DLA appeal coming up

Hi all,

I have a DLA tribunal soon. I have been in receipt of higher rate DLA mobility component and middle rate component for approximately 18 months. This was suspended in August because the DM decided that I wasn't virtually unable to walk based on my GP's report. In reality, if anything I'm in in more pain and discomfort than I was when it was awarded. My GP, who rarely sees me said my condition was under control and that he rarely sees me. What is the point? Whenever I've been in the past, all he ever does is tells me it's part of the condition and gives me an extra painkiller. It's totally pointless and soul destroying.

I already take 20mg of Methotrexate per week, 5mg of Prednisolone every other day plus an Infliximab drip at regular intervals. When I applied for DLA, I was on 15mg.

My movement is getting worse. The pain in my hips is an ongoing thing but walking is becoming increasingly difficult, making it from the door to the car leaves me really sore and in pain. Without it I really don't know what I do.

In the interim period I've also had an occupational health report which advised me to consider quitting full-time work, saying that although I was OK to sit at my desk during the day moving around the office was really difficult for me.

Does anyone know how the tribunals go or what my chances are? It feels horrible to hear a doctor who I rarely see decide that my condition is under control. He doesn't have to sit in the bath for an hour because he can't get out or lay in bed for a full morning when he's had a flare-up, it's so frustrating.

Sorry for moaning all :(

7 Replies

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  • Hi, firstly I'd like to say how sorry I am your going through this. My DLA was withdrawn a number of years ago based on a DR's report (like you one I never saw). It led to me almost having a complete breakdown, so stay strong.

    Sadly no one knows how an appeal panel will go.

    Is there an advice centre like CAB in your area? If so contact them for support.

    Can you get additional information from your consultant, nurse or physio?

    If you can contact them a.s.a.p and explain what's happened and request a letter of support detailing diagnosis/prognosis and impact on your life. Also, anyone else who supports you (including occ health).

    Send any information you gather to the appeal office in plenty of time for them to read it. If you don't think you'll have it within 2 weeks of your appeal contact the appeals office and inform them your waiting for this evidence to support your case. If you inform them they can add it at the last minute, they'll only look at/discuss information they have.

    Other than that the only advice I can give is to: take any aids you use with you, inform them of any adaptations to your home or workplace, explain to them in detail how the condition affects your daily life, emotional state and social life.

    In my circumstances they re-awarded Mobility indefinitely but withdrew care because I was working at the time and said I could manage getting ready for work. It didn't matter how much of a struggle it was to manage, all they heard was I managed. I've since been re-assessed and awarded middle care and high mobility indefinitely.

    Good luck

  • I hope you get the dla. I was refused and had to go to tribunal,i went to d.i.a.l. which is local to our area,not sure if you have one where you are. They took my case on,they succeeded and i didn't have to go at all. Mind you now i've had to fill the forms in again as the goverment is changing the criteria. Its enough that we have to fight to get some help,but it worries me silly that i might have to go through the whole process again. I am worse now than when i first got it.

    Hope you get it.

    Kind regards. xxx

  • Hi Loulou. Your GP sounds pretty hopeless! Have you spoken to your rheumy consultant? Mine did my report for DLA backed up by my GP. and I was awarded the mobility bit of DLA indefinitely. Your Gp should have had regular updates from your consultant about you. The advantage of the consultant's report is that he will also set out the level of drugs you are on and the fact that an increase was necessary due to the state of the disease in you.

    You need to gather all medical reports (You are entitled to see a copy of any report about you so get a copy from the surgery so it can be corrected if necessary). Keep a diary of your day to day difficulties and take copies of it with you to hand to the Tribunal. If you have help from carers, then get them to do a report for you as well - doesn't matter if it is a family member who helps. Also take along the occupational health report for them to consider as well. If no carer, get hubby/parent etc to set out in a report the day to day difficulties you have. Your employer may be willing to do a short report for you as well about the problems you have coping with work whether p.t. or not and any adjustments they have had to make to help you.

    If there is a CAB in your area, contact them for help and support.

    RA is an unpredictable disease and unfortunately government check lists don't recognise this and try to fit you into a particular mould.

    Appeal panels will look carefully at all the evidence you can obtain before making a decision and often will come down on the side of the complainant but it is a matter of luck I am afraid. If you fail at the Tribunal you can go higher if you want to otherwise, leave it for 6 months and then reapply on a fresh aplication, on the basis your circumstances have changed for the worst.

    Did you receive written reasons for being turned down? If not, you had one month from the decision to ask for the reasons. I assume you must have done as you are now at tribunal stage. Often the reasons are contained in the refusal letter anyway.

    A very helpful guide entitled "Turned down for DLA/AA" can be found on the Advice Now website. Go onto advicenow.org,uk and click on the above link. It contains information which is helpful to someone who has no representation at an appeal hearing. Also CAB Advice Guide has some very helpful information on DLA and how to go about appeals. Just click on Advice Guide, then click on Benefits and you should then find what you need.

    The good news is that if you succeed at the Tribunal your award will be backdated to the date it was taken away from you.

    Above all don't give up! Best of luck. LavendarLady x

  • Hi Loulou,

    I agree with Beth and Lavender lady that you should try and find help, as its becoming so difficult to qualify for DLA due to the restructuring taking place. I discovered a site last year called Benefits and Work they advise you on DLA giving tips and what to do if you go to appeal. the link is : benefitsandwork.co.uk

    Wish you luck with your appeal.

    Bournemouth Belle

  • Thank you all so much I really appreciate your help and time. Just getting so stressed which of course doesn't help the condition. I'm desperate to stay in work too as I so independent. Over the years I have lost such alot of my independence and my work is my only thing I really have that makes me feel normal, if that makes any sense. Thank you all again hope everyone is well.x

  • Hi

    I was told I would have to go to tribunal late last year, however I happened to mention it too my o t, she contacted welfare rights and made me an appointment, they took over everything and my o t wrote a fab report to back me up. I ended up with not having to go to a tribunal and I got a better than expected rate.

    Don't struggle alone contact your o t. I am sure they will help.

    Good luck

    Julie x

  • Hi guys i finally got a date for my tribunal and its tomorrow and im feeling very nervous. I am currently off work too due to panic attacks as a result of my job. I am struggling to get out of the house at all now as I find myself having attacks on buses and trains now too so not having my car now has made my life worse still. I'm now waiting to see a counsellor as last week I hit an all time low and had to call a helpilne in order to control my panic attacks. I was due back to work on the thursday and ended up feinting with a panic attack which is also affecting my RA too. I am on new treatment too which is Rituximab or however you spell it lol and have to have a steroid jab too because I felt so poorly. Dreading tomorrow because my nerves are so bad too and i'll probably end up crying.All I want is to lead a relatively normal life and at the moment I don't. I will post again to update thanks for all the support . Lou x

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