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Was this benefit fraud??

(47 Posts)
Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 12:15:11

I've name changed as I'm worried.

My son has always had mobility problems. He's hypermobile (double jointed) and is currently being assessed for dyspraxia as he doesn't have coordination etc, he falls over all of the time, can't fasten buttons etc. he couldn't walk without being in pain as his joints are so loose.

A couple of years ago I began to claim the disability element of the ctc for him as he needs additional support and help to get around. I told them I was going to fill in a claim for DLA for him, they said it was OK, just call and let them know when a decision had been given. I then became seriously unwell and I forgot to do this blush. His condition has now improved after 2 years of support and physio so I called and cancelled the extra tax credit.

I watched a TV programme (saints and scroungers) on BBC1 this morning and it depicted three sisters pretending that their children were severely disabled, they didn't claim DLA either. I'm not sure if I could get into a load of trouble for this or not.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 12:29:51


Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 13:23:38


ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 13:28:48

i wouldnt say it was actual fraud as it wasnt deliberate or a false claim your ds was really unwell (sounds like he has a similar condition to my 3 dc and they are terribly affected by it).

you seem honest and obviously you could get your doctor to write a letter confirming ds problems and the illness you had they could cross refence the illnesses with dates of your claim etc and would soon see it was a genuine mistake not fraud.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 13:41:54

Thank you.

He's been like this for years. He can't walk down the road without falling over or stumbling. He's getting better which is why I cancelled it. It's hard knowing what to do sometimes.

ThisIsANiceCage Mon 10-Jan-11 13:54:18

Yep, programmes like that put the fear of god in, um, honest people. I went through a patch of calling the DLA line and saying, I can make it down the garden and back now, do I need to notify you of a change? No, they said.

Your son may still be eligible for DLA, even tho he has improved, if you can face doing the forms. Specifically, iirc DLA mobility component is awarded if he is "virtually unable to walk" - a phrase that does not mean what it says. confused

It actually seems to mean, not able to walk several 100 yards to the shops and back without serious discomfort or suffering ill effects afterwards, repeatable at reasonable intervals during the day. [disclaimer: this is from recollection, you'll need to check with a site like Benefits and Work

DLA is massively underclaimed, the govt's own estimates ranging from 40 to 60 % underclaiming.

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 13:57:10

my dc have ehlers danlos syndrome and various other problems, dd1 uses w chair sometimes and ds and dd2 still in double buggy, they fall over, stumble, dislocate joints all the time and dd1 faints a lot and has heart problem because of it its a real struggle. you have obviously had a lot going on what with being unwell yourself, try not to worry its a genuine mistake if they do get in touch with you just tell the truth like you have done on here they are trained to detect real fraud and they will see that you wernt out to defraud the system in any way smile

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 13:57:49

I might try. His school used to be a few roads away and he used to fall three times just getting there. He's got a lot better with physio (which I pay for as the NHS cancelled his appointment due to illness and have not rebooked. I'm sick of calling them). He's being assessed at school for dyspraxia so I'll wait until they have decided on this.

I thought you'd all jump down my throat. Thank you for being so understanding.

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 13:59:38

theres a thread on here eds hypermobility which im on a lot and its really supportive not just for those with eds also related problems like marfans/hypermobility etc

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:03:49

He saw a paediatrician last year, she said he didn't have that as he didn't have a tinge in his eyes. She said he was highly hypermobile. His secondary have picked up the dyspraxia as he panics, is messy and disorganised (amongst other things)

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 14:09:00

a blue tinge in whites of eyes is not a defining feature for eds there are lots of different types it took a long time for my dc to get diagnosed they were unwell for ages before i got any answers its really hard to know how to help them when they are in pain every day and struggling just walking down the road

coppertop Mon 10-Jan-11 14:17:08

Don't forget that the test for DLA is whether a child needs more help than a typical child of their age. It doesn't matter whether your ds has improved, only whether he still needs more help than others.

You also need to factor in age. So, for example, falling over ten times a day might perhaps be a little unusual for a 4yr-old but if a 10yr-old was falling over half that number of times each day it would be classed as very unusual.

It might be worth still applying.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:18:23

He is getting a lot better. He's been doing pilates to build his strength up and I've really noticed the difference. He's getting too big to be holding mums hand down the road though. I'm afraid other kids will laugh at him. If he doesn't hold my hand then he usually ends up on the floor at some point. sad His hands and fingers get tired when he's writing, not on the laptop though which is bizarre.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:22:13

I will apply when he's had the dyspraxia tests. It's expensive to get a cab home because his legs are tired and it would help to pay for the physio/pilates for him

Thank you smile

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 14:24:16

i really feel for you i know how hard it is, mine are still little so its easier for me to give them the help they need.i hope he continues to improve, my dc all have to wear tight ankle boots with special insoles from orthotics they seem to make them a little bit more stable, not much but it all helps.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:28:14


He used to have boots, thought of an paid for by me. He has insoles which is the best the NHS could do hmm but they didn't help. The boots really did along with the pilates and now he's in shoes! He still has insoles though. You should try pilates, it really helped ds.

ThisIsANiceCage Mon 10-Jan-11 14:32:23

I was awarded an increase in my DLA after I improved slightly. confused Because I was now well enough and experienced enough to write a persuasive application, rather than just answer yes/no, and push the GP to do the same.

I was not amused.

GabbyLoggon Mon 10-Jan-11 14:33:55

I dont think what you describe is fraud.

But some tv programmes are irresponsible
on this subject. Frighten honest claimants and you risk stopping them claiming.

IThe govt should give more time to tax dodging by rich people people. (Nick Clugg said they would)

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:35:46

Thank you. I'm feeling a little better now. smile

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 14:39:02

i will look into pilates maybe it would help dd1 shes 9, ds and dd2 are only 4 and 1 though so i will have to wait a bit for them, they just have physio/hydrotherapy at moment and a lot of nasty dislocations so im wary of doing anything else with them till they are a bit stronger.

ThisIsANiceCage Mon 10-Jan-11 14:41:14

Btw, so glad to hear the therapy is helping! It's a huge moral-booster to have improvements to focus on, isn't it?

But he still needs to take cabs (mention this in the application), and you're shelling out all the while. You could get the forms started anyway - ideally get help from a disability benefits advisor at the CAB or the site above.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:41:41

smile It's really gentle exercise to start off with. He's lucky, his teacher is a qualified physio so it's 2 for the price of 1. It's really not nice to see your child like this. sad I can't imagine how hard it must be with three children with this condition.

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:43:49

smile Thank you. You've all been really kind. He can walk to town, it's less then a mile but he'll have to stop and sit down along the way and he'll stumble or fall over. Embarassing for an 11 year old.

ariane5 Mon 10-Jan-11 14:49:12

poor thing its horrid to see them wanting to keep up with their friends and they cant, dd1 just beginning that stage where suddenly she knows she is different, she wanted to go to a disco but couldnt do it, legs hurt, she got out of breath and palpitations and she just looked at me like "why is this happening to me?" im sure there will unfortunately be more of that to come over next few years for me sad

Butterflymama Mon 10-Jan-11 14:52:03

sad ds has pretty much given up now. He knows he's always going to be last in PE. His teachers are understanding though. He used to have some really horrible ones that would shout at him when he fell over. I'd recommend pilates. There's some books about being different somewhere, I'll have a look for you on amazon.

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