A disabled couple are celebrating after HCLC Benefits Caseworker Marie Froysa Hole (pictured right) helped them to win a £10,000 payout from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The client was a disabled Polish national who tried to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but had been refused on the basis that he did not meet the ‘habitual residence test‘. HCLC appealed the DWP’s decision and wrote detailed submissions to the First-Tier Tribunal arguing that the client’s wife, who was also a Polish national, had acquired a permanent right to reside in the UK as she had been exercising her EU treaty rights for more than five years.
The client’s wife had a complicated employment history as a self-employed cleaner but Marie managed to compile enough evidence to convince the judge that her work had been genuine and effective for five years. Marie then made further submissions that, as the family member of an EU worker who had acquired permanent rights of residence in the UK, the client was entitled to ESA from February 2012.
As it was a habitual residence matter, the clients had not been paid interim ESA payments pending the appeal, meaning that they were owed ESA payments for nearly two years!
After protracted negotiations with the DWP about the amount the couple were really owed, Marie managed to win the clients a backdated payment of £10,260.
Marie Froysa Hole said: “I am very pleased that HCLC was able to assist this disabled gentleman and his wife in finally receiving the benefits they were entitled to. The client’s wife had worked hard and contributed to the UK economy as well as paying her taxes and making her National Insurance contributions. In spite of this, her disabled husband had been unfairly denied his rights to sickness benefit. I am pleased that HCLC was able to help this lovely couple assert their EU rights“.