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DLA U-turns show system faults – Leonard

14 April, 2008

Sinn Féin councillor Billy Leonard, who recently highlighted the case of a six year-old-boy facing his fourth open heart operation having his DLA disallowed, has now brought to light other cases where U-turns have been made by the Department.

Leonard claims they highlight serious weaknesses within the system.

Cllr Leonard said:

"Sinn Féin has been working with many people on their DLA cases. We know of one case where a lady recovering from an operation and obviously coming out of an anaesthetic. This meant that she could not attend a DLA examination to check her walking capabilities.

"She was disallowed because of this. This was intolerable so we made approaches and now the DLA office will carry out their examinations. It seems incredible that the disallowance decision was made in the first place and obviously if the person had not come to us she would have no chance of having her application processed.

"In another case a young girl was disallowed. She and her mother went through months of frustration and strain getting information for her appeal. Then DLA studied the medical evidence again and suddenly the DLA is allowed. We knew that the medical evidence was very strong yet she was originally disallowed. It was very strange.

"We really need an overhaul of this system to make it more user-friendly and accountable." ENDS

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