PIP, DLA and AA
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After six years of my child receiving Disability Allowance it has been stopped.

mariewitch66mariewitch66 Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited March 2018 in PIP, DLA and AA
My son has been receiving middle rate care allowance and lower mobility, his conditions have not changed and I have been refused. I sent at least 15 medical letters from several paediatricians, none of which were referred to. I am now at the appeal stage, I am so disgusted at the terms they used in the letter to quote "it is common for boys to need prompting to deal with personal hygiene " my son suffers from a rare bowel condition and this is just rude. It also quoted "dress appropriately" my son suffers from severe dyspraxia and hyper mobility. The final part was "eat healthily" My son has had severe allergies and has been wheat, gluten dairy, egg, soya and fish free. How do I complain? They even had another child's name in the letter so unprofessional and judgemental. I am a single parent and feel like getting a solicitor to get the appeal correct.

Replies

  • MatildaMatilda Member Posts: 2,616 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @mariewitch66

    Are you waiting for an appeal hearing date?

    You can make a complaint to the assessment company, which would be separate to the appeal.  Look on their website for details of their complaints procedure.

    This site on Facebook might be of some help:

    esa/dla/pipadviceandsupportukonly




  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @mariewitch66
    We have a video here about preparing for your appeal hearing that might help?


    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,938 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2018
    Have you done a mandatory reconsideration? That’s your first step before the appeal stage. I suspect that the over reliance upon medical evidence will have been detrimental here. DLA is about the consequences of a condition rather than the condition itself. Paediatric evidence will be about diagnosis; medicating and prognosis. It’s unlileiy they would have been able to describe in detail, for example, the impact of a bowel condition overnight. Your evidence will be more critical on that. The key thing which constantly gets missed with DLA for children is that the needs described have to be substantially in excess of those of a healthy child of the same age. In theory that gets easier as they get older but it really depends on which bodily functions are at issue and whether it’s a supervision or attention need that’s being claimed. 

    I think you should tread with caution as regards both comments you quote. The first statement may not be untrue at all. It’s simply an accurate observation that a certain amount of prompting may be the norm and you haven’t made the case that any current prompting is not just in excess of the norm but substantially so. The second comment is harder to justify but again could just be a ham-fisted way of saying that whilst there’s a special or restricted diet it doesn’t automatically follow that said diet requires attention or supervision substantially in excess of the norm. 

    Most children’s DLA cases end up at appeal specifically because parents think medical evidence alone is a winning strategy and confuse “different”  needs with “substantially in excess” needs. You also have to tackle head on the implication that many attention/supervision needs may well have diminished as your son gets older and can perhaps tackle some aspects of his care himself without intervention from another. I wouldn’t expect an otherwise healthy 5 year old to cook his own food for example but a 15 year old? You have to make the case. You’re the person making the claim so the burden of proof falls squarely on you to make these arguments. 

    As going to this sort of appeal can be particularly onerous this is one of those rare occasions I would say that a complaint to an assessment provider may be ill-advised and the focus would be better directed to non-medical evidence in support of a challenge. 

    I should also say a solicitor will be of negligible help here. Few are welfare benefits specialists even when legally aided and you cannot get legal aid for representaction in person at a social security appeal tribunal. Your energies would be better directed to getting representation free of charge from a local independent welfare rights advice service. 
  • mariewitch66mariewitch66 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you for your advice, I’ve kept those comments separate and are not in the appeal.  I’ve had help setting out the appeal and have backed up everything I have said. I understand that as children get older they need less help but in his case he needs the same care as before. He does have rare conditions which are very difficult so like most children his age he cannot be left alone. I agree that as children get older they should need less care. But not always. Yes mandatory reconsideration has been done but none of it was used in the reply. He has been on middle or lower rate and the reply used higher rate as a reply.  I explained all the reasons he needs help and how long for. He can walk but slowly for a short amount of time. I have a letter which states significant movement difficulty with both gross and fine motor co ordination their reply was that he does not get overwhelmed outdoors. Nothing to do with mobility. Then said use walking aids. The reply contradicted itself throughout. Will get an appointment With CAB. Thanks again.
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