I was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. Even when I was sectioned for four months I was only awarded the lower rate care component of DLA. This seems inconsistent to me as the implication of me being sectioned under the Mental Health Act (and not allowed out of the hospital at all when I applied) would be that I needed 24 hour care due to some risk of me harming myself or others. But under DLA rules if such a need exists then higher rate care component should apply.
The only other paranoid schizophrenics I know are on higher rate care component and some are on middle rate mobility component as well.
So anyway my question is: what care or mobility components have been awarded for other paranoid schizophrenics (or other schizophenics) here.
Yes, sorry, slip up on my part about the mobility rates. My memory following medication has not been as reliable as it used to be. But I'm sure that the people I've spoken to had some mobility component in addition to higher rate care.
I have helped a friend who was only on lower rate DLA to achieve higher rate care and higher rate DLA, which also led on to him receiving a very high rate of independent living allowance. I know the DLA care component rules, because I have more recently had access to more in depth information on the criteria applied. Fundamentally if a person needs 24 hour care because there is a serious risk of harming themselves or others then higher rate care component is supposed to apply.
Yes, I know but if I recall correctly the DLA was awarded while I was in hospital and the eligibility arose while I was there, but was only actually paid after I'd left hospital. Essentially there appears to me to be a discrepancy between what the DWP decided and what the psychiatrist decided.
From my perspective, I don't appear to satisfy the conditions for any DLA at all, but I cannot gain any employment because I have a diagnosis of 'paranoid schizophrenia' and on the rare occasions I successfully get through most of the selection process I still have to sign a form that allows the prospective employer to contact my doctor and my doctor supplies information about me that I don't agree with anyway. And yet since leaving hospital, I have successfully done a variety of work on a voluntary basis, have taken exams getting the top scores in my classes, I have high level skills which have often resulted in me getting the highest scores amongst applicants on the aptitude tests of prospective employers.
Prior to hospitalisation I had had a highly successful career in stressful environments without any ill effects from that, had a high profile role in a trade organisation where I had made significant contributions right up to the point of being hospitalised. I had a very high quality of life and plenty of opportunity, all of which was completely destroyed by hospitalisation, medication and subsequent PTS. Although the PTS has largely died down now I still suffer from some stress, anxiety and I have significant memory problems and my IQ has dropped significantly, but I am still quite capable of making a significant positive contribution to society in appropriate work.)
There are a number of major contradictions in all this. It's not really a problem for me as I get by perfectly well on low income and still find useful things to do. But it seems to me that all of the incentives for all parties concerned are geared to produce effects which are contrary to the common interest. I believe that if I wanted to, I could stop doing voluntary work and easily construct a case which builds on my erroneous psychiatric reports and thereby most likely achieve higher rates of DLA.
I am carefully considering the opportunity of gathering all my existing evidence and getting a full independent assessment of my condition and then reproducing the conditions which would give rise to me going back to hospital, and then getting reassessed afterwards. And then I would use this evidence as a basis for contributing to an argument for some positive changes to the psychiatric system. However, I know that this would involve serious negative consequences for me and would therefore like some feel for what the potential public savings are if people are treated in a better way before I take such a step.
I just want a feel for how much DLA is actually awarded to people with similar diagnoses. I completely understand if people prefer not disclose that kind of information.
I agree that often its best to get advice or help with how to fill the form in from someone who has experience - the CAB benefits advisors can be really helpful - or there is the Benefits & Work forum. I'm not sure when it switches over to PIP but that looks as if its going to be worse for mental health claimants.