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TOPIC: ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared?

ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 2 weeks ago #199876

After a long wait or several weeks, I have a Tribunal date to appeal my ESA decision that found I have no limited capability for work. While it's a relief to know there is not much longer to wait for my opportunity to have the decision overturned, I don't want to waste the chance. I would like to know I have done all I can to have a good chance of success. I suffer with mental health problems, including severe depression and complex psychosocial issues. I sent letters from my GP, relating to relevant descriptors on the ESA 50 form, with my appeal form after taking local welfare advice. Because DWP has ignored all evidence from my doctor before, I am not sure the Tribunal is going to be convinced either -even though I know my mental health condition prevents me from finding and sustaining work. If I'm found fit for work this will be a disaster for me at this time. Would be grateful for any member's thoughts on this. Thanks.

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ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 2 weeks ago #199889

Criztal

The most important thing is to show in your submission and evidence is that you meet the Descriptors for an award.

The panel will be asking questions about your problems as you described them in your ESA50.

Have a look at the following video which is a staged ESA appeal.

MOJ Video of ESA Appeals Process and Tribunal

Gordon
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 1 week ago #200165

Hello, thanks for your reply. I have watched the videos once but will need to do so a few times more for it to sink in. After all these weeks I had not fully realised that ESA can't be awarded on a diagnosis alone. I know that with my depression it is not enough for me to just take my antidepressants, 'grit my teeth' and go back to work. I have tried this many times over the years only for the depression to come back, in full force, and make it impossible for me to continue. I have 'complex psychosocial issues' and 'borderline personality traits' as well as daily chronic fatigue symptoms that complicate my depression and have made it difficult for me to sustain employment. My thinking is very unclear and it's difficult to deal with the DWP paperwork - and making the my symptoms fit the descriptors in a convincing way. Also, I can't find anyone to attend the Tribunal with me. Have no friends or family who can go; the local mental health advocacy and welfare advice services cannot provide such support with ESA Tribunals - partly due to funding cuts. Looks like I will have to attend alone - will this jeopardize my case? Also, the courts do not normally refund taxi fares - will it look bad if I don't travel by taxi?

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ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 1 week ago #200168

Criztal

If you are hoping to score points for the Going Out activity and Coping with Social Situations then attending on your own may disadvantage you.

Contact the Tribunal Service, they may be willing to pay for a taxi, emphasise either your mobility issues or problems going out if you have them. You will need at least two quotations for the journey.

Gordon
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ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 1 week ago #200175

Thanks for your reply. I was hoping to score points for coping with social situations but am at my wit's end as to where to find a person to go with me. All my family live too far away, are busy, or too I'll themselves. Because I can't cope with social situations I don't have friends to support me. There is no such support from local mental health services or advocacy services. My guidance counselor is not available that day. What can I do about this? It has been suggested I ask Citizens Advice but I think it will be likely they will not be able to find anyone to support me - their services are so overstretched in the current climate.

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ESA Appeal Tribunal in 3 weeks - am I prepared? 1 month 1 week ago #200190

Criztal

I think it unlikely that the CAB will be able to support you at such short notice but it is still worth your asking.

Try an internet search for "welfare advice" with your postcode, town or county. You can also try any charities that support your conditions. Finally try any local volunteer organisations, your GP surgery should have a list.

You do have the option of switching to a Paper bases appeal that you do not need to attend, but you will be reliant on the quality of your submission.

Gordon
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