DLA and Epilepsy

Does anyone have any experience of claiming DLA with epliepsy? What does it entail?

I've thought about claming before, but the way they phrase it doesn't seem to be very epilepsy-friendly:

"Paid if you need help looking after yourself
Paid if you are aged 3 or over and have severe difficulty walking, or aged 5 or over and need help getting around"

Both of these are true if I have a seizure, but do not apply on any sort of consistent or predictable basis.

Replies

  • filigree_2filigree_2 Forumite
    1K Posts
    My experience is limited to claiming for my son who was three at the time, which is a bit different to an adult with epilepsy.

    I think it depends heavily on how many seizures you have, you should include any seizure type not just the major ones.

    I know what you mean about it being completely unpredictable and random, with my son for example he might have a good day with just a few sleep seizures, or he might have a horrific day ending up in casualty. I can't remember the phrase I used but I emphasised that since it was impossible to predict the bad days, we had to live every day as if severe seizures could happen any minute.

    I believe it is acceptable to describe the "worst case scenario" with an unpredictable illness, so describe your needs on a bad day.

    Remember, needing help doesn't mean having someone doing everything for you. Perhaps you have to shop online because you aren't allowed to drive - that counts as needing help with food shopping. If you have to take a taxi home from work after a seizure - that's extra help a healthy person wouldn't need. This is just an example, I don't know how your epilepsy affects you.

    I've successfully filled in four of these forms now so shout if there's anything else I can help with.
  • falcon21falcon21 Forumite
    61 Posts
    Cheers!

    I will try and think laterally around their badly designed form (without actually exagerating!)
  • Ted_HutchinsonTed_Hutchinson
    7.1K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Try looking at the guidance from DIAL Doncaster
    Action for Blind People

    The guides from BHAS are also very good although up to date versions of these are available for a fee from Benefits and Work The last couple of pages of both these guides contain a "Health Professionals Checklist" In almost all claims initially a report from your named health professional is sought. Many claims fail, and are then difficult to sustain at appeal, because the GP or named health professional isn't aware how badly his patient is managing at home or getting around. Very often it isn't discussed in normal visits so the deterioration or day to day management issues are overlooked in his report. Completing the Checklist will ensure the key points of your claim are draw to the GP's attention and will sit in your notes and may be used to support your claim.

    Reading the case summaries of how people with Epilepsy have been treated at appeal may give you some examples equivalent to how you experience your condition.
    See Disability Alliance disability living allowance and attendance allowance case law summaries
      1. pdf format
      2. web page
      3. word document
      How Decision Makers may understand your condition is set out in the DWP Disability Handbook Chapter 14 - Epilepsy
      If the way you experience is very different from this you may need to stress those differences.

      Having someone who has experience of claiming on Epilepsy grounds will be helpful. searching
      Community Legal Service Direct should turn up the local CAB or other welfare rights provider for your postcode but your local epilepsy support group may offer this service or be able to check your provisional answers before you complete the form.

      Your comment about "Exaggerating" is well made, only about 50% of claim succeed at first application so a good many go to appeal where up to 70% are won if the claimant attends in person. However putting your case confidently at appeal depends are you being able to assert convincingly the merits or your claims. This is much easier if you haven't overstated the way your condition affects you.

      Understating your needs however is more damaging. Going to appeal and trying to argue that what you actually wrote on the claim form understated you case and now you want them to understand what you really meant to say, does rather give the impression that because you haven't won the award, you have realised you need to be more disabled than you previously claimed to be and are readjusting your view of your disability.
      My weight loss following Doktor Dahlqvist' Dietary Program
      Start 23rd Jan 2008 14st 9lbs Current 10st 12lbs
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