On 1 April 2021, Islington People’s Rights started its new IPR Justice project.
The new initiative is designed to influence policy and practice on welfare rights, as well as to provide additional capacity to represent clients at welfare benefits tribunals.
The focus of the project is those with disabilities, notably mental health related.
As part of the project, IPR Justice has launched two surveys aimed at gathering evidence of how the new ways the remote replacements to face to face appeal hearings are working.
Lindsey Poole Director of the Advice Services Alliance outlined:
“Welfare rights charity Islington People’s Rights (IPR) is carrying out some research about Disabled people and welfare benefits tribunals.
Tribunals held by phone or video conferencing technology are here to stay, so the research aims to find out how to make them work best for Disabled people, in order to make recommendations to government and spread best practice amongst advisers.
IPR have launched two short online surveys, one for people challenging welfare benefits decisions through the First Tier Tribunal, and one for the advisers, who support them.
Disabled people who have taken part in a First Tier Tribunal during 2021, whether it was held remotely or in person, and whether or not they had representation, can fill in this survey: https://bit.ly/Tribunal_Clients_Survey.
Advisers who have supported one or more disabled people at a First Tier Tribunal can fill in this survey: https://bit.ly/Tribunal_Advisers_Survey.
As well as filling in the advisers survey themselves, IPR would really appreciate it if advisers could encourage their disabled clients to fill in the client survey, and help them if necessary (for example, reading the questions out and ticking the boxes on their behalf).
There is also a pdf available to print from IPR’s website for disabled people who would prefer to fill the survey in by hand: https://www.ipradvice.org.uk/ipr-justice/.
This link also gives more information about the project.
Please also spread the word among your networks – IPR are looking for as many responses as possible from across the UK.
The deadline is the end of July. If you have any queries, or would like to get more involved in the research project, please contact Lindsay at IPR at Social.Policy@ipradvice.org.uk.”
See also our related news story Understanding when remote tribunal hearings can be used and where they risk undermining access to justice: new TLEF research.