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TOPIC: Dla tribunal represenative

Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55021

Hello, this is my first post so here goes. We have received a date for my son's DLA tribunal, April 27th. As my son is only 10 the claim has been made on his behalf by my husband. When our claim failed we informed the DWP we would appeal. My husband said at the time there was no way he felt he could speak at a oral hearing so i contacted the tribunal clerk and asked if i could speak on his behalf. They said that was fine. I also have my sons consultant as my representative.
Since then any letters from the tribunal service have been sent to me, my husband (seperatly) and the representative.
My son has high functioning austisum, so it would be impossible to take him. He is going through a very bad time at the moment so my husband will have to stay with him on the day of the tribunal as he will not let anyone else be with him.
Is it ok just for me and my rep to go? i never intended taking my son, but just wanted to know if what i was planning is ok.
Thank you in anticipation

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Re:Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55035

Hi Melic

I think it is OK for your son, due to his age, not to attend the hearing.

Another member who was given permission not to take her ten-year-old son to the hearing succeeded in a DLA appeal. See the threads below.

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?func=view&catid=10&id=28145

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/forum?func=view&catid=10&id=28294

Good luck

Derek

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Re:Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55077

is it ok, for me to go rather than my husband though?

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Re:Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55084

Yes. The fact that your husband made the claim doesn't mean that he has to be at the hearing.

You are entitled as his mother to attend on behalf of your son but it may be a good idea to explain that your husband is required to look after your son and unable to attend.

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Re:Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55106

Many thanks, i have just rang them and they said i must make myself the appointee, then i can go ahead

thank you again for your help

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Re:Dla tribunal represenative 8 years 7 months ago #55145

mellc wrote:

Hello, this is my first post so here goes. We have received a date for my son's DLA tribunal, April 27th. As my son is only 10 the claim has been made on his behalf by my husband. When our claim failed we informed the DWP we would appeal. My husband said at the time there was no way he felt he could speak at a oral hearing so i contacted the tribunal clerk and asked if i could speak on his behalf. They said that was fine. I also have my sons consultant as my representative.
Since then any letters from the tribunal service have been sent to me, my husband (seperatly) and the representative.
My son has high functioning austisum, so it would be impossible to take him. He is going through a very bad time at the moment so my husband will have to stay with him on the day of the tribunal as he will not let anyone else be with him.
Is it ok just for me and my rep to go? i never intended taking my son, but just wanted to know if what i was planning is ok.
Thank you in anticipation


Hi Mell,

Child witnesses

8. Children are likely to appear in tribunal rooms in one of three situations:

(i) as a person on whose behalf a claim to disability living
allowance has been made;
(ii) accompanying a parent/carer appellant; or
(iii) as a witness in a child support appeal.

9. The first is the most common. Reg 43 of the Claims and Payments Regulations
allows the Secretary of State, on receipt of a claim for DLA for a child, to appoint a
person to exercise on behalf of the child any right to which the child may be entitled and to receive and deal with any sums of money awarded. Such appointee is thetreated as the appellant under the general terms of the grant empowered by Reg 43. The appointee is a party to the proceedings.

10. The child appears in the capacity of witness called by the appointee under
reg 49(11) of the Decisions and Appeals Regulations or as someone who is
accompanying the appointee. It is important for the chairman to establish at the
outset the capacity in which the child appears, to determine whether evidence is to
be taken directly from the child or whether the child is simply there because the
appointee has no one else to care for him.

11. The choice of appointee is no business of the tribunal; it is a decision with no right of appeal. The difficulty for the tribunal is that parents, who are invariably appointed as appointees, may be tempted to make claims which exaggerate the extent of the child's disablement. Such exaggerations may well relate to children with behavioural disorders such as ADHD or an autistic spectrum disorder. Less self-interested sources of evidence can be sought by decision-maker and tribunal alike to test the soundness of the parent's statements on the claim form and elsewhere. And it should also be remembered that the test for DLA is not the attention actually given but the attention reasonably required.

12. Dilemmas are posed for the tribunal when the claim to DLA has been made on
the child's behalf and the child is present at the hearing. The child will hear
information about himself, e.g. as to his inadequacies or behavioural dysfunction; the tribunal may probe the statements of the parent and wish to question the child
directly. Information revealed and discussed in the hearing may be harmful to the
child, even if true. The tribunal has the option to ask the child to leave if it considers it inappropriate for the child to hear the evidence, but not if the parent is the carer and the child cannot be left unattended in the waiting room.

13. When a child is present the tribunal needs to be skilled at talking to children and making them feel at ease. A disruptive child may need to be calmed by the chairman.Recognising the most appropriate behaviours and styles of questioning for the chairman and members to adopt in seeking to conduct a full and fair exploration of the issues before it when communicating with a child requires a considerable degree of experience and sensitivity.

14. A further difficulty will arise when the child does not appear. Some tribunals take the view that a better assessment of the child's needs can be made by seeing and listening to the child. However, adverse findings should not be inferred from a child's non-attendance the parents might have reasonable grounds for deciding not to involve the child, they may for example see the appeal as a humiliating and upsetting experience for the child. The tribunal has of course no power to compel the child's attendance except through a witness summons (see 1 to 3 above).

15. In the second situation the chairman is unlikely to object to the child's presence if the child is well-behaved and does not prove to be a distraction. If it is impossible to proceed because the child is interfering with the proceedings, an adjournment to a time when the adult appellant can arrange child care should be contemplated (and the appellant can be told that child care costs can be claimed from TS). Asking the child to leave the room in the absence of the appellant is not appropriate as this would mean that the child is left unsupervised and it is no part of the clerk's duties to act as child-minder.

16. The above passages were quoted with approval by a Tribunal of Commissioners
in CDLA/1721/2004 (29 April 2005) where it was made clear that a tribunal should
think very carefully before directing a child to attend to give evidence, and should
only do so if this was the only way to reach a just decision. If the parents or carers of the child objected to the child being called then this should normally decide the
matter, and even if the parent/carer wanted the child to attend the tribunal should still consider whether this would be in the child s best interests to do so. Adverse
inferences should not be drawn from the failure of a child to attend, and thought
needed to be given to any special arrangements which might be required, as to the
geography of the room, whether specially skilled panel members might be required,
whether certain evidence should be withheld from the child, who should accompany the child, whether the evidence could be given by video link etc.


Please note this is for your information and for other members and moderators who may like to know about children appearing before Tribunals in certain circumstances

Good luck with your son's appeal.

Best wishes.

Jim

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