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DLA MR or Submit New Claim

earthchild23
earthchild23 Member Posts: 150 Pioneering
Hey hope everyone is well, I haven’t been on in a while.

So my son recieved DLA High care, Low mobility. I had asked for a review on mobility and length of award ( via change of circumstances) on the basis of his existing diagnosises, that don’t only make us care harder but effects his ability to walk. He has joint Hypermobility(effects daily pain stiffness in legs, and back he screams ect, takes pain relief, engages in sport weekly to help relieve it, and movement closes at school), IBS- (free from diet, constantly manages through out day, needs medication and support with his toileting day and night), sleep disorder (also night- medicated), asthma (moderate- medications plus inhalers, gets breathless, pains in chest attacks in colder periods more often, can’t go out in these times). Dyspraxia/spartial awareness difficulties- co-ordination difficulties. ASD and ADHD- constant support- SEN register- therapy via CAHMS (medication needed too but refused due to all other medications he has) constant care day and night and impacts him going out) and developmental trauma- (that is the last straw to his behaviours where he isolates, introverts futher, effects him out socially (refuses) paranoia, hypervigerlance ect- from abuse we entailed at hands of his father) 
it’s a lot to deal with. 
Now as his trauma and neurodevelopmental needs have just been diagnosed after a 8 year wait on list, we are now applying for support with local authority to help with school ect, it’s been challenging. 
His current dla award is 2 years with all the information of how he is impacted daily by his conditions in every setting. 

Now as you can see with his several conditions, I don’t have the time every other year to be filing in DLA forms, his needs are lifelong and if anything worsening. I too have a disability from the abuse we both experienced, and it’s a lot to cope with. 
Now dla as they do !I received a letter conviently dated 2nd Dec but came (15th/16th) Middle of December that concluded after submitting all reports and saying over the phone to them  I am awaiting new reports and that can you allow extra time to send in late evidence (in jan) due to backlogs in CAHMS and local authority with Care plans! - that there is no evidence to make a change and his award is fine! And will be reviewed in 2023. 
Now today I called them and said it’s been Christmas, and I’ve received the letter the week before Christmas, had other health issues aswell as pregnancy (induced labour)  so couldnt get in contact to send in MR, so I’d like to request over the phone extra time and I will send in futher information to support the grounds to increase his mobility and lengthen his award. Now the lady ignored this as they do, gave the usual oh you won’t be successful in theMR and began trying to take information over the phone. So at this point I said I need to come off the phone because I am not allowing you to give falsified information on my behalf as they’ve done in the past, on over the phone MR requests and I prefer to notify but give explanation in writing. She refused to accept. 

So I am asking now for help in whether I go on with trying to assert extra time in writing providing evidence to why, plus give in all the new reports but he wait could be early February or fo I wait for everything to come back and put in a whole new claim for him? 

Please help, I’ve really had enough with the treatment we have to go through with disabilities and carers!
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 7
    You can't submit a new claim because there's already an award in payment. You can report a change of circumstances. I see little point in doing this because you've only recently had the decision on the current claim. They tell you that you have 1 month to request the MR but you actually have 13 months.

    You don't need to wait for any evidence to request the MR, just write the letter stating why you think a higher/longer award should have been given and your reasons why. Include a couple of real world examples of what happened the last time that activity was attempted. Include information such as where they were, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were.

    For the longer award length you need to tell them when you think a longer award should be given and why.

    If they refuse because you're late requesting it then you just carry on with Tribunal.

    Just to point out also, the time it took to receive the letter is normal at the moment because of the huge postal delays and it's taking longer for letters to and from DWP.

  • earthchild23
    earthchild23 Member Posts: 150 Pioneering
    Hey @poppy123456 thank you for this. 
    Can you refer me to the legislation that refers to the 13months for the MR, as the lady was adamant a month is only what they will provide regardless of Christmas period ect. 

    This is why queried the new claim, as I’ve had a DLA MR go to tribunal before and still submitted a new form and the award was raised following the new form and tribunal awarded claim.
     
    She also said he shouldnt receive mobility because he can ‘Walk’, from that point the telephone went down I said do you have any understanding of these conditions, and do you understand the impact it has on mobility. (She left this Unanswered and said she aas putting me on hold to speak to her colleague). 

    They make situations harder for people when all she had to do was leave a note of notification on the system that I was going ahead with the MR, and requested futher time to do this. as I will be giving reasons in letter format. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 7
    This is exactly why people should not rely on advice given by someone in a call centre because a lot of the time the advice is incorrect. When ringing DWP it's a call centre you ring, not DWP their self. They have very little benefits knowledge and they are reading from a screen.
    As advised, if DWP{ refuse because it's outside the 1 month just proceed to Tribunal.
    Even if i did have knowledge about those conditions, it's not going to help you because DLA isn't awarded based on any diagnosis. Everyone is affected differently by these conditions and you can't compare 2 people.
    If you take it to Tribunaland then report a change while you wait for the Tribunal decision then any new decision will overrule the Tribunal decision. Before reporting any changes this way you should always get expert advice.
    You should get some expert advice, start here. https://advicelocal.uk/

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 11,675 Disability Gamechanger
    Scroll down to the section on 'Late applications' at 03070 -03075 here : https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1012896/dmgch3.pdf 
    This from one of the decision maker's guides (DMG Chapter 03)

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    @chiarieds thanks for that! Have my grandson today so didn’t have much time to look.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,856 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 7

    deleted - realised I was duplicating information already provided by others!
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,361 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 8
    Outsourced call centres are there to answer scripted questions. If your question is not within their scope then you will almost never get “I’m sorry I don’t know”. It’s not a thing people are good at saying. They would rather BS. 

    An MR is always best done in writing. Debating 13 months is then not an issue. 

    However, we have seen multiple queries on this site from people who ring DWP who expect them to delay for further evidence. Whilst some call centre staff will, in BS mode, say “yes of course” they have no control over this and you only have to think it through to realise that such an approach would be impractical. Things would grind to a halt within days if any decision could be delayed once or more for further evidence. No matter what you are told no decision is delayed in this manner. 

    The only exception to that is where a DM has themselves requested further evidence.

    The other issue, and the OP here bears this out, is that the only evidence which is awaited is evidence from other people. Evidence from other people usually means reports from medical professionals. I cannot recall ever seeing an MR where a decision changed on the back of medical evidence. It’s a repetitive theme on here but medical reports focus on diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and prognosis. Unless they are explicitly linked to bodily functions etc. they have nothing to say which is relevant to a DLA claim beyond perhaps something on prognosis. In other words the reason you’re challenging the decision is because of an over-reliance on medical evidence rather than detailed anecdotal evidence and pursuing an MR or any challenge on that basis will lead to likely the same outcome without a change of approach.

    Stuff like CAHMS and care plans will do little more than confirm diagnosis, symptoms and what those services are doing. That’s okay but it says zilch about bodily functions for example. Care plans are potentially dangerous. DWP tend to interpret them as the sum total of care needs rather than the total of what a local authority provides, which is often a very different thing and usually far less than actual care needs. You probably think submitting one is a good thing because it “proves” that specific care needs exist. There are multiple issues there. 

    Firstly, the existence of care needs won’t be in dispute. The issue will be whether they are frequent or continual enough to meet the rules. Secondly, you are likely presenting an image of the care being less than it is because of this. Thirdly, every report you put in risks contradicting other reports. Less is more. Ten reports essentially saying “he is poorly, we do this” are no better then one. Consistency is key. The shortest route to consistency is your own detailed anecdotal evidence. Real world examples of actual recent incidents not medical reports. 

    As regards award length you will always have s battle with a child’s award but the onus is on you to make the case. The fact they are life long conditions helps but it doesn’t follow that life long conditions equals life long care or mobility needs. You can’t assume that and you will need a detailed explanation as to why. DWP rightly infer that what a child of 6 does is very different to what a child of 12 does for example in terms of self administering meds etc. They use that kind of example to set short review dates. They particularly like the move to secondary education as an end date as the inference is that increased independence is inevitable. We have lots of examples of the exact opposite but they only come up when it’s too late and a short award has been made. You need to address this issue head on, in detail and at length. If you’re too ill to do that then get advice and representation. It’s what it’s there for.
  • earthchild23
    earthchild23 Member Posts: 150 Pioneering
    Thank you for the advice guys @poppy123456 @mikehughescq @chiarieds.

    yes I’ve successfully had his awards based on little or none evidence, just ancedotal evidence . Never had diagnosis evidence from HCPS or anyone. 
    And he was awarded, High care and low mobility from 2016 every two years. 
    @poppy123456 I put in a new claim when his claim was in tribunal before advised and done successfully by a family welfare officer. 

    I just need  legislation to refer to in the letter for extra time, and Mobility as I feel he qualifies for higher under  severe impairment and disruptive behaviour due to how his conditions affect him. 

    Yes it’s very true the DWP offices are scripted it’s all tick boxes in effort for when they are replaced why auto robot centre calls! 

    Thanks guys 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 25,781 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 9
    You don’t need any legislation to refer to when requesting the MR. you simply request it and if the decision doesn’t change you move on to Tribunal as previously advised. 
    If you still insist on this then link is posted above by chiarieds. 
  • earthchild23
    earthchild23 Member Posts: 150 Pioneering
    Hi @poppy123456
    i know I don’t ‘need it’ but I simply want it to refer to for my own reference as I’ve not been able to tease it out of any guidance online. yes I’ve seen the 13 months one, given by @chiarieds and Thank you again. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,361 Disability Gamechanger
    You can of course put in a new claim when an existing claim is going to tribunal if the award you’re appealing was a nil award. If there was an existing award and you were challenging that to appeal then any new claim would just be treated as a supersession of the matter going to appeal.

    As @poppy123456 says you do not need the legislation around late MRs. Unlike the person you spoke to, DWP will be aware you can do a late MR. The onus is entirely on you to make the case for lateness though. There is no law about what is or isn’t okay. Case law on the point is extremely limited. You should simply focus on providing lots of detail. You have described some of the issues preventing you lodging a written MR. You will need a lot more detail. Notably you have a huge problem in that you made a call to them and refused to allow that to be treated as the MR. That’s not insurmountable but it is a problem. 

    The law allows for a late MR. It draws no distinction between written or telephone so you will need to explain your concerns about telephone MR on just as much detail as your health reasons i.e. you will need to explain what explicitly prevented you from starting an MR over the phone inside the one month limit. I note that some of your language above is quote emotive. Calling people liars and describing a 2 week wait for post in December as “convenient”. Most reasonable people would recognise that post in December is erratic at best and the pandemic has impacted Royal Mail massively and in an ongoing way. When you are doing your late MR you will need to exclude all such language and inferences. Equally, you cannot legally prove that someone lied as you need to prove intent and you can’t do that unless you’re inside someone’s head. You’re not and never will be. You can say that previous attempts to communicate by phone led to inaccurate recording of evidence. Stick to fact. 

    In doing the above you will need to bear in mind that “I was waiting for further evidence” will not float. It is not going to be accepted as a reason for delaying an MR request. 
  • earthchild23
    earthchild23 Member Posts: 150 Pioneering
    edited January 9
    Hi @mikehughescq
    yes thank you for futher information. 
    Sorry for the emotive language, (I wish I never started the post now as I didn’t mean to upset anyone) but when dealing with the DWP it is stressful and only limited to when I express and give my experiences when speaking on such sites, especially when looking for support. But I’d also like to note I haven’t been, ‘Calling people liars and describing a 2 week wait for post in December as “convenient”.’ I was referring to the way in which I was responded to by being refused the extra time by the call centre lady. As yes, with normal people I’d assume that extra time is given with the ongoing circumstances we are all facing; including DWP staff. (So apologies for that and any misinterpretation). but I will be noting my other reasons as health and labour as factor to late submission, and giving futher- very in-depth ancedotal evidence to the mobility section, in regards to areas I feel he satisfies. I’d like to give a update but I don’t think I will in regards to this, as I don’t want to upset anyone else. 
    If the post can be removed  or anyone else at @ScopeHelpline is great. 
    But thank you again, it’s all appreciated.

  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Member Posts: 8,361 Disability Gamechanger
    No worries. You’ve not upset anyone. Fully understood your language wasn’t aimed at anyone here. I was just suggesting a tweak in your approach as a way forward. 

    Main other thing to note is that no-one in a call centre can refuse you anything. Only an actual decision maker can do that. In future, write rather than ring. 

    By all means give an update. 

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