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Having brought myself up to date with where we are with the above.
?As you probably know it is the government's intention to scrap this benefit and pass those needing help onto the local council. Funding for this will come from the Business Rates that the council collect every year from businesses in their area.
?Consultations are ongoing but it is likely that it will happen sometime next year. When it does the government will save approx £5bn a year and the council will have the pressure put on them to make as much as they can via Business Rates to make money available to the applicants.
?DWP Appeals to HMCT
?It is anticipated that as from next year there will no longer be the option to have your appeal heard in person. The MOJ want to digitalise everything which means that appeals will be in the main based of paper submissions. There is the possibility that the use of a land line telephone could be used for the judge to ask the claimant questions. There is also the possiblity that Skype could be used.
?Bottom line - the real possibility of no more oral appeals is on the cards.
?I can't post links due to moderation but type the above in a browser to see the full deatails.
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