The Foundation awarded Vauxhall Community Law Centre a grant of £8,000. The Centre offers advice on many different legal issues, including employment disputes. This guidance was invaluable for local Vauxhall resident, Mrs D, who sought the support of the Law Centre in order to challenge a medical assessment by the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Following the assessment, she was found to be fit for work despite suffering from depression, heart problems and osteoarthritis. In between lodging her appeal and the hearing, Mrs D became so ill that she was put in intensive care. The Centre helped her appeal the decision and represented her at the hearing. She was then awarded the higher rate of the mobility component and the middle rate of the core component of DLA.
Mary is in her 60s, and she stopped work in 2007 as she suffers from Arthritis and emphysema. She was on incapacity benefit, but when that changed to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) in 2013, Mary gained only 3 points for mobility of the 15 needed. Her ESA was stopped and the report says she walked for an hour a day in the park next to her home. However, there is no park next to her home and she couldn't walk for 10 minutes, let alone an hour. Thankfully, Hastings Advice and Representation Centre represented Mary at tribunal and gained the benefits (backdated to 2013).
Paddington Law Centre was awarded a grant of £10,000 in order to pay for the salary of an Employment Law solicitor at the centre. A client that used this service was Mrs X, a disabled woman with various physical health conditions. After 20 years of service, she was bullied out of her job on account of her health problems and was on long term sick leave. The Centre commenced a claim in the Employment Tribunal and successfully challenged the Respondent’s assertion that she was not disabled at a preliminary hearing. An amicable termination of her employment was finally negotiated, with an agreed favourable reference and substantial settlement payment. This allowed Mrs X the time to recover her health before commencing her new employment.
A single parent with a disabled child sought advice from the Harrow Law Centre. The child was living in a residential respite unit that faced closure by the Local Authority. 67 families would have been affected by the closure and suggested alternative housing units were far away and therefore unsuitable. The Harrow Law Centre took on the case and prevented the immediate closure of the housing unit. “Without Harrow Law Centre we would not have been able to challenge the closure, or prove that the Local Authority had not conducted proper assessment of our children when it had publicly stated that it would.”
The Access to Justice Foundation, PO Box 64162, London WC2A 9AN. The Access to Justice Foundation is a company limited by guarantee (No. 6714178) and a registered charity (No. 1126147). Registered office: The National Pro Bono Centre, 48 Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1JF.
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