Experiences of Applying for DLA/AA

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by mumof3, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Having just read jenniferpa's thread about inconsistencies in how mental incapacity is defined for benefit/CT rebate purposes, I wondered what other people's experiences about applying for DLA or AA on the basis of dementia was.

    With the backing of her SW who actually completed the application, my MIL applied for DLA (she is 62) 8 weeks ago. Since then we have had one letter saying it was being considered, and then today, another letter saying they needed more info and would be in touch by letter.

    My MIL lives alone and has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and also rheumatoid arthritis which affects her mobility. She has been assessed as needing, and now receives, 15 hours of help every week from carers provided by SS, and attends a day hospital for two days a week. She contributes a fair amount towards the cost of this care package so the DLA would help cover these costs.

    I just wondered what people's experiences were and whether the further info would mean my MIL having to undergo medical examinations etc or perhaps just accessing her recent medical reports. Does this seem unusual to anyone, or is it just the normal course of events:confused:
     
  2. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Dear Mumof3,
    My Mum had been receiving the lower rate AA for years because of her very severe rheumatoid arthritis. She used the money to pay for help in the house and for assistance with bathing and washing her hair, as she was unable to comfortably raise her arms above shoulder level. She had also been assessed by an occupational therapist many years ago and had grab rails fitted and disability aids recommended for her to buy.
    However, when she began having problems at night, with hallucinations and being unable to climb back into bed after using the bathroom, the SW suggested she apply for the higher rate of AA. We did this as we were getting many phone calls for help in the night and in the early hours of the morning. The request was turned down because Mum was mobile and able to get herself up in the morning. Even when she went into the care home after a number of minor falls, she was still turned down and we had to chase the application form up as it seemed to get lost in the system. Mum only got the higher rate of AA after the fall which put her into a wheelchair and a NH.
    I think it must be easier to get help for physical disability than for mental impairment. The authorities don't seem to think that needing to telephone for help during the night because of confusion or being unable to climb into bed unaided is a problem at all. I have a feeling that the professionals find the system as confusing as we do. The hardest thing is trying to accurately describe the problems, because on paper they may sound trivial, but causing real difficulty to the patient and their family.
    Remember to photocopy everything you send out and perhaps pay extra for a "signed for" delivery so you have some proof of posting. (which we didn't think of doing as we were so overwhelmed by events at the time)
    Sorry not to have been more help but basically we didn't succeed in getting help for mental problems, only the physical ones.
    Kayla
     
  3. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    One thing a Social Worker taught my daughter in claiming for DLA etc was always put down the worst case scenario on the forms

    NEVER make light of anything

    Always put down as many things as poss and do not underestimate the severity when you tick the boxes

    The doifference between my daughters form when she filled it in and when a Social Worker came round and watched her struggling and filled a new form in was incredible

    Its also worth going to appeal using the help of a Disability / Welfare Rights group which most towns have

    The minute they filed an appeal for my daughter the DLA she had been refused for 18 months was awarded and backdated
     
  4. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    I think there is an age bias when it comes to AA. Age concern told me that if you are over 80, the vast majority of AA applications are successful. I think in Mummy's case, her age (88 then) and her documented strokes were the clincher. I do know that she got the full rate AA about 8 weeks after I applied for it, in part because I emphasised how long her physical difficulties had been going on (she had a stair lift and a downstairs bathroom installed 2 years previously, and I suppose they felt that you wouldn't go to that expense if there was no reason). It's back to the physical emphasis I suppose. I think it would be fair to say that I laid it on with a trowel when I filled out that form, but they do say, consider your worse day (and night), and that's what I did.

    Jennifer
     
  5. Claire

    Claire Registered User

    Mar 31, 2004
    88
    Coventry
    Mum got Attendance Allowance at the higher rate on the first application, but when I filled the form in for her I certainly didn't pull any punches. I wrote it down as it was - I had already heard that it is wise not to underestimate the effects of AD in order to protect the sufferers dignity. When she was awarded AA it was backdated to the date on the application form. It was useful to pay for day centre and other things which made life a little easier.

    Claire
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    My mum get AA , it did take around 6 weeks for them to get back & say yes ,but they back dated it all ,I filled the form myself, but my brother who gets DLA was more harder and I filled it out, but part of it had to be filled by CPN .(DLP) they got back within one mouth and back dated it all
     
  7. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    My mother applied several times but didn't get AA. (I didn't see what was written on the forms.)

    Lila
     
  8. DaisyG

    DaisyG Registered User

    Feb 20, 2006
    183
    North West England
    Dla....

    It took me 2 years to finally get my husbands DLA sorted out !!


    I was appppealing for the MIDDLE rate care.... so I could apply for the Carers Allowance. He already had the HIGH rate mobility.


    I could not belive that it took that long !! Neither could the CAB...

    In the end the CAB gave up !!!, and I was on my own.....
    I went throught 3 caseworkers !!


    We have a file that is 200 pages long !!
    We had to go to appeal stage .... and all the stress that goes with it...


    We had literally pages and pages of Consultant notes / letters / support...
    it was UTTER MADNESS that we were 'fighting' 'this'.


    The money that it costs for each case to 'go to appeal' is THOUSANDS !!
    If only they paid you in the first place....

    I know many people that have had to 'fight' for DLA.
    Even one of the 'stoke nurses' brothers... who has Cerebral Palsy gets written to 'intermittantly' by the DLA to see if he has 'REVOVERED' yet !!
    No kidding !!!

    I have read several books that helped me 'fill in the forms' ....
    BUT I'm not sure if I'm allowed to 'advertise them' on here.

    Does someone know if I am allowed to do this?


    Good Luck...

    And do not take NO for an answer.... keep fighting... you deserve it.

    Take Care

    DaisyG
     
  9. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    9,519
    Frinton-on-Sea
    When application declined..........APPEAL.

    Sorry, I know you are tired, but you you have to keep on chipping away.

    To anyone who got their case sorted first time I say "Great" for the rest of us, just keep appealing.

    You will get there, I did.!!!!
     
  10. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Of course I wasn't allowed to see what was on the forms, doctors and social workers said my mother could make her own decisions, she probably filled them in beautifully saying she could do everything for herself, and took them to the postbox herself too.

    Lila
     
  11. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    715
    Thats precisly the problem

    AD patients or indeed any other form of dementia patients

    Firmly believe they can do everything and do it perfectly and woe betide you to prove they cant

    You only have to see the chaos of my Mothers finances and the crazy way she has written cheques etc to see that

    The bank were horrified to see the major security breach she had caused by all the information she had written on cheques and dividend cheques

    I have not begun to untangle the mess

    But she had a blazing row with me claiming I was mad
     
  12. DaisyG

    DaisyG Registered User

    Feb 20, 2006
    183
    North West England
    Books ....

    Thanks Nada,


    The Disability Rights Hankbook - by IAN GREAVES who is part of the
    Disability Alliance.
    Big chunky book ... looks a litttle like a 'telephone directory' ....
    CAB should have the latest copy in their offices.

    I got mine in Waterstones 'by accident' .... somebody had placed it back on TOTALLY the wrong shelf ... and I saw it !!


    Welfare Benefits and Tax Credits Handbook - by The Child Poverty Action Group.
    Got mine from Amazon.




    Of course... you can purchase any of these books from all god bookstores !!
    Not wishing to upset any PC people out there !!


    Good Luck at ploughing through all the 'details'.


    Remember .... state your worst possible day EVER !!


    Take Care

    DaisyG
     
  13. mumof3

    mumof3 Registered User

    Feb 6, 2006
    82
    Thanks everyone. Seems like it may be an uphill battle then. The SW actually filled out my MIL's application after carrying out some kind of assessment and speaking to me and my husband. They are still looking at her claim and we are waiting to hear what further info they need. Will let you know how it turns out.
     
  14. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    1,370
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi
    I'm new to the site, so forgive any ramblings. My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers 2 years ago by a Consultant, she is now 88. She was allocated a SW, who saw her once. We, through him organised twice daily calls from Carers, and meals on wheels (we were going to pay for this) for her, mum gave them their marching orders after 2 days! Things are really bad now, and my brother and I (and spouses) cannot cope anymore. Nobody advised us about any financial help we could get, so I was very interested in your comments. My question is, part of mum's problem is that she thinks everytime she misplaces something (even her dentures) one of us has stolen it. Sometimes we can find the 'lost item', sometimes we cannot. She has always been, shall I say 'careful' with her money, i.e. £5.00 will buy a tank of petrol!! So, if we could get her an attendance allowance, how could we get her to pay this over for any Carers? Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks Cate
     
  15. DaisyG

    DaisyG Registered User

    Feb 20, 2006
    183
    North West England
    Possible Help????

    My husband gets (after a fight !) DLA, and we were 'means tested' by Social Services.
    It was a bit / LOT 'intrusive' ... looked at all bank statements... bills... outgoings etc....
    They then 'gave us' a 'care package' and provided a 'carer'.
    There is no charge to us because of our 'savings' or lack of.....

    I'm not sure of the rules when you are 60-65 retirement... and on AA instead of DLA????
    Someone on here may be able to help.


    Took us 'fighting' almost 1 1/2 years to be classed as needing 'help'...
    No one would give us a referral to be assessed.

    I was 'meant' to be allowed a Carers Assesment.... but somehow?? (yehhh right !!) .... I was missed.... !!!

    FINALLY ... got care in place towards the end of last year.


    ONE BIG THING THAT REALLY GETS ME 'MIFFED' IS THAT WHEN WE ASKED SOCIAL WORKERS WHAT WAS 'AVAILABLE' TO US FOR 'CARE AND HELP'...
    THEY KEPT SAYING "WHAT IS IT YOU WANT?"...
    RATHER THAN 'TELL YOU' WHAT IS AVAILABLE.....:mad:




    Hope this helps.

    Take Care,


    DaisyG
     
  16. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Joint Bank A/c a good idea, if poss.

    Something which I was advised to do by a TP member was to open a new, separate JOINT bank account for Mum & me, and get her attendance allowance paid into that. Then you have more control about using it to pay carers etc. Our Bank was helpful & understanding of the circumstances, and whilst the cheque book carries both names & (in theory) either can sign, they issued only 1 cheque card in my name, as the use of one is beyond Mum anyway. (Sorry Cate, doesn't sound as if your Mum would like this idea, & it has to be a joint application).

    Also if you are likely to REGISTER an Enduring Power of Attorney, do any juggling or changing of bank accounts BEFORE YOU REGISTER IT.
     
  17. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Lynne - can I ask you why you say to do the account juggling before registering the EPA? Is that to avoid any issues with regard to what you can pay for, or am I missing something (probably). I haven't registered my mother's EPA yet, although I am an signatory on her Bank Account, and deal with her savings online. I have been thinking of registering it, but any advice you (or anyone else) can offer would be gratefully received.

    Jennifer
     
  18. Ruby Headstrong

    Ruby Headstrong Registered User

    Jan 25, 2006
    3
    help completing DLA forms

    I had someone from the local CAB help us with Mum's DLA application. He was extremely helpful and really knew his stuff, and also came out to do two home visits (one an assessment of what Mum was entitled to, one the actual form filling). Mum's claim was accepted in the end but it took them the full 12 weeks to make a decision, including writing to her GP, although they did backdate the claim once they had decided she was eligible.

    Would recommend trying the local CAB for any advice around benefits.

    RubyH
     
  19. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,876
    Kent
    Attendace Allowance

    Can anyone offer advice on how I apply for AA for my husband. He refuses to have any stranger visit, still thinks he will get better and is ashamed of `being mental`
    While I don`t feel he is at serious risk yet, I know he will panic in unforseen circumstances, become more confused than ever if he wakes up after a nap, can never find keys, wallet, glasses etc and mixes up the oven and grill controls. He will open the door to anyone, but if the phone rings, is unable to take a message. I only leave him for the shortest time possible to shop for extras. My main shop, I do on the Internet.
    When my Mother received AA, she was living in her own home, alone, and I called every day, did her shopping, washing and ironing and cooked her meals. There is no way my husband could live by himself, the way she did.
    Regards to you all.
    Grannie G
     
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    You don't need to have a stranger visit - you can fill out the forms yourself. Would he be willing to sign them- My mother was a bit "iffy" about it initially, until she realised she could actually get real money from them! However, I believe there is a way round him signing if he refused - the info is on the forms.
     

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