DLA - Going to appeal

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helenpage

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DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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

Sofie

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • on: 18 Feb 2012 10:24AM
How long does it take you to walk and how far before pain?

Fizzbw

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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  :-)

Sofie

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.
« Last Edit: 18 Feb 2012 01:48PM by KizzyKazaer »

helenpage

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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?




Hurtyback

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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!)

Sofie

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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?

Monic1511

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.

Monic1511

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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)

helenpage

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.

Prabhakari

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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.
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

Monic1511

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Re: DLA - Going to appeal

  • 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