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TOPIC: DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs

DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 4 months ago #126787

Hello there

I have a query regarding DLA and PIP for young people in terms of accessing it and supplying the DWP with supporting evidence.

Currently children and young people who are classed as having special needs at school, when applying for disability benefits, can submit a copy of their Statements of Special Educational Needs if they wish to do so - if it will add weight to their claims.

Statements of Special Educational Needs are being gradually replaced with Health Education and Care Plans (EHCP). I read somewhere a while ago, the government's intention is for EHCPs to be linked automatically to when a young person with disabilities claims any disability benefits up to the age of 25.

Basically, the ECHP from my understanding will be routinely demanded by DWP as supporting evidence for DLA and PIP claims, whether it is likely to help young claimants or not.

Having looked at some draft copies of EHCPs, I think there is a danger of them painting an overly positive picture in terms of outcomes and the challenges ahead for many young disabled people, in terms of meeting descriptors for benefits.

Consequently, I fear that claiming DLA and PIP in the near future for many families is likely to result in even more contested awards and stress.

I was wondering if Benefits and Work have any information regarding this, and if so please can you share it with families that are likely to be affected by this apparent change in policy.

Many thanks.

Buster

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Last edit: by . Reason: Tick.

DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 4 months ago #126791

Buster

I think it is outside of our remit but I will ask the question of the office to see what they think about it.

Obviously, any requirement that the DWP might place on parents in this regard does not change the qualifying criteria for DLA or PIP, this "change" firmly falls in the area of supporting evidence which the guides do not directly address.

Also, I think it would be difficult to give specific advice when looking at the combination of conditions, effects and unique problems that an individual claimant may have.

I'll let you know what the office thinks.

Gordon
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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 4 months ago #126829

I can add a little to this as was working in an area that was trialling the EHCP as a voluntary option. It was mainly offered to parents who had a child with special needs as an alternative to a statement of SEN.

It did have a plus at a local level as more of the professional support was generally mobilised quicker. So I can see it could help to show to DLA & PIP that services have been provided but child still has significant additional needs if applying at a later date.

On a negative I can see many local authorities have such high levels of criteria for a statement of SEN it could look like a child does not have the additional needs. Also of course either a Statement of SEN or EHCP is only saying a child has additional needs within an educational setting.

Also of course educational reports do tend to highlight progress a child is making. Now a child is always likely to make some progress and thats even the case of a child who makes slow progress but in reality is falling further and further behind developmentally to their peer group.

Taking a rounded view I can see in reality it would be useful evidence as part of a variety of evidence for a child but certainly not a a single piece of evidence.

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DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 4 months ago #126835

Thank you guys

Just to add Sheep68, an ECHP will also acknowledge that a young person has special needs not only in an educational setting but also in other settings too. For example, with independent living or independent travel. Incidentally, my local authority has devised a scheme based on reducing transport costs resulting in young disabled people stopping travelling in taxi's and using the bus on their own in some cases instead. I personally know of some parents who have felt pressured in to complying with this. Like I said, I think there is potential for schools especially mainstream schools to be overly positive in describing day to day difficulties and outcomes facing young disabled people. Please remember, also, these ECHPs will "stay" with young people until they are 25.

I think if there is going to be an element of compulsion in relation to submitting ECHPs, this will effectively take control away from families when claiming PIP and so on, possibly also ESA, who knows. The young person and their families will no longer be in control of what evidence to submit to DWP. They won't have a choice in the matter, regardless of how nit might affect them.
By the way I have managed to find a bit more about this subject on the internet: www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm2012...rpen/916/916we02.htm Buster

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Last edit: by Gordon. Reason: corrected URL

DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 4 months ago #126839

Hi Buster,

Thanks for your query. I'm just beginning to get to grips with EHCPs myself, so I can't speak with any authority.

What I would say is that any evidence used in the decision making process for benefits is eminently open to challenge. If that weren't the case then health professionals reports in relation to ESA, DLA or PIP would be the final word.

In a minority of cases the report may actually make life much simpler, where the needs set out in the report are clear and can readily be aligned with DLA or PIP criteria.

But I agree that in many cases such a report is likely to be unhelpful.

Even now though, many parents have to challenge deeply unhelpful and inaccurate evidence submitted by their child's school which the DWP will collect without any agreement or input from parents. So, we've never really had any control over what evidence the DWP collects about our children.

We will watch what role EHCPs play in the future and offer more targeted guidance in relation to them if we can.

But, in the end, challenging inaccurate evidence requires the same techniques whether it comes from the local authority, the NHS, Atos, Capita or anywhere else. I hope there's sufficient support in our guides to allow members to do this effectively.

Steve

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DLA, PIP and Education Health and Care Plans-EHCPs 5 years 3 months ago #127018

Many thanks Steve for your reply. It is good to know that yourself and B&W are aware of the new EHCPs and of their potential role regarding young people claiming DLA, ESA and in particular PIP. I'm assuming you got the chance to read Mark Harper's letter to the Committee Chair in my earlier post, Annex B - Younger Disabled People, is the relevant bit. Also, the bit about carrying out PIP Consultations in schools and colleges is also note worthy.

Yes, I think there will be a few who benefit from a more integrated process, however, I fear many will find getting an award even trickier. I guess we'll have to wait and see how things pan out. One of the first indicators of a new joined up approach I suppose will be the very mentioning of EHCPs on PIP forms etc. No doubt if this happens families will have to prepare accordingly; would also be good if future PIP claimants would bring this to B&Ws attention.

Just to inform those who don't know of EHCPs; they detail absolutely everything about a young person in terms of health education and care needs, as the name suggests, they are far more in depth than the old Statements and focus heavily on on what a child or young person can do rather than can't do. This seems to be in line with current way of thinking regarding government policies around Social Security.

A few relevant examples are: an EHCP is likely to give details of any cooking activities carried out, attendance records, independent travel, money skills and so on. This information will be provided by educational staff mainly, so, I can see potential future problems with differences of opinions with parents and even with young people themselves.

Anyway here's hoping for the best; however, given current perceptions about disabled and sick people and about so called Welfare Dependency I'm not feeling too confident about this matter.

Buster

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