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TOPIC: PIP tribunal decision with claimant absent

PIP tribunal decision with claimant absent 1 week 6 days ago #238351

My caree had her PIP appeal tribunal the other week. She had already written to them telling them that she was unable to attend (she had submitted a GP letter for her PIP *assessment* saying that she was unable to travel to the centre because of her condition, and got a home visit instead), but appointing me (her carer, so best placed to know how her condition affected her) as her representative, as the Tribunals Service had told her she could do.

So I turned up at the tribunal, but the panel declined to hear me in her absence, so it was adjourned. The adjournment notice reads "Although the tribunal is aware that X originally wanted her appeal to be decided on paper, the tribunal was not able to decide the case in her absence (rule 27 of the Rules of Procedure applied) as it would not be fair to X, who thought would be able to speak."

Firstly, does that wording suggest to you that her appeal would have been likely to be unsuccessful, or am I reading it wrongly?

Second question is, given that she won't be able to attend (and also wouldn't be able to cope with an hour-long phone appeal, if that was offered as an alternative), if they won't hear me as her representative, would they hear anyone else if I get professional help to represent her, if she's not there, or would they just bar a professional representative from speaking as well? I've tried finding the Rules of Procedure and Rule 27 online, but haven't been successful, so I don't know what they say. I'm really at a loss to know how other people who are housebound are supposed to cope with an appeal!

Many thanks for any thoughts.

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Carer for a long-term ME/CFS sufferer

PIP tribunal decision with claimant absent 1 week 5 days ago #238356

Hi alisp

Rule 27(1) provides –
“27.—(1) Subject to the following paragraphs, the Tribunal must hold a hearing
before making a decision which disposes of proceedings unless—
(a) each party has consented to, or has not objected to, the matter being
decided without a hearing; and
(b) the Tribunal considers that it is able to decide the matter without a hearing.”

From what they are saying in the letter - the panel feel they cannot make a decision without hearing from the claimant.

You say that your caree cannot manage an hours telephone conversation. Can she manage to explain her difficulties herself - even for five minutes? I wonder whether you could write to the judge and explain (yet again) the difficulties your caree has and they could only be able to speak for a limited time because of the distress caused.

From the wording the panel clearly want to hear from your caree herself and unless you can get a letter from the GP saying that this would cause her untold stress and a deterioration in her health you could be struggling. Obviously, if she can manage on the phone at all you would need to be in on the call (so phone with loudspeaker facility needed).

I don't think to offer another professional is going to make any difference - because they want to hear from your caree.

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: alisp

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

PIP tribunal decision with claimant absent 1 week 5 days ago #238376

Thank you very much, BIS - I hadn't expected to get a reply over the weekend! (And apologies for the inadvertent italics: it should have read "thought *I* would be able")

Hmm, my caree only agreed to lodging an appeal in the first place - regardless of the fact that not doing so would cost her (literally) very dearly - because I'd assured her she wouldn't have to face a tribunal, but could get it done on the papers. She has severe ME/chronic fatigue syndrome, and even attempting to get to the tribunal would very likely cause a relapse, let alone trying to communicate with 3 strangers under difficult circumstances.

So, another GP letter required, then. I wish they'd said that in the first place, rather than simply phrasing it as requiring "more medical evidence" and going straight on from that to asking for her recent medical records!

I'm now wondering whether to ask Fightback4Justice or someone to look over what we've submitted so far to see if they can find areas we can improve on, as well.

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Carer for a long-term ME/CFS sufferer

PIP tribunal decision with claimant absent 1 week 4 days ago #238390

Hi Alsip

I always think it's worth getting someone to look over papers if you have the opportunity to. You want to make the strongest case you can. I hope that you are able to resolve it for your caree.

BIS
The following user(s) said Thank You: alisp

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