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Useful info when completing a DLA claim

Useful things you can do to help yourself with completing a DLA claim and getting medical evidence to back it up. 

Step one
Write out a pain diary that tracks what your care and mobility needs are, levels of pain, types of meds used, symptoms of your conditions that effect you etc. also include the time of day you need help and for how long each time.

Step two
Take diary to your GP so they can be aware of what problems you actually have as they can not guess when they're completing the claim forms and can only report what they have either seen or you've reported to them.


Step three
Contact your local advice centre for assistance with completing the DLA claim form, CAB, Welfare Rights, DIAL or another advice agency may be able to assist you.
You can also contact Janet Horton on FMAUK's benefits helpline, once you've made 10 posts you could also PM her for specific advice.

Step four
Keep in mind when completing your DLA claim form that you need to identify all of your care and mobility need and you should be looking at your worst days and how you are MOST of the time.  It is also helpful to list the specific symptoms that you have with all of your conditions. You have to require help 4 out of 7 days to qualify.


Fibromyalgia, with widespread severe pain, overwhelming fatigue, Irritable bowel/bladder syndrome, nerve pain, fibrofog/cognitive dysfunction, depression, anxiety (add any symptoms you personally have), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with overwhelming fatigue, inability to concentrate (again add any symptoms you personally have), Double Scoliosis of the Spine which causes severe pain(or what ever is appropriate for you), Polycystic Ovaries which cause severe pain, menstrual dysfunction(Or any specific symptoms to that condition that you actually have), Hypothyroidism with severe fatigue, hair loss, chronic pain, cognitive dysfunction(and any other symptoms that you have relating to your thyroid condition)

The above has far more impact than:

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Underactive Thyroid, Double Scoliosis of the spine, Polycystic Ovaries

Step five
Gather any supporting evidence from anyone who provides care to you.  Remember that shopping and housework are not personal care needs. They can either complete the section provided on your claim form or they can add any extra information about the care they provide by writing a letter on your behalf. 

All the information you will provide for both day and night care needs will be looked at and used to figure out whether you should meet the criteria for Low, Middle or High Rate Care. 

A good tip for describing your walking ability is to do a measured and timed trial of how far you can walk.  Now this part is tricky as it's how far you can walk without severe discomfort this is a phrase that has been difficult to describe and often depends on who is looking at it to how it's interpreted.  If you can walk but only extremely slowly or with an odd gait and with a great deal of pain the amount you are not walking without severe discomfort. 

Also note how you walk do you shuffle, do you limp mildly or badly? How is your balance?  What pains become worse?  Discuss these issues with your adviser to help determine whether you may be considered virtually unable to walk  and might qualify for High Rate Mobility.

If you need guidance or physical support or reassurance from someone when you're outside you might qualify for Low Rate Mobility.

Step six
Return your completed claim form to the Disability and Carers' Services either by post (make sure you send it 'signed for/recorded delivery') or to your local jobs and benefits office (please ensure you get a receipt for the documents) keep one copy for yourself if at all possible it will make life much easier if any of your documents are misplaced/lost.

If you are turned down for an award of benefit Appeal the decision.  Get assistance from the agency that's helped you complete the claim form, they may be able to find out where things have gone wrong and may be able to help you identify what further evidence you might need to support your claim.  If you have not yet gotten assistance from a benefits advice agency try and get some help if at all possible.  You can also contact FMA UK's benefits helpline for your benefit questions

DISCLAIMER: Please be advised this guide is for information only.  We strongly advise that you receive help from your local benefits advice centre for any benefit applications or appeals. 

***There is no guarantee that following the advice provided will result in an award of benefit.***

When speaking about your claim, you must claim only the symptoms you as an individual have. 
Each person with Fibromyalgia has symptoms individual to them, and may have additional conditions and  symptoms.
You have to fill out application forms as honestly and as accurately as possible.

The DWP (DLA/IB/AA/ESA or other benefits) and the Tribunal Appeals Service tribunal panel have the ability to award a continuation of an award at the same level.  To change any component that they have awarded at the level they believe is suitable for each individuals circumstances and condition(s),they can also reduce your award or remove it completely and they can decide what dates your award will begin and/or end based upon the evidence for each case/person.

Help on specific benefit questions can also be accessed through FMAUK’s benefits helpline

by Shannon Dalshaug

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