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DLA - Do we stand a chance? 8 years 9 months ago #71761
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I am about to embark on putting an appeal together for my husband who is trying to claim the mobility componant of DLA, which he has been refused. When it comes to his condition I am usually very feisty and determined, but I am having a lapse of confidence. The process has already been a heavy weight on my shoulders and I'm wondering if it's worth trying to appeal. I thought maybe if I explained my husband's situation here, some of you might be able to give me your thoughts on if we have much of a case or not, and if it's worth fighting.
My husband, Peter, has Charcot Marie Tooth disease, also known as Motor and Sensory Neuropathy. The muscles of his lower legs and feet are so weak that his feet are partially deformed - that little bone that sits halfway along the outside of the foot is the size of a golfball and he has sever hammer toes and raised arches. He can just about stand and keep his balance, but he cannot walk at all unless he wears these rigid splints that encase his foot and lower leg. If he tries to walk without them, his feet fold inwards and he lands on his ankle bones. The ligaments that should keep his ankles stable are too weak to stop the folding. With regards to pain levels, he experiences a continuous throbbing ache and sharp twinges in his feet, even when he is resting. If he is required to stand up, or walk for longer than 10 or so minutes the pain increases to the point of shooting pains up his legs and his feet swell up terribly. He cannot lift his feet very high, maybe about a foot off the ground if he really tries. He fell down some stairs at work recently, he was walking UP the stairs and couldn't lift his foot high enough so he kicked the step and fell backwards! The silly muppet didn't fill out an accident form, I told him we might have been able to use it as evidence in our appeal.
He has a job which he has had for 2 years and it means alot to him to have this independance. He was unemployed for a long time because he couldn't find a job that he could manage with his condition. This place work with Occupational Health to make his job manageable, they even paid for expensive light-weight toe-capped boots because his legs were to weak to be able to move in the normal steel toe-caps!
The reason we initially applied for DLA is because I changed my job which means it isn't convenient for me to take Peter to work anymore, but we can't afford the cost of taxis. It would be about £12 a day. At the moment I still take him to work, but he has to stand outside the building for 1 hour in the morning and an hour to an hour and a half in the evening until I finish work. This simple act of standing for so long is slowly crippling him on a pain level, especially as the cold weather makes his condition feel more painful anyway. If the ground is dry he tries to sit on the floor, but the rigid leg splints prevent his ankles from bending at all, which makes getting to the ground and back up again difficult for him. He works on an industrial estate so there are no shops or cafes nearby. We tried coming to an arrangement with some colleagues to give him lifts to and from work, but they were very unreliable and he ended up being late more than he was on time.
He is pretty much reliant on me for all transport needs, be it work, shopping, getting his prescriptions etc, and my new longer working hours are making things very hard.
Public transport to get to work wouldn't work for him as the bus stops are at least 10 minutes walk away at each end, and in the mornings he is very slow and disorientated as at night time he takes a mood stablilizer and an anti-psychotic (for a different condition) which acts like a sedative for about 12 hours after he takes it. He wakes up like a zombie!
So far for the appeal I have requested letters of support from his GP and his Neurologist, and I am going to try to get one from his physio too. I have requested letters from our respective employers detailing our working hours, so it is clear how I am not availble when he needs me. I was also going to get quotes from taxi companies to show the cost involved of him relying on taxis. But I am worried this will be seen as "waffling" a bit in the appeal, instead of focusing on his actual condition. His GP recently gave him painkillers on prescription because the pain got so bad, so I thought having that in writing would be good evidence too.
To both of us, all of the above seems a perfectly justifiable reason to receive at least the lower mobility rate, if not the higher one. When I see how much pain he is in I get so angry that they won't give him any financial support just to make his life that little bit easier. But of course, I am sure everyone who applies feels that way.
I would really appreciate some honest opinions on whether we have enough reason to persue this appeal, whether the evidence I'm collecting will be what they are looking for, and whether we really stand any chance of success.
Thank you so much,
Mod edit: Please ensure that posts are not a protracted length as it may breach section 5 in the "Why have you deleted my post?" FAQs.
This post is borderline for deletion under the terms of section 5, but on this occasion I have decided to allow publication.
Last edit: by Crazydiamond. Reason: See above.
Re: DLA - Do we stand a chance? 8 years 9 months ago #71765
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The important thing to remember with DLA is that it's the needs that matter, not the diagnosis/reasons/causes. The diagnosis just helps to explain the needs.
You also don't need to show what practical help he gets, although you can choose some examples to show how difficult it is for him to walk. In terms of professional help in the form of medical treatment, then that can help, but again it is the difficulty walking that is important, not the clinical diagnosis.
I think that it may help to think not just in terms of how many minutes he can walk without either pain or needing to rest as you've mentioned, but how far that is in metres.
If you take a look at our guide to claiming DLA, it clarifies further what is being looked for in relation to a DLA claim for mobility.
Don't forget to look at our guide to appeals.
Last edit: by Survivor. Reason: extra info added
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