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The Association thrives on its collective voice and the networking it offers its members, writes Gill Greenhalgh Executive Committee member who deals with Benefits.
I would like to share what I believe to be the climate for claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Over the past year it has been my privilege to help and advise some members who have made a claim for DLA.
There are two benefits payable under DLA; a care component for sufferers needing help with washing, dressing, using the toilet etc and a mobility component for those needing help getting around.
It seems clear now that the parameters for adultcare component of DLA are rigidly held on the ability of the adult to provide/eat a meal, use a toilet, and be able to move. The responsibility is on the claimant to highlight and prove their inability to do these basic life skills - no other parameters are considered.
Unfortunately this can be depressing on two counts: firstly, you must paint the blackest picture but based in the light of reality; secondly, if you don't fit the exacting parameters, your claim is likely to fail and you may well feel your difficulties are not believed. These issues, together with the time taken for processing claims, calls for clarity, tenacity and patience.
Over the past few months I have had news of some claims by those who have Gauchers disease:
The case for child DLA is based on less exacting parameters - that the child requires significantly more care than that normally given to a child of similar age. I believe that in the majority of cases this can be proven.
The transition from child to adult occurs at 16 years old for DLA.
Unfortunately I have not received feedback from all of the people who I know have been pursuing a claim. This is possibly due to the slowness of the benefit system in processing the appeals. For example: recently I had news of a claim for an adult - and this claim was resolved after a total of eighteen months!
I am still prepared to help anyone who wishes to make or follow through a claim. To aid my effectiveness, I would however appreciate feedback from other claimants. This information is treated with the greatest respect and confidentiality and the fine detail and names will not be shared with others.
Gill Greenhalgh can be contacted via the Gauchers Association
Alliance of Disability Advice and Information Providers (adaip)
The Gauchers Association has recently become a member of adaip. At present adaip has a membership of 525 organisations which shares ideas on different ways of offering information and advice with an aim of accomodating everybody's needs. I aim to work towards this ideal.
If you would like information of a particular organisation, get in touch with me as I hold a database of adaip's membership.
'The Gaucher Associations standard font type and point size for all literature is 10pts. If you would like to read information in larger print or font style - let me know and I will try to accommodate your need.
Note on the Web Site the text size is 11pt and you can enlarge it easily by changing the text size on your web browser. In Internet Explorer Go to the command View, then Textsize. In Netscape go to View and Increase Font.
Earlier article on Disability Living
Allowance (UK) (July 1998)
Statutory Benefits in the UK (January 1999)
Gaucher's News Contents
Source: Gaucher's News February 2000. © Copyright Gauchers Association 2000