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One of our members with Gauchers Disease has unexpectedly been successful in obtaining the Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance after trying for two years, writes Gill Greenhalgh
Obtaining Disability Allowance (DLA) by one of our members was unexpected not because the limitations of what she could do have changed but because she had tried to claim Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for so long. For the past two years she has been independently fighting through appeals and tribunals to prove her right to obtain DLA and all without success.
It was a soul destroying time for her and one that she did not want to repeat. However three months after her last appeal, she decided to try again and with the help of her local Citizens Advice Bureau, the process started again.
She was helped to see her disability in a slightly different light and one that satisfied the criteria for claiming the mobility component which is for those needing help getting around.
She has, as part of her Gauchers condition, a significant level of pain in her joints at all times. Previously on her application form in response to the question ·How far can you walk?º, she answered the distance that she could cover before the pain was so intense that further movement was impossible.
This time she was advised to complete the question from a position of ·How far can you walk? before you are in significant pain. The answer is simply that she couldnµt.
Her successful claim was dealt with in four months. She has obtained the highest rate of the mobility component which is £37 a week.
This is a timely reminder to all who wish to apply for DLA to ensure that your claim matches the specific criteria as laid down in law in respect to disability.
Don't look to what you can manage to do - people are so resourceful. If you feel that you are genuinely disabled by the condition, consider what Joe Bloggs could not do if he or she were suddenly landed with your limitations. Then fill in the forms.
Alternatively if you want to speak to someone face-to-face, contact Dial UK on 01302 310 123 who will put you in contact with their local office; or go your local Citizens Advice Bureau (their address will be in your local telephone directory)
I would like to thank everyone who responded to my request for further information.
The lady described above also found the cost of travelling to the Gauchers Centre, where she is assessed twice a year, was becoming very expensive as she had to travel a long distance. She spoke to her MP about this extra cost and was advised that her local health authority had discretion to pay in these matters. Fortunately she had kept the train tickets she and her husband had used because on writing to her health authority, she was refunded the full fares.
Earlier story on Disability
Later story on Disability Living Alowance
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Source: Gaucher's News August 2000.
© Copyright Gauchers Association 2000