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TOPIC: Private advocate for DLA to PIP transfer

Private advocate for DLA to PIP transfer 1 year 11 months ago #143061

I have chronic fatigue syndrome and have consistently struggled with filling out ESA and DLA forms. I know people with chronic fatigue who are weller than I am and able to do more than me that have consistently received a higher rate of benefits than I have. I have found the Benefits and Works guides of great use and am sure that without them I would not have won my last two appeals which were less than 2 years ago, but even then I still got less DLA (lower rate care) than I felt at the time I was entitled to. I feel that at a core level I have difficulty expressing (and even acknowledging to myself) how much I struggle on a day-to-day basis.

In short I am wondering about paying for a private advocate to help me represent myself, if such a thing exists. I know that because of funding cuts the resources of the advice agencies has become very limited and they can only help in certain cases and often only by assisting with getting the papers ready to submit for an appeal. I am wondering if it's possible to pay someone to help with the whole process from filling out the initial form, to attending the medical, writing an appeal and attending the appeal. Where would I find a list of people who are trained to do that sort of work? I am based in Bristol.

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Private advocate for DLA to PIP transfer 1 year 11 months ago #143064

KD

I'm not sure the person that you are looking for actually exists and even if they do there would be issues (see below). There's no list that I can refer you to but I would start by doing an internet search for "!welfare advice" with your postcode, town or county, they made may be able to provide the service or know of someone who can. You could also try contacting some of the ME/CFS charities to see if they have any contacts.

You need to be aware that there will be limitations on how such a person can act on your behalf, those assessing you or the panel at an appeal, will want to speak to you directly and there will be little opportunity for some to speak on your behalf, so be careful of paying for services that in reality you will not be able to use.

Gordon
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jim Allison, KD

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

Private advocate for DLA to PIP transfer 1 year 11 months ago #143557

Hi KD - I have CFS also and when I crashed 2 years ago I was unable, for the first 6 months, to even think about filling in any forms, but then I fortunately came across my local Dorset ME Support Group. After joining I was able to request that one of their two benefit advisors come visit me. They were extraordinarily helpful and literally filled the forms in for me whilst I lay in bed. And post them for me too!

I was finally awarded ESA and after a year, when I finally had an assessment, was put in the support group. My experience with PIP was not so good. I had an assessment in the same week as my ESA one but was told I didn't qualify. I put in a request for it to be reviewed (can't remember the correct term right now), and that was also turned down. Because of the extreme fatigue I just couldn't do the appeal in the time allowed, having had to get up to got to the assessments exhausted me so much I just couldn't do anything, so I gave up on PIP. (And the Dorset Support group was unable to help me as I'd had to move in with my sister in another county so no longer had access to their support). And to be honest, it's only as I write this that I wonder why I've not looked for a support group in this new county!! That's what CFS/ME does for you!!

I agree with you - an advocate would be wonderful!

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Private advocate for DLA to PIP transfer 1 year 11 months ago #143639

:woohoo:

Hey KD

Check out the Avon and Bristol Law Centre.................they use University Law Students as well.

P.

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