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Top Disability related benefits topic #7736

Subject: "DLA appeal " First topic | Last topic
frodo
                              

manager cab, south staffordshire cab
Member since
11th May 2007

DLA appeal
Thu 10-Jun-10 02:33 PM

Hi all. Just wondered if anyone has encountered a similar situation to the following and has any advice/strategies?..

I am currently advising a client who is appealing a DLA decision. Client is 70yrs old and was awarded HRM/MRC in 1996. Award made for life.

Client was sent periodic review forms at the start of this year and completed them himself. As a result his entire award was removed and he contacted CAB for advice and we are now helping him to appeal against the decision.

Having now received the appeal paperwork it isn't too hard to understand why award refused t.b.h; the latest forms are extremely sketchy, particularly compared to the original claim form which is extremly detailed and I assume client had some assistance from a CAB or other agency. Large chunks of the latest forms are completely blank.

Client and his wife confirm his disabilities/conditions have not improved since 1996, in fact his health is slowly deteriorating. I have talked to client about the difference between the forms, and it transpires client, who is very independent, completed the latest forms himself and hid them from his wife as he did not want any help .Client now accepts he didn't really know what information DWP was looking for, and he didn't really understand the forms but he flicked through then briefly then posted them back.

So I contacted clients GP to try and obtain some medical evidence confirming his condition is unchanged, but client changed GP some months ago and new GP reports she does not know client well enough to comment. Client no longer sees the specialists detailed in the last forms. At present, my plan for the appeal mainly consists of stating that clients condition is unchanged from the original forms and explaining to the panel why the review forms were so poorly completed. Client understands this and is in agreement but I would really like a bit more to go on, particularly as there is the fact client is now over 65yrs and has v.limited chances to get the HRM component back.

Does anyone have any advice they could give or experience of a similar situation. If there are any decisions relating to form completion/clients lack of competence or understanding then they would also be much appreciated.

Many thanks
Sarah

  

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notts advisor
                              

welfare rights officer, nottingham city council
Member since
10th Mar 2010

RE: DLA appeal
Thu 10-Jun-10 03:03 PM

Have you thought of requesting a copy of his medical records in leiu of a report? Cost is usually about 50 I think. These should hopefully help to confirm that he has not got better, particularly if there has been an increase in medication over the years. Obviously that still doesn't guarantee he will get an award but it will be better than no evidence at all.

If his disabilities are mental health problems you could possibly argue that they contributed to him making a hash of the forms. In my experience some tribunals will be more supportive than others about taking badly completed forms with a pinch of salt, so it may well come down to luck as to who you get. If you get a sensible panel they will realise that people do struggle with DLA forms. If it was me I would also make it very clear in a written submission that the client does not feel the form fully reflects his diffculties and wants to give further oral evidence - I hope you have persuaded him to attend a tribunal! They have to weigh all evidence and can give everything the weight they feel is appropriate, so may be willing to give less weight to the form in favour of other evidence. If he gives good oral evidence at a tribunal and what he is saying is consistent with the disabilities he has, then he might be OK.

Hope that helps.

  

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Top Disability related benefits topic #7736First topic | Last topic