How to make a referral

What do I do first?
      • Work through the check-list below to ensure you have a suitable case.
      • Make sure you have a complete copy of the client's appeal bundle.
      • Make sure you have a copy of any further casenotes, medical reports or other documents which might be relevant to the client's appeal.
      • Complete our online form to refer your client [password required].
      • Get your client to read and sign the consent form on the leaflet, 'When your case is referred to the YTAP'. Give them a copy, and keep a copy of their signature for your files.
      • If you have some problem with making the referral, get in touch.

Should I post, email or fax you any documents? 

What happens then? 
As soon as we receive your client's case, we will put its details onto our system so our volunteers can see it is available, and we will confirm to you by email that we have received it.
We offer no assurance at this stage that an advocate will be available. You must proceed as you would if an advocate was not available until you hear otherwise.

If a volunteer becomes available to take the case, they will tell us, and we will let you know immediately.

If the case is taken 
Once we have matched a volunteer to your client's case, we will pass your details to the volunteer and vice versa. 

The volunteer will get in touch so you can arrange for the client's appeal bundle and other documents to be sent to them. 

You and the volunteer will need to arrange for the volunteer, the client and someone from your agency to meet - at your agency - to prepare for the Tribunal. This meeting has to be at your premises, as we don't have anywhere else to offer. 

At that meeting you will be able to explain the key elements of the case to the volunteer and make arrangements for how the client and volunteer will meet on the day of the hearing. 

Your agency does not need to attend the hearing, though you are welcome to do so. 

After the hearing the volunteer will tell us the result, and we will write to you confirming it. That will terminate our involvement, and your agency will need to conduct any follow up work.

If the case is not taken 
We will try our hardest to find a volunteer for all cases. However, we may not succeed. 

If the hearing date passes and no volunteer took the case, we will write to you to confirm that no volunteer was available to take the case.

Referral Check-list

1. Is your referring agency registered to send cases?
At the moment we only accept cases from
Registering as a referral agency is straightforward and free. Please get in touch if your agency is not yet on this list, and you want to register.

2. Are you a benefits caseworker, or otherwise a person who will be writing a written submission to the tribunal on behalf of your client, with responsibility for the case following the outcome of their appeal hearing?
           We apologise that we only accept referrals from people who have this role.

3. Is this an oral appeal regarding the WCA for ESA, or the descriptors for PIP?
Our representatives do not have training to further arguments regarding any other aspect of ESA or PIP entitlement (such as Right to Reside, capital rules, etc) or DLA.  We accept Support Group and Exceptional Circumstances cases where merit - please contact us if you have any queries about what this means for your client.

4. Is this an appeal which avoids raising a difficult point of law?
The advocate will support your client at the Tribunal hearing in three ways:
      • acting as a reassuring companion;
      • assisting the Tribunal by having pre-identified the descriptors which your client contends to be in issue;
      • assisting the Tribunal by, if necessary, questioning your client to elicit relevant evidence.
The advocate will not make submissions on the law and cases which would require such submissions are not suitable for referral.

5. Has a date been set for an oral First Tier Tribunal hearing? 
We only accept cases which have a date fixed for an oral First Tier Tribunal hearing, as we cannot promise to have an advocate available until we know the date. 

6. Is the hearing a reasonable time away?
The longer the notice, the better the chance of us finding a volunteer to take it. There is almost no chance that any volunteer will take a case referred with only a few days notice. Please refer cases as soon as you know the appeal date.

7. Is the hearing in Leeds or Bradford? 
We only cover these venues at present.

8. Does the client either speak English, or have someone who can interpret for them? 
We will only be able to accept a case if the client speaks English, or will have someone with them who can speak English, when they meet or speak to our representative. This can include an agency's interpreter, but this would need to be organised and funded by the referring agency. The Tribunal provide an interpreter at the hearing, but to accept a case we need to be able to speak with the client beforehand. We will not provide or organise interpreters.

9. Do the client and the referring agency understand and accept the terms on which the referral is made?
You can look at a summary of those terms hereRemember to get your client to read and sign the consent form on the leaflet, 'When your case is referred to the YTAP'. Give them a copy, and keep a copy of their signature for your files.

Advice agency log in

Click here to refer a new client to the project [password required].

Click here to check if a client you have referred has been made available to our volunteers yet [password required].