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    • joed72
    • By joed72 4th Sep 17, 7:29 PM
    • 12Posts
    • 0Thanks
    joed72
    DLA for Child Refused - Appeal Advice
    • #1
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:29 PM
    DLA for Child Refused - Appeal Advice 4th Sep 17 at 7:29 PM
    Hi,
    Our eldest son who is 12 (nearly 13) has ASD (Asperger's), has dyspraxic traits and suffers from depression and anxiety.

    He's had a diagnosis for the past 4 years and is under the care of the local CAMHS team. He doesn't have any contact with his GP as all of our contact, communication are with his consultant, the child psychologist and psychiatrist at the CAMHS centre.

    We recently applied for DLA in the hope of being able to use some of the money on encouraging him to connect socially through different groups and to pay for taxi's to/from school and for care when we're not home from work.

    It's very difficult as he often refuses to leave the house, getting him to school is a challenge every day but at the evening and weekend he will not leave home at all. We can't go on holiday anymore and he doesn't communicate with us for days on end.

    He often has meltdowns after school - particularly at night time and this results in him being very aggressive to us as well as him self harming.

    Melatonin was prescribed but doesn't have much impact. We go to bed at 11pm but he often won't sleep until 2am (on a school night) and is anxious on his own so often shouts and shouts and won't stay in his own room.

    We've moved his little brother out of the room he shares with him and into ours but he also comes into our room and won't sleep on his own which means a lot of moving beds in the early hours.

    This is destroying all of us and has been for years - as we all have to be up for work/school in the morning and it's affecting the mental health of me and my partner.

    My son was also prescribed an anti-depressant for his anxiety, stress and depression but refuses to take this.

    We also have a lot of support sessions and meetings with the CAMHS team.

    Anyway to cut to the chase our DLA application was rejected based on the School Report and the GP report.

    We had sent in dozens of letters, evaluations and supporting letters from relatives, friends, psychologists and yet they didn't refer to any of them in their feedback.

    We asked for a Mandatory Reconsideration and again this was rejected. The comments made were copy and paste and referred to our son as 'her' and seemed to be very generic.

    One point they refused on was that we had not explained why his melatonin does not work? (our letters from the CAMHS team explained all of this along with the review of medication letters).

    The points we made about him needing a lot of care at night time (i.e after our bedtime) was dismissed as many children take time to settle at night.

    Not all children self harm if left unattended.

    We are exhausted completely and utterly shattered by all of this and are going to appeal.

    From our perspective the DWP did not pay any attention to the information from the CAMHS team and have no understanding of the impact of ASD on our child's ability to have the same options in life as an 'average child of his age.'

    The main rejection on the initial application was on the school report - from a member of staff who did not communicate with our son's form tutor and has never met our son but based it on him having no issues in school and being amongst the highest achieving pupils in the year group.

    Outside of the rigid school regime our son's anxieties are released and we deal with the fall out every single day at home.

    Apologies for long text - any info on appeals would be much appreciated.
    Last edited by joed72; 04-09-2017 at 7:33 PM.
Page 1
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 4th Sep 17, 7:34 PM
    • 945 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    NeilCr
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:34 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Sep 17, 7:34 PM
    Information on appealing here

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/disability-living-allowance/dla-appeals/DLA-appealing-the-decision/

    I'd suggest you get help from CAB or similar with the appeal. Please do be aware of the time limits for appealing.

    As the link I quoted says a lot of decisions do get overturned at tribunal so do hang in there

    Good luck
    • Alice Holt
    • By Alice Holt 4th Sep 17, 8:33 PM
    • 1,362 Posts
    • 1,482 Thanks
    Alice Holt
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:33 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:33 PM
    This is a useful guide:
    http://www.advicenow.org.uk/guides/how-win-dla-appeal

    As Neil says do appeal - the decision seems very wrong.
    The key will be showing that your son has care needs that are substantially greater than other children of the same age. The evidence you have from CAMHS will be very helpful.

    First stage of the appeal is an Mandatory Reconsideration - asking the DWP to look at the decision again. The DWP rarely change their decision, but you need the MR decision to proceed to appeal to the Tribunal Service. So, don't delay the MR - my advice would be get it in asap with any relevant medical evidence to hand. It is the tribunal panel who will thoroughly look at the DWP decision and carefully consider all the evidence you put before them (including your verbal evidence at the hearing).

    Some DLA info:
    http://w3.cerebra.org.uk/help-and-information/guides-for-parents/dla-guide/
    http://www.autism.org.uk/about/benefits-care/appeals.aspx
    https://www.cafamily.org.uk/media/744270/claiming_dla_for_children.pdf

    I would again agree with Neil - do get help from your local CAB / advice agency. They may be able to refer you to a benefits caseworker.
    Your library may have a copy of the Disability Rights Handbook (or your CAB may be able to give you a copy of the relevant chapter) - this is very helpful in understanding the DLA criteria and what the tribunal panel will be looking at.

    All CAB's are very busy, so contact them asap - https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice/ - as you may have a wait for an appointment. But be sure to get the MR done within the 1 month deadline, so your appeal can proceed.
    MR proforma -
    https://www.leicester.gov.uk/media/178163/mandatory-reconsideration-request.pdf

    Best wishes.
    Last edited by Alice Holt; 04-09-2017 at 9:04 PM.
    • kingfisherblue
    • By kingfisherblue 4th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • 7,232 Posts
    • 15,543 Thanks
    kingfisherblue
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Sep 17, 8:47 PM
    You could also contact the National Autistic Society or Cerebra for help.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 4th Sep 17, 9:37 PM
    • 22,852 Posts
    • 13,207 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 9:37 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Sep 17, 9:37 PM
    http://www.specialneedsuk.org/support.asp

    Would s support group help?
    • fishybusiness
    • By fishybusiness 5th Sep 17, 7:09 AM
    • 1,117 Posts
    • 688 Thanks
    fishybusiness
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:09 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Sep 17, 7:09 AM
    I feel for you OP, we are going through the very same thing with DWP, their decision makers seem to live in the dark ages.

    Regarding Asperger's, our decision stated more or less the same, child seems to be doing well at school, so what is the problem?

    MR didn't work as suggested above, have a tribunal date. Advice we have been given revolves around demonstrating the substantial amount of support required to enable child to function in society.

    Enable in the sense of ongoing support both in and outside of school, with routines, stress management, work on understanding other people, time and work on socialising etc, I'm sure you know the issues. We were advised to demonstrate what happens if we do not support.

    Sorry I can't give you any more help......best of luck with DWP!
    • joed72
    • By joed72 6th Sep 17, 12:43 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    joed72
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 12:43 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 12:43 AM
    Thanks for all the advice everyone. I've got some excellent pdf's to cross reference now and really make it as clear as possible how he needs more care than other chidren his age.
    The advice of keeping a diary is very useful.

    Spoke with our Gp who confirmed that in our area of Manchester the percentage of initial rejections are very high (4 out of 5 adults are rejected.)

    Similar story of rejection with children too and apparently 90% winning the appeal.

    We have video recordings of our son during meltdown which can be presented at the appeal.

    Probably some on a tourist's youtube account from the last time we visited Ireland as a family. (my parents and many of his cousins live in Ireland).

    We made the mistake of attempting a day trip to The Giant's Causeway. Our son was stressed due to the fact there were significant crowds and that we had taken him to see a pile of rocks.

    The result of this was to become very agitated and anxious with him punching me full force in the face in front of about 100 people ( had a black eye caused by a 12 year old!!) I kept calm while he was kicking my shins and trying to hit me constantly, while we waited for the shuttle bus to get to the centre and back to the carpark.


    If our youngest son had been on his own next to him we would have been placing his life at risk.

    His anxiety and stress manifests itself as violence - often breaking remote controls, cups, headphones, video game, throwing things against walls, kicking doors, hitting himself, attacking us.

    He kicked his mother in her face and carried on hitting her while she was curled up crying and kept calling her offensive names, ugly !!!!!, fat pig etc, a pathetic retard again and again.

    We are literally victims of parent abuse and have been for years, our main priority is ensuring that his little brother is safe and that our son can understand his diagnosis and that he is receiving as much help as possible to manage his emotions so that he can become more self aware and manage his stress.

    This paints a very negative picture and it is. I was off work for five months last year due to the stress of it and was placed on medication as I had a breakdown. I had for years overworked to try to escape the situation at night and to cope with the sleeping patterns. Luckily my workplace understands that I am a carer and has given some reasonable adjustments so that when I arrive late to weekly meetings on a specific day of the week it's acceptable.

    Our son is unique, intelligent, creative a wonderful being and outside of this level of stress, is a worried little boy who suffers from depression and anxiety and is scared, scared of being different and not understanding why.

    He feels cursed but also refuses to work with the support given, refuses to connect with his Senco in school for fear of being singled out and getting attention and refuses to take his medication. He has on a number of occasions expressed a desire to kill himself and is extremely exhausted and frightened.

    We've had to fight constantly every step of the way for our son and this is yet again another example of what the systems inability to comprehend Aspergers or ASD in general!!
    Last edited by joed72; 06-09-2017 at 12:48 AM.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 6th Sep 17, 9:49 AM
    • 22,852 Posts
    • 13,207 Thanks
    xylophone
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:49 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 9:49 AM
    Is there any possibility of residential school provision for your son?

    http://board.asdfriendly.org/index.php?showtopic=39253
    • White_musk
    • By White_musk 6th Sep 17, 2:12 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 112 Thanks
    White_musk
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 2:12 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 2:12 PM
    I can tell you about the actual tribunal as I've just won at one for PIP. When I went into the room there was a Judge a Doctor and a lady who deals with care needs, there was also a representative from DWP.

    It is just a room with a large table, myself and the DWP rep sat at one side, the 'officials' the other. I was questioned in depth but allowed time and space to answer in my own way. I won't lie and say it is stress free but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. I was in for around an hour and a half although it didn't feel that long while I was in the room. I then waited a very short while for my result.

    DWP had very little to say/ask and to be honest when I walked into the room he put his head down and that's where it stayed for the majority of my hearing. It is very much claimant centric I think.

    Try not to worry too much and good luck.
    Last edited by White_musk; 06-09-2017 at 2:14 PM. Reason: Spelling error
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, wisdom to know the difference.
    • joed72
    • By joed72 10th Sep 17, 10:03 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    joed72
    Thanks, not much chance of Residential School for my son as his behaviour in school is fine, it's when he gets home all the stress gets released and the meltdowns begin.

    Appeal sounds like it will be less stressed that we'd expected! Will get the application in for appeal this week!
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