It was my partner’s tribunal today. We had the option of cancelling at the last minute because of her recent operation but she wanted to go and get it over with as she has been put through hell by DWP negligence and ATOS falsehoods for the last 15 months. I was planning to go by myself but they called yesterday and would not allow that. It was very stressful for her beforehand.
The whole process took around 30 minutes as both the clerk and the judge explained the process. Although the actual hearing took 5 minutes at most.
When the hearing took place they asked a single, brief health-related question.
Next, the judge asked would we be satisfied with Lower rate mobility and Higher rate care allowance. I asked him to repeat this as I was not sure that I heard it correctly!
My partner then burst into uncontrollable tears which carried on well into the waiting room afterwards as she was so overwhelmed after the hell that the DWP and ATOS have put her through and that someone benefit-related had eventually believed her.
Whilst it was a smooth process and we are very grateful to the Tribunal panel (who even spoke to my partner to wish her the best for the future on their way out of the building), it is quite disgusting that it took someone impartial a matter of a few minutes to determine the correct rate of benefit when the DWP have refused any benefits at all, have lied so much and been responsible for a wide range of procedural errors for well over a year.
What I also find disgusting is that most people would have had to give up on this process long ago and not be given the help they need when they are vulnerable. I am certainly not being bigheaded, but my partner would never have been able to cope with this process by herself – it is very sad for people who can’t get anyone to help them.
Update:- As can be seen in the next post, the relief of the tribunal lasted only 20 hours before ATOS was once more let loose on her.
Next: only 20 hours of peace – the DWP strike back