Does a Bi-polar dx make any difference to DLA?

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One Girl and her Big Dog

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So, if someone has both physical and mental health problem, and has a DLA award, does the recent diagnosis of Bi-polar type 2, mean that a change of circumstances should be notified to the DWP?

An award of HRMC has been made due to 'virtually unable to walk' caused by a well documented spinal injury, so in theory, there is no risk of losing this. 

LRCC, as the decision letter states that although help is needed with X Y & Z, help is not required 'frequently throughout the day'.

Long history of 'normal' depression, with severe depressive episodes (requiring hospitalisation), but none in last few years.

Dooes the diagnosis of Bipolar2 make any difference?

1G

Monic1511

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Hi one Girl,

The diagnosis itself doesn't make a difference, its only if the person's care needs have changed that I'd be telling DWP.  The DWP look on it as OKay you have this illness but does it affect your care and mobility needs & if so by how much.

unless you can show that you have "Frequent and substantial care needs throughout the day in connection with your bodily functions" then I wouldn't ask for a supersession - although that depends on how long the currrent award if for.  if its a indefinite award be very wary, if its due to end in the next year I'd just wait for the renewal.
Sorry its a balancing act of different risks - tell them & have to fight for a better award or hope you get a decent decision maker who'll give you a larger award.  Theres also the timescale - need to have been ill for 3 months back & expect it to last another 6 months.  I know that the condition isn't cureable but is it controllable with meds? >erm<

keep notes or a diary of your care needs and then if it continues for more than 3 months ask for a supersession.

Monic

One Girl and her Big Dog

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Thank monic

The dx is based on life history, so has had the illness 25+ years.

Indefinate award.

Considerable meds for physical condition, plus excersize regeim, (not been followed), and (some) meds not being taken regularly.  (When depressed (most of the time), can't be bothered, when hypomanic, too busy doing other things, very few episodes of stable mood, as par for course with BP2).

Considerable memory problems, due to side efffects of opiates, and depression/bipolar.  Inability to cook a meal due to physical difficulty, and memory problems.

It's not that the care needs have changed, they were explained in the appilication (and the previous one).  More that the needs were ignored, and I was wondering if the dx would give weight to the care needs.

Mood stablising meds have been mentioned, but person reluctant to take them due to possible effect on pain management, and risk of further side effects.

The decision letter (a year ago) does note a huge list of things that help is needed with, but then says help is not required 'frequently throughout the day'.   Since then physio has given a load of excersizes that are meant to be done daily.  OT recognises kitchen not suitably adapted (though it was meant to have been).

Definately had care needs more than 3 months, and expect to last more than 6 months. (on basis that mood stabiliser meds won't be taken).

The condition which causes the 'virtually unable to walk', is on the DWP list for indefinate DLA awards.  This is also a large part of the reason for the 'unable to cook a meal for one'. 

Is there really a risk that the current level of award could be lost?
1G

edited for typos
« Last Edit: 12 May 2012 01:10PM by One Girl and her Big Dog »

Monic1511

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Hi
When you ask for a supersession the DWP "can look at the whole award" even though you only ask them to consider the care component.   What you might end up with is an award for 2 - 3 years for HRM & MRC.

you would need to put on the form " i require assistance several times throughout the day and night" As I am not able to motivate or concentrate I require help with making & eating breakfast, lunch and supper.  i often forget my meds as a result of my concentration problems"

If thats what was there before then its possible they have considered it & deceided that the needs were not Substantial (more than 20 minutes each time seems to be a marker)

The problem is with the reforms the DWP are not giving out indefinite awards as far as I know & I think its policy to review everyone every few years now so even indefinite awards will get pulled in when PIP starts.
Its really a question of do you phone & tell them your care needs have changed as they aren't really interested in new diagnosis.   When I phone blackpool part of the talking mesage say "If you wish to tell us about a change in your mobility or care needs press 2"  nothing to do with a diagnosis  >steam<

Is the extra cash worth the extra hassle - only the person themselves can say but I get several folk a week who were on HRM & HRC who get a nil award after the renewal - the last lot are still waiting on their appeals and their conditions have detiorated not got better  >yikes<
Monic

Sofie

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Is there really a risk that the current level of award could be lost?
1G

Yes. Your award can go up, go down, stay the same or be taken away completely.

Going back to the question regarding diagnosis. This is debatable. In a thread I started, someone said that the diagnosis does make a difference. It shouldn't do; but it can do.

Sunny Clouds

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Just to endorse what others are saying.

You get DLA for care and/or mobility needs.  You don't get it for a diagnosis.

However, in practical terms, having a formal diagnosis may help you to get DLA, if for no other reason that it can enable a DM to look it up in a book and make sense of it.

A lot comes down to the DM anyway, and I think they're a very mixed bunch.  I applied for AA for Dad (which, as you probably know, has the same criteria as the care component of DLA) and he refused to declare any night-time needs, but I got a phone call from the DM, saying that on the basis of everything else written on the form and in the witness statements, he couldn't see how Dad could not have night-time needs.  Anyway, he asked a few questions and a few days later the award letter came through showing that they were assessing him as having care needs at night as well as in the day.

Why do I mention this?  Well, I flatter myself I put in a bloody good application for Dad, but I can't help but suppose that the mention of 'vascular dementia' with an explanation of  the implications of the label, plus some nice technical jargon about his physical impairments didn't go amiss.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

hossylass

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Hmm the DX may not suggest to the DM that care needs have increased.

The dx may suggest to the DM that the condition is controllable now it has been identified, and so the award length may be reviewed.

On those grounds I wouldn't mention it, especially that the dx is from continual assessment (which suggests no increase in care needs).

If there had been a sudden surge in care needs because of a huge flare of the BP, and that flare had caused the dx, then yes, its relevant.

Personally I would sit on that dx until they contact you.
That might sound odd, but in a way its about not showing your full hand, keep an ace up your sleeve. (I cant believe I am saying this...)  >erm<


Monic1511

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Hi Hossy
its about not showing your full hand, keep an ace up your sleeve. - Thats you thinking ahead assuming that you'll need to do an appeal  >erm<.  I take this tack sometimes when completing a new claim, the claimant gives me extra evidence and I say keep it in case we need to go to appeal & then we can use it.  great ain't it that you have to think this way  >doh<
Monic

hossylass

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I am also aware in the depths of my mind that there is a trade off with ESA.

If you dont get it you can only reapply quickly if its a different condition. The same condition that has changed means you have to wait longer. The downside being if you give all your cards you might get support, so it depends again if you are single or in a couple.
In a couple - go for support, show your full hand.
Single - go for means tested and hold back on a condition. If you dont get it you can quickly reapply.

Now I really feel devious   :-(

jeez I feel dirty now >lol<

One Girl and her Big Dog

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Thanks Everyone

Good point Hossy, I hadn't thought of that.

1G