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    Mobility refused for autistic son - with a twist!
    • #1
    • 4th Oct 10, 2:40 PM
    Mobility refused for autistic son - with a twist! 4th Oct 10 at 2:40 PM

    My son has been receiving HRC since February and when he was three I applied for the mobility aspect. I had been told that I would be notified in plenty of time about making this claim but this did not happen despite having a letter from them stating this would happen.

    His autism is severe enough to qualify for HRM, I did check the criteria and case law before applying including the decision makers guide which is quite clear.

    I applied in May shortly after his third birthday, we then moved house and I phoned several times because:

    (i) I never received a letter saying that the application had been received. This was confirmed as a system error in a subsequent call.

    (ii) I wanted to ensure that the correct new address was held for us. However I was told that the data protection policy said that they could not confirm which address was held even though I rang with my son's unique DLA number each time.

    After 14 weeks I decided it was worth chasing up only to be told that the HRM had not been awarded and that a letter had been sent to me at the beginning of September

    I didn't receive any such letter. Not to my "new" (been here over three months now) address and not to my old one because I have paid for my post to be redirected for a year with my son's medical needs in mind.

    So goodness knows what is going on now. I know there is a time-frame with regard to revisions and appeals.

    To be honest I didn't expect to get it on first application and was prepared to go through the normal legal process all the way to tribunal, but this catalogue of "errors" on their part has thrown me and has made me quite suspicious to be honest...

    Help and advice very welcome
Page 1
  • debbieblues1
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 10, 2:52 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Oct 10, 2:52 PM
    Hi, to be honest i dont think you are entitled to the mobility side of dla, i have a few nephews and my own son all with ASD / depression/ ADHD and none of us have been entitled to that side of it. I have been told in the past that if they are able to walk, then there is no mobility problem there.

  • Tristesse
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:07 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:07 PM
    The decision makers guide says:


    Fraser is autistic. There is evidence that his autism has a physical cause. On
    occasions he suffers from temporary paralysis. There is evidence that Fraser has
    more bad days than good days. On the bad days he is unable to walk; on the good
    days he can walk only very short distances with difficulty. Fraser satisfies the test."

    Full document here: and there is also a helpful flow-chart in the mobility section.

    The National Autistic Society and Families in Focus, both very well-respected organisations also offer help and advice with regards to the criteria for qualifying for the higher rate of mobility for autism.

    I'm not sure about ADHD and certainly not about depression.

    Have you really been told that if a child is physically able to walk that there is no entitlement at all? That's just not true!
    Last edited by Tristesse; 04-10-2010 at 3:21 PM.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 4th Oct 10, 3:19 PM
    • 6,480 Posts
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    • #4
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:19 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:19 PM
    So does your child's autism have a potentially physical cause? Does he suffer from temporary paralysis? If so has he been assessed for things like adapted pushchairs etc?

    If so then write to the DWP, and ask for them to extend the time allowed for appeal to 4 weeks after your phone conversation. Then launch into your appeal asap.

    If not then why use that example?
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  • Tristesse
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:30 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Oct 10, 3:30 PM
    It is not a potential physical cause , it arises directly from incomplete or arrested brain development. He does suffer from sudden muscle fatigue (doesn't sleep properly - never has for more than 2-3 hours every night for over three years now) and temporary paralysis. He will qualify for a special pushchair next year and in the meantime I have had to buy one because he is tall.

    "There is evidence that his autism has a physical cause" is just their way of phrasing that they recognise autism is a physical disability in the same way that they state that there is little or no evidence that ADHD is.

    Lots more info and related links here:
    Last edited by Tristesse; 04-10-2010 at 3:42 PM.
  • debbieblues1
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:40 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:40 PM
    i didnt mean that matter of factly, i was just saying what id been told in the past, i didnt go into specific detail about my sons illness cos theres actually too much to write, hes very complicated, hes been seeing mental health services since he was 5, hes now 11. he does have problems with walking but cos its not a 'physical' disability hes not entitled to higher rate mobility, he does receive lower rate for his problems because of the dangers that he can occur cos of his illness. my son also doesnt sleep well and has been on sleeping tablets for 4 years now, so i do understand what u are going through and how hard the situation is. and yes i also agree, write to dwp, appeal and get a health professional to back you up.

    • shegirl
    • By shegirl 4th Oct 10, 5:55 PM
    • 8,215 Posts
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    • #7
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:55 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:55 PM
    Hi.My son has severe autism and receives both high rate care and high rate mobility.

    He didn't receive the mobilty until the age of 6/7 though as this is where the differences in the capabilities and problems between him and other kids,in the being out and about sense,become more prevailant.He receives it on the basis of safety,lack of awareness,behavioural problems being at risk of causing himself (and me) to be in danger and due to things out and about that can effect him on a sensory level etc (all which have their own reactions etc).

    It is awarded to quite a few autistic due to the autism alone without having any additional issues such as the paralyses you mention.

    So personally,given the additional problems,if I was you I would appeal.If appeal doesn't go the way you want it to then when things are more obvious in a few years (ie the difficulties much more marked than they are between your son at 3 and other kids at 3) you can apply again.

    Just for those who posted comments about you have to be unable to walk or whatever,that's not actually correct
  • Tristesse
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:58 PM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 10, 5:58 PM
    Thanks Debbie, it is very difficult isn't it ? My DS still has the sleeping habits of a newborn despite the Melatonin he has been prescribed as it wears off after a few hours.

    I know that even though the DWP mentions my son's condition and difficulties specifically it's usually lower-rate that is given automatically whereas it's always a fight to get the higher even if entitled.

    I was just a little shocked at their tactics pretending that a letter had been sent and refusing to tell me which address they held for me!

    Hope things are improving for you.
  • debbieblues1
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 10, 6:04 PM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 10, 6:04 PM
    shegirl that sounds exactly like my son when he is out, but they will not award him higher rate. ok my son has bi polar, add, asd (but they cant decide on which scale) he has a pdd, he is deaf in 1 ear, he self harms, hes got alsorts of learning, behaviour + social difficulties, he is statemented at 8.5 and more, so he is a very complicated lil boy and this has now been ongoing for over 5 years !!! so i didnt mean 'u cant get it' just meant id been told that. Think i may look into it more too. Do you all know bout the icount card??
    • SingleSue
    • By SingleSue 5th Oct 10, 12:17 AM
    • 10,184 Posts
    • 57,241 Thanks
    My younger son receives low rate mobility for his complex autism...and he does also have a physical disability plus severe asthma (and a few other things).

    Never thought to appeal as I was amazed and chuffed to be awarded the HRC.
    We made it! One graduated, 2 currently at university, been hard work but it shows there is a possibility of a chance of normal (ish) life after a diagnosis (or two) of ASD. It's not been the easiest route but I am so glad I ignored everything and everyone and did my own therapies with them.
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    • Vicky123
    • By Vicky123 5th Oct 10, 11:42 AM
    • 2,934 Posts
    • 9,006 Thanks
    My son does not have any physical disability, he is however profoundly autistic with severe learning difficulties, he get HRM due to severe mental impairment, I have always ticked NO on the box for physical disability.
    My son was diagnosed before his 2nd birthday and has been statemented prior to starting school, if you have all the supporting evidence then the case is pretty well made for you, but unless they have changed the rules one does not have to be physically disabled to get HRM.
  • Tiredmum
    I would like to say to you, I do not know about whether you would get the mobility component allthough from what you have said sounds like you should, However i do know it can be very difficult for a child under 5 to be awarded Mobility.

    As for what you say about the address, i am obviously no proffessional but i do beleive that under the Data protection act, they have a legal responsibilty to ensure the information they hold about you is correct, therefore if the address in incorrect they are in breach of the data protection act, maybe you should remind them of this?, Dont ask which adress is held, but tell them your address and then ask them to confirm that the record is correct as they are allowed to confirm something that you allready know.
    • Indie Kid
    • By Indie Kid 5th Oct 10, 4:03 PM
    • 21,633 Posts
    • 29,326 Thanks
    Indie Kid
    unless they have changed the rules one does not have to be physically disabled to get HRM.
    Originally posted by Vicky123
    I can't find anything online that say they've changed it or will change it.

    From :
    You need to show that
    -You are entitled to the care component of DLA at the higher rate and
    -You suffer from arrested or incomplete development of the brain and
    -Your brain impairment means that you exhibit disruptive behaviour and
    -The nature of your behaviour means that another person has to be present and watching over you in order to prevent injury to yourself and others and/or damage to property.

    Arrested or incomplete development means that only those impairments that occur whilst the brain is growing will be taken into account. Later injuries and illnesses do not count even if they give rise to the same behaviour.
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