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Turned down for DLA(15 Posts)
My DS has ASD and I've just found out that I've been turned down for DLA on the basis of the report requested from his school.
I've rang the DLA people to get an oral appeal but she was insistent that I have a reconsideration first and that I need to supply more evidence.
Can they insist on this? I'm not sure what other evidence I can provide as I send a huge wad from various consultants plus a letter from a childminder who stopped childminding because he was so difficult.
He is intelligent with the autism so could this be counting against him too?
Also will the people looking at his form know about ASD and aspergers?
Any advice appreciated!
Sounds like you have been unlucky. I got DLA for my sons (also Aspergers) before diagnosis but did put in a school behaviour record which highlighted their problems. Did you use the cerebra guide for filling in the form - I relied heavily on that but personalised.
sorry you got turned down this time. the DWP won't look at the name of the condition, but at the amount of care the individual needs. i know people who have recently got HRC without a formal DX.
One is right, the cerebra guide is fantastic for explaining what the DWP are looking for it even has a wee test for you at the beginning, to get you in the right frame of mind for answering the questions
i do not think you can appeal on the phone. you will have to complete a certain form (GL24, you can downlisd it online).
you can appeal straight away. no need to bother with a reconsideration. when you appeal they will look at your case again in any case.
just complete the form and send it in.
and have a look at the fabulous cerebra guide if you haven't already.
ps: dd got turned down initially and also on reconsideration. i appealed and we got high rate care. dwp changed mind, it did not go to tribunal. seems to happen often from what i read here.
Does he go to any other settings that you haven't provided reports for? Social groups, swimming lessons, football etc? A written submission from a group leader would count as additional evidence - I used ds's karate instructor for one DLA application, and a friend (for her own Incapacity Benefit back in the day) had a letter from the woman who ran the corner shop to back up that she came in most days using a walking stick. Any evidence you can provide should be considered.
For future reference, it's always worth keeping something back when you submit for your review so that if you are turned down again you will have something up your sleeve to offer them by way of additional evidence. A big part of successful DLA applications is knowing how to play the DWP game.
And yes, use the Cerebra form. Plus I find it's useful to type the whole document rather than forcing yourself to make it fit on the printed forms. That way you can write as much as you feel is necessary and you can edit away till you're absolutely satisfied that you've presented it in the best way possible.
Definitely appeal, don't lose heart at this point.
You do not have to ask for a reconsideration - you can go straight to appeal if you want to. Asking for a reconsideration just means more time stalling imo. I have heard of lots of people on here (ChocJunkie?) who put in their appeal and suddenly the DWP changed their mind and awarded HRC (probably knowing they would lose at tribunal!). Sometimes they just try it on.
The school report is a stumbling block for a lot of people. The questions the school is asked are yes or no questions, including
'Can the child dress themselves?'
'Does the child have age appropriate skills?'
The school has to just answer yes or no to a list of questions and if you have a child that is HF this is where the problems can arise. The DWP then choses to find a reason not to give the award from the school report. Schools are also terrified of putting anything negative about a child in writing wrt how well they can cope because they would not want to make any admissions that could look like the child's provision is not meeting their needs.
But definitely appeal.
Another one here with an intelligent DS who gets MRC and LRM.
I find diary keeping helpful for things like this. It gives you something to refer to which can demonstrate how much more care your DC needs compared with their peers. For example, even though DS1 is 9, I still have to take him to the bathroom and help him wash, in the morning. If he tries to dispense his own toothpaste, he ends up wearing it because he doesn't have the coordination or concentration to hold the toothbrush, squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto the toothbrush, then put the tub down without tipping the paste off the brush - plus, he has impulse control problems, so sometimes squeezing the whole tube out is irresistible to him. Then, left to his own devices, he would clean about 4 teeth for 3 seconds then consider the job done. That's just one task out of many for the day which most 9 years olds can manage themselves, reasonably competently.
Another voice encouraging you to appeal. My DS3's application for DLA was refused initially and then on reconsideration. He got his ASD disagnosis shortly after the reconsideration refusal and after I had put in for an oral appeal. Despite the diagnosis the claim has gone to appeal and we are waiting (has been over 12 weeks now but have to wait 16!) for a date. The DWP allegedly considered the diagnostic reports but it seems to me that they based their decision on a report from the paediatrician made in July last year and ignored her report that DS3's difficulties were increasing and the DWP didn't contact CAMHS for a report as she told them to.
DWP didn't specifically ask for a report from DS's school, just noted from other reports that he allegedly has no behaviour or academic problems. I'd say he has both - his behaviour is a problem to him as he gets overwhelmed and has to go out of class and obviously that impacts on his learning and he struggles socially. Hope they don't go too much on school support as DS's school don't seem to 'get' HFA. I am still having fall out over getting the school to understand why he won't go on the 7 night residential trip - HT told DS it would be good 'for someone like you' - DS had just got his ASD diagnosis. Now trying to convince them that it is reasonable for them to plan what DS will be doing while his classmates are away.
I agree that you don't have to ask for reconsideration and can just ask for an appeal. I think in practice asking for an appeal will mean the DWP automatically look again at your claim as they have to put together their case before sending the papers off to appeal. Now I have those papers I can see which bits of reports they highlighted and which they completely ignored!
I did use the guide and had help from citizens advice, plus sent a wodge of evidence.
It's good to have a perspective of the schools form as I was wondering what they had written on there.
I can get evidence from his swimming instructor as to how difficult he finds things eg getting into the pool and listening to instructions. I can keep a diary of his soiling and wetting. He usually does this at home or at after school club. Thanks for that.
Would I be better phoning dla back and saying just to go to appeal? I'm not sure whether a review would change anything?
After reading the replies properly I rang the dla back, spoke to a lovely lady, and changed to an appeal rather than a review of the application.
She said it could take up to 11weeks to be heard so there's time for me to gather evidence. I have
Swimming instructor (sensory + behaviour)
After school club (soiling + boundaries)
Would it be ok to do a 'day in life' diary to show his issues?
Is there anything I'm missing? I feel much better about going to appeal so thanks everyone.
Lego - you are entitled to see a copy of what the school have submitted to the DWP so you can ask for that. This will help you prove he does need DLA even though he's intelligent.
A day in the life diary is a really useful thing to do from what I've heard and seems to be helpful in getting a successful outcome. I find that the more you repeat yourself the better!
Good luck and keep posting on here
Oh and the people who assess the forms initially don't have any knowledge about special needs at all as I understand it, which is why decisions are often overturned at tribunal.
I've sent in diary entries before but it's difficult to say how much notice DWP takes of them - all I'd say is it can't hurt.
I have always sent in samples of the support tools we use at home, eg social stories, visual timetables, picture prompts etc to demonstrate that these things are necessary - and in your accompanying letter don't forget to state that 'these strategies are not usual for someone of X's age and clearly demonstrate that he needs more support than his peers' or similar. That's what they're looking for - evidence that your child is not keeping pace with others of the same age and needs additional support, so your job is to provide what they need to confirm it.
I'm glad you've got outside evidence too and I think that will make a difference.
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