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Having brought myself up to date with where we are with the above.

 Attendance Allowance.

?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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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Les, have you got, or could you point to, any info on the ESA changes which are happening next year I believe. 
    • Posted

      In a nutshell:

      From April 2017 new claimants of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) who are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group will receive the same rate of benefit as those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance and the equivalent in Universal Credit, alongside the change additional support will be provided to help people find work. Existing ESA claimants will be unaffected by the change.

      ?From April 2017, new claimants claiming ESA will only get 'extra' money provided that they are assessed and awarded the Support Group.

      ?There will be no increase for any other category. This effectively means that whether you are sick and unable to work but not in the Support Group  OR unemployed - you will all get the same money.

      ?Additionally more resources are to be made available for those on ESA that are not in the Support Group to access training etc to get back into work.

      ?It's akin to JSA but accepting that you may have barriers due to a health condition making it difficult to get into work.

      ?Ironically, there are many that fail to get into the Support Group because the system is inflexible and could well have a life threatening condition if they were to work. At the end of the day the decision as to whether you could work now or in the future or not at all is made by the DWP and not a medically trained person.

      ?Add to this as from next year it is likely to be the case that should people wish to appeal against a bad/poor decision, the Tribunal system will be changing so as to remove the face to face/oral option. It will be done by paper submissions/Skype/telehone call.

      ?The government may then succeed in reducing the number of successful appeals thus saving £billions.

  • Posted

    Very interesting information. I did read somewhere about scrapping tribunal appeals but didn't have the full info. Our wonderful Tory government what joy they bring to the lives of the disabled! They might as well open a 'work house' and throw us all in there!.

    • Posted

      Just a little more of an insight into the question of appeals.

      ?The DWP are now recruiting 86 new 'Prosecutors'  on a short term contract until 2017 (until when the appeal system is revised - 2017)

      ?Take from the Civil Service recruitment site:

      ?DWP Prosecutors

      You will assist and support the First Tier Tribunal process in reaching the correct, robust decision by ensuring that each case is represented fully and in line with Social Security Law and instructions.

      You will give a summary of the Department’s case to the Tribunal panel as set out in the appeal response, focusing on the objective evidence to support the Department’s case. You may be required to question the customers’ case by asking inquisitorial questions as appropriate and dealing with new evidence and points raised during the hearing.

      Person specification

      It is desirable but not essential that you are a qualified Paralegal or have a law degree. (Due to the nature of the Presenting Officer role, previous experience as a Paralegal would mean you are likely to have the skills for the role).

    • Posted

      This is all new to me, all these things are being brought in via the' back door'. I was telling my sister about your post today and she stated ' I haven't heard these things on the news'. ( hmm I wonder why!!) Are their any disability groups fighting these changes? 

      You really have done a good job in your research. 


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