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Last month we revealed that a new DLA claim pack with a strong physical health bias and up to twice as many boxes was to be introduced by 30 April (See: Radical new DLA claim form goes national in April).

Although the DWP refused to comment at the time, we have now obtained a copy of the Disability and Carers Service Advisory Forum newsletter which confirms that a new form is on its way. According to the newsletter the Minister for Disabled People, Anne McGuire, has given her approval for the roll-out. The document also claims that the new form 'has been developed in full consultation with DCS Advisory Forum, groups with interest in specific impairments, and with various advice agencies and charities, including a number of Citizens Advice Bureaux'. Members of the Advisory Forum include: Disability Alliance; Citizens advice; MIND; RADAR and Mencap.

The DWP say they will continue to accept old style forms until they are all used up.

Benefits and Work will be publishing guidance to completing the new claim packs as soon as possible after we obtain a copy. Meanwhile, we'd be very happy to hear from anyone in the Bootle and Manchester area who has had experience of the pilot packs being used there.