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Case Studies » Sickness » 2014/13 - Specified Disability: Epilepsy


Specified Disability: Epilepsy

Background: The appellant, aged 43 years, had been in receipt of Disability Allowance between 2005 and 2011 when payment was stopped.  He made a new claim in 2013 which was disallowed on grounds that he was not deemed to be substantially restricted from undertaking suitable employment, in line with the medical qualifying criteria.  In completing the ability/disability profile on the claim form, his G.P. confirmed the diagnosis of Epilepsy and assessed the appellant as being affected in the following areas:

  • Consciousness/Seizures – affected to a moderate degree

The appeal was dealt with on a summary basis and disallowed.  Following a further submission made by a solicitor acting on his behalf, the Appeals Officer set aside that decision and re-opened the appeal by way of oral hearing.

Oral Hearing: The appellant was represented by his solicitor and accompanied by his son, who assisted with interpretation. The question at issue was explained.  The appellant’s solicitor provided a copy of his written submission.  A recent medical report was not available but the appellant’s solicitor undertook to provide one for the Appeals Officer.  He submitted that the appellant has suffered from Epilepsy since birth and that he is prone to frequent seizures, one of which had resulted in a fall where he fractured his arm.  He referred to the medical evidence which suggested that there was still some residual incapacity arising from that injury.  It was pointed out that the appellant was semi-literate and that he had been receiving Disability Allowance up to 2011.  The Appeals Officer advised that he had no evidence to indicate the basis on which the medical qualifying conditions for Disability Allowance had been deemed to have been met previously.

The appellant’s son said that his father had surrendered the allowance in 2011 as he understood that this would allow the family to qualify for Rent Supplement and he confirmed that he was now receiving Supplementary Welfare Allowance. The Appeals Officer pointed out that it was not necessary for the appellant to have been in receipt of a basic income under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme in order that Rent Supplement would be payable.

In conclusion, it was submitted that the appellant’s condition was unchanged.  He still suffered from Epilepsy which required him to take medication and he had a substantial restriction as previously acknowledged.

Comment/Conclusion: The Appeals Officer noted that the appellant had qualified previously for Disability Allowance from 2005 to 2011.  He concluded that his medical condition was unchanged in that time, with medical evidence confirming that he continues to suffer frequent seizures

Decision of the Appeals Officer: The appeal is allowed.

Decision reason(s): This appellant had previously been granted Disability Allowance from 2005 to 2011. The appellant’s medical condition is unchanged in that time.  Medical reports confirm that appellant continues to suffer frequent seizures.