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TOPIC: Opinion of a relative less important than claimant

Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38336


If you decide to have a paper hearing then you need to ensure that all of the evidence you wish the tribunal to consider, including your DLA form is submitted as soon as possible. Unlike an oral hearing, where a date is set for the tribunal, paper based tribunals will be heard at the earliest opportunity.

The DLA form is part of the evidence that a Tribunal would expect to consider, if it is not complete you are limiting what the Tribunal can consider, that it was submitted incomplete is now in the past.

I appreciate your catch-22, only you can make the decision to attend or not, however, for DLA appeals the success rate for paper hearings is about 10% whereas it is near to 55% for oral ones.


Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38338

Hi Nervy

It is never OK to send in a form unfinished. The evidence on your claim form is crucial to support your claim, particularly if it results in an appeal, and the EMP ignores what you have said when compiling a medical report.

Tribunals should be completely independent from the DWP and therefore must think differently from the DWP. They cannot accept a medical report without question. They have to draw their own conclusions after considering all of the evidence, and give reasons for their decision, and why they prefer one source of evidence to another.

With regards to Social Anxiety Disorder, I suffer from that myself, but people I meet during the course of the day would not know it. It's only a myth that people who suffer from Social Anxiety are too frightened to speak to strangers or appear in crowded places without panicking or passing out. It's the job of the medical member to understand that.

I can see your point. It is quite ironic that an appellant who may suffer from agoraphobia, social phobia, and be of an extremely nervous disposition, is expected to attend a tribunal hearing and answer questions in front of a panel. It does seem like a catch-22. But whilst tribunals are allowed to make their own observations about you, they cannot rely solely upon them. They have to consider all the evidence in front of them including what you have to say at the hearing.

In my appeal, which is now at the Upper Tribunal, the statement of reasons only briefly commented that my written submission and oral evidence was articulate, the bulk of the argument surrounds the evidence that was in front of the tribunal.

A paper hearing probably is, to put it very simply, a bit like filling in the form thoroughly. But you would be at a disadvantage as the tribunal cannot ask the form questions and get the information they need to make a decision. If you feel able to, I would encourage you to attend the hearing and not worry so much about the tribunal concluding that your very appearance means that the appeal can be dismissed. If you do lose your appeal, they have to give adequate reasons for their decision; turning up and speaking would not be one of them. Failing that, you would have grounds to appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Hope this helps


Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38511

  • Nervy
This document says from the M.E. website says...

"Letters from friends and family members are of limited value because they may be considered as biased."

What about a letter from the claimant? are they not biased too?

Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38513

The question is, who isn't biased?

Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38518

Surely on that basis Nervy, the DWP's submission should be disregarded because they would be biased towards not paying you DLA!

I don't know what website you are referring to but I would say that the advice is inaccurate. A tribunal should be interested in your family and friends' view of how you manage day-to-day life.

One important point regarding using friends to write a letter of support. It is vital that they state how they know the appellant, and for how long, to give the tribunal a clearer picture of the extent of their knowledge. Without that, a witness statement could be useless.

PS: I think you forgot to add the link to the document on the M.E. website.

Re:Opinion of a relative less important than claimant 8 years 4 months ago #38526

  • Nervy
I've had to search for where i downloaded this document. I've put the text in quotes into Google with 4 results to get the hyperlink...
hyperlink URL from Google

If i opt not to have an oral hearing can i change my mind later?

Most paper hearings fail because unlike mine where my Mind advisor has said i've added a mammoth amount (probably 4 times as much details as was on the claim form), their claim forms were finished?

Is it that they didn't hardly add any more details?
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