CLAIMING BENEFITS AND SICK PAY AFTER AN ACCIDENT
Claiming benefits and sick pay after an accident, advice on claiming state benefits and statutory sick pay from your employer after an accident
Public money is the ultimate goal for the applicant and most claims fail because the applicant has not completed the form in an acceptable manner. The forms need EVIDENCE. Completing an application for benefits is the start of a legal process. The government agencies have been set up within a legal framework and their reviews and appeals come under that framework.
One of the biggest lessons to learn therefore is to remember Appeal is Part of the Process.
Instead of trying to retrieve a situation at review or Appeal it is better to complete the form in the correct evidential manner in the first place. One needs to educate oneself as to what is required. A link that will help here is (Paul I want to try and do a deal to refer people on in this link to a site that is excellent for this, but don't want to publish it here Please edit accordingly)
Let us assume the worst. What happens next? You will receive a Decision Letter.
The decision letter will leave you in one of three possible positions:
The appeals process is complicated and you may need to research the topic thoroughly before you make any sense of it at all.
Position 1: Well done you have obviously researched the subject and filled in the forms correctly. Consider now if other benefits such as Income Support which you can now apply for, or have increased, as a result of receiving DLA. The Benefits Enquiry Line will assist you here.
Your award may only be for a fixed number of years, eg one yea, you should be sent another claim form to complete several months before it runs out. Be careful here if you fill it in too early and it is assessed again before the end of the fixed period and you are assessed at a lower rate the benefit will cease at the previous rate immediately. Even if your award is for an indefinite period you are still likely to receive review forms to fill in every few years and your award can still be reduced or stopped depending on what you write in them.
All further claim forms should be completed with the same care as the original, of which you will, of course, have kept a copy on your computer for ease of referring to. Try to include up-to-date medical evidence showing that your condition hasn't improved if that is applicable.
If your circumstances do change for example your condition improves or deteriorates, you should tell the Benefits Agency who may then look at your case again, as it may mean that your benefit should be reduced or increased.
This is known as a supersession. Remember the award can go down as well as up. So if your condition has deteriorated make sure you include good up-to-date medical evidence.
Position 2: You have been awarded the benefit but at a lower rate or for a shorter period than you consider correct. If you ask for the decision to be looked at again your award can be reduced or taken away altogether as well as increased. This is a very difficult position to be in, so please try to get advice from a welfare rights worker before taking any action. The Citizen's Advice Bureaux will have one you can consult with and it will not cost you anything. You may of course wait a long time to see them so you may want to consult an independent expert, who will charge for his time.
Position 3: You have received no award at all. You may be feeling very angry and hurt at not being believed if you have received no award at all. You may also feel let down because you followed all my experiences to the letter and it got you nowhere.
Unfortunately there are no guarantees about the outcome of your claim. If you decide to ask for the decision to be looked at again you will already have done most of the work required, by providing detailed and relevant evidence for the review called a revision.
Nonetheless, you should be aware that the revision and appeal process can be time consuming and emotionally gruelling. The appeal would be heard in a tribunal. Being questioned there in great detail about your everyday life can be distressing and there is still no certainty of success.
Most tribunals are run in a sensitive way who understand what you are going through. About half of all oral hearings are successful ie people come out with a higher award than they went in with. If you are fortunate enough to find an experienced representative your chances of success are even higher.
Now read about the Appeals process.