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My wife has claimed Attendance Allowance - how does proving her needs work?


hensteeth
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Eventually I have persuaded my wife to claim Attendance Allowance. I did so by getting AgeUK to come round and talk to her.

 

Now they completed the form for her and she received a letter from the DWP confirming receipt.

 

Then she had another letter last week telling her that they are writing to her consultant.

 

I have no problem with them doing that except that the Consultant is under a misunderstanding.

 

I have a letter that he sent to the GP which outlines her problems which give rise to the difficulties she has. However the letter also says that my wife told him that she has absolutely no difficulty with walking or sitting down. I did not go in with her (she didn't want me in there). I have asked her why she said those things to which she replied she did not and moreso was never asked a question relating to them.

 

She does admit that she had difficulty in understanding him (his English was not very good) and might have said that when sat down on a hard chair she is OK, but getting down and back up again is another matter. As for walking, she remembers telling him that she does not use any aids as I or our family help her. She does have great difficulty walking, but manages with effort.

 

Anyhow I have sent the GP a letter telling them that my wife never said those statements.

 

The DWP have said that they don't need to write to the GP and only want a report from the Consultant.

 

We are worried about this statement as it isn't true. I haven't sent the copy letter to the DWP as although it is very thorough and tells it as it is clearly mentioning her needs day and night, that sentence would destroy any credibility.

 

Where do we go from here?

 

Considering that it has taken me 8 years to get her to the GP in the first place to ask for help, and three years to accepting to make a claim, she only did so on the understanding (told to AgeUK) that she would not be poked and prodded by anybody relating to this claim. (ATOS doctor) AgeUK assured her that it would be very unlikely that that would happen as they have never known ATOS to do a medical for Attendance Allowance claims that they have sent in.

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I would wait, dont jump in, they will write to the consultant to get the Info they need. If you send them the letter the consultant sent the GP and the Copy of the letter you send the GP and this stage it will do no good.

It could confuse matters

Wait to see if they award the benefit, they may well do, if they dont then you can appeal or ask for a reconsideration.

Then if they have used the wrong info provided by your wife because she couldnt understand his English then you can you this as part of your appeal.

 

and you can get a statement off her doctor who knows her condition better then the consultant, plus you can send a letter as well,

because you know how much care she really needs..

 

Hopefully you will get there in the end.

 

A lot of people dont claim the benefits they are clearly entitled to for many reasons, a lot are like your wife dont like the hastle, all you can do is keep trying for her...

Edited by MIKEY DABODEE
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I would wait, dont jump in, they will write to the consultant to get the Info they need. If you send them the letter the consultant sent the GP and the Copy of the letter you send the GP and this stage it will do no good.

It could confuse matters

Wait to see if they award the benefit, they may well do, if they dont then you can appeal or ask for a reconsideration.

Then if they have used the wrong info provided by your wife because she couldnt understand his English then you can you this as part of your appeal.

 

and you can get a statement off her doctor who knows her condition better then the consultant, plus you can send a letter as well,

because you know how much care she really needs..

 

Hopefully you will get there in the end.

 

A lot of people dont claim the benefits they are clearly entitled to for many reasons, a lot are like your wife dont like the hastle, all you can do is keep trying for her...

 

Thankyou

 

I have since contacted the consultant's secretary to explain the problem with the comments that were never made. She told me that she would give the consultant a 'slap on the wrist' but more importantly, there will be no reply coming from him to the DWP as 'he is under no obligation to give one and besides which he is far too busy and doesn't get paid to do it'. She said that the DWP form will be sent back uncompleted advising the DWP to contact the GP.

 

Since then I have spoken to the DWP and told them that they are wasting their time sending for a report from the consultant as I have been told by his secretary that one will NOT be completed for them as he will not get paid for it.

 

What happens from now is anybody's guess.

 

I understand the appeal process and having to get evidence , but where my wife is concerned it will be something that she will not be keen on.

 

Getting her to even see the GP was bad enough, convincing her to see an ATOS doctor will be almost impossible and her even thinking about going to a Tribunal will make my life hell at home!! I like life as it is at the moment, the last thing I need will be the daily rants and raves!!!

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I was always under the impression that the medical profession did get paid for completing a questionnaire, I certainly know that GP's get paid if DLA write to them asking for a report on a patient.

 

Maybe phone his secretary again and ask her to ask the consultant to delete the section of the letter that is incorrect and resend your wife and GP an updated copy, after all, if it is that the consultant has got his facts wrong, then surely your wife has a right to have her records/letter amended. You could then send the updated letter to AA via Special Delivery.

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I was always under the impression that the medical profession did get paid for completing a questionnaire, I certainly know that GP's get paid if DLA write to them asking for a report on a patient.

 

Maybe phone his secretary again and ask her to ask the consultant to delete the section of the letter that is incorrect and resend your wife and GP an updated copy, after all, if it is that the consultant has got his facts wrong, then surely your wife has a right to have her records/letter amended. You could then send the updated letter to AA via Special Delivery.

 

Thankyou

 

I have checked this out. GP's are required under their contract to prepare and submit reports to the DWP. They get a fee for doing this type of work. Consultants and any other medical professional are under no contract and do not have to comply with any request made by the DWP - if they did send such a report (their choice) no fee will be payable by the DWP - they would do the work on a charitable basis or seek to recover a fee from the patient.

 

The DWP have already told me that they do not wish to contact the GP, preferring the consultant instead.

 

I did that when I telephoned her. She said that the letter was sent to the GP direct and that I only have a copy of the letter as given to my wife by the GP. If alterations are required, it is between the GP and the consultant to sort out.

I can't very well insist that the GP asks the consultant to change the contents of the letter as he was not a party to the original conversation - only the consultant and my wife were.

 

Never mind we will have to see what happens now.

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OK, I thought the consultant had sent your wife a copy of his letter which he sent to the GP. Where I live that is what happens, consultant always sends a copy letter direct.

 

I would ask the secretary again, or if you feel uncomfortable doing so, how about contacting the PALs department at the hospital and explain your dilemma to them. Maybe they can have a word with the consultant. So frustrating for you all for one paragraph. Alternatively, maybe you may wish to consider asking the secretary for the consultant to reissue the letter minus the incorrect paragraph and pay a fee for the letter, although I think this is wrong, it may be a small price to pay to avoid a lot of hassle in the future and also the amount of benefit your wife is losing, therefore, longterm it may be worth considering. I would also suggest you collect it directly from the hospital incase it goes missing in the post.

 

Good luck.

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OK, I thought the consultant had sent your wife a copy of his letter which he sent to the GP. Where I live that is what happens, consultant always sends a copy letter direct.

 

I would ask the secretary again, or if you feel uncomfortable doing so, how about contacting the PALs department at the hospital and explain your dilemma to them. Maybe they can have a word with the consultant. So frustrating for you all for one paragraph. Alternatively, maybe you may wish to consider asking the secretary for the consultant to reissue the letter minus the incorrect paragraph and pay a fee for the letter, although I think this is wrong, it may be a small price to pay to avoid a lot of hassle in the future and also the amount of benefit your wife is losing, therefore, longterm it may be worth considering. I would also suggest you collect it directly from the hospital incase it goes missing in the post.

 

Good luck.

 

Thankyou

 

No, as I have said, she was handed a copy from the GP's computer. My wife never knew that the letter existed.

 

No, neither of us receives any letters from consultant's or otherwise. Between us we have 5 consultants that look after us, her 2 and me 3.

I never knew that we were entitled to see or know what was going on between GP's and Consultants.

 

I will speak with her tomorrow and explain how important it is to have the right information logged in and take it from there.

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We must be lucky where we live, I always receive a copy letter from all of my mother's consultants and the GP gets the original, of course you should be entitled to see what they are writing about you.

 

For the future, when either your wife or yourself see your consultant, ask if they can send you a copy of the letter they write to your GP.

 

If you can get the secretary to get the consultant to delete that paragraph that will hopefully solve your wife's problem. Something like a simple deletion of a paragraph will hopefully make so much difference to your lives.

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We must be lucky where we live, I always receive a copy letter from all of my mother's consultants and the GP gets the original, of course you should be entitled to see what they are writing about you.

 

For the future, when either your wife or yourself see your consultant, ask if they can send you a copy of the letter they write to your GP.

 

If you can get the secretary to get the consultant to delete that paragraph that will hopefully solve your wife's problem. Something like a simple deletion of a paragraph will hopefully make so much difference to your lives.

 

Well I have contacted his secretary and unfortunately he will not change the contents of the letter for two reasons. One because the letter was never meant for my wife, only the GP, and secondly he holds firm that that is what my wife said and/or he believes that is what she said!

 

Never mind

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Well I have contacted his secretary and unfortunately he will not change the contents of the letter for two reasons. One because the letter was never meant for my wife, only the GP, and secondly he holds firm that that is what my wife said and/or he believes that is what she said!

 

Never mind

 

If this consultant has got muddled up which can happen if English is not his/her first language, then if I were you or your wife, I would be worried about his diagnosis.

 

I would call PALS and speak to them to see if they can intervene on your wife's behalf. Also consider a second opinion from another consultant.

 

You have a right under the Freedom of Information Act to see all what the hospital have on their files about you so if he writes to your wife's GP out of courtesy he should send a copy to your wife. Anyway, his argument is weak as he could easily ask his secretary to write another letter to your wife leaving out the paragraph which is clearly in dispute.

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It may not even be a language issue, sounded more like a communication issue where there were questions implied in a conversation and also answers... reading between the lines is something I find doctors are prone to doing. It is a shame that effective listening and questionning were not considered as important as their other qualifications in my opinion.

 

As an aside but linked, it was in the news last week was it not where a patient in hospital literally died of thirst and when they had mentioned they needed a drink to their Doctor on rounds it was thought it was because they were perhaps an alcoholic!!:sad:

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It may not even be a language issue, sounded more like a communication issue where there were questions implied in a conversation and also answers... reading between the lines is something I find doctors are prone to doing. It is a shame that effective listening and questionning were not considered as important as their other qualifications in my opinion.

 

As an aside but linked, it was in the news last week was it not where a patient in hospital literally died of thirst and when they had mentioned they needed a drink to their Doctor on rounds it was thought it was because they were perhaps an alcoholic!!:sad:

 

Thankyou

 

Yes that is what happened. There were questions asked and my wife says that she answered them honestly and fully. But the letter the consultant issued to the GP states something totally different.

 

"How's your walking ability? Oh not too bad, I get about. Have you thought about applying for a wheelchair? Oh no, I don't want one of those things, I can still manage to use my legs and walk you know!"

 

" When you sit down are you comfortable? Oh yes, my husband gets the cushions sorted out for me so that I can get into a position where it is best comfortable."

 

Consultant writes " The patient reported no pain while sitting down or walking"

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