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TOPIC: DLA Success

DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #33976

  • Arundo
Hello Again!

For some reason I could not access my original B & W account when I tried to renew it, so had to re-register under another name.

Anyway, I thought I should write and let you know that I have just been awarded Higher Rate Mobility and Middle Rate Care - indefinitely!

This is in no small part due to the excellent and clear guidance that this site and the relevant guides gave me.

HOW I DID IT

Firstly, although I had successfully claimed DLA previously, I read and re-read all the guides until I had a clear idea of what I needed to get across in the application form. I then got all my supporting evidence together, and made sure it did actually support what I wanted to make clear.

Secondly, I made TWO photocopies of the DLA form. The first one was for a draft which I used to fill in the boxes according to the question, not the order it was laid out in on the original. I did this so that my answers to the repeated questions would be the same in both/all of the boxes. By shuffling the pages around I made sure that I had the text of the reply right next to the one I had to fill in. I filled this in in pencil, so I could erase any mistakes. (It is easier to read a form that doesn't have words struck out and overwritten).

The second copy was filled in with the answers from the draft, but in the correct order. I could see that the flow was much better, and the answers were consistent.
This was was also completed in pencil, so that small alterations in emphasis could be made. I sat on this for a few days to think about it and to see if any additional points came up that I could add.

Finally, I filled in the real form, using BLACK ink, and then put together my supporting evidence; doctor's letters, consultant's letter with her prognosis, forms from the hospital clearly showing what had been done and discharge notes with all relevant information of surgical procedures, drugs prescribed and possible side-effects. I also took photographs of the surgery/wound in A4 size, high definition and enclosed these as well. (This would have been a complete shock to whoever looked at my claim pack, but a picture speaks a thousand words!). I then photocopied all this yet again as a record for myself.

I then sent the whole bundle off using Recorded Delivery, having kept a note of when it was posted. I phoned the DLA to say that I had sent off the forms, and got the name of the person I spoke to, and the time I spoke to them. I recorded this on the back of the last page of my completed copy as the start of a diary.

As soon as I got the letter back from the DLA I recorded the details on the diary page and kept the letter with my copy. I did this with all the follow up correspondence.

All this may sound a bit long-winded, but having read the relevant threads on this Forum I wanted to have the best possible chance of my claim being dealt with - with clear evidence in front of the Decision Maker.

It worked. Five weeks later I received the letter saying I had been given the award indefinitely. I had only expected a two year award, but my evidence must have been so strong and supportive that I don't think there was ever a question of it being dismissed.

Some thoughts about gathering evidence: If you need your doctor to support your claim then go and see them, if possible, on a "quiet" day, when they will have more time to listen to you - and to read the check list in the Guide. Leave them a copy, and verbally go through each point you have made, expanding where necessary. Ask them to write a letter explaining your needs, and get them to send it to you. This is so you can read it and decide if it is supportive enough. If not ask the doctor to correct it. If you can get time with your consultant (I asked her while I was still in hospital), explain that you are claiming DLA, and ask them to be supportive, and explain how DLA would help you. If your consultant knows your case (he/she should!) then a letter will help your claim enormously.

This was my experience, yours will vary, but I will be logging in to see whether I can offer advice anyone else with advice from my own experience. Good luck to you all.

Mike

Re:DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #33985

  • Nola
Mike,

You did things properly and took time to consider your application. Many people don't realise the help they actually get from other people because it just becomes part of life.

Congratulations,

Nola

Re:DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #34149

Congratulations I did very simlar and I got my award for indef too, i know how relived you feel knowing that you do not have to fill that form in again. It may not work every time you can always get a funny DM at the DWP but it is sound advise as if you show the proof it is harder to say no and if they do will give you a better chance on appeal.

Re:DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #35649

  • KittyKat
Mike,

Firstly, congratulations. I only wish I had been as lucky as you! I also took my time and made several copies of the forms, filled them in very carefully, gathered together lots of supporting evidence, letters from carers, therapists etc. I went to see the only GP at my surgery who actually listens to me. I took the completed check-list with me and spoke to the GP at some length. At the time, I felt somewhat dismayed when she told me that, even if the DLA enquiry letter was addressed to her personally, she might not get to even see it, never mind complete it! Apparently, it is very common in practices with multiple GP's for whoever has the time to fill in and complete these query letters from DLA. Even so, the GP copied the checklist onto my file and assured me, should she receive an enquiry, she would do her best to be supportive.

I was asking for my orignal award of MRC and LRM for five years to be looked at again because, in addition to several severe mental health problems and fibromyalgia, I developed unstable angina and breathing difficulties earlier this year.

Not only did DWP take 14 weeks to make their decision, ALL the supporting evidence was returned to me together with a letter stating they had no idea what I wanted them to do with these papers and, if I wanted to re-claim, I should ring up, ask for a claim form and send the papers back with the completed claim form! This astonished me.

The next day, I received a letter telling me they were waiting for a doctors report from my GP and would make a decision once they had it. I rang them and explained that all my evidence (which had been sent with a completed claim form) had been returned to me. A very helpful man called Adam expressed frustration and sympathy. He told me my file was currently with the decision maker and that if I sent the evidence back to them he would advise them to wait for it before making a decision. I sent it back that day, along with a covering letter, by recorded delivery.

The next day, I received a decision letter. It stated that my award had not changed. It also stated that the decision had been made on the strength of the claim form and the GP report. Even though all the evidence I sent with my claim (and the form itself) clearly stated that I am unable to walk more than a few yards, the decision stated "although your walking is limited, you are not unable or virtually unable to walk." !

The next day, whilst I was still reeling from the shock of it all, I received my evidence back along with a form to fill in intended to tell DLA what I wanted them to do with those papers!

I was conscientious and careful with my claim and I went to a great deal of trouble, as did everyone (except the GP surgery) involved in my care. I took every bit of advice from this site as well and I got nowhere.

I am firmly of the opinion that some decision makers are not in the least conscientious, do not bother to read the information they are supplied with and do not give a damn. They have been told by the government to cut costs and that is what they are doing.

I have today posted off all the evidence again, along with a comprehensive letter asking them to look at the decision again and why they have made mistakes. I included several pages from the decisionmakers guide. Now all I can do is wait.

I suppose if they still take no notice I can appeal, but to be honest, all the stress, frustration and hassle hardly seems worth it.

Kat

Re:DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #35650

  • originaldave
use paper for evidance same size as form and using wide sellotape add all the sheets to the form so that its part of the form and cant be removed where ever in the form you talk of these pages add a note so they can look at your added pages

Re:DLA Success 8 years 5 months ago #35737

To Kat,

It is always worth it.Be strong and sure and believe in yourself.Don't ever let them put you down in your own mind,and always think of your worth.
Good luck
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