UPDATE - applications now open

Applications opened today, 13 March and close at 1pm on 3 April.  Details from this page:

The rate of pay for these posts is £236.24 per day.

Could you imagine yourself as a panel member at social security tribunals?  The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) is about to begin recruiting 200 fee paid disability qualified Tribunal members to sit at PIP, DLA and WCA hearings.

In spite of the title, you don’t need to be formally qualified in any way to take up a post, you simply need to be somebody who is “experienced in dealing with the physical or mental needs of disabled persons because they work with disabled persons in a professional or voluntary capacity; or are themselves disabled.”

JAC say that “Applications are particularly welcome from under-represented groups (women, ethnic minority candidates, disabled candidates and solicitors). Training is provided for all appointed members.”

Fees are paid according to the number of days worked.  Usually, members have to commit to working at least fifteen days a year.  Appointments last for five years and are generally renewed at the end of that period.

Clearly, because of the uncertain number of days that might be worked, claimants on means-tested benefits would need to think carefully and get advice before applying for such a position.

But it’s an opportunity to use your knowledge and experience to help appeal tribunals reach the right decision.

If this is something you think you would be interested in, there is a link on this page to sign up for email alerts for the recruitment campaign

 

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    B · 1 months ago
    can i apply if I have settled status? the first question is if I am a citizen...
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    Suz · 2 months ago
    I missed this due to lack of internet will there be another opportunity to be on the panel?
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      Peter. · 2 months ago
      @Suz Suz, you have not missed it. The deadline for applications is 1pm on 3 April…see article above.
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    Liz · 2 months ago
    I'd love to, but I'm afraid it would be used against me when I have to submit future claims. Which just goes to show that treating everyone like they are trying to fiddle the system is actually reducing productivity. If people can do 15 days a year to give back to their community this should be encouraged, instead the threat of poverty and having to go through our own tribunals to fight for the basics is trapping us.
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    Gilliany · 2 months ago
    I'm disabled and would love to help others but if I did apply my pip would be stopped 
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      AA · 2 months ago
      @Kev That being said, they might reduce points at a following review for having been able to carry out the duties of the position
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      Kev · 2 months ago
      @Gilliany PIP is not a means tested benefit
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    Sara · 2 months ago
    I would like to do this. I am a carer (unpaid and no longer receive payments as I am on a pension) I have years of experience in all sorts of areas before I became a carer. So I have put my name down 
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    Caroline · 2 months ago
    I’m still on old style ESA support group, this would likely affect my benefits if I did this 😬 Though in many ways it would suit me if the days aren’t too long. I would love to do this. 
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    Deva · 2 months ago
    I live in Scotland, so doubtful if this applies UK wide. I have a wide range of knowledge in this ESA, DLA field as a carer and a disabled person. I have also won my appeals and tribunals on my own.
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    Peter. · 2 months ago
    I think it is important to remember that the Tribunal Service (HMCTS) is a judicial body that is totally independent of and has nothing to do with the DWP. Any suggestion that an advert  for panel members is some sort of DWP trap is misguided. Applications only opened today, 13 March and close on 3 April 2024. If it’s not for you don’t apply.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      c.mm · 2 months ago
      @Peter.
      DWP are aware who of who sits on each tribunal panel.
      For starters, each panel member is introduced in front of the DWP representative in the chamber.
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    DILLIGAF · 2 months ago
    Ummm... BaW - you do realise applications for this closed in February, right?

    Please note that registration closes at 4PM on Tuesday 27 February

    February 27th, 2024 from 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM

    Shame, I'm sure a lot of people would have been interested in applying and done a very good job.  Now, I wonder who, if anyone, will be on this panel?*
    *See what they did there?  
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Peter. · 2 months ago
      @StickLady @StickLady The Judicial Appointments Commission is doing the recruitment and you can google them. Good luck 🤞🏻 
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      StickLady · 2 months ago
      @Peter. Hi, where can I apply for the role of tribunal panel member? Can someone help me?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Peter. · 2 months ago
      @DILLIGAF The February date was for a pre-application seminar only. Remember this is a “top up” (my words) exercise run by the Judiciary. It is not just one panel, there are hundreds of Judges, Doctors and lay disability qualified members who sit both in courts and remotely daily. It is certainly not too late to apply but only do so for the right reasons.
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    Birdlady · 2 months ago
    Just looked at this and the online seminar to find out about it was in February, and it is today the 13th March they are making decisions on panel members! So you have sent this out way too late.
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      Terry · 2 months ago
      @Birdlady The Judiciary website says" The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) will be launching a selection exercise on 13 March 2024 to recruit 200 fee paid disability qualified Tribunal members".   The pre-application seminar would have been helpful, but you don't have to have attended in order to apply.
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    pei · 2 months ago
    I am currently a carer for my elderly father and also have long term health conditions myself so having experiences of the difficult circumstances care givers, patients and relatives face in everyday challenges so it is ideal for me to consider applying for the position.  However, there are the dwp trying to check our financial background whether we can work occasionally even for low payment, we need to report back changes, or else, get our benefits reduced.  I have been a voluntary interpreter for many years so it is something I am familiar with no fees paid for my services as simply serve the community with empathy.
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    Caz2 · 2 months ago
    Yes i agree with others, the DWP would then say the disabled person/s sitting on the panel could manage perfectly well and thus not be entitled to their benefits (should they have any) and therefore would also be able to hold down a job.If it were a carer applying they would say they are not free for correct said number of daily/weekly hours required for them to be caring for their particular person they receive carers allowance for so would stop that too probably.(Maybe even including the person cared for as well by saying if they can 'manage' without their carer for so long too whilst carers not there but away serving on the panel) Its just another trick from DWP to catch folk out i bet someone came up with the idea whilst they were all 'brainstorming' over new ideas on how to not have to pay out disabled people- like "ooh, ooh i know- lets ask them to apply to be on a tribunal panel as well and then we can say ' but youre managing that ok and its like a proper job'- then we've caught them out right there"!- and their boss replying "oh yes well done thats an excellant idea- we shall use that one!- the poor saps will be falling over themselves to apply as they will wish to 'help' each other by being on the panels" - My Goodness you can just see how their meeting went now can't you?!The DWP should be ashamed.
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    Skeptic · 2 months ago
    I'd be interested in theory, but it would get in the way of me being able to do any other Permitted Work, as that can only be one job at a time. Not worth it for that reason, nevermind the potential pitfalls of being used as evidence of being fit for (full time or substantial amounts of) work.
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    Sue · 2 months ago
    Other than 'as a claimant could I be at risk with my own benefits'....?   yes I would sign up.  Appeals tribunals, many years ago had a relevant balance of people; I worked with benefit appeals, there was a TU persion, someone who was an employer and the Chairman/judge, it was balanced and worked well (before the DWP they were the ES, more staff and less performance targets). Whether they would want me, now I'm finally a pensioner is one thing, have I the time now my husband has been diagnosed with MND is another - yet to work out what a pensioner with MND is entitled to to help but by jove will we need it.
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    InHope · 2 months ago
    Shame the Teams meeting was Feb - the email was only received 13th March!

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Terry · 2 months ago
      @Sue Taylor The Judiciary website says" The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) will be launching a selection exercise on 13 March 2024 to recruit 200 fee paid disability qualified Tribunal members". The pre-application seminar would have been helpful, but you don't have to have attended in order to apply.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sue Taylor · 2 months ago
      @InHope Yes. I would have been very suitable candidate for this. I've only just got email
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    Peter. · 2 months ago
    Disability Qualified Tribunal members do not hear WCA appeals, these are by Judges sitting with a doctor only. As a DQM you would hear PIP appeals DLA for under 15 years of age and Attendance Allowance appeals.

    Being a DQM has not affected my entitlement to PIP. I bring to the Tribunal my experience of living with disability. You receive full training for the role and if you are able to read sometimes lengthy bundles of paperwork I would encourage you to apply. You can get more information from the Judicial Appointments Commission about the role.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      BettyC · 1 months ago
      @Peter. One more…how many days/hours is the training and do you get paid for it? 

      Regarding ‘permitted work’ under ESA and this role, I have done a few sums:

      15 days work per year @ £236.24 per day = £3543.60 a year
      £3543.60 / 52 weeks = £68.15 per week earnings on average 
      15 days / 12 months = 1.25 days worked per month (approx 30 hours) 
      15 days / 13 months / 4 weeks = 0.29 days worked per week (approx 7 hours per week or 1 hour per day)
      £3543.60 / 13 months / 4 weeks = £68.15 per week 
      £68.15 per week x 52 weeks / 12 months = £295.32 per month

      In theory, the average £68.15 earnings per week in this advertised role falls well below the £167.00 weekly ‘permitted work’ earnings limit under ESA rules. Also, the average of 7 working hours per week needed to fulfil this role, is well below the permitted current maximum of 16 hours per week under ESA rules. 

      By my calculations, when averaged out over a full year, the rate of pay and the required 15 days work per year to fulfil this role, work out well below (less than half)
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      BettyC · 1 months ago
      @Peter. Also, can you attend the training remotely or do you have to attend in person? Is it intense or divided into manageable chunks to take into account that many disabled people have limited energy? 

      Thank you for any insight you can provide. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      BettyC · 1 months ago
      @Peter. Are you able to do the role remotely Ie via video link if you struggle to travel on your own? I would be good at reading and digesting bundles of info but my limited ability and energy to leave the house and travel on my own to a tribunal centre, unless very local, would present a problem for me.

      Also, would this role be allowed as ‘permitted work’ under new style ESA? If you did 15 days a year at £££ amount. Could you divide the total by 52 to provide ESA with an average weekly earning figure spread over the year? 
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    Sara · 2 months ago
    Agree with points made below - claimants are going to be wary of signing up for this because of the possibility of their own benefits being affected. 

    Also, tribunals are where claimants currently often achieve success - there should be more disabled people working as assessors and decision makers, or at least influencing decisions earlier in the process, so as to reduce the need for MCs and appeals. People making a claim for disability benefits pretty much need to take on board from the outset they are in for the long haul, and the likelihood their claim will be routinely refused. It's not only demoralising and humilating, it's hugely wasteful of resources.

    The government's all for saving on welfare, so they should cut the outlay by improving on the quality of initial decisions. and save on so many recons and tribunal hearings. Never mind bonuses for dwp staff, how about a penalty for every decision that is overturned at tribunal?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    keepingitreal · 2 months ago
    2 days ago
    Spot on, The Dog Mother. Even if they didn't immediately claw back the earnings, they'd say we were fit for work.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      c.mm · 2 months ago
      @The Dog Mother
      I was mocked and grinned at by the doctor on the panel, and we saw her roll her eyes to the ceiling when I answered a couple of questions.
      The judge sat next to her couldn't see. I was so distressed that I didn't point this out, but if it ever happened again, I'd demand she was removed from the panel.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog Mother · 2 months ago
      @keepingitreal Yes @keepingitreal ,think being on non means tested benefits would be fine but otherwise I'd be very cautious.  To be honest much as I've Been through the system for decades, won tribunals and MRs myself with no help I don't think my health would allow me to partake. 
      I'm too unwell too often. But it would be I'm sure helpful to have people on the panel who have  vast experience of many conditions. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog Mother · 2 months ago
      @keepingitreal Well, I think they'd be saying you can concentrate, sit long periods, understand proceedings, partake in discussions, converse with strangers,  etc etc. 
      In other words, they'd pull apart any claim you'd made for benefits and use it as a stick to beat you with.
      But I do wholeheartedly think more disabled people should be if not on the panel then allowed to scrutinise tribunal reports and give constructive input. 
      I can honestly say my first pip tribunal, though the panel were decent and fair, and it was mostly the doctor questioning me they did try to trick me a few times. I'm not always 100% mentally with it, but I do know my problems inside out.
      I clocked a few 'stumbling blocks' as I entered the room, set there to see how I'd deal with them, sent me out until they looked at evidence, when I returned 15mins later they'd put them back to see if I'd deal with them the same way.
      It's unwell I am,not stupid. I wasn't acting or pretending ,I dealt with them as I would at home. 
      So much for impartiality. 

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    rookie · 2 months ago
    Definitely, being on tribunal panel should not affect your claim.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    The Dog Mother · 2 months ago
    Being on means tested benefits should be wavered for those few days in a year when the participant sits on the panel And not count.
    Would I like to do.it.. yes.. would I do it ....No.
    Wouldn't want to see the huge can of worms it would open for myself.
    But I would love to see how fair and impartial I could be, sensitive and empathetic towards the poor terrified person before me.

    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Helen · 2 months ago
      @The Dog Mother I feel the same. 
      I am only allowed to be paid £20 a week before my benefits would be reduced or completely stopped.
      I would struggle with the travelling and the sitting for long periods but being on a tribunal panel for 15 days a year would definitely be rewarding and I would enjoy seeing disabled people being treated fairly and respectfully.
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