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DLA/Social worker rant

(65 Posts)
smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 12:08:44

Argh, just need to rant. No need to reply.

I applied for DLA a few months ago. No where on the form does it ask if you have a social worker. I did not mention my social worker.

Have just received letter of explaination from DLA stating why I was turned down and it says that they received a phone call from my social worker.

My f***ing social worker must have chosen to call DLA specifically to tell them I should not get DLA.

FFS.

That means she actually thinks I am fraudulently trying to claim benefits.

FFS

angry very angry

Rant over and out.

InfestationofLannisters Mon 15-Aug-11 12:12:16

That was helpful of her hmm

Is she from the disabilities team? I thought they were supposed to help with that?

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 12:21:00

I dont know where she is from. Not the CHAD team. I requested her. Stupidest idea ever.

DS did not have a firm diagnosis a few months ago when I saw her (still doesnt but we have more evidence from professionals). She got a bee in ger bonnet about our son being totally normal and us being over anxious. FFS. Argh!!!

InfestationofLannisters Mon 15-Aug-11 12:34:14

That's not at all uncommon, sadly. The accusations of trying to falsely claim benefits and not coping so sending in the safeguarding faction.

It's bloody terrible. Why are these resources not deployed elsewhere? Say, oh - to help children at actual risk?

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 13:32:04

Im still totally shocked that she would take time out of her day to chose to make that phone call. I requested social services. Has she helped me at all? No. Not one little bit. She has made my life so so so much harder.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 15-Aug-11 14:10:29

So sorry, smug. This SW sounds like the bane of your life. Keep going with the medical route, so one day you can shove the DX up her arse.

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 16:17:06

Thanks Ellen, we have ten authorised appointments with the private psych who says DS is highly likely to have ASD and that it is at a level which is disabling and has said he can see we are good parents. He said he wants to spend more time assessing DS but we should be seen weekly from now on.

DLA letter says DS does have personal care issues but not more than any other child his age. I have sent in lots and lots of letters of evidence from all sorts of people. Hoping it will help.

Wasnt quite sure what to write on the appeal form so probably got it all wrong but after starting three threads about how to appeal stuff recently I didnt want to start another one asking the same question.

sparky688 Mon 15-Aug-11 19:07:03

WTF?
i dont think this is right Smug-in fact i think its illegal.
when you sign the forms its giving permission for them to get in touch with certain people.people you have mentioned.you didnt mention ss.
ss cant just start ringing dla off theyre own backs and start discussing things
they could be anyone really at the end of the phone cant they.
check this out Smug-it dont sound right-then challenge it.
good luck.

signandsmile Mon 15-Aug-11 20:07:13

This does sound very odd.... if they are saying the SW rang them, not the other way round, (and if you did not tell them how would they know to ring her?) then why would they be giving her info about the fact you were applying? She could have been anyone as sparky says, so if they have given her any info surely they have broken the law?

Did anyone else you did put down tell them to contact SW for more info?? (know this is a long shot, but just an idea.)

Hope you manage to get it all sorted.

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 21:05:10

I mentioned the DLA app to the social worker on her first visit. She seemed surprised and I thought 'oh shit'!

Then when I got a letter saying I hadn't got DLA I called them to find out who they had contacted for extra information. They said on the phone that they had a phone call. They couldn't tell me who it was from, said they needed to get my file out which would take two weeks.

Eventually received a letter today saying that the additional info was from DSs preschool and a phone call from social worker.

I did not give them any details of the social worker. I did not give social worker permission to speak to DWP.

Who do I complain to? SW has so far ignored my request to amend her report and I asked her a month ago.

Vexatious SW.

Bigpants1 Mon 15-Aug-11 21:53:28

This is totally not on! Write to Director of Social Work with your complaint(s), and cc the Line Manager of your S.Worker.
Also, write to DLA and complain that they did not have your permission to speak to the S.Worker. That, as someone said previously, it could have been anyone on the phone, and you are totally not happy sensitive and private info. has been discussed re your ds and yourself.
Ask the private Psych. if he could put something in writing re ds to send to DLA, or ask if he could phone them for you.
In your complaint to S Services, reqest a new S Worker, pointing out she has broken your trust and you cannot work with her.
It is SS job to provide support and resources, NOT to decide who gets DLA and involve themselves in clients financial affairs.

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 22:19:57

Im so cross.

I have emailed the Director for CYP who the social worker sits under and copied in the complaints team. Have asked for an explanation in writing and quoted bits of the social workers data protection act guidance I found on the internet. Will post a copy of the letter tomorrow and copy in the team manager.

We have been signed off by social services. I asked for help. They refused help. They then went out of their way to make sure no one else would help us. Can you get more evil than that? I have said in my letter that if we need another social worker in future then I will want someone else as she has broken my trust. Thanks bigpants. sign and others.

Its hard enough getting help without people like this making the job harder.

Not sure what private psych will do to help. He was musing over whether DSs ASD traits were enough to be a disability so will press him on it at next app.

insanityscatching Mon 15-Aug-11 22:31:07

I'm absolutely horrified at this. The SW has acted without authority based on her opinion rather than knowledge. You really must press a complaint against both the SW and DWP for considering the information she gave. They can't be allowed to get away with this.

smugtandemfeeder Mon 15-Aug-11 22:41:00

On the DLA form there is a page which says "Consent" and asks for permission to contact "the childs GP, or the people or organisations involved with your child"

"The DWP may ask any person or organisation for any information, including medical information."

I ticked agree. Does this mean I have given them permission to contact anyone at all? Should I have ticked the NO box?

As an aside, social worker saw my son run straight out into the road into traffic. She has not mentioned it in her report and has not added it in despite me writing to request this. I bet she didnt say this to DWP either.

insanityscatching Mon 15-Aug-11 23:11:07

But I would say that the consent refers to them contacting the people named on the form and isn't consent for them to speak about your child with people who phone out of the blue.
When I worked for the benefits office many moons ago if a professional from an agency phoned on someone's behalf we would need to get consent from the claimant first and then phone them through the main switchboard so as to be certain that the person had a legitimate reason to contact us.
I cannot believe that security checks are more lax now.

1980Sport Tue 16-Aug-11 07:59:43

Hi Smug - sorry you are having such an awful time and a terrible battle to get help for your DS.

When I read this thread, I wondered though, did the DLA office perhaps try to contact the SW initially but were unable to reach her so they left a message and she then returned their call. But it is then recorded as a received call from the SW despite the fact the DLA office initiated the contact?

As you say it just seems strange that she would take time out of her day to make this call unprompted. Hope you get some answers soon!

smugtandemfeeder Tue 16-Aug-11 08:19:53

Hi 1980. How would DLA know about my social worker though? I didnt tell them about her. If someone else told them then they breached the data protection act. It all feels very very wrong.

Phoned DLA this morning. They said they would have to get my file out again and they will contact me within 48 hours. Do they actually have a room with paper files in? Seems very very backward in this day and age not to have an electronic system to look at peoples information.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 16-Aug-11 08:23:17

Also I still didnt give the social worker permission to share my confidential information with DWP. So they are still at fault.

Their data protection act guidance gives a list of circumstances in which the SW can shre my information and this in no way complys with any of those reasons. They should also avoid sharing confidential information by telephone unless unavoidable and if they do they should keep a written record of it.

1980Sport Tue 16-Aug-11 09:32:28

Right - yes it all seems very strange, I was really just clutching at straws thinking if you'd ticked the box then they might put a call into the local SW office in an information gathering attempt but if that breaches DP regs then that wouldn't happen (you hope) and as others have said how can they be sure the person ringing in is who she says she is!

I think they do have a room of files - unfortunately no electronic systems are secure enough to hold information like that!!

1980Sport Tue 16-Aug-11 09:34:13

It really sounds like you need someone on your side - is there any organisations who could support you/act on your behalf. CAB might be able to point you in the right direction!

smugtandemfeeder Tue 16-Aug-11 13:36:25

Yes, I do need an advocate of some sort. I'll get to work on finding one. I just start googling and get lost in the search.

No phone call or email from anyone at local council yet, or DWP. Not sure why I thought they would rush to call me. Silly really.

utah Tue 16-Aug-11 14:08:41

I would of believed by signing the consent form as DLA would be classed as public funds then information can be shared in the same way it is shared for SA where you sign one consent form for them to contact everyone else. I cannot bring myself to trust SS even though I have met some lovely ones, they have too much power with no medical knowledge and it is one persons point of view.

smugtandemfeeder Tue 16-Aug-11 20:01:21

DWP phoned. They still havent got my file out but they did say that the consent page only gives them permission to contact people listed on my form and that they shouldnt have shared my details with the social worker. They cant give me any actual details until they get my file. Still shocked.

Had a standard acknowledgement email from LA but not holding my breath for a satisfactory response.

mariamagdalena Wed 17-Aug-11 13:55:13

smug

Definitely complain... but watch your back. Don't get angry with anyone from the council, even though you have every right, it'll make you look unreasonable, and therefore even more vulnerable to accusations of imagining littlesmug's difficulties.

Something along the lines of 'systems failure, SW forgot to obtain consent, inadvertantly shared incomplete information, what if this happened to a vulnerable person who couldn't speak up for themselves to set the error straight, anyone can make a mistake but how can you ensure these type of mistakes don't have similar consequence next time' wink

smugtandemfeeder Wed 17-Aug-11 14:31:10

Too late im afraid Maria. I have written a complaint letter and sent it to the Director of the relevant department. I know people dont get anywhere complaining to local authorities.

I hope it doesnt make me look unreasonable. I think they already think I am unreasonable though so what can I do.

We do have a private psych who has partially diagnosed DS so I think we have professional evidence.

confused

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