The strangest make up of a PIP Tribunal panel

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I spent this evening with a colleague who had been going through a bad time both healthwise and emotionally.

Amongst the many things we talked about was his recent PIP appeal hearing at the 1st tier Tribunal.

I let him talk away and refrained from passing on my feelings and opinion of both the MOJ, ATOS, CAPITA and the DWP.

Anyhow he asked if it was normal for three 'judges' to be on the panel?

No it is not, there can only be one judge/chair, the other two would have been maybe a GP and a disability adviser of some description.

He still insisted that they were all judges, saying they were all judging him with the answers he was giving!

He then asked why would there have been a Welfare Rights judge? Ummm, no way me thinks - not a WRO. But he insisted it was because when he went to the CAB months earlier she was there - working!

Now what do I say to that I thought - I suggested we had another cup of tea.

 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    let me tell you something Les. I too have had a very similar incident of this nature. at first I couldn't believe what I was seeing. low and behold same person in different place. same one who interviewed and same one in cab. and I don't give a damn what people think of me. i know what I saw. proof? none. chances of proof in future? zilch. best left alone? absolutely. take care.

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  • Posted

    Hi les59996,

    It makes you wonder how many hats these people wear and what their opinions of benefit claimants are.

    Are they bias/unbiased, do they have a disabled loved one and show sympathy to claimants with simular disabilities. Are they sitting on conflicting panels throughout the week. I know they probably see themselves as public servants and pillars of the community, let's hope they are.

    Mike

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  • Posted

    Entirely plausible.  I helped a friend prepare for for and attend a tribunal recently.  I think your colleague is mistaken that they are all judges, as only the chairman is a judge, but all members of the tribunal panel can ask questions in and around their area of expertise - so I think he could be forgiven for thinking they were all judges, because they were, in fact, all judging him in their own way. My friends' tribunal consisted of a GP, a personal care 'expert' from Social Services who was also a volunteer at the local CAB, and a solicitor who was the judge.  They all fired questions at her, but I find your colleagues comments about a welfare rights expert intriguing.  Could it have been a representative from the DWP ? More and more, the DWP are sending advisers to 'inform' the panel on the DWP's point of view and these advisers actually sit in on the tribunal.  It doesn't happen in all cases, as I don't think the funding stretches that far at the moment, but it could be the case here - it's actually not unheard of for DWP staff to volunteer for CAB welfare rights, so it could well be he's right.

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    • Posted

      Hi Pam - and there was me thinking that he was entirely mistaken!!! 

      So it is possible one day for someone at the CAB advising on how best to get the award and the following day attempting to pull apart a claim to see if it is truly genuine.

      You live and learn

       

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