*I have copied this from another fibro site and thought it had some good points*
Completing a Disability Allowance Form
This information is correct as of April 2005.
Getting an Application Pack
You need an application pack (ref DLA1 for an adult or DLA1(child) for children under 16). Forms can be ordered from the Benefits Enquiry Line Freephone number: 0800 88 22 00. A claim pack will be sent out and will be date stamped. If you return the form within six weeks the date of claim is taken as the date the claim form was requested.
The claim pack is made up of a number of forms and information sheets. There are two forms to be filled in: Section 1 and Section 2.
Filling in the forms
Try to be as accurate as possible and try to clearly explain the types of help that you need and when you need it.
Remember that the person who reads the form has not met you; so try to give a clear and detailed word-picture of your needs and difficulties. It is very important to try and write something in every large white box that applies to you.
Do not assume that the decision maker knows about your condition or its symptoms and effects. Give lots of description and detail, even about things that you find embarrassing or you think seem too trivial.
Give as much information as you can, include the medical name for your condition if you know it. Write down everything that is wrong with you not just the main problem.
When you are listing your medication, write down what strength or quantity it is (this will be written on the bottle / packet) and how many times a day you take it.
Complete the name of your GP and Hospital Consultant if you have one, the decision-maker might want to ask them about you to obtain a clearer picture of your needs.
There are two rates of mobility, a higher rate and a lower rate.
Higher Rate Mobility
Page 3 of the form is about ‘walking outdoors’ and entitlement to the higher rate. This page only applies if you have physical problems with walking. For example, pain and stiffness caused by arthritis or exhaustion caused by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
It is better for your case if you know how far you can walk before you start experiencing "severe discomfort or pain". Do your own walking test and measure the distance you can walk and time yourself doing it.
The test is based on how far you can walk before you experience pain / severe discomfort, taking into account the distance, time it takes, manner and speed in which you can walk. Give full details of any pain you experience, how you walk eg with a limp or with crutches and your speed.
If you experience pain all the time, the distance you can actually walk before you experience pain / severe discomfort and have to stop is what counts.
Do not guess at distances or times. If you do you may give an answer that is not believable. If you say it takes 15 minutes to walk five yards, this is so slow that the decision maker cannot make a reasonable decision on your ability to walk.
Lower Rate Mobility
Page 4 "having someone with you when you are outdoors" is about entitlement to the lower rate. This page is about problems you have walking in unfamiliar places, for example, if you have a visual impairment, you may be fine going to work or the shops, but if you had to go to a strange town it would be reasonable to have someone with you for guidance, or you may experience panic attacks because of your mental health and require reassurance from another person.
It is also useful to say what you think could happen if you did go out alone in a place you did not know or describe a previous incident where something dangerous could have happened. For example, do you have fits or falls, panic attacks, trouble asking for directions or problems dealing with roads and traffic.
There are three rates for care, lower rate, middle rate and higher rate. Page 12 "preparing a cooked main meal for yourself" is about entitlement to the lower rate. If you can not prepare a cooked main meal for yourself then this alone may entitle you to the lower rate care. This is a hypothetical test, it does not matter whether you know how to cook or ever do cook. What matters is if you had the ingredients you would be physically and mentally able to carry out all the activities listed on the form.
For entitlement to the middle rate and higher rate you will need to complete the rest of the form. The decision maker needs to know how you cope during both the day and night. You should describe your needs as fully as possible.
Do not underestimate; remember what it is like on the worst days.
Step 1: Say what causes the problems with the activity
Decision-makers are very fond of saying that claimants could do things if they chose, they just prefer not to. So make it clear, in your own words, that the reason you have problems is not about personal choice, but because of your health condition or because you are disabled. For example:
I have problems with this activity because of my arthritis.
I have problems with this activity because I have epilepsy.
I have problems with this activity because of back pain.
If there is more than one reason why you have problems then say so:
I have problems with this activity because of my inflammatory bowel disease and the medication that I have to take.
I have problems with this activity because of my arthritis and my angina.
You might get fed up with having to repeat the same thing on every page you complete, but it really is worth doing.
Step 2: Say what the problems are — in detail
Give as much information as you can about the problems you have. For example:
I have problems with washing and bathing because of my arthritis. I cannot stand for long in the shower because of pain in my legs, feet and back. I have tried putting a stool in the shower to sit on but it was too cramped and I almost fell trying to stand up again. I need help getting in and out of the bath because it is painful stepping over the edge of the bath and I am very unsteady on my feet. Washing my hair causes a great deal of pain in my arms and shoulders and there are many days when I cannot do it at all. Washing my feet causes pain in my lower back and I cannot reach behind me to do my back, even with a long brush, because of the pain in my arms, shoulders and back. Drying myself is extremely painful; I cannot bend enough to do my calves and feet.
Step 3: Give an example
This could be when you tried to carry out the activity and it went badly wrong:
About three months ago I tried to have a bath when there was no one else at home. I managed to get in the bath but I slipped and fell while trying to stand up to wash my torso. I was not badly hurt, but it left me feeling terribly shaken thinking how much worse it could easily have been.
A recent attempt to carry out the activity, which was not successful:
Last week I tried to wash my hair by myself because I did not want to disturb my partner. I was in so much pain by the time I finished that I had to take extra painkillers and I was unable to do anything for the rest of the day.
If you never attempt the activity alone anymore, say how long it has been since you did so:
I have not had a bath or shower without someone to help me since I fell in the bath about three months ago.
Step 4: Say how someone could help
To get the care component of Disability Living Allowance you
need to show that you ‘reasonably require’ help or someone to watch over you. You do not have to show that you actually get, or want, help—just that it would be reasonable for you to have it. But if you have problems with activities and there is nothing anyone can every do that would make the slightest bit of difference, then you may not be entitled to Disability Living Allowance.
So always try to show a way in which someone could help:
If someone is with me they can help me in and out of the bath and wash my hair and back and feet.
You need to make it clear what you think might happen if you did not have supervision or someone keeping an eye on you. Describe any past incidents that could have had serious consequences if you had not had help. Falls are highly relevant. Describe how someone has helped you in the past after a fall.
The decision-maker needs to know how you cope during both the day and night. You should describe your needs as fully as possible. Remember, it is likely that you will need to repeat information, for example, problems with bending will be the same for many activities, e.g. getting out of bed, dressing, bathing etc.
Make sure you give lots of information and details about the help you need, even if it is repetitive or embarrassing. Remember, this is about the help you need not the actual help you have. For example, someone might help you to have a bath twice a week. This does not mean you only need help to bathe twice a week. If you cannot bathe on your own, it is reasonable to say you need help with this activity seven days a week. It may be helpful to keep a diary of the help you need, when you need it and for how long to help you with the questions.
Read through the form afterwards and make sure you have described everything as fully and clearly as you can.
Weekly amounts: (TAX FREE) (as in 2005 rates)
Paid because you need looking after (care component)
Highest rate £60.60
Middle rate £40.55
Lowest rate £16.05
Paid to help you get around (mobility component)
Higher rate £42.30
Lower rate £16.05
joo thank you i have saved this info,bcause funny enough i have had my forms this week to fill in,bcause mine is up january 2009,so they have sent them early,they r all different forms and colour wise as well,they have a question about they want a prescription list of meds,and they want a medical form of docs.
Glad it's helped Julie and thats interesting to know about the new details as that will help people to know what to expect, myself included.
I figure it's probably a good idea to start keeping a daily diary as soon as a known renewal date is due as this helps BIG time and can also be shown as part of a claim.
Best of luck with all the writing!! By the way, did you know you can type even some of the longer replies as long as you clearly state which question you're replying to and signing each sheet at the bottom. I did this as writing such a lot was causing me HUGE problems.
In the continuing saga of my trying to get DLA I have a Dr from there coming tomorrow to do a home visit, this will go to my next tribunal which wont be til October at the earliest so this claim will have dragged on for a year by then!!!!
Hi all, well Dr came at 4.10 having said she will be with me between 2 & 4, I'd missed out my nap so was exhausted. 1st thing she did was ask for 3 types of ID, so I had to drag myself off sofa & find them, then she wanted my meds, so got Josh to bring them down from my bedroom. She didn't ask too many questions but got me to do various things, like show her how high I could raise my arms, she asked me to pull up my trouser legs & then measured from my knee to my shin & around my calf. She did an eye test & then asked me to count backwards in 7's from 100!! I was having major dizzy spells by this time so didn't get very far. She also wanted to look at my feet so took my slippers off, then used my feet to push my trainer socks off so I didn't have to bend or ask 1 of the kids to help, my nails were painted a lovely pink so explained my daughter had done them for me. I drew the line at bending forwards to see if I could touch my toes, absolutely no way I was going to put myself through that agony. She didn't leave til 5.20 so as usual anything to do with me takes longer than it should I'm definitely feeling the pain today though!!
Hi all, I don't know how long I have to wait, I think it's up to 11 weeks cos they're so slow at anything at DLA, maybe if things have gone my way I won't have to go to 2nd tribunal but I'm not counting my chickens. Buffy, glad you like the photo, I'd managed to put a bit of make up on so Tasha said "quick mum while your looking half decent let me take a photo" bless her