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Applying for DLA. Some questions.

(26 Posts)
PavlovtheCat Mon 28-Jan-13 14:22:42

1. I live in a converted flat. 1st and second floor. bathroom is on 1st floor, bedroom is on 2nd floor. Do I put 'upstairs' or 'downstairs' for the bathroom? as technically it is both?

2. Who is the best person to have as the 'supporting statement?' my DH? or another person outside of my relationship, such as a friend, who helps me?

3. Is there any medical evidence that I can gather to support my claim? such as OH report from work which states I have trouble with some daily tasks, the letter from hospital referring me to neurosurgeon, MRI report? or do they ask for all of that from GP?

4. One of the questions asked if I am scheduled for surgery - this has not been completely agreed, but is being discussed. Should I mention it? and if so where? in that section or in the 'additional info' section.

5. Depression. I suspect I am depressed (who wouldn't be with a life changing condition) and a lot of my answers are motivational (encouraging to get dressed and leave the house as it takes so long, hurts, can't be bothered because of those things, feel down and see less point making an effort a lot of time etc etc). I am not 'diagnosed' as depressed and have not really spoken to the GP about it although she suspects I am, having asked me a few questions from time to time about it doesn't push it. So should I put it down as one of the 'disabilities' or leave it out?

PavlovtheCat Mon 28-Jan-13 14:24:29

sorry, pressed post too soon.

Is there any other supporting statement I need to include. And, as it's a fluctuation condition, how to I get across that I am in a lot of pain ALL the time, and ALL steps hurt, but that some days, I am more able to cope with those steps than others, and some days I am in less pain than others. Some days I can't walk or get out of bed AT ALL, and some days I can move like normal, even if it hurts like hell, without it sounding like sometimes I am ok and sometimes I am not?

JellicleCat Mon 28-Jan-13 18:57:54

Have you thought about getting some independant help to complete the form, eg from your local Citizens Advice Bureau? Someone used to the forms will be able to put down what is relevant and express it in the best way to help you.

Fluctuating conditions are always difficult, have you kept a diary recording exactly how your condition changes? If not start now. Then you can put things like I get pain 7 days a week, 3 days a week I am unable to walk more than X metres before I need to stop due to pain, 4 days a week I can walk Y metres before I need to stop.

1 From memory the form asks if you live in a house or flat, tick flat and put the relevant info in the additional info section. Put bathroom as downstairs, as it is in relation to your flat.

2. I wouldn't bother with a supporting statement unless you can get one from a health professional OT, district nurse, physio etc. They will take little notice of what a friend or relative says, sorry. Better for you to say what your dh/friend do for you as you complete the form.

3. I'd include copies of any relevant medical evidence, all of what you have suggested sound reasonable (but difficult to asssess without seeing them). It is unlikley that your GP would send any of them, they get a form to fill in. Do tell your GP that you are applying and make sure they know in detail what you struggle to do. Do NOT assume they will know.

4. Just put "currently under discussion"

5. Don't put depression down if it hasn't been diagnosed under the list of illnesses, but in the text boxes write about your problems with doing things due to lack of motivation, especially due to pain.

General advice - don't play things down, but don't exagerate either, just tell it as it is.
Talk about bad and better days, not "good" days.
Make sure you write in the text boxes to give more information, don't just tick the boxes.

Hope this helps.

PavlovtheCat Mon 28-Jan-13 19:11:09

jelli thank you for a great post. I have spoken to my GP today. She has been really supportive so far, needed to talk to her about a few things about work and referral to pain clinic while waiting for neurosurgeon (12-15wks wait!) and told her about applying for DLA, asked what if any supporting medical info I should include. She said don't bother sending anything in unless they ask as she will be asked to provide medical info. She was really supportive about that too, told me to 'lay it on thick' and not try to make things about to be ok, like I have a tendency to do.

My biggest problem is that although she is the GP I see for pretty much all this, I am technically registered with the other GP so all correspondence will go to him, and so the medical report will be sent from him. Now he knows a lot about my condition too, but he is much less aware of how badly things are affecting me. The female GP sees me regularly, and if I take my children in asks me how I am, checks I am doing ok, and seems to 'know' so much more, she accepts telephone calls from me regularly to check info, get medicine.

How do I get it recorded how much I am struggling on record so both GPs know, without it looking like I am 'fishing' or 'priming' for DLA? Which I won't be?

For the most part I think I am ok with completing the form without 'professional' help, I write reports based on people based risk assessments etc in my own job so know how to take info and seperate it and make it clear and to show certain points, so think I can do that on the form, but certainly guidance such as you have given about not using certain words like 'good days' rather refer to them as bad days and better days.

I know people who have said to me 'talk about it/fill it in as your worst day' but this is clearly a fluctuating condition, obviously so, so, I don't want to lay myself open to being seen as 'dishonest', or have someone spy on me walking to the shops, even though that hurts badly, sometimes I can do it with a lot of pain. Sometimes I can't get out of bed because I can't move for pain.

PavlovtheCat Mon 28-Jan-13 19:13:44

and, is it ok to put down when it asks how far I can walk before I experience significant pain, is it ok to put down '1 step' as pretty much all of the time, every step really hurts. Some hurt so badly I simply can't do it, sometimes I push the pain away, sometimes I use a walking aid. But each step hurts in one form or another.

I am going to write up the sections on the computer first, so it reads easily and simply and not waffly like I tend to do!

youcan re registerto gp youactually see.she can give you the form. youdon't have tomention to other gp.

spacebar being funny

JellicleCat Mon 28-Jan-13 21:17:00

Totally agree with putting down the GP who knoows you best.

If you Google DLA and pain you'll find some helpful advice. eg www.lawcentreni.org/EoR/benefits-and-tax-credits/dla-and-attendance-allowance.html or www.dls.org.uk/advice/factsheet/welfare_benefits/disability_living_allowance/DLA_Guide.pdf

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 10:02:51

Denial <waves> hello my lovely, hope you are ok? she can give you the form what form will she give me? sorry, being dumb! I don't know the process.

I am so glad I can put her down. I mean, the other GP knows me well, he sorted out an incorrect prescription for me when he saw me in reception talking about it to receptionist, instead of me having to wait til the next day and when he came over he said '100mg modified release isn't it?' so he does pay attention, but I think he pays less attention than the other GP and will think more about the notes on file only. I think the female GP will remember seeing me using crutches and our conversations about relying so much on DH. And she certainly is supportive of me applying, which is a good sign for her being supportive in how she writes whatever she needs to write.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 10:30:37

<head spins> jeez. I can't see how I am going to get any level of DLA. You need a degree in DLA form completing to get it filled in!

Why am I even bothering? <sigh>

lookingforbaubles Tue 29-Jan-13 10:43:17

just a tip for DLA formsw, when you finally complete it make sure you photo copy every page you send in to them

good luck

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 11:07:55

good tip thank you

Fuzzymum1 Tue 29-Jan-13 13:25:45

Also remember if you get turned down, ask for it to be reconsidered - lots of people seem to get turned down and then awarded it on reconsideration. It was certainly the case for my son (he has asperger's) and my friend who gets it both for her son with CP and herself with fibromyalgia.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 13:42:08

oh, that's interesting, good to know, I am pretty certain they will turn me down.

Kormachameleon Tue 29-Jan-13 13:52:52

Hi Pavlov
My form went it on 9th jan and I had a letter a week later saying they had written to my GP for a report. I made an appointment to see her anyway and while I was there I told her about report and she asked me what things I needed help with etc so that she could make sure she answered form in as much detail as possible
I am hopeful that they will award me based on her report to be honest but I doubt it and am fully prepared to appeal

As far as I can tell, the vast majority of people get refused and the. Around 70% of those are awarded on appeal so do see it through

Answer the form as though it were your worst day so you make sure you get across to them how bad things are ( I don't know what you are claiming for )
Absolutely you can put down that you can't walk at all without pain for example - I felt that I had to put a minimum distance as That is how the questions are asked but on advice from cab I put 0 metres - I can walk a fair way but not without any pain so that is what I put

Kormachameleon Tue 29-Jan-13 13:54:16

And also photocopy the form before you send it and send it with signed for delivery , recorded or special ?

A lot of forms 'go missing'

magso Tue 29-Jan-13 20:01:39

In our area the money advice unit helps with filling in DLA forms if needed.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 20:28:24

mags unfortunately there are only two places to go for proper advice on completing/help completing the form, CAB, and a Disability Service, both of which have 8wk+ waiting lists. I do think there is a pop-in service at the disability place, where they can check it over once completed, rather than a full appt to help from scratch, so they can at least say 'NOOOOOO dont put that in!' or similar, so will try that route.

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 20:30:14

korma mad that so many people have to request a reconsideration, I wonder how many people do, and how many people say 'oh, not entitled' and carry on suffering when they are in fact eligible. I wonder what the difference is - different person assessing it? I will request a reconsideration for sure, but not hopeful. I know if they request a medical it will be the one day in a whole year I could run to the shops fine grin

I don't know what the form was called :-) I always saw same lovely gp at previous surgery even though I was registered with another.I took whole family to her.eventually she said this is silly fill this in.it was one of those little nhs forms.I think it's the same as getting new nhs card or the official changing surgery in except ask that changes is gps name. anyway my point was you don't have to explain to other gp whygrin clear as mud? I'm ok.just starting methotrexate.hoping I don't get side effects. keep going with that form and don't underplay impact on your life.fill out in as of you were a manwink

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 22:18:53

fill it in as a man oh goodness, I couldn't do that. I would never meet the deadline grin

PavlovtheCat Tue 29-Jan-13 22:20:54

good luck with the meds, that's quite a hardcore drug isn't it, side effect wise? hope you aren't knocked sideways.

Kormachameleon Tue 29-Jan-13 22:25:08

Denial do you mind me asking what you are taking methotrexate for ?
I'm looking at starting it soon and am a little concerned

hopefully I will be one of the lucky ones. people seem to either love it or hate it. same as all these pesky drugswink

psoriatic arthritis.I've a thread somewhere...

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