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Misrepresentation of WRA

 

ROBBO
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Welfare Rights Team, Stockport Advice

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I’m sure this has been noted before, but how does the DWP believe it can get away with a submission suggesting least demanding WRA is getting out of bed, and most demanding is speaking on the phone, when the evidence they have included shows it is so much more than that (group sessions, mock interviews, etc)?

     
SamW
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ROBBO - 21 April 2017 10:00 AM

I’m sure this has been noted before, but how does the DWP believe it can get away with a submission suggesting least demanding WRA is getting out of bed, and most demanding is speaking on the phone, when the evidence they have included shows it is so much more than that (group sessions, mock interviews, etc)?

To be fair I have assisted a client who was in the WRAG and her WRA was to appeal against the ESA decision (!), and to try to go to the shops and answer the phone more often.

She still won her Support Group appeal though - the tribunal must have either felt that it was likely that in the end she would be asked to undertake more demanding activities or that her anxiety at the possibility of this happening was sufficiently severe to warrant her being placed in the Support Group. I think the latter is the more likely to be honest and is the argument I’d feel more confident making.

Where there are no MH issues I’d still try running the argument that in reality the Work Programme is very broad brush with little tailoring to individual needs but I wouldn’t feel all that confident that a tribunal would agree that it was inevitable or at least likely that the DWP would contravene their own guidelines. I’ve had much more success when there is already evidence of them doing so in the client’s particular case.

     
neilbateman
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Here is my standard FTT submission about the DWP’s standard submission about WRA.  Feel free to use or adapt as you see fit. 

 

     

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ROBBO
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Welfare Rights Team, Stockport Advice

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Thanks a lot for adding your submission, I can see it forming the basis of many to come…

     
SamW
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That final point is very interesting Neil - I hadn’t thought of coming at it from that direction. What kind of feedback have you had from Tribunals on that?

     
neilbateman
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Mostly Tribunals have said they agree with it.  None have stated that they disagree.  One where they held that the way round it is to get someone to take the claimant and is at LTA to UT stage.

That said, most of my clients are so disabled they qualify under Sched 3 rather than reg 35 so it’s not been tested that often.