, 15 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
THREAD (a long one). Some of you may remember my client, @Tonyrice66, otherwise known as "the real life Daniel Blake". I tweeted about his case in December 2017 and it went a bit viral (see this other thread here..)
Well, after much wrestling with the DWP regarding the sanctions Tony had had placed on his #UniversalCredit claim, they admitted the sanctions were unfair and refunded him the money he had been entitled to all along.
Tony was able to use this to pay off a chunk of his rent arrears, and kept a roof over his head. (Thanks @spikemullings for huge amounts of work on this).
But, as I explained to the judge in 2017, Tony was not fit for work and so was unable to keep up the 35 hours a week of job-searching that he was required to do in order to get his #UniversalCredit.
The system - by forcing him to prove 35 hours of job-searching per week - had set him up to fail. It was inevitable that he would be sanctioned again, forced to rely on the food bank again.
So we applied to the Social Security Tribunal to appeal against the DWP's decision that Tony is fit for work. The DWP's decision was in August 2017, but he did not have his Tribunal hearing until today, 21st March 2019. 19 months later.
The delay was caused by a series of administrative errors by the DWP, as well as a system that is completely overburdened by desperate people asking an independent Tribunal to look at the DWP's (often perverse) decisions in their cases.
I represented Tony #probono today and we won. I had drafted detailed written arguments as to why Tony was not fit for work. The Tribunal allowed his appeal on the spot; they said he was clearly not able to work.
Tony's words after the hearing were "I shouldn't have had to go through this in the first place". He has had this hanging over his head for 19 months, and it has taken its toll on his mental health.
I am obviously delighted for Tony but I am also heartbroken at the state of our "welfare" system.
What I said in 2017 is still true today: our benefits system is cruel and inhumane, and it is a disgrace that #legalaid is no longer available for people like Tony to have expert representation in these complicated appeals.
For more on the background to Tony's case, read this excellent @bbcstories piece from @mrjonkelly bbc.co.uk/news/stories-4…
.@mrjamesob I know you were also interested in hearing what happened in Tony's case so here you go.
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