The need to request further medical evidence is the most common reason for an adjournment. This typically happens when there is little medical evidence other than the healthcare assessor’s report, and the Appellant’s oral evidence differs significantly from the report. The Tribunal will ask the Appellant to sign a release, and will typically use this to request the GP summary and all specialist letters for the Appellant, for the last 2-3 years. Adjourning for further medical evidence is seen as being done in service of the overriding objective to make a fair and just decision.
Adjournments can also be given if evidence is submitted very close to the hearing and the panel do not feel they or the PO have time to fully review the material. Other reasons include administrative matter on the part of the Appellant or Tribunal such as a lack of panel members, a failure to supply or request an interpreter etc.
Finally, the Tribunal are required to adjourn a hearing if they are considering removing points or entitlement from an Appellant. In such circumstances, they will include what we refer to as a “points warning” on the Adjournment notice such as “The Appellant is advised that the tribunal has the power to increase, maintain or decrease an award and is advised to seek advice in connection with the tribunal’s exercise of these powers.” The Tribunal therefore gives the Appellant the opportunity to withdraw the appeal and keep their existing award, rather than risk a decrease in award. If a points warning is issued, the case must be very carefully reviewed, and Z2K’s advice sought, before proceeding further.
Last updated on February 22nd, 2019 at 04:30 pm