Petition Automatic DLA renewal for Children under 16 with lifelong medical conditions

Every three years I have to fill a lengthy form for my sons DLA. With no changes and a life long condition it seems a pointless exercise! the first question should ask if they have had any changes if it’s a no then automatic renewal if it’s yes then fill in the changes instead of the whole form

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Special needs parents have to battle for everything causing timely and depressing times. We have enough to do caring for our children without the added pressure to battle for everything and be assessed by someone without any knowledge of conditions

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Government responded

This response was given on 25 April 2019

Renewals, at appropriate frequencies, are an important feature in Child Disability Living Allowance which ensure that individuals receive the right financial support at the right time.

It is vital that each parent or guardian has the opportunity to explain, on the claim form, exactly how their child’s disability or health condition affects their personal care and mobility needs. The claim form therefore has to capture all relevant information, especially given that disabling conditions can affect different people in different ways.

Over the past 7 years we have introduced a cycle of continuous improvement in the development of the DLA claim forms. We have changed the format of the claim forms to a tick box format with more specific questions. This enables a clearer focus on the information required and simplifies completion by the customer, carer or representative. Parents or guardians can also download and save the form meaning it can be re-used for future applications and amended if circumstances have changed.

Case Managers determine award duration based on a number of factors, including a child’s age and their health condition/disability. Case Managers are required to take all information into account when considering the likely duration of care and mobility needs and to make their decision based on the particular circumstances of the child. They do however have access to extensive guidance on a large number of medical conditions, including guidance to advise them on award duration, which was developed with clinical experts.

It is important to regularly review cases, particularly as children are still developing, as their needs may change due to age, development or treatment. Some children may have increased needs, for example at age 12 they may require guidance and supervision in addition to their other care needs at this age as they have not made the transition to mobilising independently out of doors like their peers without a disability or health condition. Other children may have reduced needs at age 12 because they are emotionally mature enough to manage some aspect of their condition themselves or they are able to ask for help. Where a child has levels of functional restriction which are not expected to change over the course of childhood, an indefinite award can however be made.

Furthermore, while there is no lower age limit for the care component of DLA (which can be paid once a three month qualifying period is satisfied), the higher rate mobility component is not payable until the child is three, so it is usual for the department to contact parents as the child approaches their third birthday to see if the child has any mobility needs.

Department for Work and Pensions.

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