​East Belfast Independent Advice Centre

​Appealing an Incapacity Benefit / Income Support (IB/IS) reassessment

The client was a 58 year old woman with long term mental and physical health problems including chronic anxiety, panic attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and chronic low back pain. She had been in receipt of Incapacity Benefit / Income Support (IB/IS) for many years. On IB/IS reassessment for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) she was awarded zero points and found not to have limited capability for work.

The client appealed the decision but such was her level of anxiety that she was unable to attend the tribunal and her daughter went in her place. The panel decided to adjourn in order that she could seek representation.

Help from EBIAC

The adviser tried to save client the ordeal of attending the tribunal by having the decision looked at again by asking the Department to reconsider the case based on the evidence already available. The client was awarded 12 points but unfortunately, as this was not the requisite 15, she still had to attend the tribunal.With the support of the adviser the client was able to attend the tribunal but at the hearing the client was visibly anxious and upset.

The Outcome

The appeal was successful with the panel awarding 18 points on descriptors 13, 15 and 16 and since the threshold had been met the panel thought it unnecessary to go through the rest of the evidence.