Swan Advocacy helped Frank, a 54-year-old man, win his appeal in court against a decision by the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) to stop his Employment Support Allowance (ESA).
Frank, whose learning disabilities renders him unable to read or write, was referred by the Wiltshire Citizens Advice for support during the appeal tribunal process. He wanted to challenge the DWP’s plan to stop his ESA after a medical assessment. Frank had legitimately been claiming ESA for a physical problem, with the support of his GP who had been providing sick notes. Frank found the whole process of dealing with the DWP extremely stressful due to his learning difficulties and found it difficult to understand the appeal process.
Frank was very distressed about having to go to court , and would not have been willing to represent himself without the support of an advocate. He was suffering financially because his ESA had been reduced, and the resulting stress had caused him to become depressed. The advocate spent time with Frank going through his case before the hearing, and on the day supported him in court by guiding him through the court documentation and helped him adequately explain his case to the tribunal panel. As a result, Frank won his appeal, so his ESA was re-instated with back payment paid in full.