It’s been over a month since I started my push for applying for Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Since my first steps I’ve had a great response to request for help with supporting statements for my application. I now have 6 letters/statements and Growlers will make 7!
Some struggled with knowing what to say or how to say it. But I assured them to say it how they see it, say as much or as little as they were comfortable with and not worry about upsetting/offending me. I had expected it might be tricky and a bit upsetting. What I hadn’t expected was to feel touched by what they said. Even though they were expressing difficulties I have and the impact that often has on them I felt a kind of unity and support in their words. I feel almost like them being able to contribute to the process maybe helped them a little too? It certainly liad some things out in the open and made me face that I’m not so good at hiding things as I’d like to think 😉
Having completed parts one (personal info), two (diagnosis, medications, disability aids) and three (walking outdoors) last week – today we started on probably the most difficult section. Part four is all about care needs and help you require with washing, dressing, getting in and out of bed, toilet needs, moving indoors, getting in and out of chairs, eating, communication, help with medication and treatments, cooking a main meal, supervision required and hobbies/interests. I don’t think they’re really interested in that last bit though.
We’ve made it half way through part four which is brilliant progress for me! Growler has taken lots of notes to type up all the “see attached sheet” bits as the form is not designed to allow you to say as much as you need to in order to qualify. It’s an infruriating form.
I would absolutely recommend that you don’t fill a DLA claim form out by yourself. Enlist support! Local Citizens Advice offices are very good apparently. Also I cannot recommend strongly enough the guides from www.benefitsandwork.co.uk – it is well worth the £15 (I think) to subscribe. But I’d still get someone to help you fill in the forms using the advice in the guide(s).
So it’s looking hopeful to complete the form by Friday – which was the deadline I set to have it done before we go on holiday for a week. Then I can have a proper de-stress and not mither on to Growler 😉
It’s eye opening. I thought I would struggle to face how incapacited I am. The bigger problem seems to be feeling worried about over-stating things. Maybe that is part of not facing the incapacity! Oh yer! LOL.
It’s easy when you adapt and live day in day out with limitations to see that as normal – because it is YOUR normal. But compared to how I was, compared to you average Joe, it’s not normal. Illustrating the severity leaves me mumbling “Yes, but … oh I suppose so .. oh yer you’re right …. oh.”
Growler is doing a fabulous job of keeping things moving along however. Thank you G 🙂
I have no idea if all of these efforts will be successful in terms of being awarded something for DLA. I have no idea if my doctor will give a detailed, rousing supporting statement, or a quick sweep of the facts. I have no idea if they will want me to be seen by one of their doctors to be cross examined. I have no idea if they will turn me down, if an appeal will be neccessary, if sitting in front of a panel getting confused and tired and knackered will be required. And if after all of that if I will still get turned down. But I’m still going to try damn it!