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When to start claiming DLA for child

SKMills
SKMills Member Posts: 8 Listener
Hi everyone, I hope you're all staying safe and well.

I just had a quick question regarding claiming DLA for our son who is 2. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy last month by phone. He isn't weight-bearing on his feet yet and is also behind with his speech and language skills. I've been looking at applying for DLA for him but I'm unsure whether we are able to apply for him now, or until he reaches a certain age? He's due to have ankle splints and a standing frame later this year (not sure when). Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Stuart

Comments

  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,249 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome to the community great to have you on board

    According to the internet to be able to get Higher rate mobility child must be 3 and for standard rate over 5. The daily living element has no age restriction. If it is a life limiting condition then from age 3 months

    Hope tis helps and the internet is correct 
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,249 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 28
    You could ring the helpline to ask
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,572

    Scope community team

    edited June 2020
    Hello @SKMills and welcome to the community.

    DLA is about the extra care needs of your child rather than diagnosis. There's absolutely no harm in applying now, although it can be easier for an older child. You need to be able to show and explain why your child needs extra care than another child of their age. As @janer1967 mentioned, they don't consider the mobility aspect until age 3, but if you feel your son's daily care needs are higher than another child of his age, it's definitely worth putting a claim in.

    You might also be interested in our cerebral palsy board, where our CP information officer @Richard_Scope is on hand to provide support where he can.
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  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    Please do not ring the DLA helpline. They have absolutely no training to answer a question like this. 

    Whilst i understand the keenness to claim ASAP you need to pause for thought here because actually an unsuccessful claim now can be unhelpful further down the line. The question you need to ask yourself now is whether the care needs are substantially in excess of those of a healthy two year old. Not just more than but substantially more than. As all 2 year olds can’t be left alone during waking hours that’s a significant hurdle to leap. It’s not impossible but it is significant. 

    For example, you highlight speech and language. Ask yourself what you’re doing with that which is extra to what you’d be doing at this point with a healthy 2 year old. It may be more but is it substantially more. There’s no legal definition of the latter so you need to give it a common sense plain English reading. Would anyone else look at the attention/supervision being given and comment that it’s waaaay more than their 2 year old needs. 

    The reality at 2 is that a child needs attention with all bodily functions such as dressing, eating, bathing, toileting so... which bodily functions make your child stand out? Communication is a good one but does the help with that amount to something substantially more.

    At the end of the day this is your call but this isn’t about CP. It’s about the consequences of CP and at 2 it may be impossibly hard to separate the attention/supervision needs out from those of a healthy 2 year old.

  • SKMills
    SKMills Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi all, thank you for your replies and assistance. This has been very informative for me. At the moment our son is unable to weight-bear, as both his legs are affected, but his upper body is absolutely fine. I think overall we'd be better off waiting until he turns 3 in February, or at least until we know more about his splints and standing frame. 

    Thanks again,

    Stuart
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,847 Connected
    So most of the care us around mobility which he can’t yet qualify for?
  • Pamela10
    Pamela10 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi. My son was diagnosed with autism just before his 2nd birthday. I was told to apply for DLA straight away. I was amazed as like in a previous comment all 2 year olds need help so I couldn't believe I could actually get financial help for something every parent would have to do. But I got the highest rate for personal care straight away. I don't know if it's more difficult now as my son is 11. They are horrible forms to fill in but just try and focus on all the things that he has difficulty with and how they impact on his life. I know it sounds like more mobility problems but if there is any difficulties with his personal care then I would fill in the form. Best of luck. I hope you get it ?
  • SKMills
    SKMills Member Posts: 8 Listener
    So most of the care us around mobility which he can’t yet qualify for?
    It seems that way Mike, the mobility component of DLA isn’t available until the child is at least 3. We’ll see how the rest of the year progresses and apply at a future date.
  • SKMills
    SKMills Member Posts: 8 Listener
    Pamela10 said:
    Hi. My son was diagnosed with autism just before his 2nd birthday. I was told to apply for DLA straight away. I was amazed as like in a previous comment all 2 year olds need help so I couldn't believe I could actually get financial help for something every parent would have to do. But I got the highest rate for personal care straight away. I don't know if it's more difficult now as my son is 11. They are horrible forms to fill in but just try and focus on all the things that he has difficulty with and how they impact on his life. I know it sounds like more mobility problems but if there is any difficulties with his personal care then I would fill in the form. Best of luck. I hope you get it ?
    Thanks for your comment Pamela! Yes, the form seems a little daunting but it’ll be worth it if the claim is approved!

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