You must have received your mandatory reconsideration notice before you can put in an appeal to an independent tribunal. It is better to use the standard SSCS1 appeal form, but the rules say that a letter is acceptable, as long as it includes all the necessary information. The appeal form/letter is sent to the HM Courts & Tribunals office in Bradford – see the final page of the SSCS1 appeal form.
The appeal papers are put together by PIP and they send copies to the tribunal service, to you and your representative, if you have one. The appeal papers will contain a copy of your claim form, the assessment report, the original decision, your request for a reconsideration and the mandatory reconsideration notice. You should already have had an acknowledging letter from HMCTS, the tribunal service, and this will have on it the appeal reference, beginning SC, but this reference is also on your appeal papers. You will need it if you contact the tribunal service, either to send in further evidence or to ask them when your appeal is likely to be heard. Waiting times vary from one appeal venue to another, and can be vary for different benefits.
Where do you begin when preparing your PIP appeal? Government statistics say that having an effective representative makes a difference. My own tribunal success rate is over 95%, but across the UK, about 63% of PIP appeals are allowed, which should give you some comfort. I provide tribunal representation wherever you live, in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and I always represent in person. You no longer have to rely on an advice centre near to your home because I have successfully represented clients from Truro to Inverness and from Carmarthen to Ashford in Kent.
If you simply cannot attend the hearing, perhaps because of anxiety or being housebound, I can go in your place, hopefully with your witnesses. You could also ask that you ‘attend’ by telephone. I regard this as second best to you being there in person, so that the tribunal can meet you and get a better idea of the difficulties that you face with the activities in the PIP test, but attending by telephone is very much better than asking the tribunal to decide your appeal on the papers only.
I start the preparation for an appeal by going through the PIP test with a client to be clear about which of the Activities in the test are relevant to them, which of the point-scoring statements, what they call descriptors, apply, how many points they should have scored, why they should have scored those points and how strong a claim they have for those individual points. With that lot written down, you have a clear picture of what it is you are trying to prove, and you can better assess the value of any evidence you already have, such as letters from doctors. If the letter does not tell the tribunal anything about your ability to function, or at least says nothing about your symptoms, so support what you are trying to prove, then that letter is unlikely to be worth using.
Please read the whole letter, or all of your GP records, looking not only for helpful bits, but also for things that would be against you, perhaps statements about you that you consider to be wrong. I often have to give advice on whether a letter or report should go in, weighing up the potential good and the harm that might be done to the appeal. Because the tribunal must decide what Activities you need to use an aid for, or need help with from another person, and because doctors do not often have an opinion about this, think about who else knows how you are affected. Who knows from their own experience of you, how your medical conditions affect your ability to carry out these tasks? Think about family, friends, neighbours, or other professionals. Tribunals have found such statements to be very helpful. Ideally, have the person at the hearing as well, to support their statement.
I always put in a written submission, ahead of the hearing, so that this and the medical evidence and witness statements can be considered before the day of the hearing. If there are points that you want to make about what happened at the assessment, include them in your submission, rather than bring them up during the hearing. This is a general guide; there have been exceptions. Make it clear in your submission, just which descriptors you say that you should have scored points for.
Tribunals use our submissions as their plan for the hearing. Make sure that your representative is going to speak; some don’t. If the tribunal does not ask you the right questions, then I will. If you do not say all that we expect you to say about something, then I will take you back through your evidence when it is our turn. I can ask your witnesses questions and can talk to the tribunal about the law and Upper Tribunal case law that supports your appeal. Mine should be the last word the tribunal hear before the end of the hearing. In the very unlikely event that the Department’s representative or a tribunal member is badgering a client, then I step in.
“From the moment I spoke to you, you took the anxiety and stress from me. I was still worried about the whole procedure which was affecting my condition. You were so very, very helpful and extremely understanding. I was awarded high Mobility and high daily living. The assessor who came out was a nurse. She was very understanding of my condition and how it affected me. It was a long assessment as I did explain everything in detail. Glenn, you are so very, very good at what you do. Many thanks once again.”
Mrs P of Suffolk 10 July 2019
“We were kept informed of the progress of the claim and the process we followed.
Glenn obviously has good knowledge on the subject and he 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
Glenn Brooks is courteous professional and knows his job. I highly recommend him to anyone needing help with PIP. He is cool and calm and after a few minutes speaking to him I was assured that I had made the right decision to ask his help. Most of all you are not forgotten about, as he checks up on how things are, thank you Glenn. And to anyone faced with these forms he is your go to man.
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.
I strongly recommend Using Glen Brooks he is the best you can ever higher using PIP tribunal hearings appeal forms and reconsideration the best Welfare Benefit Solicitor in the whole of UK. I strongly recommend Glen Brooks as the no 1 Welfare Benefit Solicitor.
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. Glenn attended the tribunal with me, and I was glad of his experience and reassuring me, if I got really nervous , that he 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 Glenn, I cannot express my gratitude enough.
Do not think of attending a tribunal without this man, he 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, Mr Brooks took the time she needed to calm her and put her at ease with some things that she was very uncomfortable talking about, he 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 his service's again or to recommend him to anyone who needs this kind of help.
Glenn and his team are first class. If you need any help with any benefit he is the number one person to call.
He is excellent at what he does and will always explain to you each step of the process.
Fees are very reasonable for all the work and travel involved.
I have recommended him to people in need of his services.
Even get his help when the first forms drop through your letter box.
What can I say? Glenn has helped my wife with her fight against this injustice winning every time which without him been harder..
I have been dealing with Glenn for many years for help with claiming the right benefit. He helped me a great deal, particularly when the DWP got it very wrong. Glenn was 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 Glenn 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 Glenn 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.
I would like to thank Glenn Brooks very much for his support and professionalism in dealing with my husbands case. At tribunal Glenn took my husbands ESA case from zero points to support group. Glenn is a very pleasant gentleman. He is very experienced and knowledgeable in his job of supporting and advising on benefit claims. He is clear and to the point and I have no doubt that a genuine claimant will be supported 100% by Glenn. He is very black and white as there is no room for grey areas in these case. I would recommend Glenn to anybody who has a pending appeal or indeed any of the other services he offers. We certainly could not have got through this without his support and very clear understanding. There were no hidden costs everything was very transparent. Professional in every way. Thank you again.
Glenn is absolutely brilliant. I too wish that I had used him to fill the dreaded form in to begin with too! I will definitely be using him in the future if needs be. He was so patient, professional, caring, and a lovely, lovely man. He travelled a long way to deal with my case and was with me every step of the way. His service is not for free, but it is worth every single penny. I don't think I would have got the perfect outcome I did without him. In fact I know I wouldn't have. I highly recommend him him to others.
Thanks so much Glenn.
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