Laws and OT assessment - Can OT deny assessment for a ramp if I'm not a wheelchair user? — Scope | Disability forum
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Laws and OT assessment - Can OT deny assessment for a ramp if I'm not a wheelchair user?

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PennyLane78
PennyLane78 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
I need help and advice. I have several medical conditions and am disabled using between walking sticks and a rollator and in the future I will need to use a wheelchair as I nerd operations on my leg. I gave a, left leg with a knee and ankle that doesn't bend or flex fully.
Social housing moved me out of a half derelict, black mould situation after 15 years of suffering into a bungalow and had promised in writing to put ramp over the deep steps to my back garden as I can't physically manage them.
I have lived here 4 months and they still haven't done it. Then they refused despite me falling in the as I was trying to get out to hand my laundry out on the line. 
To do this I have to try and carry a stool as well as walking aids and have to try and carry my washing! Place the stool at the top step sit on it swing my legs over pull myself up on railing place it on second step and repeat.

Anyway I am currently suing them as this place is full of mould and riding damp too, leaking ceilings and windows and front door etc... 

They then agreed to pay for a private OT. I didn't even want an OT to begin with as ramps were promised without an OT. Anyway I agreed just to get it over and done with. Waited a whole month for an appointment date only to be told that "apparently" an OT won't come out and assess for a ramp because I'm not currently in the wheelchair!?!
And that I would need to wait til I am! They KNEW that ramp was needed because I can't safely get down the steps now! I am paying rent for a back garden I cannot use! I also have bipolar and SAD and have been mentally suffering from inability to use the back garden.

Can they do this? 

Comments

  • Rosie_Scope
    Rosie_Scope Posts: 2,240 Scope online community team
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    Hi @PennyLane78, welcome to the community. Sorry you've had such trouble trying to get your ramp fitted, it sounds really frustrating.

    I'm afraid I'm not very experienced in this area, but I'll move your post over to our disability rights section and hopefully one of our lovely members can offer some more solid advice. I just wanted to say hello and welcome first :)
    Rosie (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • PennyLane78
    PennyLane78 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Thank you Rosie for your help. I kept trying to add tags to the post and it wouldn't let me! 
  • kc1978
    kc1978 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Hi, So I have had similar experiences. You are entitled to a care need assessment by law provided by an appropriate social worker or OT.
    You are also entitled to an OT assessment if there is a justification, there clearly is. 
    A Disability Facility Grant application is assessed usually by an OT.
    It sounds like they have housed you in appalling conditions and without access.
    Ramps are not only for wheelchairs, as you state you can't do steps, I would argue that the Local Authority have failed there responsibilities.
    They have a statutory responsibility to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of vulnerable adults and children.

    Check out website, about there duties. 
    The Health and Care Act 2022

    I'm in a wheelchair chair and have been fighting a for almost 2 years. Let me know how things are going or went.

    Raise your complaint, I hope it helps you get what is needed. 



    Frustrating process.
  • PennyLane78
    PennyLane78 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Hi kc 1978
    Thanks for that. 
    I now have the opposite problem! I spoke to the local social care team and they were so rude and judgemental and because I have high anxiety and bipolar I just want access now. So I gave up and have told my landlord I will buy my OWN folding ramp. They pipes up and said I can't do that without an OT assessment! Which I now don't want anymore because of how they treated me and this isn't the first time. I've been treated badly by a lot in the NHS. 

    I am trying to find out the law on if I can put in my own folding ramp that won't be permanently attached to their property in anyway nor will it change or adapt their property in anyway.

    Do you know anything about it from this angle or where I could go to ask someone? 

    Many thanks 
  • kc1978
    kc1978 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Hi @PennyLane78,
    No they can't stop you. However you do need to remember that you are responsible for them. 
    It's so very frustrating as it is the local authority/council who are responsible for ensuring accessible housing.

    I would complain to the council and Landlord if different. 
    I would also complain. About the negative experience with social workers. 
    After all there role is their to support those with both physical and mental health disabilities.

    My experience is that of yours, they are not very helpful at times, have no ability or support because of the financial situation of the council or you are made to jump through hoops you give up.

    Ask your land lord where in your tenancy agreement it states you can not have a temporary folding ramp to allow access.  Ask them for their justification in writing as to why they are refusing to allow you reasonable adjustments and are preventing safe access and egress into and out of the property. 
    How are they meeting their obligations under the Equality Act and 

    landlords have a legal duty to respond to disabled tenants requesting ‘reasonable adjustments’ be made to a property. Reasonable adjustments are changes that make living at the property in question substantially easier. 

    They could refuse a permanent ramp believe it or not. Which is ridiculous now a days. 

    The problem is you do need a care need assessment for the social services team. If you have this it prevents a lot of problems and protects you.

    All rights are protected under the Equality Act 2010.
    Proving discrimination however is challenging. 

    It's better to get Social Services and Landlord to approve.
    I know people in some areas have not had tenancy agreements extended for issues which are minor, but landlords can say, they are planning to sell or need property and nothing tenants can do.

    If the property isn't accessible discuss with social housing, tell them to rehouse you to one that is.

    The law around housing and landlords, disabilities is long, complex and challenging.
    This document is one that is very helpful and you can give them a copy too. Copy and paste to open the document. 

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/housing-and-disabled-people-your-rights-england_0.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjn5-O9v4eFAxVoQkEAHTkzCIsQFnoECDQQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3xMGYNmH2Ku5on9wMzMmEH

    Check out the web page below from CIA. You may find this useful. This is a landlord insurance group but has some great advice and useful to review.


    https://www.cia-landlords.co.uk/advice/renting-to-disabled-tenants/


    Hope this helps, let me know if you have any luck. Any other questions.

    Kc1978 
  • kc1978
    kc1978 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    Hi,
    The landlord has to allow you to make a reasonable adjustments. The fact your paying yourself, I'm surprised they being so obstructive.

    Land lords must follow the equality act 2010.

    They can refuse a permanent ramp or any adaptions which are permanent or change the property.

    You do need an OT as without it the landlord can refuse and would not be in the wrong.

    I would also state that social workers have to buy law provided the assessment of needs and this should include safety on entering or exiting property.

    I would ensure that if on a call they are rude, calmly tell them they are not being supportive and you find them rude. (If calls are recorded this is good for complaints). Ask to speak to a supervisor/manager. If they hang up, they will. Call back.

    https://www.cia-landlords.co.uk/advice/renting-to-disabled-tenants/

    The link is also a good point of reference and gives clear responsibilities.

    If can be of any more help. Let me know.

    😀
  • PennyLane78
    PennyLane78 Community member Posts: 4 Listener
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    Thanks for that this now is a severe problem as I do NOT want an OT assessment. As I feel invaded. I already jump through hoops with benefits and Curo were demanding my FULL medical file and permission to speak directly to my GP when they have 2 dozen letters. Then they were asking for 3 months bank statements and my incoming and outgoings just to book at OT!! I told them where to go. That's private and I'm an extremely private person and am finding this whole process invasive and dehumanising. They claimed the OT could not assess me til I'm back in a wheelchair and that it's 10 month waiting! I'll onoy be back in the wheelchair for 3 to 5 months but it could be 2 to 3 times.

    I just want a flipping folding ramp and NO OT assessment.
    Moving is not a possibility as I only moved in here 4 months ago. And a drop kerb and driveway has been fitted for me. It took 3 years to find a place at least partially suitable. 
  • kc1978
    kc1978 Community member Posts: 16 Connected
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    I understand, it's all hoops and tick boxes.
    It's very difficult.
    The one thing to try is write to the landlord and formally request permission for a folding ramp. You may need to ask a ramp company to review, as you will have to meet the gradient requirements. 
    in the letter state that this would be a reasonable adjustments as required by the Equality Act 2010 and should be accepted.

    Clearly states in the letter that if the landlord is refusing permission, that they must give an explanation as to why as this may be discrimination.
    ALSO as a result of any refusal
    They should also make the property accessible for you at there cost and that you will await a solution. 

    To me I would ask the financial information they are requesting is for a disability facilities grant 

    There are certain circumstances where you get grant funding passports.
    Benefits mean you don't pay.
    Check out the below.
    Otherwise I'm not sure why they need the information.

    https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants

    I would suggest contacting citizens advice they will be able to offer support, but also legal guidance 
    Especially as it appears your challenges are complex. .

    Poor you, I hope you get it sorted over 12 months I finally will get a review 

Brightness

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