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TOPIC: social contact descriptor and support group

Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63703

I agree with crazydiamond and engagement always includes significant distress.

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Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63704

  • asdman
Crazydiamond wrote:

Having identified page 52 does it now answer your question?

I'm still not sure how literally to interpret it. Does it mean that you literally cannot have face to face contact with anyone, even occasionally for a very short period. Or does it mean that although you can have some degree of unavoidable contact the amount of distress it causes you is unreasonable?

If it really means you cannot have any contact with anyone, even people you know, then life would be impossible. It would mean you couldn't see your GP, psychiatrist, psychologist etc. So surely there must be exceptions? And if so do these exceptions stretch to people who you live with. Even people who live alone need to see doctors etc.

Might there be any other sourves of guidance apart from the WCA Handbook, for instance from when the new descriptors were being discussed in parliament.

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Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63708

It seems to me that significant distress can vary on a hourly, daily or weekly basis. An explanation over one week or month would be reasonable as well as keeping a diary.
We cannot say 7 days a week because it may vary.

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Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63732

asdman wrote:

Crazydiamond wrote:

Having identified page 52 does it now answer your question?

I'm still not sure how literally to interpret it. Does it mean that you literally cannot have face to face contact with anyone, even occasionally for a very short period. Or does it mean that although you can have some degree of unavoidable contact the amount of distress it causes you is unreasonable?

If it really means you cannot have any contact with anyone, even people you know, then life would be impossible. It would mean you couldn't see your GP, psychiatrist, psychologist etc. So surely there must be exceptions? And if so do these exceptions stretch to people who you live with. Even people who live alone need to see doctors etc.

Might there be any other sourves of guidance apart from the WCA Handbook, for instance from when the new descriptors were being discussed in parliament.


You make a very good point in relation to descriptor 16.

Taking the descriptor at face value, nobody could ever be expected to satisfy it. The guidance in the WCA is rather ambiguous with the WCA handbook referring to the descriptor as "CS16a represents almost total social isolation." What this actually means would in my view be open to a wide interpretation, based on an ADA's discretion according to an individual claimant's circumstances.

I think the best approach to descriptor 16 would be to take the totality of the guidance in the WCA handbook, and the information given on page 52 of the guide. There would however still be no guarantee that the descriptor would be satisfied, given the level of ambiguity attached to it.

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Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63735

It is a massive issue. Many mental health sufferers, with a variety of diagnoses cannot face others, do their shopping late at night or online, wont answer the door of the phone, and when they have 'social contact' it is with averted eyes , rising panic symptoms and often escape

In the Medical Information protocols it states that 'no social life' (yes JUST that not 'social engagement) implies a high level of disability. In other words not mixing with others is a dign of poor mental health ( eqaully it can be just someones personality who is shy and content that way)_ But this descriptor is a tough one,

'Always' means always, and so the important question becomes what is social engagement, could you be served in a shop but not speak and evert your eyes and be panicing inside, does 'sovcial engagement' extend beyond just being present and having a transaction. I think it is getting at healthy ability to cope woth others and if you can be somewhere but too nervous to communicate, that is severe disability covered by the descriptor

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Re:social contact descriptor and support group 6 years 2 months ago #63743

  • originaldave
Crazydiamond wrote:

asdman wrote:

Crazydiamond wrote:

Having identified page 52 does it now answer your question?

I'm still not sure how literally to interpret it. Does it mean that you literally cannot have face to face contact with anyone, even occasionally for a very short period. Or does it mean that although you can have some degree of unavoidable contact the amount of distress it causes you is unreasonable?

If it really means you cannot have any contact with anyone, even people you know, then life would be impossible. It would mean you couldn't see your GP, psychiatrist, psychologist etc. So surely there must be exceptions? And if so do these exceptions stretch to people who you live with. Even people who live alone need to see doctors etc.

Might there be any other sourves of guidance apart from the WCA Handbook, for instance from when the new descriptors were being discussed in parliament.


You make a very good point in relation to descriptor 16.

Taking the descriptor at face value, nobody could ever be expected to satisfy it. The guidance in the WCA is rather ambiguous with the WCA handbook referring to the descriptor as "CS16a represents almost total social isolation." What this actually means would in my view be open to a wide interpretation, based on an ADA's discretion according to an individual claimant's circumstances.

I think the best approach to descriptor 16 would be to take the totality of the guidance in the WCA handbook, and the information given on page 52 of the guide. There would however still be no guarantee that the descriptor would be satisfied, given the level of ambiguity attached to it.



I can think of a few people who WOULD satisfy they come under the autistic spectrum and even people that look after them are not able to have social contact in a positive way... I think the NAS had input with the DWP when the new ESA test was being worked out and this descriptor was done with them in mind I also think that Professor Declan G Murphy advised the DWP and the ministers on this area I know they pay him :) as I know the chap I have emailed him to ask him what the idea was behind this question


me thinks this question has been done in such a way the numbers (till its tested at tribunal) that would get points for it are very few even within the spectrum


people with mild to moderate symptoms who have average or above-average intelligence often grow up to be independent adults with jobs, long-term relationships and children

those left dont and they are the ones this could aimed at imo Asperger syndrome would not get points

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