15 years of stammeringlaw 1999-2014
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Tribunal finds 90% disablement for PWS

One person who stammers has been found by a Tribunal to have 90% disablement. He was therefore entitled to severe disablement allowance (SDA).

This Tribunal decision, in December 2001, is based on the individual facts and evidence. Also SDA is now abolished for new claimants. However, the decision is a very welcome recognition of how disabling a severe stammer can be. The claimant's stammer in this case was described as "severe" or "very severe".

The 90% assessment by the Medical Appeals Tribunal was broken down as follows:

Impaired speech 70%
Disfigurement 10%
Anxiety, depression,
and nervous debility
10%

All these elements related to the stammer. The disfigurement award related to the facial distortions of trying to speak. The award for anxiety, depression and nervous debility related to emotional aspects or consequences of the stammer. As regards the 70% award for impaired speech, the tribunal is understood to have proceeded on the basis that a person with no speech would have 100% disablement and discounted from there.

The 90% assessment was for the period up to when the claimant did an intensive fluency course. In the period after the course his fluency was much improved, and for that later period he was assessed as having 28% disablement.

The qualifying percentage of disablement to claim SDA is 80%. Accordingly, the 90% assessment was more than enough to entitle the claimant to SDA for the period up to the intensive fluency course. (It was not disputed that the other conditions for receiving SDA were met.) For the period after the course, his disablement was below 80% so he was not entitled to SDA.

The 90% assessment was not easily obtained - it took four years of persistence on the part of the claimant to get the positive result.

Benefits no longer available to new claimants: Severe disablement allowance
"80% disablement and SDA" page

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Last updated 15th March, 2002