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DLA renewal refusal - Statement of Reasons finally received- WTF?!

(12 Posts)
tallulah Tue 16-Aug-11 21:37:39

Posted this is SN but no response, so thought I'd try somewhere with more traffic.

DS2 has ADHD and has been getting DLA since he was about 8. He is now 21. Our latest renewal was refused. He has now phoned them 3 times to ask for a statement of reasons and it has taken them almost 3 weeks to send it (bearing in mind you have a deadline of 4 weeks to appeal hmm ). We got it today, dated yesterday.

Firstly they have included part of our surname as part of our address. Next they have got his name wrong. The letter itself reads like it has been written by a trained monkey. Some of the highlights are:

"The fact that he is at university shows a reasonable level of intelligence and therefore it is considered the level of supervision is unreasonable"

Yes the fact that he has to be supervised like a child is why we are claiming DLA, because he isn't NT. Do they think we and other people supervise him for fun? angry

"Most students live a relaxed lifestyle with no real structured time to do anything."

WTF?!

If he wanders off, then there is no reason why he can't find his way back to where he started".

It continues in that vein. I am absolutely incandescent with rage. He is just about to start his 3rd year and is having to go back to Halls because the housemates who supervised him last year have all finished, and the Disability Unit he is attached to feel he isn't safe to be left unsupervised. (he will be contacting them tomorrow)

He gets lost really easily and then panics. He tells me he can't actually retrace his steps- his brain doesn't work like that.

What has intelligence got to do with disability? I never said he wasn't intelligent. Where would that leave Stephen Hawkins?

I am going to appeal plus send a complaint about this letter. I have just noticed they say we had the initial refusal on July 18th (I'm sure we didn't wait 2 weeks to ring them..) so we are conveniently at the month's deadline already.

I've found lots of help on how to appeal. Anyone got any thoughts on what to write in my complaint and who else to contact? Presumably they are sending this sort of crap to people who they think won't fight back.

tallulah Tue 16-Aug-11 21:38:06

IN SN, not is SN- must preview.

lubeybooby Tue 16-Aug-11 21:40:19

Sorry no advice but just bumping for you.

redhappy Wed 17-Aug-11 17:53:37

Wow I can see why you're angry! I suppose there's CAB. I found the cerebral guide useful for ds. He is only 4, but for every example it suggested to make comparison to by children of same age.

Are there any charities/organisations supporting adults with disabilities? When i did the dla form I had help from a friend who manages an organisation which helped adults to live independently, including filling out the forms.

Also, did you get proof of posting?

GypsyMoth Wed 17-Aug-11 17:58:59

So were these supervisors over last 3 years paid caters? So he loses that as well?

GypsyMoth Wed 17-Aug-11 17:59:21

* carers

tallulah Wed 17-Aug-11 18:09:07

Luckily no they aren't paid carers. Because he's at uni he gets a lot of help via the Dis Unit and doesn't have to pay for it- otherwise he'd be really stuck.

How can somebody who is not medically trained say the level of supervision is unreasonable? Do they really think people would bother to give him that much help if he didn't need it? It isn't mummy and daddy wrapping him up in cotton wool...

undividedattention Thu 18-Aug-11 18:11:54

DLA refusals are very common and more likely due to the wording or legal points rather than whether the applicant actually needs the benefit.

Definitely get help from a specialist organisation, e.g. Disability Alliance or CAB. Adult DLA applications are quite different from child DLA so the Cerebra guide won't be as helpful. The only guide I've seen which is as helpful for adults is from Benefits and Work - you have to pay to subscribe to their site but I do think it's worth it. You may have to focus on case law and the legal definitions and it all requires quite a specialist approach which they have. I also found the Rightsnet forum quite helpful for digging up case law which supported my claim - you can't post as it's for professional advisors, but it's useful to lurk.

Put in the appeal asap. You can send further evidence later if necessary, but if you miss the deadline they're unlikely to extend it. An appeal will trigger a reconsideration where they might change it without a hearing, but if they stick to their original decision, you should get a hearing in a few months.

If you can get further professional evidence in the meantime, it's well worth doing so. Would the disability unit at the university or their support workers be able to confirm his descriptions?

pamplemousserose Thu 18-Aug-11 18:16:29

Fuckers

tallulah Thu 18-Aug-11 20:30:28

The Disability Unit are going to send as much as they've got- he's had lots of assessments there. His Mentor from last year is also going to send us a report. I will send off the appeal and forward these on when they arrive, rather than miss the deadline.

noir Thu 18-Aug-11 20:37:52

For what its worth, I've never known anyone appeal a DLA decision and lose (my DB has downs so have spent my life in the disabled community and was a children with disabilities social worker for over a year so personally contributed to many applications). The concrete clear examples you've given here are exactly what you need to put on the form, to be honest I'd even throw the Steven Hawkins comment in there, these people need it spelling out for them Im afraid!

ohnoherewego Fri 19-Aug-11 19:41:10

attend the appeal in person rather than letting it be dealt with on paper as your chances of success will be higher

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