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[quote user="dragonrouge"]......consider that HMG are paying child allowance from guys who are resident in the UK but whose children are in say Poland?[/quote]

Careful DR.....

There's already an anti-immigrant thread running on this forum.  Don't encourage them to come on here and divert this very important issue.



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Well, date,time and location confirmed for the test cases to be heard at the Lower Tribunal in London.

It's in C hambers at Fox Court, off Chancery Lane, London, 10.am. on Wednesday 3rd March, 2010.  It's been suggested that the Tribunal staff get extra chairs in because there will be a few of us in attendance.

That is, of course, to be heard unless the DWP pull out at the last moment and plead 'no contest' as they have with several other individual cases already!

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Dear Tony I am back in the UK for some issues leaving here on the 25th of February then 26th on business and returning on the 27th. I will see if I can extend the trip.

Equally my wife has some family things to organise so I will see if we can return to the UK for the hearing.

I know Fox Court very well!
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  • 2 weeks later...

A good number of people involved in the DLA campaign have made complaints to the Independant Case Examiner (ICE) which is the statutory watchdog - rather like an Obmudsman - who looks at the processes by which the DWP make decisions, its administration etc.

Because of the forthcoming lead and test cases in London, the ICE has put all the complaints he has received on hold pending the outcome of the Tribunal.  I phoned the ICE office yesterday and was told that the reason for the suspension is that the ICE wants to know the outcome of the lead cases so he can determine whether those decisions will influence his findings specifically, if the DWP loose, will there be an additional amount added to the financial compensation that the ICE would award.

They are still unsure whether the ICE decision will be held over in the event of appeals to the Upper Tribunal  and even the Supreme Court.

So the applications for reinstatement are delayed, the ICE decision is delayed and the claims for maladministration are delayed.  Surely it would have been easier and quicker all round just to pay the benefit to the small number of people claiming reinstatement than HMG spending all this time and money fighting everything.

To put it into perspective, an FOI request shows that there are 3,096,390 people in the UK receiving DLA.  The other questions posed - not by me I hasten to add - about the country of origin of those claimants (how many are UK citizens, how many are from the EU, how many were from outside the EU, even how many Brits left the UK before October 2007 whilst claiming DLA) were not answered because HMG either doesn't keep the information in that form or it would be too difficult/expensive to obtain those figures/data.

Number of people involved in this argument, 2,700 approx!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

So, the ECJ judgement was in October 2007 and HMG finally got their criteria for reinstatement out in 2008 and have since steadfastly refused to see the arguments made by the people seeking reinstatement.  The cases have been bundled together and slated as test cases for the Lower Tribunal on 3/4 March, next week. 

And yesterday, HMG folded on one of their longstanding arguments about the past presence test, which the campaigners and their lawyers have been questioning since day 1 and which HMG continued to stick to after they lost the same argument at previous Upper Tribunals.

The cases are still to be heard to get rid of the second plank of HMG's impossible to meet rules but the change of heart (if they have one) will seriously undermine their stance.

So if they fold now, what has all the arguing, civil service time/money/legal fees been all about?  And if nothing else, it supports the various complaints against HMG/DWP that have been lodged and made the liklihood of even greater payouts possible for maladministration.

The downside is that - thus far - HMG have said they'll only backdate to the date of ECJ ruling but that should be easy to overturn at the Tribunal because the date of award has already been held to be the date of original award, not October 2007.

But why have they continued to make this argument for so long? A rhetorical question of course, the answer is because they could and they did and they're pillocks of course.  

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Unfortunately I shalln't now be there.  Having had all the turmoil; and upset surrounding the accident and 4 deaths locally, our daughter in law got her wish and finally managed to drink herself to death so much of this year has been tied up with that.  Only arrived home from funeral and general fallout on Thursday and on Friday we had to have our lovely old cat put to sleep because he was so poorly.

Fed up with UK, HMG, travelling round and in London and worrying or thinking about other people so staying here for the forseeable, not going back to the UK for at least a year unless I absolutely have to!

Gardening to do, spring may have arrived a little and going to 'chill' as my grandson would say.

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Dear Tony,

We are very sorry for you your sad loss.

We thought we had problems, but our problems seem nothing compared to yours.  We have been having our ups and downs worrying about money, what with dla etc and thought we were in a bad way, but nothing compares with a sad loss of life. Please accept our sincere condolences.

Geoff and Mags



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Hi folks

Well, the Tribunal sat yesterday and the DWP/HMG threw everything at it.  A barrister, 6 solicitors and a range of DWP/ExpoTeam staff arrived from HMG side and they ripped into the claimant and made him feel like a criminal on trial which the Tribunals are not supposed to do.  Shame on the Judges for letting it go that far.

There is an offer on the table but it means claimants would give up their right to payment for the period between leaving the Uk/moving to Europe and the ECJ judgement, with a one off payment from HMG for the period from the ECJ judgement to the date they claimed reinstatement.  Two chances of people accepting that, the best of which is no chance.

The decision will be handed down next month and if necessary we're all looking forward to a visit to the Upper Tribunal for the appeal if necessary - and then if it's the same decision there, we have a plan C which we've been working on all year quietly in the background.

The MP who has been leading on this has called on HMG to make payments to all the claimants immediately or at least to reinstste their benefit from now because HMG are accepting that from the date of the ECJ decision - and possibly from a previous decision in 2001 - benefit is payable, so we wait to see what happens next.

To me DWP/HMG have made a huge strategic error because they've shown their whole hand now and the way they're fighting this is showing now how desperate they are becoming, the team they sent to the Tribunal was way ott, usually a sign of panic in any government department.

More updates as they become available.

BTW, thanks for the messages on here and in private.  We're both fine and dandy actually, we're home, safe and sound and snug, the garden is getting some long overdue attention, our daughter is doing just fine and all is tickety boo as far as we know.  And once this DLA thing is finally out the way - my battle on this has been running since October 2007 - we'll have nothing to do (as if!).  

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Pleased to hear that there is progress, and many thanks to all who have worked arduously to achieve what has been achieved so far. Where does the date 2001 appear from, and is it now unlikely that those who who left the UK before 2001 are likelt to have their DLA benefit re-instated?
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HMG, though the Ministerial statement, have said:

"To benefit from this change,(claimants having their reinstatement carried through) people must have moved abroad no earlier than 8 March 2001. This is the date of the ECJ judgement in the case C-215/99 Jauch v Pensionsversicherungsanstalt der Arbeiter."

This isn't an arbitrary date/case, it's something that was - broadly - accepted by the lawyers from all sides at the test case and seems to be a tipping point for HMG.

However, that does leave the people who moved to the EU/Switzerland post 1992 and before March 2001 somewhat in limbo and they will need to pursue HMG through the tribunal process.  Interestingly, the work Dragon Rouge and some of the campaigners did last summer for our legal fall-back position concentrated on the issues and misapplication of the 1992 law in relation to the 2007 ECJ judgement and we felt we had a strong case back to 1992 so I'm hoping that claimants for the 1992/2001 period can tap in to the work we've already done if they wish to continue to fight.

My personal view is that for many of the post-2001 movers, once their cases are settled, the fire will go out of the campaign but I think we should continue to fight and suppost for the interregnum group - we'll see what happens.

I spoke to the manager at the Tribunal Office yesterday to scarify a couple of things.  The test case/bundling argument is something of a red herring for the other 300 odd claimants.  If the decision - which will be handed down by Friday or very early next week - goes against the two claimants in the test cases, they can go to the Upper Level Tribunal.

However, although many of the 300 plus claimants asked not to be bundled and to fight our own cases, if the decision goes against the claimants, we have to take all our cases to the Lower Level Tribunal and start the whole process again, the decisions only apply to the two cases heard last week tho the DWP have said they will apply that decision across the board.

The good thing is that the movement already made by HMG and their decision to accept all claims for reinstatement back to the ECJ decision of 2007 means that effectively, save a liitle more admin, everybody is being reinstated and will start to get their benefit again, it's the period before the ECJ judgement of 2007 that remains in dispute.

Hope this helps. 

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Hi All

I have been following this thread with great interest and admiration, the amount of work that must have been carried out would must been tremendous and I would like add my thanks to all that have been involvd.

My situation is before I left the UK I phoned and asked if I would still receive the benefits I was getting when I moved to France and was told yes I would get all of then, this of cause was ot the case, I still get my long term incapacity benefit but lost my Disabled Living Allowance, does this ruling mean I will now get my DLA? and will it be back dated from when I left the UK Jan 2007?

Also is there anything else that I should be claiming?

A lot of questions I know and thank you in advance for any assistance.



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The information you were given about exporting all your benefits before leaving the UK was incorrect because HMG was still using theirEuro-illegal legislation to take people off DLA when they moved to other EU countries.  As you were given that information before you left, did youappeal against the decision to terminate your benefit?

I'm not in a position to advise you on any other benefits that you should be getting from the UK, the main question if have you reveived any benefits here in France because if you hav e, you wont be entitled to any UK benefits because France is your competant state.

Also, how old are you and do you still receive IB and are you using an E121 provided by the long-term IB.

And the next question is have you applied for reinstatement?

The fact that you left the Uk in January 2007 means that you left the UK after HMG were informed of the case being taken to the ECJ (May 2005) but before the ECJ made it's judgement against HMG (October 2007) so that means, according to their rules and our submission, that your case should have been held in abeyance pending the ECJ judgement, that's part of the judgement we're waiting for now.

Obviously, if you haven't asked for reinstatement, there's no way the DWP will be able to reinstate you.  So you need to get in touch with the ExpoTeam to ask them for the appropriate forms and tell them you're not a new claimant, you're seeking reinstatement.  You need to ring the ExpoTeam on 0044 1253 337 231.

But, the backdating may cause you a problem.  We're still unclear how far back backdating will take place tho we think we know.  Therefore, they may decide that because you're a very late application, you wont get the backdate at all.

And from what I've heard from the DWP they're not giving away how they will deal with very late applications for reinstatement.  People leaving the Uk now are exporting their benefit with them but with you, you'll need to apply and see. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Tony

Thanks for the reply, sorry have not got back sooner was called into the hospital in Paris for tests a 4 hour trip then a 4 day stay then a 4 hour trip back but a lot of positives, but it does knock you sideways.

Yes I still receive IB, I'm 62 and I have a carte vitale and covered 100% plus I have a Mutual, don't think the E121 comes into it now, I must say up to now everything heath service wise has been superb and although I am very ill everything the doctors and nursing staff have done has made me feel better, after being here now for 2 years I do feel sorry for the UK staff they always seemed run of their feet although every seemed to take sooooo long to get done, here I get my blood test results the following day, in the hospital the same day in the UK 2 weeks!!!!!!!

I will give the number a call and see what happens I did argue with them when they told me I would not get DLA but I was so ill at the time,I did fill a form in but do not remember getting a reply.

I do not receive any french benefits.

Tony thank you very much for your time really appreciated.

All the very best





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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to bump this and keep people informed.  This letter was sent from the Minister concerned, Jonathan Shaw to Roger Gale MP, who has been the champion of this campaign in the House of Commons:

"As you know, I am committed to a speedy solution to the practical issues that have arisen as a result of the European Court Decision C299/05 in October 2007.
When we met on Tuesday, I agreed to write to you with details of the process by which we are dealing with requests for reinstatement of Disability Living Allowance (care component), Attendance Allowance or Carer's Allowance from people living within the EEA. As discussed, the Department has established arrangements to ensure that payments can commence as soon as possible to reinstatement cases, whilst of course ensuring that we maintain appropriate checks to protect the public purse.
Please feel free to share the contents of this letter with your correspondents living in Europe to help explain the process.

• We have a team of experienced staff already in place in the central unit in Warbreck House, Blackpool, to deal with these cases.
• Letters have already been sent to the people who have contacted us asking for reinstatement, explaining the change of approach and that to benefit from this change a person must have moved abroad no earlier than March 2001.
• A tailored form will be sent to each customer to ask about their current circumstances. This is because we need, for example, to check whether anything has changed since the customer first asked for reinstatement, or because we need further information to decide the correct rate of benefit. The form is in sections so only the sections relevant to the customer's circumstances will be sent for completion. We are finalising the wording on this to ensure it meets legal and customer standards and I will send you a sample form shortly.
• Once the customer has: returned the form and we have checked that they are entitled to have their benefit reinstated, payment can be made without further enquiries being necessary. • However, in some cases further enquiries will be necessary. For example, we may need to seek further up-to-date medical information. Customers should note that it will speed up the process if, when returning the form, they enclose any information about their previous award or information from doctors or hospital clinicians about their medical condition and their care needs.
• Where no medical information is available we will use the procedures laid down and agreed by member states in the EEA. This will involve sending a detailed medical report (form E213) for completion by the customer's medical attendant in their country of residence. [For customers in Spain we have a special arrangement with certain approved doctors].
• The amount of benefit customers receive and the date from which they will be paid will depend on their individual circumstances.
• In cases where the claimant has passed away, it will be possible for their estate to make a claim for the relevant period on their behalf.

As discussed, we aim to process cases as quickly as possible where customers have already contacted us and expect to have made decisions in the majority of cases within 6 months. We hold limited information about other customers who moved abroad after March 2001 and who have not yet contacted us. We are currently putting in place arrangements to make an initial contact with these customers.
I hope this clarifies the process for you and your correspondents and that customers can now deal with their claims on an individual basis with the team of specialist decision makers that have been put in place to deal with this matter."

Several of the issues raised in this have, not unnaturally, been sent to Roger Gale this morning for further clarification by the Minister.  But very slow progress being made.

And we still don't have the decision of either of the test cases on which we are waiting!  

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The ExpoTeam have started to send out the final claims packs for people seeking reinstatement of DLA/AA/CA.  Most people will be sent a covering letter and a simple declaration and the sooner that is signed and sent back, the sooner the money gets paid.

For people who haven't actually submitted a claim form but have asked for reinstatement, they will get the letter and declaration plus a claims pack - pain to fill in but needs must.  This will also be sent to some people who have been off benefit for so long that their files have been shredded or dumped.

The declaration will include a section, telling claimants that they have to sign a declaration that the back payment (ex-statutory, similar to ex-gratia but legally a bit different) they receive will cover the period from now back to the date they made their claim for reinstatement post 18 October 2007.  If you don't sign it, you don't get the money and will have to go to appeal by the look of things.  And that money is in lieu of any payment/judgement made by a Tribunal which can only tell the DWP to pay the level of benefit anyway, enquiries ongoing about how it may effect claims with the Independent Case Examiner.

Sooner you sign the papers and get them back, sooner you get the benefit reinstated and the back payment made :)  But, be aware that the claim will still have to go in front of a Decision Maker to ensure that claimants still conform with the legislation and qualify for the benefit but the past presence test has gone as, it appears, has the requirement to have appealed the original decision to withdraw the benefit.

More importantly, the ExpoTeam's senior manager confirmed to me this afternoon that signing the declaration does not stop claimants from going for the money for the period they left the UK and lost entitlement to the date they have been paid from by signing the declaration.  So, for example I came off the benefit in August 2005 and applied for reinstatement in October 2007.  Therefore I get the back payment from now back to October 2007 and can still take them on for the period August 2005 to October 2007 and the status of that part of the claim is under consideration now as part of the test cases, the judgements on which we are currently awaiting.  

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Dear Tony I have read the last paragraph of your posting with considerable interest. So we have a two step approach post October 2007 and then the vexed question of the period from when one left the country to October 2007.

You simply cannot sign away your rights but I would like to see the letter!
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DR, I'll send you a copy, not mine, one that I was sent yesterday and which the ExpoTeam people tell me is being sent to everybody.

Further update:

Had another conversation with ExpoTeam manager this afternoon.  The current situation is that the ExpoTeam have been told to clear all the outstanding claims FOR REINSTATEMENT as soon as possible, hence the current drive to send out the claim forms etc. and to get us back on benefit and paid as far back as they can.

However, the ExpoTeam are now receiving new claims from people who seem to have waited for the dust to settle or who have seen that DLA can now be claimed in Europe and are wanting to send in new applications.

The Minister and the ExpoTeam managers are making the clearance of the backlog their priority so whilst the ExpoTeam is accepting new claims, they will not be dealt with until after the backlog has been dealt with, the feeling is that as we've been waiting so long for reinstatement, we should come first - no argument from me on that then!

People looking for reinstatement will be treated as soon as possible because they are, in all probability the same as the bulk of us.  But new claimants - totally new claimants - will have to wait and the current best guess to start on thos claims is 6 months - when they clear our cases.


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  • 5 weeks later...

Bumping the thread - there has been a further development which appears to be both positive for the claimant but may be negative for the rest of us awaiting decisions!  I know this is rather enigmatic but that's all I can say at the moment. 

And as a consequence of what has happened, I'm trying to get clarification from the DWP and ICE as to when a test case is and is not a test case - the same old complex legal arguments coming to the fore again.

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