DLA Refused

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
My wife Lynn became ill with cancer in the late 90s subsequent Treatments included surgery chemo-therapy and radio therapy.
She had to give up her job and we struggled to pay the mortgage on my wage alone and debt started to mount up so before we lost our home we decided to sell and pay the debts (well most of them) and move into rented accommodation.
Since then Lynn has suffered ill health partly due to the heavy cancer treatments.
She has severe depression, arthritis in most joints including her spine, avascular necrosis, lymphedema, she also has fainting episodes, incontinent if I cant get her to the bathroom in time. She has night terrors which her GP says is down to her depression I have to wake her from these two or three times a night it's so frightening and upsetting for her.
She has trouble dressing and washing and has to use crutches walking frame and for hospital visits a wheel chair and I supervise her with her medication.
In 2005 I applied for DLA for her and she was awarded Higher rate with mobility this helped enormously it meant that I could stay at my job as my daughter-in-law could look after Lynn while I was at work.
However, Lynn's disabilities are progressive and I made the decision to go part time in 2007 as my daughter-in-law had other commitments. This worked for about a year but the strain of trying to keep down a job and look look after Lynn was taking it's toll.
In 2008 I made the upsetting and quite scary decision to leave my job I had loved for 27 years and become full time carer claiming carers allowance, a life on benefits was not something I looked forward to but I just had no choice.
Imagine the devastation I felt after submitting the DLA form earlier this year to get a reply from the DWP on the 17th of June stating that they felt Lynn no longer fitted their criteria and subsequently stopped the payment and my carers allowance immediately.
I have appealed and her GP has sent a letter of support to the hearing and I have managed to get our local MP on board if the appeal fails and goes to a tribunal.
I really don't know where to turn next we are in private rented accommodation and will very soon be unable to pay the rent. We are living day to day on a few hundred pounds that we had put by for emergencies but it is running out quickly, without the benefits we are over £500 a month short.
Am I alone in thinking this is down to government changes in the benefit system and their relentless attacks on the sick the elderly and the poor? Are we being swept along with non genuine claimants if so this is disgraceful treatment.
If our appeal is unsuccessful what do I do?
I cant even claim Job Seekers Allowance as I am not available to work because Lynn needs 24/7 care, what a mess.
I feel so depressed about it all the worry is with me day and night I feel totally shattered and there is nothing I can do.
Hi Julian

I'm so sorry to hear of the stress that you're under. Forgive me if this is a daft question, but are you claiming already claiming Housing Benefit?

I'd be pretty surprised if your appeal isn't successful - especially with your GP and MP on board. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you, and yes - I think they are more stringent since the cutbacks sadly.

It might be worth a trip to your local CAB for general benefits advice in case there's anything else you could be claiming. Also, for financial support, you could try www.turn2us.org.uk as they keep as list of all the financial support organisations for those who have worked in specific trades or professions - and there are quite a few!

love cupcake xxxxx
You can also try this
Carers UK advice line 0808 808 7777
I am so sorry to hear this, these cases of patently incorrect decisions are all too common and the human cost is horrendous Image . If you do not have the decison overturned at the reconsideration stage I would strongly advise you to try to find a welfare rights organisation to represent you at an appeal, the success rate is much higher when the submission is produced by and the appellant is accompanied by a WRO but if you cannot find a WRO it sounds as though you have a strong case to have the decision overturned. I would collect as much collaborating evidence as possible, including statements by family carers as well as medical evidence, etc. and send it to the DWP recorded delivery so that they cannot deny that they have received it, I would also include this evidence with your submission to the Tribunal Service in advance of any hearing if it gets to that stage, I hope that it does not and that the decision will be quickly overturned.
Thank you all very much the information I will post back when we here back at the reconcideration.
I will look into Welfare Rights it would be much better to have representation.
Thank you all again.

J
I am having trouble finding a welfare rights organisation that will help, I have tried searching my area through Google but only came up with advicewest.org.uk
I emailed them our situation and they sent this reply :- Hello,

Thank you for your email however I am sorry to inform you that ACFA does not give advice directly. It is an umbrella organisation for advice agencies and community groups within Bristol, South Glos, North Somerset and BANES.

Even though their website does indicate they do help with tribunals.

Also I have read on other forums that the three people at the tribunal don't talk to any representitive only the disabled person, this worries me as Lynn is so not up to being questioned or cross examined she will just break down.
Has anyone a link to a welfare rights organisation please?

Thanks for any help.

J
Hi Julian
Try googling/searching by adding the area or Local Authority where you live.

Found these couple of links based on Bristol and Someset, on the second one look particular at page 13 about the Swan advice network.

http://www.mindtws.org.uk/advocacy.htm

http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/SiteCollectio ... 011-12.pdf

Could also try including in google / search the names of cancer charities and mental health charities in your area as your wife has suffered with cancer and is suffering with depression, don't know how old you are but if your around 60 could try AgeUK as well, also look for any Carer charities in your area.
PS did you see this page on the advicewest website?

http://advicewest.org.uk/advice/1

Also Julian, Lynn is definately entitled to have an advocate present at any appeal or interview that she would have difficult coping with, which can be a relative or spouse or an advocate from another agency, charities often do advocasy work.
Do you have a local DIAL the one in Doncaster is fantastic and have lots of experience with DLA applications
Thank you Cheryl and Booksey I will do as you have suggested
and post back. Thank you so much for your help.