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ESA - Appeals Part 13 (Read 53 times)
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ESA - Appeals Part 13
23.08.12 at 19:07:06
Getting help with an appeal
The agencies listed below may be able to help you with your appeal. Some solicitors,
advice agencies and law centres may also be able to get access to Legal Help funds (what used to be legal aid) to pay for a medical report in connection with an appeal. You can get contact details of agencies in your area who are funded under the Community Legal Services (CLS) scheme by telephoning your helpline on 0845 608 1122 or visiting www.clsdirect.org.uk. Some advice agencies and law centres may be able to represent you at a hearing, others may help you prepare your case, and perhaps provide a written submission but not actually represent at the hearing. Please note that solicitors cannot represent at a hearing under the Legal Help scheme, you would have to pay and it is likely to be very expensive.
CLS Direct helpline and website
The Community Legal Service offer free advice about welfare benefits if you are eligible for Legal Help (what used to be called Legal Aid). To use the helpline call 0845 345 4 345.
After you choose the welfare benefits option you will be advised to listen to recorded messages about benefits. We recommend that you donít, the messages are long, sometimes confusing and you can read them at your leisure on the CLS website at
www.clsdirect.org.uk if you wish to. Instead go straight for the option of speaking to an adviser.
Citizensí Advice Bureaux (CAB)
There are over 750 bureaux in mainland Britain. Look under Citizens Advice Bureau in your phone book or telephone the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux on 0207 833 2181 for details of your nearest one. You can also find details of your nearest bureau at: www.citizensadvice.org.uk
Disability Information Advice Line
There are over 140 local DIALs, all staffed by disabled people and all offering telephone advice. If you have a local line it should be listed in your telephone directory under DIAL UK. Alternatively, call the national office on 01302 310 123 or visit your website at: www.dialuk.org.uk
Other advice agencies
Over 900 advice agencies are members of AdviceUK. Details of your nearest ones are
available from AdviceUKís website at: www.adviceuk.org.uk
Law Centres
Contact details of your nearest Law Centre, where you may be able to get free advice and representation at appeals, are available from the Law Centres Federation on 0207 387 8570 or from www.lawcentres.org.uk
Housing Associations
Some housing associations employ a welfare rights worker. If you live in a housing association property contact your local office.
Doctorís surgeries
An increasing number of surgeries and health centres have a welfare rights worker on the premises, part-time or full-time. Check with the receptionist.
Local Authority
Your local council may employ welfare rights workers who can help you with your claim. Start by asking your councilís main switchboard if they can put you through to a welfare rights worker. If the operator doesnít know of one ask to be put through to the Social Services Department and if they canít help try the Housing Department, either department may employ welfare rights workers.
Make sure that you will be provided with free advice before agreeing to see anyone, as solicitors may charge, depending on your income, savings, etc. In addition, search or ask for solicitors who are specialists in welfare benefits.  
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