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Case Studies » Sickness » Disability Allowance - Case from 2015 Annual Report (ref: 2015/10)

Background: The appellant has a diagnosis of Diabetes, Type 1, and made a claim for Disability Allowance when she reached 16 years of ageHer mother had been in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance (payable until a child is aged 16 years) in respect of her care.  The claim was rejected, with the Deciding Officer stating that in arriving at the decision, he had taken account of the opinion of the Department’s Medical Assessor who considered that the appellant was not substantially restricted in seeking suitable employment, by reason of a specified disability which had lasted or was expected to last for a period of at least one year.  The appellant made an appeal, emphasising the long-term nature of her specified disability. 

Oral hearing:  The appellant was accompanied by her mother.  In line with the medical evidence on file, she confirmed that she had been diagnosed in 2004.  She advised that her insulin prescription had been administered by injection initially and that she had required four injections per day.  She said that this had imposed restrictions on her lifestyle.  However, she advised that she had since had a pump fitted for the administration of insulin and that she was in close contact with the diabetic nurse in her local hospital, so that any checks or queries could be dealt with promptly.

The appellant reported that she continues to check her blood sugars four times daily, that she is always ‘carb counting’ in relation to meals, and that she has given up swimming as she is not comfortable in terms of the insulin pump getting wet.  She said she was a bit worried about how she will manage in college, without her mother’s care and support, and having to transfer to another hospital when she reaches 17 years.  She confirmed that she is in Transition Year (TY) in school and provided an account of her participation in a busy TY programme.  She reported that she takes part in a number of sports and that she goes horse-riding often. 

The appellant’s mother outlined the nature of the care and support she continues to provide, including being on call at all times, and she outlined her concerns for her daughter in the future.

Consideration: The Appeals Officer noted that the appellant had presented as positive and able to cope well with her specified disability, that she had an active lifestyle and was getting on well at school, with plans for third level education.  She noted her age, experience and qualifications and, having examined all the evidence, concluded that the appellant could not be deemed eligible for receipt of Disability Allowance. 

Outcome: Appeal disallowed.