Pensioner and Disability allowance - how bad before you can apply for help?

(10 Posts)
Ohgoonthenpouranother Mon 28-Nov-11 18:13:34

My MIL 74 has spinal stenosis.
She has epidural type injections approx every 9 months but their effectiveness is diminishing.
Getting about is becoming harder. She can only remain standing for ten minutes and she has a lot of pain relief which I think is making her forgetful (in an endearing way! She isn't losing her mind)

The house is becoming unkempt and she doesn't walk to shops anymore. Food is delivered by tesco! And me!

Her pain is in back and legs. She cant bend or pick things up. I bought her a seat for the shower ( thankfully put walk in shower in ages ago).

Do you think she would be eligible for anything? I'm going to apply for a blue badge for when I do take her somewhere in the car.

Is there anything else? Any financial assistance for her?

KalSkirata Mon 28-Nov-11 18:16:26

She needs to apply for Attendance Allowance (pensioners cant get DLA) plus get social services to give her an assessment. They can then supply useful equipment to help day to day living and she can use the AA to pay for a bit of help/ready meals/anythng to make life easier.

Tianc Mon 28-Nov-11 18:19:51

If she can only stand for 10 mins, can't bend and (from the sounds of it) would be very limited in how far she can walk, then she might well be eligible for the mobility element of Disability Living Allowance. Possibly also the care element, if there are other things you haven't mentioned.

Blue badges are controlled by her local council; in my area it's hard to get a blue badge without first getting DLA.

Ohgoonthenpouranother Mon 28-Nov-11 18:29:44

She has recurrent urine infections and is waiting for a referral as her bladder control is also shot.
But that aside, she's pretty upbeat

Tenebrist Mon 28-Nov-11 18:34:33

I certainly think she would be eligible for attendance allowance. My mum is 75 and has a lot of mobility problems similar to those you describe. She applied via Age Concern (now called Age UK, I think), who have been great. They brought the forms round and filled them out with her. It was important because my mum is typical of people of her generation who are brought up never to moan. So she was asked 'do you have any trouble getting out of bed alone?' and answered brightly 'no problem at all', but the Age Concern guy asked, 'Is it always Ok?' and she said 'well if the arthritis is bad it can take up two two hours to get up' shock. So you need someone who will be persistent in getting the truth out of older people.

My mum was approved for full attendance allowance recently, but is still waiting for it to come through. It means she can afford an Age Concern cleaner one hour a week, and is saving for one of those armchairs that tips up. She also has an emergency button round her neck after falling in summer and having to be ambulanced out to hospital.

Does your mum live in Wales or a housing association property? The Welsh Assembly got a stair lift installed (she lives in 1st floor flat) and the Housing Association paid for alterations to the flat like grab rails. All we had to pay for was a private occupational health assessment (cost about 150 pounds) because waiting for an NHS one would have taken 18 months. But making these investments is worth it in the long run for the state because it means she can live in her own flat for much longer before going into residential care.

Tenebrist Mon 28-Nov-11 18:35:47

<sigh> 'up to two hours'

Tianc Mon 28-Nov-11 18:41:04

Sorry, yes Attendance Allowance for those whose claim starts at age over 65.

Ohgoonthenpouranother Mon 28-Nov-11 18:41:24

No, SE London and private house so I am thinking blood out of a stone with our council.
Agree with the mustn't moan mentality.
She takes over two hours to be be able to get up and dressed each day because of pain.

Tianc Mon 28-Nov-11 18:48:52

A thing to watch out for is a lot of the forms ask "Can you do X: yes/no".

When what they mean is "Can you do X reliably, repeatedly and without causing pain, exhaustion or triggering medical problems?"

This is why it makes all the difference, as Tenebrist describes, to have someone who knows what they're doing with the forms, to ask the unstated questions.

Ohgoonthenpouranother Mon 28-Nov-11 19:01:08

Thank you
I think I will apply for attendance allowance!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now