DLA appeal !

Hi everyone I ain't been on here in a while some of you may remember that I posted that my wife had her dla stopped with no medical evidence, because some people decided to report her for benifit fraud because she got involved with horse riding through RDA (riding for disabled) we have made numerous appeals against the decision & were in court today for another appeal but it became apparent from the off that the panel (supposably independent not so) had made their minds up before we got to the hearing they were not interested in any evidence we presented. They basically took no notice of the medical evidence & witness statements we produced. They are using a lower levels that they've brought in for PIPS to judge mobility awards 3yrs ago & have now told her she has to pay back the monies she has been paid over the last 3yrs. My wife is now beside herself with worry as to what is going to happen to her & how she is supposed to pay it back as we are living on next to nothing at the moment !

I am letting you know this as we were unable to have soliciter go with us, as legal aid has been withdrawn for non ciminal case's unless I'm sad to say you are an imagrant, or of course unless you pay privately where is the justice in that especially as DWP are allowed to have legal represensation, We like to know if anyone has any ideas how to get legal reprisentation or any reprisentation for that matter !!!

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19 Replies

  • I'm going to ignore your comment about immigrants because (a) I don't want to get into a slanging match and (b) my only purpose in writing is to help you and your wife. What you need to do is ask for a statement of reasons and full record of proceedings from the tribunal - write to Clerk to the Tribunal at the address on your letter that told you the date of the hearing. Quote name, national insurance, appeal reference, date, venue and time of hearing. When you get this back (which can take a couple of months at least - if it takes longer, hassle them) take it to a local advice agency (or free surgery at a local solicitor) and ask them whether they can detect any error in law in the decision-making. I know it can feel as though they took against your wife from the start, but the fact is that they had a reason to think she did not meet the legal rules, which are quite stringent. The statement of reasons is where you will see an explanation of their decision. They should detail all of the evidence both for and against, and show why they preferred one piece of evidence over another if there are contradictory elements. This would seem to be the case for your wife, if you had supporting letters. They would not (or should not) have ignored them - they are supposed to weigh everything up. But they are entitled to come to an opinion, even if it is not in your wife's favour. If you want to look at a fairly simple guide to the legal rules for entitlement for DLA, I would recommend dls.org.uk/advice/factsheet...

    If you can find an error in law, you can request permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. You would need assistance from an advice agency or solicitor to do that.

  • Thank you for you advice it is much appreciated ! I sorry if you think comment was derogatory it was not ment to be I have no problem with foreign nationals I was just stating what I was told by a solicitor that had my wife been a foreign national she would be able to get legal my point was about the unfairness employed by the system so if it caused you offence I am soorry !

  • Hi Kulie13 I guess you are foreign as Silverback just stated "imagrant" nothing bad, so why would you have a slanging match. These rules are not fair as why shouldn't silverback's wife get help and imagrants can. I'm am not prejudiced against anyone, but the rules stink.

  • Disgusting. This is a health forum not a immigration arena and no I'm not foreign!!!! It just makes me sad when people make pathetic ignorant comments.

  • No body has said anything pathetic. They stated a fact which was then made out to be something it wasn't. So behappy1. Don't stary throwing round all " pathetic about" . A fact was stated which Kulie took out of context. So don't make something out of nothing plz.

  • Yes you have. You replied that Kulie must be foreign!

    That remark was intended to be - and was - derogatory!

    You are entitled to your opinions but those sorts of comments are not welcome or relevant on a health forum. This is meant to be a supportive network, not a place of racism or nationalism.

  • Why Did Kulie say they didn't want to start a slanging match. They started by implying. No body else would of been bothered, they weren't horrible. So I was just saying that stating a factor isn't predujudice or racist. As am I neither either. So you read into it as you will. If you don't understand what I write plz don't say anything.

  • I really think this forum should avoid the whole 'immigrant' debate whatever individuals opinions are. Lets remember our opinions are formed by our experiences and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but maybe this is not the place to have that debate.

    That said, I'm absolutely appalled Silverback that your wife has to repay money that would have been awarded her based upon the DWP assessment of her health and disability. As Kulie13 says there are avenues to follow with this and the advice given is good. I supported a family member recently to appeal a decision about DLA, and Kulie13 is correct, if an error in law is found (such as not considering a medical professionals opinion in the form of submitted reports etc) that's a good one. Also, the person I was with won their appeal on the basis of Regulation 35, well worth looking up, this actually gives rise to a clause that refers to 'exceptional circumstances' so even if the person being assessed did not meet the 'points' threshold exceptional circs can be applied to overrule this. In my example it was the fact that the person posed a risk to themselves or others in the workplace due to their health condition.

    I wish you and your wife well in what will be a trying time, but please do get advice from a free clinic or alternative.

  • Hi, Did The CAB say they could not help? There is no mention of them, they have their FREE solicitors and helped me win my appeal. One of the doctors at the hospital had filled my form in WRONG. I paid to see my notes, but believe that this may have gone up. I went through my notes page by page and spotted the mistake - it was just a TICK in the wrong box. I suggest you go through your notes with your wife. She is also allowed access to her own doctors notes as long as you make a Double Appointment and ask them in advance for them to be ready. Your doctor will then let you go through the relevant notes with you.

  • Im so sorry to hear about your wife. I do understand how worrying everything is for you. I do understand about your frustrations that are more apparent when you compare circumstances with others and I don't blame you for doing so, as there are some people who seems get more help, but it is more the minority and not the majority. I am with hazelHollingsworth ... have you tried CAB? I know they have many consultants dealing with different subjects of Law ... Also what about the Disability Rights Organisation? Im sure they could help ... you can google their website and send them an email to get in touch with you ... I know they have many people working in different areas .. CAB I think can also refer you to them ... they have helped many people who are disabled ... hope you get some answers and you can appeal -x-

  • I am silverbacks wife and yes am been in touch with the cab in the pass and this morning and they said I need to get the reason and then make appointment.To be honest after 2 yrs off this I am ready to give up I've sick off being called a lie and feeling am a fraud.I have had 4 hip ops which have not work and in pain 24/7 I know am not the only one but I do feel alone and I didn't ask to have lupus no one does but at this moment the only way I can see is to end it all and my husband would be free off the stress many people might think its selfish but in my eyes its because I love him so much he should be happy.

  • Please, try not to let this get you down too much....your husband obviously thinks the world of you, and that is why he is being so supportive...I cannot advise you on the legal side-just follow all of the good advice that has been given....Wishing you both Love and Peace x

  • Hugs to you Kimberly!! It's so very hard to keep fighting when you get so many knock backs. Just allow yourself to rest in silverbacks support for now. There will be times when he needs you to be strong for him too, but just now is his time. You are giving him a very special gift in doing that - the gift of feeling needed. Something we all long for in life.

    If you feel you are at risk of harm to yourself please speak to your gp about it. You may need help to get through this difficult patch. There will be days when you laugh again - it won't always feel his rubbish. But please accept the help you need to get through the now.

    Hang in there sister :) x

  • Thank u for your kind words I have been to docs and waiting for him to contact me back my mum thinks maybe they have to up my meds but will keep everyone up dated xx

  • And I thought that Riding For The Disabled was for -------

    the Disabled. !!!!!!!

  • I am no able to say anymore than has been said, only that I wish you well with your appeal. X

  • Well I certainly created a bit of a s***-storm there - sorry for raising issues that I don't think I (or Silverback) ever really intended to. When you work in the advice field you tend to get over-sensitive to certain statements. Am I foreign? Hmmm - I'm a mongrel, like most 'English' people - does that count? For the record you can't get legal aid for many immigration issues if they are civil rather than criminal, but you and your wife might be able to for your appeal to an Upper Tribunal if you are on a low income. Call the civil legal advice helpline at 0845 345 4 345 to find out. I agree that benefit rules stink but it doesn't help to say 'why shouldn't silverback's wife get help and imagrants can' - I think life is hard for everyone and we need to support each other. My comment about a slanging match was purely about not blaming other people - we are all in this together and if you want to blame anyone, blame the government for the stupid rules.

    Something else occurred to me on re-reading your first posting - they are not allowed to use PIP guidance to interpret DLA entitlement. They are different benefits based on different legislation. And the post about Regulation 35 is a good point (but only if it was an ESA appeal) - both the DWP and the tribunal panel would have had a duty to consider whether your wife was entitled under the 'exceptional circumstances' rule. On the other hand while you are waiting to go through an Upper Tribunal appeal (if you get that far) your wife might consider claiming PIP, because the Upper Tribunal process is long-winded, often taking a year or so - and your wife clearly needs some support in the meantime. Losing an appeal is a huge knock-back, but please don't be disheartened and give up. If they've got it wrong, carry on fighting, but get help as it is a minefield to try and do it on your own. I will try and post some details about PIP claims and assessments soon.

  • Hi everyone. Can we please leave the debate on access to legal assistance with no further comments please? It is not relevant to this community and has been reported as offensive by some members. Let us please keep this a supportive community for anybody affected by lupus. Thank you.

  • Thanks Paul.

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