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Tribunal and Decision Pending

On Monday I attended a magistrates court, passed through a metal detector (for the first time), and had an ESA tribunal hearing. I am waiting for them to write me with the outcome. I guess it is the judge’s prerogative to deliberate and not make a decision there and then.

The tribunal is formal and yet informal – a judge and a doctor, not connected to the DWP (they were keen to make that clear), did their best to put me at ease, while seeking to hear the case professionally. At least I hope so; I have no idea what their personal feelings might be. Consequently it was impossible to gauge whether or not I might get a favourable outcome from their demeanour or conduct.

For the past three weeks, since receiving a date, I have been extremely on edge. Over the last week and particularly this past weekend that edge became increasingly sharp. Prior to receiving the date, and since the appeal was submitted (with the help of the CAB which I hope proves effective) in August, I have been dreading the post for that brown envelope from the tribunal service. Every day I’d hear the clunk of the letterbox and rush to see, as if dreading some reverse Santa Claus, what lay on the doormat.

This is what ESA is like. There is no sanity in this system because of the prevailing assumption that claimants are swinging the lead and so must be scrutinised endlessly. That the tribunal service has to get involved strikes me as fundamentally facile: can the DWP not allow patients and doctors to come to an agreement about the patient’s future? Isn’t that exactly the sales pitch made by this government to sell the PCT reforms noone voted for? Isn’t this the nanny state the Tories love to crow about?

So I presume a decision was made that same day, after I left. I presume it has been posted out to me (they said a few days, holidays notwithstanding). What that decision will be I do not know, but I certainly don’t want to have to sign on again.


  1. Hello Ghost Whistler

    I am currently languishing in the calmer eye of the storm awaiting my own tribunal date.

    Like yourself I fear that I will be pushed back into JSA. The punitive regime JSA is currently running under almost destroyed me once before being signed of sick. My current disabilities are largely due to the psychological damage and stress caused by increasing abuses from DWP, JCP and the Work Program.

    Wishing for a favourable result from your own appeal.

    1. Thanks.

      They asked me how I coped with the JC as that was part of the appeal report submitted by the CAB on my behalf.

      Getting the CAB on board is essential it seems (though how essential remains to be seen.

      I told them I couldn't deal with that system, but whether that can affect the outcome I don't know. The tribunal has to concern itself with what the law says, though what that is, I don't know.

      Hopefully if i have to go back to JC+ I can get the Work Psychologist to help. However I think she may be a bit toothless really.

    2. I understand your comment re CAB. Unfortunately my respect and confidence in this organisation has been totally destroyed by recent experiences.

      I initially contacted them regarding data protection abuses by DWP and my work program provider, G4S.

      My suspicions were aroused when the resultant response from CAB consisted primarily of cut and pastes from DWP documents.

      On further investigation I found that the G4S tender to DWP for the WP contract boasted of a special relationship between G4S and CAB to provide a G4S financed hot line to CAB services.

      It proved impossible to obtain any clarification from CAB as to exactly who they were working for. At a local level they denied any G4S connection. At the national level they were ambiguous about any such connection. I also got a lot of guff about charities increasingly having to work with the private sector to maintain funding. I considered this situation an intolerable conflict of interest.

      So I am on my own!

      No problem though, I can make my case as well as any semi-interested, hand wringing, liberal, middle class do gooder would be likely to anyway.

      I am pushing for esa on the grounds of a disabling abhorrence of corporatist society compounded by terminal socialism and a intolerable allergy to capitalism . ;)

      Not in so many words of course but not so far from the truth.

      Who is this Work Psychologist btw, never heard of one at JC?

    3. In 2012 several million pounds was made available to CAB (nationally) by the government to save them from having to close down completely.

      If that funding came through, it was going to be administered by the DWP.

      A senior welfie told me this.

      I would no longer trust CAB to give impartial or reliable advice on anything to do with benefits.

    4. Mike - Like anywhere CAB offices are populated by good and bad people. That's no excuse, they should help you, and that's all there is too it. I was told by my appeal adviser that, essentially, problems like this are the result of funding cuts. The DWP are part funding them now, or will be iirc, and so they will have to toe a line. It is quite possible that some offices will be fatally compromised and forced to get into bed with the likes of G4S.

      Lucy - Yes this is what I was told, more or less. I think one now must be careful what they tell you. If you can find a reliable adviser then great, there are still some about.

  2. All the best for your tribunal decision Ghost Whistler.

    1. Glad to hear it GW.
      A well earned breather I am sure.
      All the best.


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