A tribunal decision can only be challenged by identifying one or more ‘errors of law’ in their statement of reasons, which the tribunal judge has to put together if any party to the appeal requests it.
Up to this point, you were able to challenge a decision simply because you thought it to be wrong. If you are unhappy with the tribunal’s decision, begin by requesting a statement of the tribunal’s reasons for their decision. In that letter/phone call/email, we recommend that you also request a copy of the judge’s ‘record of proceedings.
You need to make the request for these documents within the time limit of one month from the date that the Decision Notice was sent, or handed, to you by H M Courts & Tribunals Service.
Talk to me if you have missed that time limit as we may be able to help.
The tribunal that heard your ESA appeal is entitled to make what decision it wants, but it must arrive at that decision in a lawful manner. It cannot ignore the law or case law from the Upper Tribunal or higher courts, where it is relevant to your appeal.
Where this applies, or where you can show that the tribunal misunderstood the law, this will be an error of law. It is not just about the law though; where the statement of reasons shows that the tribunal ignored or overlooked evidence, or where they have misinterpreted evidence, or taken account of evidence that is not relevant, then this too will be an error of law.
In a statement of reasons, the judge will state what the tribunal found to be facts, and will give their reasons for awarding points, or not doing so, for each part of the ESA test that was relevant to your appeal.
Look at those findings of fact, because the tribunal must not take into account irrelevant facts if they are to avoid making an error of law. Reasons for a decision must be adequate, showing how the evidence that they read or heard lead them to the facts that they found, and why those facts lead them to apply the law as they did.
I find that there are usually errors of law to be found in a statement of reasons.
Put your application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal in writing. Try to keep it concise and avoid the temptation to re-argue the evidence; at this stage, the focus is on matters of law, not facts. Your application is considered by a judge sitting alone and without a hearing. Do not be put off if that judge turns down your application for permission; it can be renewed directly to the Upper Tribunal, using the form UT1 that should be sent to you with a refusal decision. It is quite common for an Upper Tribunal judge to find an error of law, where the local judge refused. Another way of getting the tribunal’s decision undone, and for you to get another hearing is having the tribunal’s decision set aside on procedural grounds, but this will apply far less often.
Some clients come to me having been refused permission by the local judge, so that I come in for the application direct to the Upper Tribunal on the form UT1, which is also fine, although there is then just the one chance to establish an error of law. There is no effective appeal against a refusal of permission by the Upper Tribunal judge.
There are two sorts of ESA claims, contribution-based and income-related. Entitlement to the first of these depends on you having paid sufficient National Insurance contributions. Income-related is another way of saying means tested. In the following weeks, you will be required to complete a work capability questionnaire or form ESA50. This asks for a description..MORE
Whether you are claiming contribution-based or income-related ESA, the claim process is very likely to involve a face-to-face assessment. It is a good idea to ask for your work capability assessment to be recorded, to help protect you from what you say being misunderstood, but you should still not go alone if you can help it. You may well be asked how you got there..MORE
You would not be reading this if you were happy with your decision letter. OK, so what do you do when a decision that you do not agree with arrives? We recommend that you call ESA to request a copy of the assessment report, because this is very likely to be where things went wrong. We go through the report with you pretty much line by line, to see what went wrong..MORE
The first thing to remember is that I can almost certainly put it right, so do not panic. Challenging the ESA decision is a two-stage process; the first is a paper challenge, called a mandatory reconsideration. ‘Mandatory’ because you cannot go around it; you have to go through this stage before you have the option of appealing..MORE
You must have been through the reconsideration stage before you can appeal to an independent tribunal. It is better to use the standard appeal form (search online for form SSCS1. You and the tribunal have the same appeal papers sent to you. They will contain a copy of your work capability questionnaire ESA50, the assessment..MORE
A tribunal decision can only be challenged by identifying one or more ‘errors of law’ in their statement of reasons, which the tribunal judge has to put together if any party to the appeal requests it. Up to this point, you were able to challenge a decision simply because you thought it to be wrong. If you are unhappy..MORE
Are you in need of professional PIP or ESA legal help ?
Don't hesitate to contact Disability Claims.
As of April 2022 we have a 97.2% Tribunal success rate based on 646 appeals.
We hope to hear from you soon.
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Thank you for that.
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I knew straight away that I had made the right decision in reaching out to Glenn Brooks for help with my Pip application. He is very professional, supportive and talked me through the whole process. After two stressful applications in the past on my own, both with 0 points, with Glenn's knowledge I have been successful. I have been awarded standard daily living and also standard mobility for fibromyalgia. I would absolutely recommend the help from Disability Claims and I will definitely be contacting again when my renewal is due. Thank you very much.
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AYODELE AWARUNS - December 2020
I had a thorough consultation with Glenn before deciding to move forward. Everything was very simple in terms of getting copies of paperwork for evidence to support my PIP claim.
I didn’t have to fill the forms in which I struggle with; it was completed over the phone. It was really helpful to have someone talk to you about your disability while the form is being completed as I would have missed key things that the assessor needed to be aware of.
I got the award I was entitled to and wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this without Disability Claims. I am very happy and will use the company again when my award is due for renewal.
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I have been dealing with Disability Claims for many years for help with claiming the right benefit. They helped me a great deal, particularly when the DWP got it very wrong. They were confident and reassuring that I was in the right and we won no problem on appeal. You can be as genuine as possible, with real issues but often it's how those words are put over - this is where Disability Claims came in. Filled out the same information (mostly) as I did, just worded much better and was successful without any problems. Highly recommend you deal with Disability Claims if you're worried or have issues. In an ideal world this service should not be needed, but the DWP are ruthless and don't care what your circumstances are.
“We were kept informed of the progress of the claim and the process we followed.
You obviously have good knowledge on the subject and was to formulate an
accurate statement, and present our case well at the appeal hearing. It is likely that
we will be in touch for help when our renewal form arrives.”
Mr M of Louth
Disability Claims are a courteous professional business. I highly recommend them to anyone needing help with PIP. They are cool and calm and after a few minutes speaking to them I was assured that I had made the right decision to ask their help. Most of all you are not forgotten about, as they check up on how things are, thank you. And to anyone faced with these forms they are your go to business.
Really professional and expertly researched legal representation. I went from 0 points on ESA to 18 points on appeal and got back in the support group. Highly recommended.
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With many disabilities, my full DLA allowance when changed across to PIP, and following my assessment, was reduced to standard rates, resulting in the loss of my car. Requested for a tribunal, and gobsmacked when the papers arrived, could not believe the ( I worded it inaccuracies) LIES that the assessor had told. Disability Claims attended the tribunal with me, and I was glad of their experience and reassuring me, if I got really nervous , that they would assist. My PIP was upgraded to enhanced care and mobility. I would certainly recommend that you should not accept any reduction in your benefits and should contact Disability Claims, I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Do not think of attending a tribunal without this business, they made the whole process so easy for my very stressed, distressed sister, who had her entitlement reduced and her car removed,at the change to PIP, they took the time she needed to calm her and put her at ease with some things that she was very uncomfortable talking about, they did a first class job at very short notice and worked until after 8PM on the evening of her initial interview, we would not hesitate to use their service's again or to recommend thrm to anyone who needs this kind of help.
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