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TOPIC: (1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers

(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #23879

Hi there - Hope you are all OK.

I am assisting a claimant in making a renewal claim for DLA. Currently receives lower rate care and higher rate mobility.
(1)His condition has not changed since his last claim so he has no hospital medical reports. Sees his GP about once a week. Would a letter from GP be enough?

(2) In connection with the virtually unable to walk part will it go against him that he could walk further with less discomfort when he takes his pain killers (Co-Dydramol)
In other words is the test considered with or without pain killers?
Many thanks for your valued help.
Rachias.

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Re:(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #23921

Hi Rachias,

A letter from a GP would be fine. Consultants letters are better, but most DLA claimants don't have a consultant's evidence to support their claim.

The effects of medication a claimant takes are take into account. But the decision is based on how you are the majority of the time, so how often your client can take painkillers and how long the effects would last would be relevant.

Good luck,

Steve

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

Re:(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #23928

Hi
Dont forget to mention and take into account that.
1) that taking painkillers to
sustain nornal activities such as walking can have a long term adverse affect on the body.
I can be argued that if you have to take large amounts of painkillers to to to work,then going to work would be a danger to yourself.
And ALLWAYS get your liver and kidney functions checked every year.
2) Masking any physical activity by painkillers is never recommended by any medical proffesionals as it could to untold damage to your bones/body without you knowing which is another point you could argue and look into.

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Re:(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #23935

Thank you Steve for that.
I have just learned that my client's GP is going on holiday for 2 weeks. I was hoping he would be able to fill in the relevant page on the DLA claim form - the bit that says 'From Somebody Who Knows You'.
Do you think it would be in order to write on that part of the form that GP is away and that a letter from the GP will follow in 2 to 3 weeks time. He's had the claim form for 4 weeks, hopes to get it off this week, and his benefit is payable until November.
Thanks Steve.

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Re:(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #23940

  • ProfessionalCripple
... and the effects and "side effects" of medication need be be fully reported.

I have dealt with many people who, due to Analgesic medication for pain relief, have had increased mobility.

However, the side effects of the medication have been such that their care needs have increased - especially when out and about.

There are many occasions where the patient has elected for what is to them the lesser of two evils - and there is still significant impairment or even a higher level overall.

In particular, the claimant may find the psychological effects of Chronic Pain intolerable and the side effects of medication less of an issue - and yet the Overall picture of impairment is the same due to the side effects.

There is also a major consideration about known management and treatment with medication. All too often Decision makers and DWP health professionals are now "ASSUMING" that a specific treatment would improve the claimants situation and reduce impairment and need.

It is vital that any normal treatment regimes that have been used and failed be reported as soon as possible in the claim process and if possible the reasons why they have failed and can' be used.

For example - Patient has chronic arthritis, so treat with 1st -None steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) meds - 2nd steroids - and 3rd Narcotic analgesics. patient should have normal life and increased mobility.

However,

1 - Patient is not allowed to take NSAIDs due to chronic allergic reaction that is potentially lethal (Anaphylaxis) and worsening of other conditions such as asthma
2. - the arthritis affects the Gastrointestinal tract and so steroids can't be used as they make the condition worse and can cause gastric perforation and possible death,
3. - Patient has high sensitivity to Narcotic meds which also cause GI tract complications which are potentially lethal.

All normal treatment regimes and management are not possible for that patient.

So The DM and DWP health professional need the second set of information and evidence to get to the right decision first time.

It's all in the evidence and how it's used - and the DM Guidance also says very clearly;

01524 It should be remembered that the "onus" is on the claimant to provide evidence in support of their claim or application. The DM may consider that additional evidence will help Medical Services give better advice. If this can be obtained quickly, either from the claimant or elsewhere, it should be requested. However, if the information is then delayed, the claim form or application should be sent to Medical Services who should be told that further evidence has been sought but not received. It will be for Medical Services to decide how then to proceed.

[/b] DM Guidance Volume 1

So it's vital that evidence about treatment and side effects is in place as soon as possible in the claim process - and allow the DWP Medical Professional/Medical Service to see all of the relevant evidence and history.

It should never be assumed that they will Just see anything which others have taken for granted - they have to be told!

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Re:(1) Medical Evidence and (2) Pain Killers 9 years 4 months ago #24005

Thank you Kerryman for the useful points you raise. I will pass on the advice about the effects of pain killers.
Regards Rachias.

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