Friday, 16 April 2010

DLA Tribunal

I had my Tribunal yesterday, for Disability Living Allowance.

The brief back story is that following November 2008, my Connexions PA said we should definitely put in an application for DLA. We got the forms, and began the process of filling them out in late February 2009, once I was well enough to complete them. They were sent in early March 2009.

I was declined for both Care and Mobility in May. My Psychiatrist's junior doctor had filled in form, which I felt was contradictory. It stated that I had no history of self-harm or self-neglect. Connexions PA and myself sent a letter contending this, I appealed, and it was looked at and declined again.

Tribunal was originally booked for November 2009 (I think). I wasn't too well, but made the effort to go. We were just leaving when they phoned and informed us that my GP's notes had failed to arrive, so it was postponed.

My GP notes were re-requested. I ended up collecting them myself on Tuesday, and Connexions PA faxed them to the Tribunal service, as they kept forgetting to do them.

So, the Tribunal finally went ahead, and it was horrible.
I had the three people who form the panel. There was another lady who I think was something to do with the decision making service (I was so nervous, I can't remember).

We were in there for over an hour. I'm pretty sure that isn't normal practice. I feel like they enjoyed grilling me. I hate talking about my low periods, when the depression really takes over. I hate admitting that I became paranoid, and had delusions. I hate reading how close I was to being prescribed anti-psychotics or even being hospitalised. I hate realising how unwell I was, describing some of the humiliating things I did. Not bathing for weeks or going out in my pajamas with a coat over the top, because dressing was too much effort.

Afterwards they said they would write to me. They said everyone was getting their decisions in the post that day, because of this lady coming to oversee things. However, whilst I was waiting for my expenses for the train ticket, a woman went in and came out less than five minutes later with her decision.

I knew I wasn't getting anything, and the letter this morning confirmed it. I was only hoping for Lower Rate Care. I feel like a fraud.


differentlysane said...

That's ridiculous!

Can you reapply/appeal again? DLA decision's seem so hit and miss (and this is making me worry that I'll lose what I was awarded by asking for a reassessment - maybe I should have been grateful for what I was given...)

Don't really know what to say, other than it sucks.

Take care,

The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive said...

What the fuck, this is a travesty. I am on Middle Rate care and so should you be. Reapply, appeal, you deserve that. I'm sorry about this.