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Using emails for DLA evidence

cluody Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited November 2021 in PIP, DLA, and AA
My son’s occupational therapist contacted me by email a lot and some of what they said would be very good evidence for my son’s claim. Am I allowed to use the contents of an email? Do I quote or just print and send it? I can’t ask the ot as they retired last month and still waiting to be assigned a new one. I have ot reports but the emails have like actual observed examples of things and also explain why therapy won’t work (which would help explain why we don’t have many professionals involved)  


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,623 Disability Gamechanger
    Rather than using "some of what was said" you are better off printing all the email and send the whole thing. Just sending part of it, would look rather odd.
    Though the best evidence you can send will always be your own anecdotal evidence, real world examples of what happened the last time they attempted that activity.
  • cluody
    cluody Member Posts: 3 Listener
    It has an email signature like all nhs emails which says you can’t disclose, copy or distribute information in the email and to do so is prohibited and potentially unlawful. Does that mean I can’t use it?
    The OT said in good detail exactly why the therapy and treatment won’t work for my son and how he will not be able to engage or cope with it and I just thought it would be better evidence to have that from a medical professional rather than my own assertion 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,270 Disability Gamechanger
    Is that what it says or is what it says that you can’t disclose, copy or distribute without consent? Might it also say that you can’t do those things unless you’re the intended recipient? 

    Bottom line is that the NHS themselves aren’t going to be bothered unless you’re planning on suing them in some way. You just need the consent of the sender of the email. 

    Putting aside that using only part of it looks odd there are bigger considerations:

    1 - observed examples of actual events are great anecdotal evidence but near useless unless directed explicitly to one or more of the twelve descriptors. 

    2 - you can put what you want in for a claim but if the matter proceeded to MR or appeal then little weight would be given to edited emails. You would be expected to disclose the entire conversation rather than just bits that suited or the OT emails. 
  • cluody
    cluody Member Posts: 3 Listener
    The observed examples are specifically related to the DLA questions, it talks about seeing him try and do his own hair and how he is with dressing and undressing and the stuff I mostly want to use is their comments on my son’s communication and their interaction together. 
    Also the comments they made about why therapy won’t work for my son.
    I have no problem including the whole email discussion exchange, but mostly it wasn’t relevant (changing appointment dates and stuff).

    The privacy wording says:

    “If you are not the intended recipient please inform the sender that you have received the message in error before deleting it.

    Please do not disclose, copy or distribute information in this e-mail or take any action in relation to its contents. To do so is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. Thank you for your co-operation.”

    So does that mean I can’t use it anyway?
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,270 Disability Gamechanger
    Get consent from the sender. That’s practically all that’s needed. 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 796

    Scope community team

    Hi @cluody and welcome to the forum! I hope you've found other member's advice useful.

    Have you had any luck checking with your occupational therapist about using the email? It sounds like there's some really excellent observed examples in there for evidence.

    Do let us know how you get on, and if you fancy just some general chat you are welcome to explore the Coffee Lounge.

    Online Community Coordinator

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.


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