Tribunal of Commissioners 25 November 2005
Case Nos CDLA/2879/2004 and CDLA/2899/2004
123.Having dealt with the issues of principle, we now turn to the two individual appeals before us.
124.The claimant is a man now aged 46. He suffers from lower back pain, pain in his left shoulder, anxiety and depression.
125.On 11 December 2000 he was awarded the higher rate of the mobility component and the highest rate of the care component of DLA for the period from 22 February 2001 to 21 February 2004. It appears that that was itself an award made on a renewal claim. None of the evidence on the basis of which that award was made is in the papers, but according to the decision of 11 December 2000 that evidence included a report from an Examining Medical Practitioner (“EMP”).
126.In March 2002 the claimant was requested on behalf of the Secretary of State to answer some questions and to complete a further claim pack, with a view to possible supersession of his award. This seems to have been prompted by a belief that he had been claiming invalid care allowance (which the claimant stated in his answers that he had not in fact been claiming).
127.The claim pack was duly completed, and the Department also obtained a report dated 26 April 2002 from Dr Royle, a clinical psychologist to whom the claimant had been referred. There is no evidence in the papers of any decision having been taken as a result of this information, and the inference must be that it was decided not to supersede the claimant’s award.
128.In the claim pack the claimant stated his illnesses and disabilities as being “severe and constant aches and pains. Arthritic pain in back and shoulders - elbow joints.” He further stated that “because of my high dependency on others to support me every day I feel very depressed and lonely”. As regards walking outdoors, the claimant said that owing to his pain he used walking sticks, and could walk only 8 to 10 yards before feeling severe discomfort, and that that would take 5 to 10 minutes.
129.Dr Royle gave her diagnosis of the claimant’s psychiatric conditions as:
“… clinical depression secondary to adjustment to physical pain and its consequences. Social phobia linked to above. Self-harm and parasuicidal behaviour.”
“[The claimant] has struggled with his physical and psychological well-being since May 1995. He has struggled with (?) intractable chronic pain in his lower back which radiates into his right leg and in his left shoulder and arm. He has secondary physical symptoms associated with his pain, including a swelling of his hands and fingers and a tremor which is exacerbated by his emotional state.
Physically, [the claimant] is significantly limited by his pain and subsequent poor mobility. Activities tend to worsen his pain and he is unsteady with balance problems, which has led to many falls. A recent fall resulted in him falling into a door and