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Relevance of Childcare Responsibilities when Deciding On Limited Capability for Work

 

SClark01
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Welfare Rights, Drumchapel Citizens Advice Bureau, Glasgow

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Joined: 22 January 2016

Hi there

I represented a woman at an ESA appeal last week, focusing solely on the mental health descriptors, and it was refused.  One of my concerns is that the tribunal panel asked a tonne of questions about how she looked after her eight year old daughter who doesn’t have a disability (things such as making sure she is ready in the morning and taking her to and from school - the usual stuff).  She is a single parent with no family network so replied that she doesn’t have a choice, also assuming that social work would get involved if she didn’t take adequate care of her daughter. 

I’ve asked for the statement of reasons as I fully expect this to be one of the reasons why they didn’t award points, particularly for descriptors 13 and 15.  I wondered if it could be deemed a legal error to focus so much on this aspect of her daily life?  I’ve tried to find case law to back this up without success but wondered if anyone has faced something similar and if they found anything useful to back up their argument.

Regards
Susan

     
Vonny
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Welfare Rights Adviser, Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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SClark01
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Welfare Rights, Drumchapel Citizens Advice Bureau, Glasgow

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Total Posts: 7

Joined: 22 January 2016

Thanks.  That sounds useful.

     
ClairemHodgson
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Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

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SClark01 - 05 November 2018 02:08 PM

Hi there

asked a tonne of questions about how she looked after her eight year old daughter who doesn’t have a disability (things such as making sure she is ready in the morning and taking her to and from school - the usual stuff).  S

I’ve asked for the statement of reasons as I fully expect this to be one of the reasons why they didn’t award points, particularly for descriptors 13 and 15.  I wondered if it could be deemed a legal error to focus so much on this aspect of her daily life? 

Regards
Susan

13 - personal actions - so just because she can do things for the 8 year old (who, frankly, will be doing stuff for herself at that age) doesn’t mean she’s doing them for herself.  motivation to ensure the daughter is sorted is a wholly different thing from sorting herself.
15 - the child’s school will be a familiar place/journey to both of them, and on the way to in the morning/back in the afternoon she presumably has the child with her, and no doubt there are others going the same way for the same reason.  wholly different to going to an unfamiliar place on an unfamiliar journey.

and i should have thought the child will be doing stuff for her mother as well - did you discuss that aspect with her?