Case Studies » Sickness » 2014/04 - Specified Disability: Psychosomatic Paralysis
Specified Disability: Psychosomatic Paralysis
Background: The appellant made a claim for Disability Allowance when she was 19 years old, almost a year after she received a diagnosis. She submitted medical evidence from a Consultant Neurologist, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Consultant Psychiatrist. In completing the ability/disability profile, her G.P. assessed her mental health/behaviour as severely affected, her physical ability as moderately affected in two categories and profoundly affected in the areas of reaching and manual dexterity. Her claim was disallowed and she made an appeal which was dealt with by way of summary decision.
Comment/Conclusion: The Appeals Officer noted that the medical evidence indicated that the appellant had lost the use of her left arm as a result of a fall, and that she had been unable to move her arm at all since then. No explanation had been found for this condition and the view had been taken that it was not physiological and that she might benefit from psychiatric and psychological follow-up. Accordingly, the Appeals Officer examined the questions as to whether the loss of the use of her left hand/arm could be held to be a substantial restriction in carrying out suitable employment and, if so, whether this had continued or might reasonably be expected to continue for a period of at least one year. He concluded that the appellant was suffering from a substantial restriction in carrying out suitable employment and that, as this condition had lasted for approximately eight months at the time of the application and that the medical profession was at a loss to explain it, it could be reasonably expected to continue for the foreseeable future. In the circumstances, the appeal was allowed and the Appeals Officer observed that it was to be hoped that the appellant’s condition would resolve in due course.
Decision of the Appeals Officer: The appeal is allowed.