I’v ben a T4 para since 1964 & claimed DPs in 2001 after finding it difficult driving & getting my w/chair in & out. I was lucky enough to have a great social worker & OT who understood that I still wanted to LIVE & not just exist so they worked out I needed 37 hours of PA support per week. I had some of the so-called annual reviews but nothing changed unti March/April this year 2016. I have now been assessed as needing LESS support. Quite how someone 15 years older & much weaker after various accidents, etc which has left me finding it difficult to lift myself so I’ve had ceiling hoists, slings, banana board, etc etc fitted. But they still have reduced my support needs by 10 hours per week. The 2 parts which have really annoyed me are about food & getting out. On the food side, I have always had freshly cooked meals, but the SW said I could only have ONE hour to prepare, cook, eat & wash up. She agreed that was not possible & said I should eat ready meals!!!!!!!! How on earth she thinks ready meals are healthy or nutritious I have no idea. The other part is because she has reduced my going out time to 5 hours per week. Going just food shopping out of tose 5 leaves 3 hours.What the hell I am supposed to do in 3 hours is beyond me. I am well aware that this govt has made huge cuts to LA services but this cut to my life is ridiculous. What has anyone ese done to complain & has it worked? Any advice will be welcome.
Hello Sylvia – I have read your message and sadly have to report that this is not an uncommon situation I hear from members.
Would you like to ring me on the Freephone Advice Line to discuss – Tel: 0800 980 0501 or DD 01908 604191 Ext 203.
How did it go? Did you manage to resolve this issue and get your hours reinstated? I have used direct payments for years and have slowly needed an increase in my hours over time. I have incomplete paraplegia but have had a lot of poor health related to my spinal injury and three lots of caude equina, which have obviously set me back as they’ve required additional surgery. I have just been reassessed and got 25 hours a week in direct payments. However, the first SW gave me 10 hours a week (dropped from 30) and I complained to the her and then her team manager because her assessment was inaccurate and very poor. The team manager agreed and sent someone else out, who worked by the book “with”me and she came to the figure I had stated I needed. The 25 hours allows for two lots of getting out to go swimming, which I have been advised to do by an NHS physio. Didn’t have any arguments but….
I will out myself as being a qualified social worker and having helped set up the direct payments scheme in Bristol in 1994. I took early retirement from my hospital SW job 5 years ago so am a little out of date and can’t promise anything to you. However, I am happy to talk to you if you need support with this if it is still an ongoing problem. Just drop me a line via this message board and I will give you my number. Two heads are always better than one. However, I am hoping you have managed to get things sorted. Be wary of any charges they set against your support, as they are always open to being challenged.
i am T12/L1 para – struggling with pain issues as result my accident and falls etc left me with aging battered body , that i struggle from one day to next .. i moved to S. Wales few years ago ..and been feeling the effects of government cutbacks … taken me 2yrs get myself onto book and in from of Rookwood consultant . I use to get Direct PAyment when i lived over in Somerset / but no one mention if it available here Wales.?
The change over from DLA to PIP was nightmare – a long frustrating 4hrs at Citizen Advice –to complete forms ! am soon to being re-assess for ESA benefit .
my main struggle is communication to as as deaf – and find it hard to hold onto my independence now that parted with the car and being assess for electric wheelchair .
Is there something I can help you with?
I will say that I’m a bit out of date with direct payments legislation etc… but am hoping to undergo updated training in September/October for dealing with benefits and social services assessments on behalf of/with other people.
I am happy to support you to look at what you can get and how to go about getting it. Equally I am happy to just be a sounding board or whatever the equivalent is for you – email or FaceTime/Skype (if you lip read) could be an option as I’m afraid I don’t sign and don’t know whether you do either. If you use BSL or another form of sign language, you are entitled to have a BSL interpreter with you for all assessments whether it be PIPs, health, Care Act one or anything else. As direct payments comes under UK law, it doesn’t matter where you live within the UK, you have a statutory right to have them instead of any other service. Your direct payments should have moved with you when you left Somerset, at least until the new authority had time to assess your needs.
There are organisations that can support you with all of this based in Wales including SIA of course. Depending on how near to Cardiff your are, you may find there is a Centre for Independent Living that covers the area you live in now. They call themselves different things but basically they should offer some support with going for assessment etc.
I could ramble on for ages but am unsure whether anything I am saying is helpful or stuff you already know. One of the issues with social services and other govt. departments is that they usually don’t allow for anyone having more than one impairment. So the physical impairment team won’t necessarily get that you may need support around your hearing impairment/deafness and vice versa. Also you don’t say how old you are, and if over 65 may come into a different team for that. Can you split yourself two or three ways? Be good if you could get double or treble the money, but I know that won’t be the case!
Feel free to contact me again if you would like to. Best of luck though if I don’t hear from you again.
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