How can front-line workers help vulnerable people?
Identifying a vulnerable person early on is important. If the person has a lawyer, a front-line worker can speak to the lawyer and suggest helpful procedural accommodations. The lawyer can tell the Board how their client is vulnerable, what procedural accommodations are being asked for, and why the client needs them.
If the vulnerable person is unrepresented, the front-line worker can communicate directly with the Board about the person's circumstances and explain how their ability to present their case may be affected. The Board can waive the formal requirements and time limits for a vulnerable person's application when there is no lawyer.
In most cases, the Board will require a medical or other expert report that explains how the person is vulnerable. Occasionally, the Board may be convinced that a person is vulnerable by simply observing their behaviour.
If a vulnerable person is under 18 years of age or unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings, a designated representative will be appointed.