Welcome to the Z2K Tribunals Toolkit
Z2K is a pan-London anti-poverty charity giving advice and support to individuals who have been affected by unfairness in social security or housing, and who are in receipt of, or would be entitled to, a means-tested benefit. Changes to the welfare system since 2012 have led to large numbers of people with severe medical conditions and disabilities – many of whom are at risk of poverty and dependent on state support – having their benefits unjustly stopped. To combat this, we provide free representation at disability benefit tribunals using a mixture of experienced in-house caseworkers and volunteers – either solicitors donating their time pro bono, or trained law students. We also have an experienced policy and campaigns team who aim to combat these issues more broadly. Clients come from outreach sessions run by Z2K caseworkers in some of the most disadvantaged parts of Westminster, or from secondary referrals from other agencies.
Who is this toolkit for?
This toolkit can be used by all volunteers taking cases for Z2K. It contains all of the information covered in a Z2K training workshop and handbook, and so can be used as a refresher after training delivery. Alternatively, it can provide all the information necessary to take a case in the event that a volunteer has been unable to attend a training workshop.
1. Introduction to Disability Benefits
There are two main disability benefits for working-age people which are covered in the Tribunal Representation project, ESA and PIP.
Details of the timeline of disability benefit claims, and the documents associated with each stage of the process.
Reassessments, disability premiums, and passported benefits.
2. Understanding Employment Support Allowance
Schedule 2 descriptors, schedule 3 descriptors, and making an exceptional circumstances (Regulations 29 and 35).
Discusses the correct approach to analysing descriptors, as well as key Upper Tribunal decisions.
3. Understanding Personal Independence Payments
The daily living and mobility activities.
Discusses the correct approach to analysing descriptors, as well as key Upper Tribunal and High Court decisions.
4. Understanding DLA
5. Medical Evidence
6. Submissions Guidance
7. Tribunal Hearing
Social Security and Child Support Appeals First-tier Tribunal locations for the London area, Urgent Hearing Requests, and Postponements.
The constitution of the tribunal panel, and the role of the representative within the hearing.
Reasons for a panel adjourning the hearing, including points warnings.
Tribunal decisions, back-dated awards, and information about appealing decisions further.