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TOPIC: Tribunal question re reasonably required help

Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13756

  • lavenderlady
Hi again Kathy:)

I've just read your post again and been thinking ...;)

I think if a person can't do something at 8sm but could do it at 4pm because of pain etc then it would seem reasonable to me that they would need help, if only supervision - someone to make sure your okay and to offer assistance. The watching over aspect counts as care. Take falls for instance which are unpredictable.

If someone has a mood disorder or something and they refuse to wash, dress eat or get up, they'll probably need someone around to encourage them and when they do get up to make sure they eat and eat correctly. If they were not supervised they might eat a packet of crisps for their main meal of the day, but if they are supervised they can encouraged to eat say beans on toast.

There is no doubt that having someone around to supervise, remind, encourage, is care.

I remember once a visiting occupational therapist said if i don't feel steady enough,not to shower on my own. The problem is when that unsteadiness goes on for days on end ... There comes a point when you have to take the best option which comes back to your first main point. If people are doing activities at odd times because of pain etc it probably means they are choosing the safest option.

I am always at risk of falling in the shower, however I know the risk is greater, the weaker I am, so I always try to wait till a time when I feel a bit able ... that however, doesn't mean I don't need supervision. I do. Ironically, I am more prone to accidents when I think I'm stronger.

Sick people are always trying to find the best time, the safest time to do things. However,that does not mean they are less at risk and don't need supervision or help, they are just trying to find a way of trying to cope.
Changing times when you do things is just a way of trying to cope, but invariably the person is still vulnerable and needs assistance and support.

It's very difficult for people on their own. They try and cope on their own, but so often they do need someone around ...

Hope that help you in some way.

Nite Nite
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13762

Hi Laverderlady,

And thanks once again for thr time you have taken for me. You soooooooo get what its all about.

Everyday in life, people with disability have to only to battle pain, they have a constant battle with their minds. When it takes hours and hours to reduce your pain to a managable level, you do not want to attemp anything that is going to cause you more pain.

You sit and your body is telling you "right up you get lazy bones, time to get going" and your mind is telling you "watch out kid, you know what you have just come through, and doing A B or C is going to put you back at square one again"

I have a very strong determination built into me, but unfortunatly my own determination dosnt get me through so I then rely on others.

Sometimes it just a little physical help that makes all the difference. sometimes its emotional support and encouragement, and sometimes it's a good big boot up the backside.

Everybody in life at some stage in the game suffers, but thankfully most only know the hardship of this temporarily, but when some people are experincing hardship as a result of disability, ongoing everyday in their lives, it isnt an easy battle for them.

When you are are housewife and mother, you have a responsibility especially pointing your child in the right direction in life. You have to teach by example and show your child that no matter what difficulties life throws at you, you have to rise above this and continue on.

I am really glad that I have had the opportunity to talk to you, you just understand. I only hope that the disability panel member at by Tribunal is as understanding.

Thanks for all this support.

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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13765

  • lavenderlady
Hi Kathy,:)

You sound soooow like me!

I don't mean to sound like a sourpuss but i was reading this morning on one of the sections on appeals re DLA on this website that disabilty members that sit on these tribunals are not always as sympathetic as we would wish. I'm just making you aware of this so you won't be too disappointed if there is a crabby person on the panel!

Some disabled people when they acheive status through hard work and perservance tend to become hardened and unsympathetic to us mere mortals who struggle and struggle and not able to acheive their dizzy heights. They think we are winjers who don't try hard enough.

I once worked in a personnel office as a Secretary. Interestingly, the lady Personnel Officer used to work in that office as a secretary and was promoted by her boss. She was obviously very ambitious. I remember we secretaries had problems with the computors etc... Now I thought at the time, that she would be sympathetic and helpful because she'd been in our shoes but it turned out she wasen't. She had no inclination or desire to help and her attitude was 'i coped then, so should you'
I was told she was the last person to go to for support or help.

Life is full of surprises and so are people!

I do agree with you about the battle of the mind. I find i do cope with pain etc a bit better when i'm upbeat, but when i start sliiiiiiiiding doooown, then it feels much worse, so i'm constantly talking myself positive thoughts. I consciously count my blessings whether it be thank god for food, for water, for clean sheets, for centralheating, for having a television, for having a home etccc. I just keep reminding myself how much i have to be grateful for.

Time to feed my guinea pig - cucumber and carrots.:woohoo:

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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13769

  • Jim Allison
  • retired Principal Welfare Rights Officer
There are good and bad in all professions and DLA Tribunal panel members are no exception.

However, from my experience you're more likely to get an unsympathetic Legal or Medical Member than a Disability Member.

Disability Members include those who are disabled themselves or have wide experience in assessing the needs of people with disabilities.

It's important to understand that all panel members have equal say, so the Disability Member has the same powers as the Legal or the Medical Member.

A tribunal's decision can be unanimous or a 2-1 majority.

During my 10 years as a Disability Member ( appointed because I was both disabled and had wide experience as a Welfare Rights Specialist) I was often able to convince one of the other panel members that the appellant qualified for an award of DLA.

In summary, an appellant is no more likely to get an unsympathetic Disability Member on their panel as they are a Legal or Medical member.

And of course if an appellant feels they haven't been treated fairly by any panel member, they do have the right to lodge a complaint against that member, no matter what the member's status is. See extract below from 'The Benchbook' (copy of which can be found in the members area)


1. Tribunals do their best to strike the right balance between informality and authority. Informality is necessary to put the parties at their ease and to enable them to present their case in the best possible light. Authority is necessary to ensure that the hearing is conducted efficiently and with dignity and that when the parties leave the tribunal room they respect and understand the decision even if they do not agree with it.

2. No two tribunals operate in precisely the same way and there will be a considerable and acceptable variation in the way in which individual tribunals achieve that balance. Provided a tribunal operates within those limits it would not be right and would infringe judicial independence to censure it.

3. Tribunals often have to decide issues of credibility; to do that they may need to ask probing questions. Sometimes they must inquire into personal and intimate matters. However sensitively those matters are carried out some discomfort and embarrassment is always possible.

4. Regrettably, tribunals occasionally stray outside acceptable limits. There is never an excuse for rude, discourteous, aggressive or insensitive behaviour. Nor should a tribunal ever act in a way which is biased or prejudiced or gives the impression of bias or prejudice. When the conduct of a tribunal or the personal behaviour of a member falls below the standards we set ourselves we need to know about it.

5. Because we take seriously complaints about the conduct of tribunal members we need to have the complaint in writing. However, we will make special arrangements for anyone who cannot write down a complaint, for example because of language difficulties or disability. All complaints must include specific details of the grounds for complaint. For example, telling us that the tribunal was prejudiced or rude is almost impossible to investigate unless we are told in what way the tribunal was prejudiced or rude. It is also easier to investigate a complaint if we are told about it as soon as possible after the hearing. Otherwise it becomes difficult for those who may be able to throw light on the complaint to remember what occurred.

6. Complaints should be addressed to the Regional Chairman of the region where the appeal was heard - if they are addressed to someone else they will be redirected to the Regional Chairman. It is his job to investigate the complaint. If a complaint is made about the conduct of a Regional Chairman it should be addressed to the President; if about the conduct of the President then to the Lord Chancellor.

7. Some complaints are not about the conduct of the tribunal at all. Instead they relate to the decision that was made, or the questions that were asked or not asked or the documents that were taken into consideration or not taken into consideration, or the weight attached by the tribunal to particular parts of the evidence. Those are matters that can only be considered by way of appeal to the Commissioners. If complaints fall into this category we will respond to them in the above terms.

8. Some complaints are in reality applications to set aside for procedural error or applications seeking leave to appeal to the Commissioners. In those cases we shall treat the complaint as an application to set aside or seek leave as appropriate and act accordingly.

9. If the complaint relates to the conduct of the tribunal or the personal behaviour of a member then the Regional Chairman (or Customer Services Manager acting with the Regional Chairman s consent) will acknowledge it within 5 working days of receipt. We will assume that submission of a complaint implies consent to disclose it to the person being complained about and to others within the organisation who may be able to throw light on what occurred. However, before beginning an investigation, the Regional Chairman will need to know whether the complainant intends to appeal the Tribunal decision and will seek that information when acknowledging the complaint.

10. It is not possible for the Regional Chairman to investigate cases where the complainant states that the subject matter is confidential and should not be disclosed to the individual against whom the complaint is made. If there is to be an appeal the Regional Chairman will start his enquiry straightaway but, unless the appeal raises issues quite different from the subject matter of the complaint, will not issue a final reply until the appeal is finally concluded.

11. Subject to the above matters the Regional Chairman will send the letter of complaint to the tribunal member(s) and, where it is thought that he or she may usefully comment, to the District Chairman from whose District the complaint comes seeking their comments on the complaint. The Regional Chairman will also consider other relevant information. At the conclusion of the investigation he will respond in writing to the complaint: if he concludes that there is substance in the complaint, either in whole or in part, he will say so; if he concludes that the complaint has no substance he will also say so. Sometimes the Regional Chairman will be left with the word of the complainant and the denials of the tribunal member(s) with no material upon which he can properly reach a conclusion. He will say whether or not he is in that position. If the Regional Chairman concludes that there is substance in the complaint he will decide what action should be taken to obviate a repetition of the conduct. The member(s) against whom the complaint was made will be copied into the Regional Chairman s conclusions as will the District Chairman. But whatever the outcome, all the papers relating to the complaint will be held on file. It will remain material which may well be relevant should there be a subsequent complaint of a similar nature.

12. If, at any time during the investigation, the Regional Chairman considers that the complaint has substance and might amount to serious misconduct or incompetence, or might amount to racist or discriminatory conduct, or that the complaint judged against other material on the file gives cause for serious concern, then the complaint and file will immediately be referred to the President who in turn will, if appropriate, refer the complaint and the file to the Lord Chancellor.
PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 6 years 10 months ago by Jim Allison. Reason: Corrected typos.
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13773

  • lavenderlady
Dear Jim

I do apologise if I have offended you in any way by what I said.

I didn't mean to suggest all disabled members at Tribunals are unsupportive of claiments at Tribunals.

I hope I haven't spoiled your Sunday

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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 10 months ago #13778


i attended a tribunal earlier this year and I have always maintained that all 3 panel members were very nice and put me at ease straight away.

The week I attended my tribunal, I had just learned the day before that my aunt had terminal cancer, my husband recieved a letter to attend the hospital regarding a health scare, (still ongoing) and a young local child was getting buried right at the same time as my tribunal. I didnt mention any of this at my tribunal, I just let it go ahead and was a much use as a wet lettuce with everything else going on in my mind.

I lost the tribunal, and when I got my statement of reasons, there wasnt anything stated where I felt the panel were unfair in any way. They even went as far as to suggest that I apply again, which I had already done after it was suggested to me on the site here.

But here we go again, my husband has to attend the hospital on Tuesday, there is a possibility that he might be kept in, My tribunal is on Thursday so this time, I will ask for a postponement because my husband was going to attend with me. However, his health is more important than my DLA so I will be playing all by ear,I wouldnt want any further stress caused to him, so if it means me just asking them to hear my case on paper, so be it. I can always apply again.

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