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My DLA to PIP journey


Nystagmite
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In September, I saw my GP who said that the treatment he was considering for me was botox injections. I saw a neurologist who agreed and diagnosed me with torticollis. Around that time, I asked my DLA to be looked at and they wrote to me GP. My GP wrote that I have torticollis and that I'm waiting for botox therapy.

 

In January, I saw the neurosurgeon, who disagreed with the diagnosis and the proposed treatment. He sent me for an MRI scan as he doesn't know (neither does anyone else) what's wrong with me.

 

Do DWP need to know that my treatment has now changed? I won't know what is going to be done until I see the neurosurgeon and get my MRI results in 2 weeks time.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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I'm in the middle of appealing my DLA. I'm getting help from CAB who think that I'm borderline for MRC and possibly meet the criteria for what DWP class as "severe sight loss".

 

I've been told that I need to go through everything I do / would like to do and write down what help I would need from another person. I've also been told to write down what would happen if I didn't get this help. (CAB has advised me to argue something along the lines of "would like to go out and would need help from another person. If I don't get this help, I'm stuck indoors and it's possibly the reason for my depression problems".

 

What counts as "attention throughout the day"? Is there a checklist somewhere? I also have other disabilities too - the DM (actually, every DM who has looked at my case over the last 3 and a half years) hasn't taken into account that a) what I have isn't just sight loss & b) that my other disabilities (an undiagnosed neck problem, IBS and depression) haven't been taken into account either. That is, my needs are different to someone who has either or of my diagnoses.

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There is no checklist as such, the matter has been greatly debated over the years. "Attention" can be any number of things. It can be direct or indirect. It can range from physical care, to supervision to simple encouragement. Attention is any form of help you receive from another person that a non disabled person would be able to do for themselves. The DMG's (Decision Makers Guides) will tell the DM's what they are to look for in making their determination, so they are a good starting point.

 

The DMG states:

Attention must be provided in the physical presence of the disabled person and will generally involve physical or personal contact. It may also be given by means of the spoken word, only where there is physical presence. Examples of attention by means of the spoken word include

1.guiding a blind person in unfamiliar surroundings will involve giving oral directions

2.reading personal correspondence to a person with a visual impairment

3.encouraging a person with a mental disability or illness to eat, wash, dress, get out of bed or some other activity where he would not otherwise do so.

 

In respect of "frequently", the DMG states:

 

“Frequent” means several times - not just once or twice. Attention given three times should not automatically be taken to mean frequent -all the facts of the case should be considered. The attention must be required throughout the day. The ordinary definition of frequent is “occurring often or in close succession”. Whether attention is given frequently depends on the length of time which passes between each spell of attention.

Example

Attention given first thing in the morning, again at lunch time and again in the evening, is not normally regarded as frequently throughout the day.

“Repeated” means more than once. It suggests that there is a certainty in the attention that is required -it is not a one-off or occasional requirement

 

You can view the DMG in detail here

My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

 

 

Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against

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  • 5 weeks later...

I am seriously considering moving. I currently receive DLA and IBJSA. How is my JSA affected? I won't be in the same city; so would have to sign on elsewhere. I will need to change my JSAg slightly; but I know this is easy to do.

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In January, I received my award notice, which stated a load of conflicting information - one minute, they were stating that I'm at risk of danger, falling and dangerous behaviour and in the next line, they were stating I'm not.

 

I have appealed against this. I've put my appeal in writing and have received the papers.

 

I saw someone from CAB a few weeks ago who went through a load of stuff with me. He made me appointment to see him on Monday 4th April and asked me to bring proof of IBJSA award.

 

I couldn't make the appointment and handed in bank statements to prove that I get IBJSA. I received a letter this morning stating that they're closing my case. Their reasons being I didn't attend the appointment (I phoned up that morning to say I couldn't attend) and that I've not sent proof of benefits; nor do I meet the criteria for legal aid. (my income is IBJSA and DLA)

 

It's impossible to get an appointment with them - the only way to get an appointment is to be there for 10am - that's not always possible. There's no other organisations who can really help; so it looks I'm going to have to do this alone. I don't want to; but I'm am not happy at all with the service I've received from CAB. They stated they were going to make me another appointment - instead, they closed my case.

 

I seem to remember that someone has produced a template for ESA. Now, I know the criteria is different for both; but is there really anything to stop me from using that and editing it, so that it does fit with DLA and my situation? I've not had a medical; so I know most stuff isn't relevant to me.

 

A lot of my problems, appear to be that I have 2 conditions, which are misunderstood. As a result of one, I am colourblind and have the other condition, which amongst other things, has left me with permanent muscle damage and balance problems. The DWP have decided, despite me constantly stating this, that this isn't the case. Yet, ask anyone with the same conditions, and they'll say what I have in regards to balance. My GP report clearly states that I have upper muscle problems. At the time of writing his report, he stated the diagnosis and the proposed treatment. I saw a neurosurgeon in January, who stated that this treatment isn't happening and I don't have that diagnosis - he doesn't actually know what I have; (I am hoping to find out next week) but has decided it's neither of the conditions that has been previously diagnosed.

 

With my last lot of forms, I sent in a lot of information, including letters stating what my vision was like at the time of application. Whoever dealt with my form, has decided to dismiss that and use the information from 2007. The information from 2007 is now not correct. In 2007 it was; now it's not - any letter confirming my vision after 2007 states this. I included a diary - they decided that I don't need the help that I claim I do. Yet, at the time of application, a friend actually said that he believes that I shouldn't be left alone due to my behaviour.

 

I appear, looking at the decision makers handbook, to fall in between (because I'm awkward like hat) the categories for moderate and severe sight loss. (need more help than people with moderate; but not quite the amount that people with severe need - looking at the visual acuities thing, for one eye, I'm in moderate and in the other, I'm in severe ) Do they really take much notice of this document? Due to having multiple disabilities (including mental health problems, (it's possible that I have Autism) IBS and various sight difficulties, including short sightedness, partial sight, colourblindness, photophobia, a condition whereby the eyes wobble and where the optic disks and nerves aren't formed properly) I think they're not taking them all into account. I have different needs to people with just one of those conditions.

 

According to the representative at the CAB, I should be on mid care and low mobility. I already receive low care and low mobility.

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Hello

 

So you too are having problems! I can't help you much really as you well know, but I never realised that you will only get help from the CAB if you qualify for what was called 'Legal Aid'. To do so, will mean that you have to have proof that you are on a means tested benefit. Also you have the opinion that the CAB are not the most efficient or equitable of organisations either.

That of course now scuppers the many suggestions of seeking help from them for my own affairs!

The only means tested benefit I am entitled to is the one I am fighting to get, so at the moment I don't have any proof. That is unless they chose to take a flyer and worked with me to get it then they can have the proof!!

 

Going it alone as you well know from my problems is fraught with all sorts of hurdles. I certainly don't envy you, and it does put into perspective what is happening to me.

 

Strange that people are telling me to get help, like you have tried to, yet all along that help is almost impossible to obtain.

 

All I can say is damn good luck, I've been at it as you know for 19 months with at least another 12 on the horizon and I'm trained, have qualified and practiced in certain aspects of financial law & litigation for over 40 years until my retirement on grounds of ill health in Dec 2010.

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I am on means tested benefits. They claim I failed the test to prove what benefits I'm on. A man from the JSA helpline has confirmed what I'm on and I've given them bank statements to prove it. (because of the DLA / disability premiums, I receive more than basic JSA - reflected on the bank statements)

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I am on means tested benefits. They claim I failed the test to prove what benefits I'm on. A man from the JSA helpline has confirmed what I'm on and I've given them bank statements to prove it. (because of the DLA / disability premiums, I receive more than basic JSA - reflected on the bank statements)

 

On JSAIB you qualify for legal aid. Certainly our service would have accepted bank statements as initial evidence - then the practice is to write to the dwp for an official confirmation letter, but if you've provided the bank statements (need to be the latest one) then they should have accepted you, unless they have draconian practices in which case they should have made clear what's acceptable. Proof of income is a huge issue in legal aid, if you don't have acceptable proof of income, then you don't get paid for the case.

 

Yes DLA is slightly different, but the principle of any submission for appeal is the same. Introduce what the appeal is about, for DLA give a short history of your condition, meds and treatments, then pull apart any inconsistencies/errors/misapplications of law by the DWP, then make your case for the criteria you think you fulfill - referencing any medical evidence you have provided. Then sum up by respectfully requesting the tribunal find in your favour - so in your case award mid rate care, low rate mob.

 

Middle rate care is the hardest one to get, you have to prove you need help throughout the day - not just morning and evening for instance and on multiple separate occasions with relation to bodily functions. With sight issues, there's a way of writing it to relate to the bodily function rather than the activity itself. When going for an increase in award there's always the risk you get the whole lot taken away at tribunal - its not protected. But if you live alone on an income based benefit its more than just the increased dla you're trying to gain, but also the SDP, so obviously the gains are big, but there are risks.

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Hello

 

So you too are having problems! I can't help you much really as you well know, but I never realised that you will only get help from the CAB if you qualify for what was called 'Legal Aid'. To do so, will mean that you have to have proof that you are on a means tested benefit. Also you have the opinion that the CAB are not the most efficient or equitable of organisations either.

That of course now scuppers the many suggestions of seeking help from them for my own affairs!

The only means tested benefit I am entitled to is the one I am fighting to get, so at the moment I don't have any proof. That is unless they chose to take a flyer and worked with me to get it then they can have the proof!!

 

Going it alone as you well know from my problems is fraught with all sorts of hurdles. I certainly don't envy you, and it does put into perspective what is happening to me.

 

Strange that people are telling me to get help, like you have tried to, yet all along that help is almost impossible to obtain.

 

All I can say is damn good luck, I've been at it as you know for 19 months with at least another 12 on the horizon and I'm trained, have qualified and practiced in certain aspects of financial law & litigation for over 40 years until my retirement on grounds of ill health in Dec 2010.

 

You don't have to be on a means tested benefit to qualify for legal aid - but it helps.

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Thanks Lee. When I gave my bank statements to CAB (which clearly stated I'm receiving JSA) they said it's acceptable.

 

I'm somewhat suspicious then. You'd already had an initial meeting and they completed the initial paperwork and legal aid forms, and then at the first opportunity they closed your case - after getting the essential proof of income.

 

I think you need to put in a complaint and this is why.

 

In the past legal aid was paid according to time spent on the case - a report was sent every month and then a payment made to the provider for all the time on all the cases. Now the provider - CAB in this case, is paid a fixed fee per case file, but only once the case is closed. The less work they do on the case, the quicker they close the file and the quicker they get their money. They get the same money whether they've done an hour's work or I think up to about 9 hours work when there is a different fee structure and each case is audited.

 

It sounds as if they used you not attending as an excuse to close the file and collect the fee. This is bad practice. You informed them you were not able to attend and they promised a new appointment. Legal aid files can be reopened - they might say they can't but they can - I think it used to be within 3 months (might have changed). If you complain I think you could get them to reopen the file, in fact, if they've closed it this month then they haven't even reported the closure to the LSC, so its basically just a case of reopening on the computer system. You might want to request a different adviser though - doesn't sound like this one has your best interests at heart.

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Thanks for that, it's something else I have to worry about then.

All this with the CAB and the sharp practices. Closing cases to get paid for nothing done.

Who is there that is actually willing to offer a service for those that can't afford to pay that doesn't see them as cash cows?

 

This has certainly changed my opinion about CAB. And so many people have been telling me I need to go there for advice and help!

As I have always said, the only person in this world that you can honestly rely on is yourself.

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As I posted on another thread - Its not that clients are cash cows, but that the change in funding has put legal aid funded providers under huge financial pressure. If they don't close enough cases, there can be problems making payroll. Several legal aid providers have gone under due to this system, and there are huge pressures on advisers to meet targets. But even then that doesn't excuse bad practice - if we're not in it to help clients, then what's the point! But some providers cut corners in order to stay open citing the greater good. And there are good and bad everywhere - this may not even be the policy of this CAB, but an overstressed adviser trying desperately to make his targets. Everything in this world is not black and white, there are plenty of shades of grey inbetween.

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Ummm yes and poor old Joe who hasn't got two halfpennies to rub together suffers because of it.

I'm not knocking the CAB, they do a wonderful job. But, with stories like this being bandied about, it is bound to get people asking questions. "Am I here to be helped or am I just to be seen as a quick turnround case to get more money in"

 

That doesn't bode well with me. CAB was supposed to be a free for all to access decent advice, help and representation.

 

Sorry but I have to say this, but I won't be one of them that is given a 5 min spin round the office and told everything is fine just to get a case closed to earn some more dosh!

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Thanks Lee.

 

In regards to ripping apart what they've said, I assume that I'd have to repeat everything I said when I submitted my request for appeal? Because I explained in my letter (I struggle with writing' so typed a letter instead of filling in the GL24 form) why I disagree with everything they said.

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Thanks Lee.

 

In regards to ripping apart what they've said, I assume that I'd have to repeat everything I said when I submitted my request for appeal? Because I explained in my letter (I struggle with writing' so typed a letter instead of filling in the GL24 form) why I disagree with everything they said.

 

After you appeal, you should have received an appeal pack which will have the DWP's submission to the tribunal, and supporting evidence - this is what you need to poke lots of holes in.

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I've always found it easiest to go through the submission and their evidence - ie their written decisions and the doctor's report they obtained with a highlighter to start with, highlighting anything that can be challenged - it makes it easier to pick things out later when you're preparing the case - especially if you can only do a bit at a time.

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I've gone through the appeal papers and have some questions:

 

On 14/12/2010, GP wrote that I will be undergoing botox therapy. A decision has been made that this isn't going to happen. Is that relevant? He also wrote the name of my diagnosis. As of mid-January, this has been heavily disputed - again, does that matter? Currently, the diagnosis is unknown.

 

On my last award notice (not the notification of increase) they wrote "you are at risk of danger" and then go on to state I'm not, therefore, no care is needed. Does that ever stand up at tribunal? I mean, is it valid?

 

They constantly state that I could ask for supervision and then claim it doesn't count as care. What on earth does that mean?

 

I have multiple disabilities, and it appears they've not taken into account that my needs are different to someone with one or the other. Is there anyway I can get them to take this into account?

 

They have somehow decided (bearing in mind they've never met me) that I'm not colourblind, that I don't have balance problems and that I don't self-harm. Odd how I've done a colourblind (the one with the coloured dots and numbers) test and failed it. I, according to my parents, was a clumsy child and still have problems - I can't even walk in a straight line because of my balance. (I can walk)

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Hi, I've filled out answers in red, below

 

I've gone through the appeal papers and have some questions:

 

On 14/12/2010, GP wrote that I will be undergoing botox therapy. A decision has been made that this isn't going to happen. Is that relevant? He also wrote the name of my diagnosis. As of mid-January, this has been heavily disputed - again, does that matter? Currently, the diagnosis is unknown.

 

If in the submission these things have been used a reason to refuse benefit, then it might matter, for instance if they stated that someone with that diagnosis wouldn't have your problems - then you could point to the fact that you do not have that diagnosis.

 

On my last award notice (not the notification of increase) they wrote "you are at risk of danger" and then go on to state I'm not, therefore, no care is needed. Does that ever stand up at tribunal? I mean, is it valid?

 

No its down to what's said in the DWP appeal submission, misprints often happen on award notices - if they said you are in danger and also you don't need supervision without justifying it on the submission, then that would be one of the inconsistencies you could highlight.

 

They constantly state that I could ask for supervision and then claim it doesn't count as care. What on earth does that mean?

 

This is a typical argument made in DWP submissions, that somehow the ability to ask for supervision or help, somehow negates the need for it. This is not what the regulations say - it is about whether or not you need the supervision, not whether you get it or ask for it or don't. So yes, this is a good arguable point.

 

I have multiple disabilities, and it appears they've not taken into account that my needs are different to someone with one or the other. Is there anyway I can get them to take this into account?

 

Your needs are your needs, it shouldn't matter if you have 15 diasabilities or 1, or if you have no diagnoses, the tribunal have to take account what your needs actually are, even if the DWP hasn't, you have the opportunity to put across exactly what needs you have.

 

They have somehow decided (bearing in mind they've never met me) that I'm not colourblind, that I don't have balance problems and that I don't self-harm. Odd how I've done a colourblind (the one with the coloured dots and numbers) test and failed it. I, according to my parents, was a clumsy child and still have problems - I can't even walk in a straight line because of my balance. (I can walk)

 

Doesn't matter what the DWP have decided - provide evidence to the contrary at appeal and explain why the DWP came to the wrong conclusions.

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Thanks lee.

 

In regards to care needs, does help with studying count?

 

Yes, you should definately mention these, but relate it strongly to sight. (Iassume that's the problem you have studying)

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  • dx100uk changed the title to My DLA to PIP journey

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