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Carers Allowance Case 3


Question At Issue:

Whether the person being cared for requires full-time care and attention, in line with the qualifying conditions for receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

Background:

The appellant claimed Carer’s Allowance in respect of her father-in-law. Her claim was rejected as the Deciding Officer determined that he did not require full-time care, as prescribed in the legislation.

Oral Hearing:

The appellant was accompanied by her husband. The Social Welfare Inspector also attended, at the request of the Appeals Officer.

The appellant referred to medical evidence submitted prior to the oral hearing, including reports from the Public Health Nurse; the family’s General Practitioner and a Consultant Psychiatrist for the elderly. The Appeals Officer confirmed that he had seen the evidence in question.

The appellant outlined the circumstances in which her father-in-law came to live with her family. She reported that he and his wife had been living together in England. Following his wife’s death, however, she and her husband had received reports that he was wandering in the street and not caring for himself. They decided to bring him to live with them. Initially, it was thought that her father-in-law was suffering from depression and grief following the death of his wife and this diagnosis was the one given by the family’s doctor on the application form for Carer’s Allowance. However, the appellant said that her father-in-law had since been referred to a consultant psychiatrist for the elderly and that he had undergone a thorough assessment. She stated that while no definitive diagnosis has yet been offered, the indications are that he is suffering from dementia. She suggested that it was likely that this had been the problem all along.

The appellant outlined the difficulties she experiences in caring for her father-in-law; he will not wash or eat properly; his medication must be given to him and the appellant must make sure he takes it; he wanders and is a danger to himself and others; he seeks constant reassurance and follows the appellant and her husband around as much as he can. The appellant stated that this neediness is a symptom of his condition. She reported that the psychiatric nurse visits and that she has advised her that the condition is progressive; ultimately, he may not be able to be looked after at home. The appellant reported that she is confined to the house because of the circumstances and that her husband finds the situation extremely stressful and is distressed by the deterioration in his father’s condition.

Consideration of the Appeals Officer:

The Appeals Officer concluded that it had been shown that the appellant and her husband were obliged to bring the care recipient to live with them, and that his condition had continued to deteriorate since that time. He noted that the medical evidence submitted in support of the appeal indicated ‘cognitive deficits’. He considered that the evidence also indicated that the care recipient requires a high level of personal care and, in particular, supervision so as to avoid danger to himself or to the other members of the household. The Appeals Officer concluded that, in the circumstances, Carer’s Allowance should be awarded.

Outcome:

Appeal allowed.



End of Document

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