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Leonard concerned at medical charges in DLA cases

16 June, 2008

Sinn Féin's Billy Leonard has expressed 'great concern' at what he sees as an increasing trend by GPs and medical centres to charge DLA claimants who need their medical notes for DLA appeal hearings.

He has said that £50 seems to be the norm and people working within the medical service have told him it will become the absolute norm.

Cllr Leonard said:

"People appealing DLA decisions are already facing hardship. To then have an additional bill for merely trying to defend their case is a step too far. I have great concerns on all aspects of this.

"People will be put off appealing purely because of finances. I believe the system is already weighted against the ordinary person so to erect another major barrier is grossly unfair. I have personal experience with claimants where the notes were much better for the person rather than a pro-forma report.

"It is therefore important that we help the process not close it down with an unfair charge.

"I am writing to the Social Development Minister asking for clarification if the charge is absolutely legal and should there be regulation or legislation to prevent it." ENDS

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