be confident and brave because if what you say is true then the employer has to prove that it is not - the onus is on them not on you.

All the best to you.

Greenpeace in reply to Canbedone

Hi Canbedone, a very detailed answer, but it is not an Employment Tribunal that viking has to attend, but a Tribunal for PIP, Personal Independent Payment, a Disability Benefit.

The DWP does an Assessment of a client who wishes to claim this Benefit, they then put in a report, and a Decision Maker reads it, and decides whether the client is entitled to the Benefit or not. Often times the Assessor doesn’t listen very well, and the report that is sent in, doesn’t reflect the clients version. This results in the client not getting the Benefit, or a lower tier of the Benefit than they were expecting. There are several stages before going to Tribunal, but if these are not successful then it goes to court. It is interesting to note that 70% of appeals win. What a waste of public money, and unnecessary stress for the client.

Good luck Viking.

GP. 😊😊

There is a very good guide about how to challenge an assessor’s report. I used it for my PIP appeal and got a double enhanced award. You will find it here. It is the last guide referred to.

Hi, I know it's easier said than done, but try not to worry. If this about your PIP claim, whatever an assessor has said, or whatever has been said in a decision letter about your claim no longer matters.

Scary tho a Tribunal sounds, this is made up of a Judge, a Dr., or other health care professional, & someone with knowledge about disability. They are nothing to do with the DWP, & know that an assessor's report often has inaccuracies, so won't be interested in that. They are just there to listen to you, & how your disability causes problems with activities of daily living &/mobility.

The Judge will make notes, & the other 2 will ask questions. The questions will only be about what you wrote in the 'How Your Disability Affects You' booklet that you completed for your initial PIP claim pack.

PIP is about 'functional' problems you have, & your diagnosis will not be questioned. So it's why do you have difficulty, what exactly happens, when does this occur, how often, & does it cause you problems as a result of attempting or completing an activity? Giving a couple of detailed real life examples (as to how you were at the time of your assessment) is all that is needed.

For example, anyone can say I'm in pain when I walk, so that's not evidence of a problem that you as an individual have. However to say for example, when I get up to walk my knees are so stiff I can barely move, & this is worst in the morning. When I try to push through the pain, I move around as best as I can. Afterwards I have to rest until the pain subsides. The pain is mainly at the front of my right knee, which is the one that swells up the most. Now that's not you, but it's the beginning of giving a detailed example, & is evidence, which is all the Tribunal needs.

Currently Tribunals are done by phone. You will usually get a call from a clerk to explain what will happen a little beforehand on the day.

Please let us know when you get your Tribunal date. Have you been waiting long?

Viking2030 in reply to CM1EDSUK

Oh bless you for taking the time to explain things and I at least understand a little, I am very greatful for all the help and support I am getting. It's so nice to know your not alone even though you feel it and I feel so everwhellmed with all this pip going from indefenite DLA to this PIP,

Keep safe and soldier on people.

CM1EDSUK in reply to Viking2030

You're ever so welcome. I went from an indefinite award of DLA to PIP 2 years ago before joining a forum with support & advice! PIP is definitely something that can feel overwhelming, & hard to get to grips with.

The important thing, hard tho it may be to do, is to spend the time with your phone tribunal wisely. As many of us have found, there can be 'inaccuracies' with assessor's reports, & tribunal members are only too aware of these. So much like you'd want to mention these, & why they were so wrong, spend the time rather explaining in detail your functional problems.....that's all the tribunal wants to hear. You can do this.

I went to appeal in 2014 for Disability Living Allowance and had to attend a tribunal. It is not as fearful as it sounds just so long as you are honest. I won my appeal but then a few years later everything changed from DLA to PIP so I had to apply for that which went smoothly for me. I had Fightback4justice attend my hearing for me in 2014 and they completed my forms for PIP 3 years ago, both were successful. My advice to you would be to have someone with you, perhaps to speak for you. Fightback4justice are a donation run charity so you would have to pay their expenses if you go down that route. You alternatively could get help from Fibromyalgia UK on this forum, CAB, Welfare Rights At your local council or another internet forum called Benefits and Work. There is help out there for you. Best of luck MistyA x

Viking2030 in reply to Mistyang

Thank you we don't have that sought of support here where in live in Somerset. CAB no much good they screwed up my PIP form. My son is my carer and is great with me and always there by my side. Its my mobility I am struggling with, not making myself clear on the pain. I am in pain all the time and its that what I told her, I don't know how to explain how painful it is and I go through, I struggle with the words, I have learning difficulties and struggle and get very frustrated and my anxiety levely go through the roof.

God bless and thank you very much for your reply

Hi viking as above replys ,do try get advice or help

The medical report is important

As above replys and from MistyA

Cab no longer represent you at tribunal

Wellfair rights do and fightback4justice also represent you

Viking2030 in reply to Ajay575

I live down south in Somerset, we don't have those down here. No help really that is why we have to do things without much help. I have joined fightback and getting support and help from them regarding this tribunal thing, as I live so far away how would they get down here to court to me, I could not affort to pay such expenses, buy if its via telephone they will step in and support me. I do feel very alone and its playing on my mind all the time, I have severe ME/CFS I forget everything and what sturggle with explaining myself properly.

Thanks very much and god bless

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