I finally won my DLA Tribunal!

Thank goodness for that!

Despite all the helping professionals involved in our care, there wasn’t a single representative who was able to accompany me to the Tribunal. Some people seem to have hours for meeting me to go through the same information again and again, but they cannot find the time either to action that information nor to do something practically helpful, such as accompany me to such an event. So my partner took a day off work to come with and look after the baby.

The morning of the Tribunal I was incredibly nervous and snappy with my family, convinced I would forget the important sheaf of paperwork I had amassed; letters from all the professionals involved in my care, care plans, records of work provided by the Home Carers and legalese.

However, I managed to remember the entire collection (9 months worth) and pack it into my handbag. We made it with 10 minutes to spare to the correct place. We were signed in and awaited our turn.

Then, the Nerves started. A woman, clearly distressed, burst out of the Tribunal room and proceeded to have a panic attack in front of us. There’s nothing more guaranteed to make me feel incredibly anxious than seeing someone else feeling incredibly anxious. She was crying, shaking, and (loudly) declaiming how unfair the process was, how biased against her the panel were.

Great. So I tried to cheer myself up by Tweeting the rules displayed prominently showing the legal guidance for Tweeting from Courts. Didn’t work.

Anyway, we were up next, so we went into the room. Me breathing quite heavily by this stage.

The panel members introduced themselves, then dropped the bombshell.

“We’ve had your papers this morning, and have already conferred between ourselves. We have decided to award you the higher rate for mobility, and the middle rate for care. Would you like to contest that, or would you like to accept our judgement now?”

We conferred, and decided that rather than go through all the humiliating personal details, and possibly still not be given the higher rate of care, we would accept the panel’s decision.

So after all that stress and hassle, and 9 months of waiting, it’s all over.

And we can start to plan our future.

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