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For asking a serious non-judgy question about DLA...

(173 Posts)
itisnearlysummer Sun 12-Jun-11 08:34:52

My BIL has 3 children. The middle one has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. We don't have a lot to do with them because our lives and interests are very different although we live close by so see them at family get togethers. So I am aware that we don't necessarily have all the facts.

Now, the other day BIL phoned DH to tell him that they'd "blagged" another £200 a month because of DS2. By this they mean they get middle rate DLA.

Both parents work and this isn't in addition to other benefits so I'm not bashing!

When my DH asked what the DLA is for, BIL replied that he didn't really know but they were happy to give it to him, so he was happy to take it. Which is fair enough!

So, genuine question for people in a similar position is what is DLA for in this situation? Our understanding previously was that DLA was a financial support for people who might incur extra costs as a result of disability, or because parents/carers might have to reduce work hours/stop working to care, extra parking/travel because of attending appointments, etc. But they've said that none of these apply to them.

Other family members have started to make negative comments about this, but it must be for something and not just compensation for having a more challenging than average child!

IndigoBell Sun 12-Jun-11 08:42:34

You can only get middle rate DLA if you child need a significant amount of extra help compared to a child his age. For example can't dress himself, or cross a road, and other things like that.

You probably aren't aware how much extra help he needs to function. Because his parents probably just do it all, and from the outside it just looks like parenting......

They will have extra costs. For example he might need any of a billion therapies which the govt doesn't fund, or he might need a babysitter when he's quite old, or he might require 1:1 swimming lessons because he can't be taught in a group, or he might require an extra adult to go to scouts with him....... Or any of a hundred things.

So, you are right, it's not compensation, it's to pay for all the extra things that parenting him requires.

Not to mention how much time of work his parents will require to attend medical appointments, and endless appointments at school.......

Goblinchild Sun 12-Jun-11 08:46:41

There is a long and complicated form to fill in, so you could just ask him what he put on it in order to get funding.

IndigoBell Sun 12-Jun-11 08:51:09

Middle rate eligibility

Individuals are entitled to the middle rate care component if they are so severely disabled that they:

* require another person to give them frequent attention throughout the day in connection with their bodily functions; or

* require prolonged or repeated attention during the night in connection with their bodily functions; or

* require continual supervision throughout the day in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others; or

* require, another person to be awake for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals at night, for the purpose of watching over them in order to avoid substantial danger to themselves or others.

post Sun 12-Jun-11 08:51:31

It's because most people do incur additional costs. We absolutely do. Ds2 has autism. For example, he has a very restricted diet, partly because he has to be gluten/casein free, partly because he'll only eat 8 things. He's mostly unable to leave the house due to noise sensitivities/phobias, including school, so for me to work part-time, or even to do the school/ supermarket run we pay £££ childcare. His needs have had a huge effect on both my/ my dh's ability to work; we do, but nothing like as effectively as we would have done. There's loads more.
Two thoughts; sometimes when you're caring for a child with additional needs, you can 'forget' the effect their disability has on your family to some extent, for really good reasons - it's normal for you, and who wants to be thinking of their child as a 'burden' all the time.
And also; DLA is not easy to get. For every measure to take to restrict it even further, to make sure not one person who doesn't really need it doesn't get it, I'm willing to bet there are many more who do need it who would be excluded, because the system can never be that sensitive without spending £££££on monitoring every claim. So do we make it even harder for people who are among the most disadvantaged in our society to get what is often desperately needed support, for the sake of ensuring that no-one 'blags' anything, or do we understand that the price we pay for not abandoning families to an even greater extent than we do now is sometimes going to be giving (not massive) amounts of money to some people who could get along without it? I know what I'd choose. Hope that helps.

borderslass Sun 12-Jun-11 08:52:13

It's not easy to get DLA also depends on severity of ADHD quite often these children cause lots of damage due to anger/frustration and need extra supervision at night due to lack of sleep.The child probably does need more care and attention than most, unless you live their life you can't understand what normal for them is.

post Sun 12-Jun-11 08:52:40

every measure you take

acumenin Sun 12-Jun-11 08:53:37

To qualify you:

need frequent attention throughout the day in connection with your bodily functions.
need continual supervision throughout the day to avoid substantial danger to you or others.
need prolonged or repeated attention at night in connection with your bodily functions.
need another person to be awake at night for a prolonged period or at frequent intervals to watch over you in order to avoid substantial danger to you or others.

Children must satisfy one of the above tests but, in addition, their care, supervision or watching-over needs must also be greater than those of a child of the same age who is in normal physical and mental health.

DLA middle rate care is £49.30/w. It can pay for about three hours agency care a week, so it doesn't pay for as much care as you need to have to qualify for it, if you see what I mean? But it can defray some costs, like, well, the point is the needs are so individual and varied it's really hard to set them out. That's the idea of DLA, instead of issuing OSFA vouchers or services, you make the decision yourself: what people spend their dla on

dietstartstmoz Sun 12-Jun-11 08:57:39

Your BIL may not have the filled in, it may have been his wife. I filled in my son's DLA form, not my husband. I had to fill in nearly 50 pages of all the horrible stuff relating to my son, what he can't do in relation to his peers, what he needs extra help with. How his development is delayed to compared to his peers, and I had to submit reports from paediatricians and speech and language therapists, and my son's nursery. Then a further report was called for from my son's nursery, and yes we have been awarded DLA for my son.
It's not just 'given', it's an entitlement you have to apply for and prove that your child needs substantially extra help compared to a child without any SN. Your BIL has not 'blagged' this, although he has phrased this badly. I'm sure his wife would not phrase it in this way, and as another poster said, maybe you don't see all the extra support needs this child has as his parents do it all for him. We have not given up work, or reduced our hours at work, although I can see why people do as there are that many medical appts to attend it is impossible to have a job as well sometimes. You don't have to prove you are incurring any extra costs to get DLA. They are entitled to the money, and it should be for the child, not the parents.

Goblinchild Sun 12-Jun-11 09:03:59

'Your BIL has not 'blagged' this, although he has phrased this badly.'

Sometimes I might say this sort of casual, off-the-cuff comment to a relative or friend (We don't claim DLA)
It's either that light-hearted observation, or talking seriously about DS and his additional needs and watching their eyes glaze over.
Flippancy and humour are sometimes the only fuel available for me to keep going.

ccpccp Sun 12-Jun-11 09:11:57

Your BIL is underplaying his kids disability, and acting up the the 'blagged' attitude for effect.

Or they have committed fraud by overstating thier kids condition. Its pretty easy to do with these kinds of disability.

itisnearlysummer Sun 12-Jun-11 09:17:45

Mm, these responses have been really interesting. Thank you for sharing.

There must be much more than we are aware off. As I say we don't see them very much but when we have seen them, I haven't really noticed much difference between him and the other children present.

jubilee10 Sun 12-Jun-11 09:26:12

We get middle rate for care, lower rate for mobility, Unfortunately we didn't "Blag" this. We had to go to a tribunal to get it and this was after filling out the 50 page form. It caused me so much stress that I won't be re-applying when it is reviewed in October.

We can't both work as one of us always has to be available for Ds. Even when he is in school you never know when they will phone. We tried one of us working nights and one working days but along with his other needs it was just too much. Siblings already suffer without us making it worse. Now I work and dh is a SAHP. We are not well off!

I think you have to live life with a child with additional needs to really understand and as you say you don't have much to do with them.

Goblinchild Sun 12-Jun-11 09:27:58

'There must be much more than we are aware off. As I say we don't see them very much but when we have seen them, I haven't really noticed much difference between him and the other children present.'

Why not have the child to stay over with you for a week? grin
You can then form your own opinion.

Peachy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:37:05

'Or they have committed fraud by overstating thier kids condition. Its pretty easy to do with these kinds of disability'

really? are you sure?

How many of the forms have you filled in, had accepted and paid for those conditions?

they need reams of evidence, you can;t just say I do X and leave it at that. you just can't. More people In know lose it now becuase a cut in services equate to a cut in evidence (letters etc) than for any other reaosn I know.

dealer Sun 12-Jun-11 09:38:56

I've never tried to claim DLA, but various professionals have been trying to persuade me to for years now for dd1. I feel like maybe I'm stupid for not doing so, but I feel I would be a fraud if I did.

My first husband was severely disabled, and I have many disabled friends who have to battle every day to function. I think it's an absolute joke to then claim for dd1 who I consider 'unusual' but not difficult in any way. She is by far the easiest of my 3 dcs to care for. It would however be easy to construe her 'unusualness' on a form to look like she needs lots of extra help. I have no idea if this would be successful for DLA but the professionals insist she would be awarded. One speech therapist told me she is the sort of child that would pull most families apart! Not sure why?

Peachy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:40:30

There's a good cahnce that BIL is covering how ahrd it is. I do, most people do. MN doesn;t really show that becuase it's anon so you can let it all out as such but in RL it's head high and (quite literally) cry in the rain.

My BIl doesn;t get the whole thing; he ahs casually suggested euthansasia (well not by name but clear as day) in front of my boys. That's because we would not dream of showong the bruises, etc. We just don;t. Dignity etc.

Although I was pissed off when i found through a friend that my sis blagged her job by claiming extrensive asd experience through my family: one morning of babysitting 10 years ago, when ds1 was 1 and 5 years pre dx does not qualify.

Peachy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:44:21

dealer there is a massive divorce rate amongst famillies with SN. but kids with Sn vary.

And people claim for different reasons- for example, to pay for therapy if there is none on offer. or repalce damage done via the SN. or special diets.
or cars to help them get to SnUs often many miles away (even with LA transport you still ahve to do meetings etc, and pick ups eg in snow; not all of us live ina reas with bus coverage).

But yes kids vary. DS2 is beinga ssessed for ADHD and dyspraxia and whilst his need for new shoes every week costs me a fortuner that's about it so i would not claim. DS4 is beinga ssessed for ASD. ATM I can;t see why we would claim but i'll not say never: it depends on his needs.
DS1 has ASD and is a highly aggressive kid who needs lots spent, ds3 has severe asd and both are in SNU aplcements so we claim.

It varies.

there's a fraud rate of 0.5% associated with DAL; this is the lowest of the benefits.

itisnearlysummer Sun 12-Jun-11 09:44:40

Well tbh, we have had him for the day a couple of times (on his own though, without siblings) and didn't notice any issues. Although I'm aware a day isn't the same as a week!

I asked him to go upstairs to fetch my DD for lunch and he did,

I aksed him to sit at the table and finish his lunch and he did,

I asked him not to run over the flowerbeds. He did it again just to see whether I meant it, but then he realised that I did and stopped.

He played beautifully and carefully with DD.

I suppose that's one of my reasons for asking. I just don't see any of the behaviour from him that I associate with ADHD. He is a quieter child than the rest of his family and we always assumed he gets a bit lost in the craziness of a house with 3 boys was 'attention seeking' at times. He does sometimes 'play up' he's no angel, don't get me wrong. But DH and I have a bit of a soft spot for him and find that he responds really well if he's spoken to calmly and politely. Their house is very loud and 'boisterous'.

Tbh, one of the reasons we don't see them much is because their DS1 and DS3 are really badly behaved, but we've always thought DS2 was a bit of a sweetheart - just a quieter soul than the rest of them.

So we were just really surprised that they had this diagnosis and that it require the middle rate of DLA.

But I suppose we never do know what goes on behind closed doors.

borderslass Sun 12-Jun-11 09:44:54

I also agree with the poster who says maybe he doesn't know why as his wife probably filled it in.DH didn't have a clue how hard it was day to day until he had to do it himself, when he became ill and we had to swap roles.

Glitterknickaz Sun 12-Jun-11 09:45:15

oh really, ccp? Good job I was able to blag it three times over then isn't it.

I'm not surprised by a single word you come out with nowadays. Can't say a single word unless it's to offend, can you?

CognitiveDissident Sun 12-Jun-11 09:49:08

My DD1 has borderline ADHD,plus high functioning ASD.

Extra costs...replacing her schooljumpers every couple of months, as she chewed the sleeves to shreds. Most clothing was torn to shreds after a few months. I got very good at invisible mending.

Repairing/replacing furniture. Beds and chairs wore out with alarming frequency.

New mattresses and bedding. DD had continence issues until 12-13.

Replacement washing machines and tumble driers. For the first 10 years I was trapped in a hellish laundry treadmill.

Cupboard locks, stairgates, locks on doors.

Cleaning carpets, repainting walls.

I didn't claim DLA for her, I stupidly thought that you had to be in a wheelchair to get it. PlusI assumed that the destruction was all part of parenting, and parents everywhere were spending their evenings glueing the legs back on all the dining room chairs.

Social services and CAMS were useless;told me that I was 'making a meal out of it'(parenting) and that 'this is just what children do'.

Shoesytwoesy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:52:32

ever thought that he might not want to "big" up his sons problems, nit everyone wants to shout it from the rooftops sadly that does mean they get judged, this isn't your BIL's money it is his sons.

Peachy Sun 12-Jun-11 09:53:16

It's not just the DLA either

ADHD means parents have to attend a lot of appointments and meetings so are less likely to work. a childcare provider is less likely to take a child with ADHD- for very long, anyway.

Carer's Allowance can only be claimed if you get DLA awarded.

dealer Sun 12-Jun-11 09:54:35

Oh, absolutely, it's very hard for some families.

But not us.

I really don't understand why they've been trying to push dla on us for about 8 years. Dd1 is quiet and amicable. Nowadays she's just a bit detached and has all but stopped frustrated tantrums. Even when she had them I found them easier to manage than my other 2's rows.

She's on school action plus, but is actually above average in all academic areas now because she works so hard. Everyone says she's a pleasure to look after, the only problem being maybe getting her to listen to instructions. I guess there are small things that I may have to do differently for her but certainly not to the point of incurring extra costs.

It just makes me wonder, to be honest, how hard it can actually be to get, if people have been insisting for 8 years that we should have it.

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