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TOPIC: Tribunal question re reasonably required help

Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13739

Hi All

Rather than going into exact detail, in general terms can I have some views on this.

If a personal care task cannot be undertaken by cliamant, at a time when it would be performed by a person without disabilty, is it reasonable to say that the task in question becomes something that the cliamant requires reasonable help to do.

Even if the cliamant can perhaps perform the task later themselves, (for eg 4 or 5 hours later) OR

Would it be considered that reasonable help would not be necessary if this task can be performed later by the claimant, regardless as to how long they would have to wait before they are in the position to do so.

I appreciate that the criteria is what is reasonably required, not what is actually given, but with some things, a person can choose to accept help at the time, sometimes, and other times their choice is to wait until it can be dealt
with later by themselves.

|For instance if the refusal to accept help comes from the fact that they are just in too much pain at a particular time to have the task performed and couldnt even bear it being done, or another example, if they are not in the right frame of mind at the time to let it be done.

I would appreciate if some others can give me their views on this.

Thanks a Lot

Kathy
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13743

  • pata1
  • OFFLINE
  • Retired Nurse & Former Moderator.
Hi Kathy,

For DLA care component purposes, you only need to prove that help is 'reasonably required' not 'medically required'. Thus if a DLA claimant reasonably requires help but doesn't actually receive that help, they should still qualify.

This allows a claimant who lives alone, and 'reasonably requires' help but doesn't actually receive any help to qualify for DLA care component.

This an extract from Derbyshire CC's 'DLA and AA Caselaw Pack'

"reasonably required - length of time taken important

CDLA/2481/95 endorsed the DWP's submission which stated "I submit that it was incumbent on the tribunal to make findings of fact on how long it took the claimant to attend to his own bodily functions and also how long it would take him to attend to his bodily functions with assistance from another person. I submit that once these findings of fact have been make the tribunal needed to go on to explain and decided whether the help claimed was reasonably required. It is my submission that the length of time taken for a person to attend to thier bodily functions can determine whether help is reasonably required. I submit that this is a matter of fact and degree and that there comes a point when if it takes so much longer that help can only considered to be reasonably required. I submit that the insufficient findings of fact in this respect constitute an error of law."

Pat
PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
Last Edit: 6 years 11 months ago by pata1.
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13744

  • lavenderlady
Hi Kathy

The word 'neglet' immediately springs to mind.

For instance not being able to have a shower or bath when you need to because too weak/ill/in pain/dizzy/unsteady to do it.Not being able to take care of personal hygiene because of this would I say amounts to neglet. I think the emphasis should be some days I cannot ...many days I cannot. It's the whole 24 hours that you cannot do something that I think is the key, not the later in the day that has the greatest affect.

Personally, over the years I have

1. Neglected to change underwear and phyjamas for 36hours because i was too ill/in pain/exhausted/ to do it.

2. Unable to wash dirty hair for days on end because of pain in hands. This amounts to neglet. The pain has caused the neglet.If I wasen't in pain in my hands i would wash my hair.

3. Unable to wash/bath/shower for 2 days because too ill/exhausted/unsteady/ in too much pain/unable to climb into bath because of stiffness. The neglet is caused by something that I cannot control or alter.

If a person couldn't bath or shower or wash themselves because of pain, if they were in hospital they would be given a bed bath. Also underwear and phyjamas would be changed. The person helping would know how to move the patient in such a way, with reassuring and encouraging words so that the task could be completed. Nurses always find a way of giving personal care. People can get their teeth cleaned in bed and their hair washed.

When I had an operation in my mouth, afterwards the nurse said I had to clean my teeth. That was the last thing I felt like doing, but it HAD to be done. If it haden't I would have risked futher problems. Irrespective of pain it HAD to be done.

If a person has to wait till pain subsides to a level that they can cope with in order to take of personal hygiene etc then you could says the person neglected to do ... for themselves because of ....

It is the pain, the dizzyness, the exhaustion etc that is causing the neglet.

It is unreasonable for someone in pain to set their alarm at 3am in order to find out if they are still in pain, and if they are not to get up and have a bath,wash their hair etc...

I hope what I've said is relevent and helpful to you.
Best Wishes
Lavenderlady
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13745

  • pata1
  • OFFLINE
  • Retired Nurse & Former Moderator.
Hi L,

Normally 'neglect' per se means to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness.

However, I can see where you're coming from. Obviously a claimant wouldn't purposely neglect themselves, but are forced to do so because hey cannot do certain tasks for themselves.

Thank you for raising a relevant point which I'd never considered before.

Also, as a moderator, I'd personally like to thank you for your useful contributions in recent weeks when we have two moderators offline due to ill-health.

I'm sure both members and moderators are most grateful to you for your input.

Many thanks.

Pat.

PS I've also sent you a PM.
PLEASE READ THE SPOTLIGHTS AREA OF THE FORUM REGULARLY, OTHERWISE YOU MAY MISS OUT ON IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13746

Hi Pat and Lavenderlady,

Thank you both very much for your views, as usual both very helpful. Pat I agree, Lavenderlady has been great in her input to the forum, giving helpful advice and assistance like yourself and the other moderators.

Thankyou

Kathy xxx
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Re:Tribunal question re reasonably required help 6 years 11 months ago #13750

  • lavenderlady
pata1 wrote:
Hi L,

Normally 'neglect' per se means to leave undone or unattended to especially through carelessness.

However, I can see where you're coming from. Obviously a claimant wouldn't purposely neglect themselves, but are forced to do so because hey cannot do certain tasks for themselves.

Thank you for raising a relevant point which I'd never considered before.

Also, as a moderator, I'd personally like to thank you for your useful contributions in recent weeks when we have two moderators offline due to ill-health.

I'm sure both members and moderators are most grateful to you for your input.

Many thanks.

Pat.

PS I've also sent you a PM.

Hi Pat

I think the reason 'neglet' came so immediatley to mind, is that I trained as a Psychiactric Nurse and frequently patients neglected their personal hygiene etc.. because of their illness ie. Severe Depression, Mania, Schizophrenia etc.. It simply would not occur to them to wash, change their clothes.They had to be reminded, urged, persauded to do it. It was the severity of their illness that was causing this care need.

Often, when I come across smelly people in shops or often on the bus I have to remind myself that they are probably in this state because there is a mental health problem.There is no-one around to encourage them to take care of themselves.

I once read a book by a Psychiatrist and there was a chapter discussing whether people who were smelly, dirty, lived in filty homes and refused to bathe or wash themselves were suffering from a mental illness or not. Every time I watch 'How clean is your house' I think there must be a mental health problem. These people appear fit and well, but something is not right. I think this is what fascinates people about this programme. Why are people who have the physical ability to wash themselves, etc choose not to?

I have a baby guinea pig and he washes himself constantly. In fact he tries so hard he loses his balance and falls over however the fact that he has fallen over and shocked himself does not prevent him from trying to clean himself again. Rabbits are the same.

Interestingly a lady told me she had 2 guinea pigs and when one died the other guinea stopped eating,drinking and defecating. This happens a lot because the g.p. is so distressed at the loss of their loss their mate that they stop functioning normally. It is their distress and their grief that is causing this. I must admit it upset me to think that even a little guinea pig can be so affected by stress,distress and grief that they can literally die from it. I think this is the reason animal rescue centres are unwilling to separate bonded guinea pigs and rabbits. If they are separated they each may die of a broken heart for want of a better expression.

I do remember Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein said in one of his books that women in prision are more motivated to keep themselves clean, care about their appearance and go to a lot of trouble and effort, whereas men don't. He said many men just did not bother with personal hygiene and the smell was horrendous. However, when they got a female visitor, they sprang to life and were motivated to wash and shave.

In the dictionary negligence is considered to be carelessness, whereas neglected means uncared for. You could look at a neglected overgrown garden and could presume one of two things; either the owner is lazy or the owner is sick, frail, disabled, a little old lady all on her own.

I love words and the fact that we all so often draw different conclusions from
one word is very interesting. We use one word meaning one thing and the reader or listen hears it and thinks of something entirely different to what we wanted to convey.

I think this is very important when we are trying to convey how we are. It's all about trying to find the right word, the right word that will not mislead the listener.

So negleting, failing to do something could be either for physical or psycological reasons. I suppose what counts is the reason for the neglet.

I once heard of a lady with CFS/ME who was so weak her husband carried her to the toilet. I don't mean to be unkind, but if she lived on her own she would have to find a way to get to the loo or to use a bin in the bedroom. The fact that there is no-one there to help her would be a motivating factor to get her to try her hardest to get to the toilet.

Doctors like motivated people. You might say like that lady with CFS/ME you need to be carried to the toilet, but few doctors would accept that. Their first question would be, How hard has the person tried to get to the toilet? How motivated are they? and Are they lazy and not willing to try?

In my experience doctors often think that patients don't try enough. We have to ask ourselves is this true of me?

I remember once a very dapper middle-aged man who always looked spick and span and well-grommed, when he became mentally ill turned into a dishevelled tramp.It was a total transformation. He lived on his own and their was no-one who could urge, persuade, him to take care of himself. He looked unkept, dishevelled and dirty. It was so sad. Everyone realised he was negleting his appearance for a reason as this was totally out of character.

The right words do have power.

At an Incapacity Benefit Medical many moons ago I read my statement that the doctor had written down as I was speaking. I didn't recognise it. It was like I was reading a death scene in a Mills and Boon romance book. It was worded with dramatic language that indicated that I was not very far from having the last rites read to me. I was very very shocked. I was very naive then. 'I can't sign this' I said 'it isn't true'. The doctor looked me straight in the eye and said sign. I protested again, and again kept his eyes firmly on mine and said 'Sign'. I could see goodness in his eyes and concern so I signed.

However, I was puzzled. Why did the doctor use such dramatic words that made me sound so desperatley, terribly, terribly ill, so ill, that 'yes the Priest was on his way to give me the last rights?

I decided to pray to God about this. Immediatley, the penny dropped. The doctor was trying to protect me. He realised I wasen't well enough to work and that to work would worsen my condition. He was using this dramatic, theatrical languge because he was writing for a non-medical person. The people at the DWP are not doctors, they don't understand the seriousness of certain illnesses. He was using dramatic, language to convince them I was unfit for work because that was the only way to convince them.

The doctor although working for the DWP was choosing to stick to his hypocratic oath, that is to put my needs first. Whatever was necessary he was prepared to do because as a doctor his duty was to me a sick person not the DWP.

One thing that can help us all is to read as many accounts as possible of peoples experience of their illness/disablity. Also, reading about other illnesses/disablitys. The purpose is to see how they use words to their advantage. How they describe things, their difficulties?

A good phrase, a good sentence, paragraph is worth it's weight in gold and could be key to enabling you to acheive the level of DLA your entitled to.

Failing that, you could always ask Tony Blair's right hand man Alistair ... to complete the form for you!

Polititicans are only where they are today because they have brillient script-writers.

Anyway, these are my thoughts ...

Lavenderlady
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