Disability Law Service VERY DISAPPOINTED

I am the carer for someone with Autism- Jon.
Legally, I am not yet allowed to go into details, but we needed legal representation and I did a Google search and found the Disability Law Service in London.
We were led to believe that they would help us and initially we were so happy. Jon’s panic attacks started abating and his chronic depression which he gets every morning also started improving.
A few months went by and we never heard anything more, so I contacted SR and got a very snotty reply that he has not agreed to take on our case- despite clearly leading us to believe otherwise.
I am now in a panic having to try to find alternative legal arrangements. Jon traumatised and he has started self-harming for which he has been having therapy and he is suicidal again. But Stephen Robson does not care.
S R, is aware of Jon’s condition and he has not even offered an explanation or an apology as to why he has refused to help us.
Very, very hurt and disappointed by his conduct and more people need to be aware of this so they don’t get false hopes up like we did.
Best wishes to all and stay strong!

Edited to remove names

Welcome to the forum, Mike. Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with the Disability Law Service. I see it’s a few weeks since you posted and am wondering if you got any help? If not, maybe Citizen’s Advice, if you have an office in your area, could help?


I was told by various people to contact them, absolutely useless for us too.
There is a desperate need for better legal support to fight Social Services not doing their jobs properly.
I’ve even tried Luke Clements organisation, not interested either.

Hi Gilli,

We have tried so many companies and are now going the Legal Aid route.
We have tried MIND and they referred us to the MIND Legal department…they gave us a couple of leads.
We have a few more possibilities to try but the Legal Aid route looks promising as they asked all about Jon’s disabilities and seemed interested in how it all effects him daily.

Thanks for your reply and all the best

Sorry to hear that, Bowlingbun. We provided the Disability Law Service with Jon’s official Autism Diagnosis, follow up reports, notes from his Therapist and reports about his self-harming and still the DLS did not agree to take on his case for the tribunal!

All the best to you and good luck
Stephen Robson of the Disability Law Service 020 7791 9800 was such a disappointment for us- we just want to warn others.

In Hampshire, there are a number of issues that really ought to be part of a group action.

The LA refuse to allow direct payments to be used to pay parents, against the Care Act Regulations, which specifically say it can be used “including friends and family”. During lockdown some parents have been caring 168 hours a week, and are being asked to send back unused DP’s!

Seems to be a postcode lottery, my caree has severe mental health issues but cannot get Mental health advocacy.

Normally its the charity Mind but they haven’t got the funding.

But have heard Rethink do mental health Advocacy but thats in West Yorkshire.

We are in North Yorkshire so no help available.

I have been refused Advocacy as i am an unpaid carer, so who represents and helps us?

Again the advocacy scheme provides advocacy for unpaid carers in West Yorkshire but NOT North Yorkshire.

Just seems to be a big gap in services and help and support in North Yorkshire.

We need to move house to be able to access services but why should we?

The right to an advocate is contained in the 2014 Care Act Regulations.
It applies across the country.

My friend was allowed an advocate, but me his unpaid carer was refused by the Advocacy Service.

But surely it is not up to the advocacy service to decide, is it social services who decide?

But i was refused advocacy, i have mental health issues, problems understanding, problems communicating my needs.

But was refused, i was later told that i was allowed Advocacy.

I could have complained but was too busy caring.

Really is a shambles when even the Advocacy Service don’t know the rules.

Agreed. I don’t trust anyone to know the rules now.
I’ve downloaded the entire Act guidance!
I mentioned recently to my son’s SW about part of the act, she didn’t have a clue!!

As my dad would say , the polite version, they can’t run a party in a brewery.

How can we get our rights when no one understands, there are trained people getting paid, our life is in their hands literally.

The Care Act was brought out to make sure we get help and support and are treated fairly and our carees.

I have had a good look at the Care Act, most was completely ignored by Social Services, dignity, Wellbeing?

My friend just received the absolute minimum, but he didn’t even receive that really, such a bad service.

When is the Care Act coming back? and what are my rights now?

Hi Mike,I am sorry to hear that you are having trouble but you are not alone in this matter, as many of us carers are having the same problem as you.
Give carers uk helpline a ring, there is bound to be someone there that can help you.
Write to your local am/mp,local councillor asking for help. It is up to you if you write into the papers but it is best not to, as you do get the trolls annoying you.

The advocate service should not turn you down unless there is a good reason why.
The biggest problem at the moment which a lot of services are doing at the moment are using covid-19 to hide behind but there is a new law which has been passed to stop that. Speak to the carers as they will find someone to help you case and anyone else’s. The advocate service is snowed under picking up the slack as lawyers will not do anything unless there is money to be made out of it. Don’t leave it to late as some of these services like social service will drag their heels until 6 month is up of any complaint or for something to be done.

hope this is some help.

Thanks Michael, yes that was helpful and I’ll make sure to try those options you mentioned.

All the best and thanks for taking the time to reply.