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IB & DLA, Please help, not sure what to do

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I am cuerrently in receipt of the long term, higer rate element of IB and the lower rates of care & mobility of DLA. I have claimed Ib since my first child was born in 1999 and DLA since my second was born in 2006, I am a single Mum. I have suffered with extreme mental health issues since 1999 which got worse in 2006 leaving me agrophobic? unable to leave the house by myself and being very scared of going out by myself and being with other people, this along with servere depression, sucicide attempts, panic attacts and feelings amongst other things.


When I became a single parent I was unable to take my son to school, its a bus ride away and he was too small to go by himself on the bus so I have paid for him to go there and back in taxis (that have been CBR checked etc). That was fine, it took him straight to the school door and picked him up from there. (this cost £35 per week) The problem came this September when my other child had to start school, I had to take her and since she started I have beeen gettiung taxis there and back at a cost of £70 (the cost has doubled becuase the taxi has to bring me back) per week as too afriad to get in buses etc. I can no longer afford this but if the children don't go to c=school I could end up in prison which is where I am now, I dont feel right sending a four year old in a taxi albeit with her elder sibling, its not right and the schoolm have made it clear that they would not be happy with that, her part of the school is set some difference away with from the main school. I called DLA and explained that I couldnt afford it and I couldnt go on the bus. The man said you get DLA as you need someone with nyou when you go out, which I do he said he would send me a form asking them to look at my claim again (i could either send it in or not) and I could either end up losing it altogther or possibly an increase. I cant manage without so so decided not to take the chance.


The only optio is for me to get the bus with the children and come back on my own, 2 journeys with the kids, two by myself and to be honest its scaring me silly, I suffer from panic attacts frequently and just the thought of getting on the bus fills me with dread but having seen the news this morning about clamping down on benefit cheats has made me not know what to do. I am not a cheat but would I be seen as one by getting on a bus, I have no option, I cant afford £70 per week for taxis and it would cost me approx £28 per week on buses. There is nobody else to take the kids andits not within walking distance.


So there lies my problem, Im scared to go on buses but I cant afford £70 for taxis

and secondly if I do get the bus am I going to be classed as a enefit cheat which I'm not, either way I cannot afford to lose the DLA I get.


Also, sorry about all this, but what is gouing to happen to people ioon IB and DLA in the soon future as I understand that (I think) that i will have to claim a new benefit and people with mental health problems are goung to lose all thier benefits, I just dont know what to do or how i'll cope, im scared stiff and worried nobody will listennor understand, would it be better just to, well, i just dont know and cant stop crying, dont kmow whaat to do at all and can see i will get no help

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My understanding of DLA care component is that there is no obligation attached (e.g. actually employing a paid carer). I would expect that this is the same regards to mobility and the awards are yours to spend as you wish on whatever you think can help you.

This is just my opinion and experience talking and should not be taken as definitive, hopefully someone more authoritative will come along soon and clarify the situation.

Edited by loan_ranger
missed ")"

I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - [URL="http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/benefits-tax-credits-minimum/127741-benefits-advice.html"]see this post[/URL] by Joa, great advice and links! I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.

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Please, could anybody help

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Hi there,


sorry your having such a rough time of it lately. but i do think i can offer you a bit of advice


i have worked supporting families like yours for the last ten years and i also suffer from MH problems including social anxiety, which has now caused me to give up work so i do understand your problem.


with regards to your DLA your fear of being accused is common for us with MH problems and i believe this is because there is a lack of social acceptance of MH as a disability. you wont get higher mobility though unless you are virtually unable to walk so if you do not have a disability of this type then i wouldn't bother, however you may push for middle or even higher rate care because of your suicide attempts for someone to supervise you for your safety.

can i please ask if you were admitted to hospital due to suicide attempts, if so did they allocate you a social worker, or any kind of worker to ensure the welfare of your children if anything were to happen to you (not saying they are at risk AT ALL but god forbid an attempt is successful).


do you have a firm diagnosis of acrophobia i only ask because there are so many different elements and similarities to it and a firm diagnosis may make it easier for others to understand. are you seeing a psychologist or have a community psychiatric nurse / mental health practitioner


if you have any of the above workers go straight to them and tell them your difficulties and that you are struggling to cope.

if your youngest is under five you should be able to access the local outreach worker ask your school about this.


if non of these are possible speak to your child s teacher and ask about a COMMON ASSESSMENT you can look this up on the dfes website, there's loads of info. these assessments are targeted towards families with disabilities those who are struggling to cope or need addition support, you cannot have one of these done if you have a social worker though. its solution focused and focuses on the outcome not the past so you wont be judged. they can refer you to other universal services or social services apply for grants and help you find a way to make this work. it will also involve getting all professional involved with the family together so that the whole team (this is referred to as TAC team around the child or multi agency working) can input into an action plan


social services often pay for children's taxis to school when the parent cannot take for a valid proven reason, ive seen 3 year olds come on their own and parents bring their children in the taxi, and i think this is what you need to push for as using the buses could be detrimental to your MH right now and you are already having a bad episode


All children's services are working towards being partners with parents and focusing on the positive, supporting any family that needs it no matter what their job title is. unfortunately though some are a bit slower to catch on with this. i am very saddened that no one has offered you any support but i promise you it is out there, speak out and remind them f their own accountability if anything should happen god forbid they will be responsible for not taking action.


have a read of the

common assessment framework

every child matters

children and young peoples plan


to give you a bit of background knowledge this should make you a little more confident in approaching professionals, remember that its their job never ever be afraid of asking for help, i know this is easier said then done.


i hope some of that was of help to you, please let us know how you get on



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The whole world is made of faith, trust and pixie dust :p

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Oscar909, you have been some good advice above.


We were in a similar situation a couple of years ago. I couldn't take my child to school on foot, can't drive because no car and mental health problems similar to yours by the sound of things.


Do you have support from mental health services? We got a care plan from my psychiatrist and a CPN who visits weekly or more often when things get hairy. If you haven't got this you need to ask for it asap.


Our CPN got us access to social services and after an assessment of our situation we got help from a local charity. They funded the taxi fare for us while things were at the worst.


The main thing is getting the care and support you obviously need. Things are a bit better now for us, not that my health has improved much, but we get better support.


Things are very up in the air over the benefits stuff and it is true that those of us who don't "look" disabled often feel like everyone thinks we are the "scroungers" mentioned so often in the media. BUT WE ARE NOT. Our conditions are unstable and the effect on our lives and those around us are severe. Many of us are worried sick and that doesn't help our mental health much either.


Just shout if you need anything and I hope you can get something sorted. Access to proper care from your mental health team was the starting point for us.



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