DLA for Autistic child - change of care and mobility needs — Scope | Disability forum

DLA for Autistic child - change of care and mobility needs

AimeeT
AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
edited November 2021 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Hello Everyone, 

Anyone had any recent experience with DLA change of care and mobility needs?

My son already gets middle rate care, lower rate mobility... however things have become more challenging over the years and we've informed DWP of change in his needs. I can barely get him to leave the house, he is on a heavily reduced timetable at school, he is also awaiting a CAMHS assessment now, which referrals have been refused for previously, everything takes longer now, he's at home much more and we're experiencing more meltdowns and challenging behaviours as well as other things. 

I know every case is unique, and my question isn't really about whether anyone has experienced this before (although I welcome any comments from anyone who has).

I'm more interested in how long decisions take for change of these circumstances at the minute.

I rang last Tuesday and was told it should be assigned to a decision maker by the end of last week, and a decision is pretty quick from that point. However, the initial timescale they gave me of 12 weeks when I submitted the forms has been exceeded by a vast amount (they processed it on the 21st July) so if anyone has any experience I would love to hear it.

Sorry for the long post, thank you  
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Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,366 Disability Gamechanger
    HI,
    Timescales will vary vastly in different areas. Backlogs are just part of the reason a decision's can be delayed. In all honesty, there really is no timescales. Hopefully, you won't be waiting too much longer.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Has there been a change whereby day time care needs have now been added to by night time care needs i.e. after the household has shut down for the night? 

    If there has been an increase in day time care needs then the current rate of care component will be correct. 
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    @mikehughescq yes, there’s definitely more care throughout the night too then there was with his current claim. We were advised by a local SEN charity to have it reassessed for the mobility part mainly. 

    I’m not really aware of the criteria etc, is there a reason more care needs during the day wouldn’t increase his award on their own without care needs in the night? 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    DLA care is awarded as follows:

    - middle rate care if you have day time or night time needs.
    - higher rate care if you have day and night time needs.

    So someone who gets MR care on the basis of day time attention or supervision whose day time needs get worse will not move to higher rate because they’re still only day time needs. 
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    Ahh thanks Mike, yeah we definitely have night care needs too but I thought it would be good to know and share incase others were wondering too. 

    Thank you ?
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    Just an update for anyone who comes across this post looking in a similar situation. 

    I called DLA yesterday, they made a decision on the 12th. So it had been assigned and decided on within a few days of my last call to them. 
    Their decision was to uphold the original award, due to lack of evidence or medication for a sleep disorder (he takes a high dose of melatonin in an evening and is under the paediatrician with constant meetings regarding his sleep) and because we didn't have sufficient evidence in the application of him having a severe mental impairment for mobility. 

    Although I did state about the prescriptions etc he receives, I obviously didn't send enough evidence in. 
    I have requested a mandatory reconsideration yesterday and will be including a sleep diary, letter from paediatrician, statements from school, details of his EHCP application etc to aid in this. 

    It's my own fault for not doing this in the first place, so my advice would be to ensure these are definitely sent with the original application. Although a MR has enabled me to compile a report with more detailed explanations and examples of how Joshua meets the criteria. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,366 Disability Gamechanger
    Did you include real world examples in with the form you returned? If you didn't, then you should do this. Include information such as where he was, what exactly happened, did anyone see it and what the consequences were.
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    I did, however I obviously didn't include enough. I did it at the same time as applying for PIP for myself, so my brain was fried and I've not included enough. 

    I've definitely included more real world examples in my MR report I've put together. I've sectioned these into his night time care needs, his sleep diary and then I'll include the evidence from the doctor. I've then included a section on severe mental impairment, what the criteria for meeting this is and how he meets it with plenty of examples. The SENCO at school is also putting a statement together for me, because he is still in a mainstream school until his EHCP is sorted (I can thank covid for the delay in us applying), however he has a reduced timetable, does his classes in a seperate area most of the time, and has many special provisions in place to aid him. Not that it works. 

    I have never been through a mandatory reconsideration before, so I'm trying to include as much as possible to help their decision. They said i need to get it all in within 4 weeks and then it will take a further 2-4 weeks for them to make the decision so fingers crossed I do it all right this time. 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,366 Disability Gamechanger
    You actually have 13 months to request the MR, with good reason. If they refuse because of the late request you just continue to Tribunal. If you've already requested it through a phone call then they may not wait for any evidence you send because once it's requested, it's done. Timescales for MR's at the moment is between 2-12 weeks
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    The advisor has put on the notes that I will be sending further evidence in, and reassured me if I can get this in as soon as possible then it will be looked at as part of the MR. 

    I understand you can have longer to request a MR, however I was on the phone so I just got it done then and there, hopefully all goes well 
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 2,405

    Scope community team

    Hi @AimeeT thanks for your update. It sounds like you've prepared the MR in the best way you can, and clearly outlined how Joshua meets the criteria. Well done, it's an exhausting process I'm sure!

    Do please keep us updated with your MR, and I hope you get a successful outcome.
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

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  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    AimeeT said:
    The advisor has put on the notes that I will be sending further evidence in, and reassured me if I can get this in as soon as possible then it will be looked at as part of the MR. 

    I understand you can have longer to request a MR, however I was on the phone so I just got it done then and there, hopefully all goes well 
    That’s call centre nonsense. They will not wait. If you e requested an MR they will crack on. If you get it in quickly then you might be lucky. 
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    That’s call centre nonsense. They will not wait. If you e requested an MR they will crack on. If you get it in quickly then you might be lucky. 
    Oh god, thank you for the advice. Luckily I should have all of the evidence I need by Monday. I'll send it off then so they receive it Tuesday and I will call to ensure its been received shortly after. 

    Do we know if I ring them if there is a way to email the further evidence across?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 28,366 Disability Gamechanger
    They will not receive anything the day after you post it, that's the issue here. All mail going to DWP has to go through a mail sorting process, even those that are sent next day delivery. (which is a total waste of your money) There's currently huge postal backlogs going to DWP and it could take a few weeks for them to receive it and for it to be added to the computer.
    I'm not aware of you being able to send anything through email.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    AimeeT said:
    That’s call centre nonsense. They will not wait. If you e requested an MR they will crack on. If you get it in quickly then you might be lucky. 
    Oh god, thank you for the advice. Luckily I should have all of the evidence I need by Monday. I'll send it off then so they receive it Tuesday and I will call to ensure its been received shortly after. 

    Do we know if I ring them if there is a way to email the further evidence across?
    There is a way of emailing them via c[email protected] but the reality is it still won’t arrive in time. 

    Your call centre operative was suffering from what’s known as “call centre crack”. The addictive desire to sound important and knowledgeable even when you’re way off script and have no idea what you’re talking about. 
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    Just to update, I sent off further evidence (this took about a week to gather) and it was processed by them within a couple of days. The MR decision came through on the 23rd of December extended his award period and putting him in the higher rate of care component, however upheld his mobility decision so an appeal has been requested. 
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    On what basis do you think the mobility should increase? 

    Whilst there’s a connection between each rate of DLA care i.e. broadly speaking getting worse and having more care needs may well equate to moving from lower to middle to higher, there is no such connection for mobility i.e. getting worse does not take you from lower to higher as the criteria for each have no relationship to each other. 
  • Sillymoo007
    Sillymoo007 Member Posts: 33 Connected
    Aimee my son has Autism. He was initially on low rate mobility,low rate care DLA. A year later I submitted further evidence regarding his now more complex care needs. He was awarded HRC but still LRM. I understand it's incredibly hard to get HRM on DLA. Now,just last month he was awarded enhanced on both care and mobility PIP. Totally different set of rules and point system etc.
  • mikehughescq
    mikehughescq Posts: 8,845 Connected
    Yes, the way mobility works for PIP generally has more logic to it. 
  • AimeeT
    AimeeT Member Posts: 28 Listener
    He should qualify (I feel) under the severely mentally impaired criteria. They said they did consider it, however it appears his behaviour is predictable as his meltdowns are only when he cannot do something he 'wants' to do and there was no evidence of having to restrain him outside of the home. This is not the case so off to tribunal we go. All other aspects of the criteria were met, but what an autistic child 'wants' to do is not always predictable and in Joshua's case does not come with any sense of the danger, consequences or damage to property or harm to himself or others, plus we always have to hold him in some way shape or form outside the home to keep him safe so we've gathered more evidence and statements from those who care for him. 

    I know it's difficult, but I've spoken with someone today who is helping me with the appeal and they say that the evidence I've sent it supports what I've said and tribunal is the best way to go. Hopefully we'll get somewhere. Fingers crossed

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