Ouch Too

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: helenpage on 18 Feb 2012 10:01AM

Title: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 18 Feb 2012 10:01AM
Got my award through this morning - middle rate care to lower rate care but HRM to naff all. They've not spoken to my GP or my MSK physio and have gone totally off the form. Interestingly I copied the form from my previous 2 awards.

Now I can walk 400 yards but I can't walk any further and if I do walk I need to take extra pain meds, go to bed and am unable to do anything for myself, let alone care for my children. I just got a powerchair so that I can get out and about but there is no way I can safely get my 2 3 year old daughters to the nursery or childminder and I certainly won't be able to work without my car. I have FMS, CFS, hypermobility issues in my ankles and severe lordosis (curvature of my spine). I'm awaiting an assessment for a new wheelchair so I can push myself around the supermarket as at the moment every second i'm stood up hurts.

I will be appealing this decision but thought i'd post for some sympathy!

Helen
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 18 Feb 2012 10:24AM
How long does it take you to walk and how far before pain?
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Fizzbw on 18 Feb 2012 10:31AM
Poor thing, it's all very stressful isn't it :(

Just because you CAN walk 400yds doesn't mean you should. This is the trouble, the forms are black and white they don't ask if you get extra pain or are too exhausted to do anything else if you can walk 400yds, if you say you can walk that distance they assume you can do so easily and often.

Big hugs

Fxxx
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 18 Feb 2012 12:04PM
Hi Helen, sorry to hear about your lowered award -  here are a few general points about DLA appeals (if you aren't already aware of them)

- Use form GL24 to appeal (available from JobcentrePlus offices or advice agencies like CAB).  The appeal must be
  submitted within 1 month of the date on the decision letter.

- There is always a risk of the award you do have being lowered or stopped altogether

- You can make a Subject Access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 to the DLA decision-maker asking for
  copies of all the evidence used to make the decision, eg medical reports and even internal 'worksheets' or similar documents
  showing how the decision was reached

- The first stage in the process will be for the decision-maker (DM) to look at the claim again (revision).  This may result in
  a positive  change to the award (I have actually seen this happen) in which case no further action will be necessary

- If this is not the case, you will receive a submission from the DM stating why they think the decision is correct and your
  appeal should not be upheld.  A copy of this and any other papers will also be sent by the DWP to the Tribunals Service.

(Sourced from http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/)

Keep us informed as to the next stage -  I'd like to move this thread to the Welfare Rights board, but I will wait for you to give an OK before I do so  :-)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 18 Feb 2012 01:15PM
- Use form GL24 to appeal (available from JobcentrePlus offices or advice agencies like CAB).  The appeal must be
  submitted within 1 month of the date on the decision letter.

You can just write to them. But it must be clear that you want to appeal. You can get an extra 2 weeks if you ask for a statement of reasons first.

Quote
- The first stage in the process will be for the decision-maker (DM) to look at the claim again (revision).  This may result in
  a positive  change to the award (I have actually seen this happen) in which case no further action will be necessary

This happened to me. I was then awarded what was at the time, the appropriate award for my situation.

In the meantime, you need to gather as much evidence as possible.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 18 Feb 2012 01:45PM
According to my source, it is best to submit the appeal using the form GL24 as the DWP are not obliged to accept appeals that are not on the proper form.

Also (and this was news to me too!) it is not recommended that you ask for a statement of reasons (explanation for the decision which gives you another 14 days) as there might be increased risk of missed deadlines and the reasons may still not be detailed enough to you to use them as a basis for your appeal - hence the advice given above to ask for information regarding the decision using the 'subject access' route.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 18 Feb 2012 04:59PM
That's great advice and feel free to move.

I'm in total despair at the moment. I've been off work since the new year, I find a new job off my own back (not paid enough contributions for ESA and husband earns too much for income based) but a lack of childcare within MY walking distance of my house and a bus service which stops 1 mile from home and 1/2 a mile from where I work means i'm going to have to apply for housing benefit because I can't walk that far. How the hell i'm meant to get my children to a nursery a mile away up a steep hill alludes me also. There are some nearer but none of them have childminders who are able to collect the girls so I can work and sleep.

How the hell i'm meant to get information together within a month i'm unsure. I'd like to send in a report from all the professionals involved in my care but getting appointments in that time scale is tricky - even with my GP! I'd like welfare rights support but I know the council unit doesn't have appointments for another month if not longer. Can I in all concience take on a job knowing I could loose my car very shortly and not be able to do the job?



Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Hurtyback on 18 Feb 2012 05:06PM
You don't need to have all the evidence within a month (although the more you can send, the better the chance of the reconsideration going in your favour). You are allowed to send in evidence right up to the day of the tribunal, if it goes that far - even though they do prefer to have everything in a couple of weeks before the tribunal if possible.
 
Send off your appeal form and tell them that you will provide further details and evidence at a later date. The important thing is that you get the appeal application in during that month.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 18 Feb 2012 05:19PM
Thanks, Hurtyback - also, the tribunal has the power to accept late evidence... and they are usually happy to do this.  Just explain on your appeal form why you cannot provide all of the evidence within the month - it's very common for appellants not to be able to obtain medical reports etc by this deadline because of NHS waiting times for appointments etc.  The DWP - and the Tribunal Service - are aware of this.

(Yes, and it does make one wonder why the one month is mandatory!)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 18 Feb 2012 06:16PM
I'm sure there was something that said that technically, you can appeal within up to 12 / 13 months? Anyone know anything about that?
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 18 Feb 2012 07:36PM
Sofie
you asked I'm sure there was something that said that technically, you can appeal within up to 12 / 13 months? Anyone know anything about that?  - Late appeals can be accepted as long as it is not more than 12 months since the original decision date but you would need to have really good grounds for lateness.
If an appeal is late the DWP decsion maker looks first at the grounds for lateness and deceides if they are reasonable if they think they are then they can accept the late appeal and will reconsider the appeal.

As for using a GL24 - my work doesn't use them and DWP have accepted clients handwritten letters you just need to make sure you include this phrase (or something very similar)

 "I wish to appeal the secretary of states decision dated 17/02/12 regarding Disability living allowance/or other benefit.  The grounds for my appeal are:"
thats when I start listing the things that dwp haven't considered.

If your appeal is already at the tribunal stage then they prefer to have the written evidence at least a week before the actual hearing, some tribunals will accept extra evidence on the day but this depends on the tribunal members,  Im aware of a tribunal with a visually impaired member who needs everything in braille so they will not accept late evidence as this member cannot access it.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 18 Feb 2012 07:45PM
Helen
Did you put on the form that you can walk 400 meters?  as that is 4 football pitches or 36 buses!.   If your doing an appeal letter and you can't walk this distance you need to describe your walking - "I am not able to walk X as I have to stop frequently to rest and alleviate the pain".  unfortunately the DWP just assess you on flat level ground (as if we live in Holland).  You said that if you walk a distance you are unable to walk the next day so that should go in the appeal along with the fact that you use a powerchair.  I hope you didn't mention your children in the form as the dwp seem to think if you can care for children you yourself have no care needs.. 
my suggestion is reread their letter and type/write out why they are wrong and send it in keeping a copy for yourself, once you have done that phone them & check they received the appeal.
You mentioned the council welfare rights - if they have an appointment take it and ask if they can represent at any possible tribunal, show them the appeal and if they can represent they will probably get you to sign a mandate and send it to the DWP asking the DWP to list the council as your reps (thats what i'd do anyway)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 18 Feb 2012 08:25PM
Yet more helpful info. Take it has to be handwritten even if you have difficulty writing? I put clearly on the form that I can walk up to half a mile but it takes me 30 minutes and requires me to stop frequently and would need me to take extra painkillers and go to bed which effect my fatigue levels so is something which I rarely do. I put that I was reliant on my motability car as a result and used a wheelchair. This was written the same way as on the previous two applications which had been written with support from welfare rights. I didn't have the powerchair at the time but will include this in the letter.

Unfortunately there is no support from WRU with going to appeal. I found this out when my husband had to appeal a couple of years ago. Just hope it doesn't get that far and that a letter from my GP, specialist physio etc will be enough.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Prabhakari on 18 Feb 2012 08:32PM
I really hope you win.

I seem to have been very fortunate.
A friend had been nagging me for ages to apply for the higher rate of the care componant of D.L.A., but I would not do it as long as I felt I could cope. My concience would not let me ask for it, even though friends said that if anyone deserved it, I did.
Eventually I gave in, and it was so simple for me. A kind lady from the D.L.A. filled in the form for me, and I was awarded the higher rate.

I have got no idea why this was so.
I just wish that it could be the case for all disabled people who need help.

With metta, Prabhakari.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 18 Feb 2012 09:04PM
Hi Helen
by saying you can walk half a mile you have practically told them to take your mobility from you, the distance that DWP consider someone virtually unable to walk is 50 meters, if you can walk more than this then you don't meet the "virtually unable to walk" criteria.   All you can do now if put loads of extra notes in the appeal letter explaining how often you stop in the 30 minutes, how you feel and as you said the result of walking.

I suppose you can only hope to get a sympathetic decision maker who will use common sense
 >hugs<
Monic
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 20 Feb 2012 03:47AM
I copied what I had put in the last 2 applications so I thought i'd be ok. stupid me

I've spent much of the last week at home as the girls have been on half term and they've been poorly so i've been home. If i've been to the shops i've used my power chair and the furthest I have walked was across the road from my car to the chemist and back. I've been pain free as a consequence. Last night I went to church, my powerchair tyres need pumping up and the pump is stuck in the garage because we've got scaffolding up. The church is up a steep hill and I can't manage to push the manual up there so I walked up. 2am and i'm awake in tears due to the pain. It's about 50 yards. i've ended up taking extra meds and feel lousy. i guess i overestimated what i can do and it's bitten me in the bum.

on a possitive note next week i'm going to the wheelchair service and to my gp who is incredible. Went to Harrogate Hospital last week and am waiting to hear from them about seeing the rheumatologist and going to a back pain exercise class (call me pesimistic but I think I know the outcome of this will be me being bedbound for 3 days but one must show willing).

The most infuriating thing is if I loose my car these appointments would be impossible. The local hospital is a glorified clinic and failed to notice my lordosis so it's gotten worse and worse to a point where it is now crippling me. My GP referred me to Harrogate but there is no way without a car I could get there. I tried to go to the wheelchair service in the past before i could drive but it's 2 busses away and hospital transport failed to show up twice.  if car insurance was affordable i wouldn't be reliant on motability, i'd happily fund my own car if i could afford to!


Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 20 Feb 2012 07:23PM
Hi Helen
 >hugs< >hugs<I think in your appeal you need to say that you overestimated how far you can walk and forgot to consider that when you walk you are effectively housebound for the next day due to the pain, which also stops you from sleeping.   I know what you mean about copying the old form & it just shows how much is up to individual decision makers,its just that the DWP are cracking down & being really picky (IMO).   When you do your appeal don't mention the steep hill, as dwp will say they assess you on flat level ground & won't consider hills  >yikes<
Tell the dwp that when you walked your pain levels rose to such an extent that you overdosed "taking extra meds" in an effort to releive the pain & made yourself feel worse.   Ask the rheumatologist if they would support your appeal and show them the letter, don't wait for extra evidence but put the appeal in just now, if you get good letters from the doctors then send it in at a later date.
You could say that without access to a car you would be housebound as you cannot sit on a bus nor access a bus without severe pain & discomfort which would leave you housebound for several days - you know your situation best so write what best describes your situation
 >bighugs<
Monic
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 20 Feb 2012 10:14PM
i've ended up taking extra meds and feel lousy.

If you take extra medication to enable yourself to walk, you'd need to state what (if any) side effects this causes.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 21 Feb 2012 10:41AM
Important note:

Regarding the '50-yard limit' for assessing walking ability, this is not actually a distance set legally, although the DWP have been using it as a very rough 'rule of thumb'. Case law is changing all the time - a Social Security Commissioner has recently advised tribunals that it's not just the distance to be taken into account, but also how long it takes you, the amount of times you have to stop for rest, the pain and fatigue incurred etc.  So you might qualify even with your 400 yards when these other factors are considered...

Source: http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 21 Feb 2012 11:12AM
Started a letter - this is it thus far.

I wish to appeal the decision I received in my recent DLA award. This saw me loose my higher rate mobility and I feel the decision does not take into account the impact walking has on my ability to care on for myself and to function on a day to day basis.

In my original application I stated I could walk half a mile but in recent days I have realised this is a massive overestimation. Because of my disability I don't walk very far at all and so it's hard to estimate how far I can actually walk. This overestimation was based on good days from some time ago and my good days are now few and far between. I can only walk more than 100 yards if I prepare well in advance and have time to rest before and after. If I do walk I need to sleep more when I get home and I have to take more painkillers and I have to have a 30 minute rest before walking home again. If I do not rest before walking home I suffer from muscle spasms in my legs and am at risk of falling. Therefore to walk any distance I need to use a crutch. The extra painkillers make me more drowsy, foggy headed and cause me to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and nausea. Because of these symptoms I do not take extra painkillers when my children are around because I don't feel safe to care for them. Often the painkillers have little effect on the pain – even when taking the maximum dose. On a day to day basis walking more than 50 yards causes me to suffer from severe pain and so I try not to walk any further than that. I therefore rely heavily on my car and recently purchased a powerchair. I am also awaiting an assessment for a new manual wheelchair as my current one is too heavy for me to push myself in and my GP and myself feel that using it on a daily basis will improve my mobility and help me to loose weight improving my back problems. Recently I was diagnosed as having a curvature in my spine which is causing a chronic pain disorder which is difficult to treat because my CFS limits my ability to exercise and travel to appointments. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia which further effects my ability to exercise.

Without my motability car and powerchair I would be housebound. The nearest bus stop to my home is over 100 yards away and by the time I got to the stop I would already be in pain. The buses stop at 3pm so the service is not suitable for collecting my children from school. If I need to travel to Harrogate for hospital appointments I would need to use 3 busses and walk 100 yards to the bus stop near my house and 100 yards from the bus stop to the hospital. The buses do not time well and the considerable wait in a cold bus station exasperates my symptoms further. It's a similar story for getting to work and if I loose my car I will be forced to give up work.

In this award I also lost my middle rate care. My husband now works in an office closer to home so that he can be nearby in case I need support. At lunch time he often comes home or will call me to make sure I have eaten a meal because often I will sleep through meal times and forget to eat and end up having dizzy spells. He is also there if I fall at home. Often if I have overexerted myself I will suffer from muscle spasms and I can also suffer from panic attacks which cause my legs to give way and at least once a month I fall on the stairs. I am unable to cook or bathe during the day because I will forget i've turned the oven on or that i've turned the tap on. 

At present many of the symptoms I have suffered in the past have been lessened by having access to additional childcare, my husband being nearby, gaining confidence and lessening anxiety by working, grading my activity and being able to get around and about. If I were to loose these then my symptoms will worsen further and leave me at risk of further accidents. 

I have enclosed a letter from my GP, a report from the musculoskeletal clinic at Harrogate District Hospital and a report from the chronic fatigue service at Seacroft hospital which though old, explains the symptoms I was suffering prior to my initial award of DLA in 2007. I have also enclosed information from the wheelchair service at Seacroft Hospital.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 21 Feb 2012 11:13AM
Interesting point. I've always had DLA because the effort to walk would put me in danger or have a negative impact on my health. This is a point that's not currently in the PIP criteria which makes me suspicious.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 21 Feb 2012 12:08PM
That's a really good letter  >thumbsup<  Just one thing to bear in mind, though - they're not really considering things like how your ability to look after your children is affected, they are looking at your care/mobility needs while you are performing daily activities for your own self-care.  Whether you can work or not is also outside the scope of the DLA scheme, so you may wish to remove references to childcare and getting to work ..
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 21 Feb 2012 12:12PM
PS - the above is from memory.  I will double-check it later....
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 21 Feb 2012 01:51PM
Thanks Kizzy. The reason I mentioned work is that my GP has noticed a huge change in my mental health since I went back to work and she is very concerned if I give up work i'll end up in counselling and on antidepressants again. the antidepressants make the fogginess worse and to be honest, i try to avoid them at all costs. Again, I'll reword the childcare bit. The point I want to make is that if I had the children on my own full time I wouldn't be able to care for myself because I would be too exhausted and the anxiety would kick in again.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 21 Feb 2012 02:24PM
Hi again,

I had doubts after I'd posted about the work thing (it happens!) as I remembered the leaflet we get with DLA award notices telling us what changes to report... and I located this regarding notifying the DLA unit of change in circumstances:

If the customer starts work, training or work experience training, their entitlement to Disability Living Allowance/Attendance Allowance (DLA/AA) is only affected if the amount of help they need has reduced or increased.

(guidance issued to DLA processing staff - source: Benefits and Work as per earlier link)

Now that to me would indicate that, potentially, being at work could mean you have greater care and mobility needs - they do say 'increased' as a possibility there! - so perhaps leave that in after all about if you lost the car, you would have to give up work... but add to the end of that sentence how that in turn would make your mental health symptoms even worse, as confirmed by your GP.  It may then equate to:   loss of mobility help = worsening of condition ....

As for the childcare, I see what point you're making there - I suppose the part I was a bit iffy about was you stating you tried to avoid painkillers because of looking after the children. I didn't want anything perhaps 'held against you'!! But you've explained the other negative side of taking these pills - the side-effects and the fact that they don't make the difference to the pain that you would hope for, so that should cover it :-)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Prabhakari on 21 Feb 2012 02:41PM
More sympathy from me to Helen.

Not easy to find words, but I CARE. I care deeply.

With metta, Prabhakari.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Hurtyback on 21 Feb 2012 03:29PM
Well done, Helen, you have made a great start on your campaign!!
 
Please may I be 'picky'? At one point you have used the word 'exasperate'  (to make angry) when I think you mean 'exacerbate' (to make worse).
 
 >rose<
 
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 21 Feb 2012 05:55PM
Hi Helen
Your letter is really good but I'd remove references to childcare as the DWP can assume that if you are looking after children you have no care needs of your own.   The other thing I wasn't sure of is how long is 100 yards - a yard is 3.3 feet I think and a metre is 3.5 feet so f you can walk 100 yards then according to this convertor you can walk 100 yd = 91.44 m, so thats 8 bus lengths so you wouldn't get high rate mobility even though they are meant to consider the speed & manner of your walking

I've only copied part of your letter & will try & highlight the bits that dwp will latch onto to remove the award

In my original application I stated I could walk half a mile but in recent days I have realised this is a massive overestimation. Because of my disability I don't walk very far at all and so it's hard to estimate how far I can actually walk. This overestimation was based on good days from some time ago and my good days are now few and far between.   I can only occasionally walk more than 100 yards if I prepare well in advance and have time to rest before and after. If I do walk I need to sleep more when I get home and I have to take more painkillers and I have to have a 30 minute rest before walking home again. If I do not rest before walking home I suffer from muscle spasms in my legs and am at risk of falling. Therefore to walk any distance I need to use a crutch. The extra painkillers make me more drowsy, foggy headed and cause me to suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and nausea. Because of these symptoms I do not take extra painkillers as it leaves me feeling very groggy and spaced out (I would removed this when my children are around because I don't feel safe to care for them). Often the painkillers have little effect on the pain – even when taking the maximum dose. On a day to day basis walking more than 50 yards causes me to suffer from severe pain and so I try not to walk any further than that. I therefore rely heavily on my car and recently purchased a powerchair. I am also awaiting an assessment for a new manual wheelchair as my current one is too heavy for me to push myself in and my GP and myself feel that using it on a daily basis will improve my mobility and help me to loose weight improving my back problems. Recently I was diagnosed as having a curvature in my spine which is causing a chronic pain disorder which is difficult to treat because my CFS limits my ability to exercise and travel to appointments. I have also been diagnosed with fibromyalgia which further effects my ability to exercise.

Without my motability car and powerchair I would be housebound. The nearest bus stop to my home is over 100 yards away and by the time I got to the stop I would already be in pain. (The buses stop at 3pm so the service is not suitable for collecting my children from school unfortunately not relevant to DWP & they won’t consider it) . If I need to travel to Harrogate for hospital appointments I would need to use 3 busses and walk 100 yards to the bus stop near my house and 100 yards from the bus stop to the hospital. The buses do not time well and the considerable wait in a cold bus station exasperates my symptoms further. It's a similar story for getting to work and if I lose my car I will be forced to give up work.


I would try not to be specific about the distances but add a bit about severe pain and discomfort that you suffer especially if the pain is constant
I know it seems picky but I hope thats constructive
best wishes
Monic

Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: devine63 on 21 Feb 2012 10:25PM
Hi

I don't want to distract from the good advice, but ref the work situation - have you applied to Access to Work for help?   They might pay for taxis or other transport if you do lose your car, for example.   See
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/Employmentsupport/WorkSchemesAndProgrammes/DG_4000347 

regards, Deb
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 22 Feb 2012 10:29AM
That's fab advice and i've reworded accordingly. I want to take it to show the GP tonight (my daughter has an appointment so i thought i'd hand it to her so she can come up with something before my appointment on tuesday which is a double one). Been waiting 2 days for the physio to ring my call - this is the physio who should have rung me over a week ago so that's very irritating
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: oldtone27 on 22 Feb 2012 12:38PM
On a point of accuracy and pedantry

A yard is 3 feet precisely.

A metre is 1 metre = 3.28 feet approx (3 feet 3 and 3/8 inches)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 22 Feb 2012 07:21PM
On a point of accuracy and pedantry

A yard is 3 feet precisely.

A metre is 1 metre = 3.28 feet approx (3 feet 3 and 3/8 inches)

Old tone - I really wouldn't know - I used an online convertor  >lol<- the one I try to remember is it says in the ESA50 for that a bus is 11 meters long so when I filling in the forms I ask people "so could you walk 5 bus lengths if they are parked back to back" - most folk can visualise that & will say yes or no
 >hugs<
monic
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Prabhakari on 22 Feb 2012 09:24PM
Three feet make Jake the Peg, with his extra leg.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: stalwart on 05 Mar 2012 04:07PM
The "Decision Makers Guide" (used by DWP) states that "virtually unable to walk" is:
a.  their ability to walk out of doors is so  limited considering
the distance over which or
the speed at which or
the length of time or
the manner in which
they can make progress on foot without severe discomfort

note it is not pain but severe discomfort,  it's always better to used "trigger words"


How it was explained to me is that if you can walk 100m but are suffering severe discomfort for 80m then you are adjudged to be only capable of walking 20m.

So time yourself over a fixed distance and note all signs of and how many times you suffer severe discomfort.

Have to stop there as my hands are playing up. >doh<
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 06 Mar 2012 04:45PM
The "Decision Makers Guide" (used by DWP) states that "virtually unable to walk" is:
a.  their ability to walk out of doors is so  limited considering
the distance over which or
the speed at which or
the length of time or
the manner in which
they can make progress on foot without severe discomfort

Why is it "distance over which or", etc and not "distance over which and"? Because surely, all are relevant?
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 06 Mar 2012 08:25PM
Ah, but at least a person can qualify on just the one 'xxxx which or' instead of having to meet every single one of them...
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 07 Mar 2012 11:04AM
well given at the moment I can't walk at all without severe pain and I have a report from my GP and the hospital to that effect I hope it will work out.

The insane thing is the car goes before i've even had chance to have my appeal looked at. My Dad's having to help me out with this so at least I will have a car.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 13 Apr 2012 08:53AM
Thought i'd updated this but clearly not. As part of the reconsideration they wrote to my GP and asked her to comment on various things. Most of them were the logical things but on it they also asked her to comment on my dementia. Now I don't have dementia, I have memory problems caused by my fibro and CFS and as a side effect to my medication but I certainly don't have dementia! Not least because i'm only 29 years old.

Then to to add insult to injury the letter saying that they were contacting my GP was addressed to the flats near my home which have a similar name and was found by a friend. I'm really angry because I don't really want strangers knowing my business!

Just waiting now. The worst thing has been loosing my blue badge. My GP says i'd fail the assessment because if you can walk across the room you basically don't qualify. Seems ludicrious when i've just been given a wheelchair prescription!
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: KizzyKazaer on 13 Apr 2012 09:55AM
Hi Helen, sorry to hear you've experienced some official incompetence there  >doh<

My GP says i'd fail the assessment because if you can walk across the room you basically don't qualify.

I'm surprised that your GP was peddling this nonsense - she obviously hasn't read and absorbed the HRM 'virtually unable to walk' criteria, as posted by Stalwart upthread.  Let that misinformed statement go 'in one ear and out the other'....

Seems ludicrious when i've just been given a wheelchair prescription!

Well, that should be a good piece of supporting evidence, for starters!  Anyway, fingers crossed and all that  >fingerscrossed< >clover<
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: hossylass on 13 Apr 2012 09:59AM
Have you phoned them about the address thing?

I think you should do that first - just ask them what adress they have.
Then explain about the letter. Point out this is not about your DLA or appeal - but an admin problem that really shouldn't have arisen and you dont want any more mistakes like this!

You may wish to complain officially, which is your choice, but may be the only way to get them to check all your details are correct on all their bits of paper and systems.
Try and sort that out, if only to shift that particular "angry and upset" feeling from your side, and to make sure they dont accuse you of noty giving them the "wrong" information.
You may have to send them the letter - only ever send a copy!

What did your GP say about the dementia thing?
I just checked here; http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dementia/Pages/Introduction.aspx to make sure taht dementia suddenly hadn't become the new term for cognitive and memory problems, and unless your GP knows otherwise I think this is very weird.

This is a long shot, but are the two things connected? Have they jumbled your file with someone else's?

I'd check about your blue badge, you can get one without DLA.
Did you send the DWP a copy of your prescription for the wheelchair?
You can send them a copy, with your name, address, date of birth and national insurance number as "supporting evidence".
"Supporting evidence" can be sent at any point.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 13 Apr 2012 11:45AM
Just waiting now. The worst thing has been loosing my blue badge. My GP says i'd fail the assessment because if you can walk across the room you basically don't qualify. Seems ludicrious when i've just been given a wheelchair prescription!

It's not just about distance. It's about how long it takes you, whether you have to stop, etc.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Hurtyback on 13 Apr 2012 11:46AM
and how much pain/breathlessness/fatigue you suffer whilst walking
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 13 Apr 2012 05:48PM
Hi
re this statement by the GP "My GP says i'd fail the assessment because if you can walk across the room you basically don't qualify. "   I think they are getting the ESA mixed up with DLA as well.  the ESA criteria for walking also considers moving in a chair
"Mobilising unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonable be used.
Cannot either
1.   mobilise more than 50 meters on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion; or
repeatedly mobilise 50 meters within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.

And the DLA criteria for  High Rate Mobility is
No 1. you are unable to walk or
No 2. you are virtually unable to walk or
No 3. the exertion required to walk would constitute a danger to your life or would be likely to lead to a serious deterioration in your health or
No 4. you have no legs or feet (from birth or through amputation)
No 5. you are both deaf and blind or
No 6 you are entitled to highest rate care component and are severely mentally impaired with extremely disruptive and dangerous behavioural problems.
As the others have said they must consider the speed and manner of your walking as well.

I agree with Hossy that you need to get the address thing sorted as its a breach of confidentiallity - a complaint might help them get their finger out.
Good luck & take care
Monic
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: devine63 on 14 Apr 2012 12:31AM
Hi

I have a blue badge and I don't currently have DLA.  The assessment for the badge was very simple, she had me walk along a corridor for about 25 metres and observed that I (a) get very breathless and (b) I walk significantly more slowly than other people.  They agreed to both a blue badge and a freedom pass and more recently to Taxicard as well.

However my DLA application was just refused "because I can walk 100m" so like you I shall be appealing....

Just a thought re the medical evidence: how about if you write a description of all your difficulties and their impact on your everyday life, then send a copy of that with a covering letter to each of the doctors you want to contribute and ask whether each of them could add their signature (or a covering letter) to your description and send it to DWP saying they agree with your description?

regards, Deb
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 15 Apr 2012 07:57AM
The problem I have is that it effects me after i've been walking so I can walk the 25 metres fine. It's later I suffer from severe fatigue and pain and my legs give way. My GP has been through this with 2 other people recently with blue badges who have been turned down and they had worse problems than I do, hense her comments. I will apply for one and see what happens. Went to a retail park yesterday and my husband ended up pushing me accross the carpark in the wheelchair because it was too far to push myself and it meant that I had to rely on my 6 year old to get my 3 year old twins accross. If I was out on my own It would be impossible.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 17 Apr 2012 10:57AM
Received a letter this morning saying that someones coming a week on Friday for a medical. Luckily I've been through one before with my husband so i'm not panicing too much about it. The house is littered with mobility aids and is a pigsty so i'm glad they're coming here. Any advice though would be very welcome. At the time he's coming i'll be exhausted from the school run and my meds will be waring off which in a way is a godsend.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 17 Apr 2012 01:37PM
I've been told not to things that aren't normally done and to ensure that aids / medication are where you'd expect to find them.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Monic1511 on 17 Apr 2012 09:49PM
Helen
don't change your routine in any way, don't tidy up either, I know the instinct is to do this when you have visitors but he ain't coming to visit - he'll observe etc
good luck & if your took knackered to get off the couch then don't bother
Monic
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sofie on 17 Apr 2012 11:34PM
They observe you from the moment you open the door. So, it'll look a bit strange if you claim "I can't walk at all" and open the door and not using any aids.

Also, they may argue that if you have an almost full bottle of medication, you may not really need it. You would then explain that this is a new bottle. If it's prescribed, the date it was prescribed will be on there.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: helenpage on 27 Apr 2012 11:03AM
friday morning is the morning my friend comes and sorts out my medication so we've just restocked everything typically. I'm using my crutch all the time so there's no problem there but my worry is that because i'll be here on my own it will have a negative impact on things. The fact that there's a tray with my meds on, a water bottle and the remants of my dinner put there by my husband this morning because otherwise I forget might go against me. He has to work and get the children so there is no way he could be with me, my mum's car has broken down and my friend is working.

My husband had a medical a couple of years ago and it was actually a very positive experience. The doctor gave him loads of advice and told him he should be registered as visually impaired as he was having so many problems. It's not like it's a new thing and I kinda know what to expect.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 27 Apr 2012 11:33AM
I already said something on the other thread about the medical so I will just wish you Good Luck here.
:-)
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 28 Apr 2012 08:39AM
http://ouchtoo.org/index.php?topic=2880.msg29898;topicseen#msg29898
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal - updated
Post by: helenpage on 14 May 2012 11:34AM
Well the reconsideration was a waste of time. I have multiple issues with it and i'm really angry.

Firstly my claim for higher rate mobility was once again rejected. I'm currently in chronic pain and every step is a challenge - both in terms of fatigue and in terms of pain. I can't walk without a stick because it's even more painful. The criteria for HRM states:-

because of a physical disability, you are unable or virtually unable to walk without severe discomfort, or at risk of endangering your life or causing deterioration in your health by making the effort to walk

Every step causes severe discomfort, every step is exhausting, every step means I need more painkillers which aggrivate my IBS and give me diorhea and make my cfs flare up more and more. For this reason my GP and social worker both agreed that I needed a wheelchair.

As for care despite listing a number of falls they have decided that i'm not at risk of falling. As for bathing and showering they've said I don't need help despite me and my GP saying I can't stand long enough to shower and I can't get in and out of the bath without someone to help me. They've said I don't need help at night despite me having to wake my husband at night so that he can help me with my pain meds because not so long ago I took an overdose because i'd pointblank forgotten that i'd had them. They've not considered the impact of my memory problems whatsoever because the medical assessor asked the GP to comment on my dementia which she couldn't do because I don't have dementia. I never said that I did - the DWP did when they read about memory problems! The medical assessor wasn't asked to comment on it as a result. My memory problems are a result of my CFS and I suspect because of the DWPs error that's why it's not been included in any of the results. Even more amusing is the face that they say the reason I can't cook is due to lifting. It's not at all - it's because I burn everything because I forget what i'm doing and I stand stand for very long!

I'm seeing my MP on Friday and am going to appeal. I feel that certainly with regards to my care award, errors have been made. There is also still the issue of writing to me at the wrong address as well.

Fingers crossed
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: seegee on 14 May 2012 12:46PM
Hope the appeal gives the right result and that you manage not to be too stressed-out waiting for it, Helen.  >hugs<
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Fiz on 15 May 2012 06:15PM
The DWP rarely change their minds at reconsideration stage, results are much better and much fairer at Tribunals. I'm really sorry you are going through this and the stress of the time it takes, but really hope the result is just and fair when it comes. Lets hope your wait is not too long.
Title: Re: DLA - Going to appeal
Post by: Hurtyback on 16 May 2012 01:52PM
I am so sorry that the recon went against you  >hugs< . I can't understand why I was given HRM but you weren't  :-( . The battle has been lost, but the war is not over yet!