Claiming DLA benefits - 2
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Claiming DLA benefits - 2

REMEMBER...

Even though you have the difficulties outlined here, you might still be turned down for DLA benefits, or awarded less money than you might have hoped for. Wrong decisions can be and are made in assessing your entitlement to this benefit.

Increasingly the DWP are less willing to award benefit based just on what you tell them and are likely to want to get supporting evidence of some kind. Problems can arise when the person they contact for this evidence— e.g. your GP, Consultant, Counsellor, CPN etc.—doesn’t support what you have told the DWP, or forgets to mention things that would be relevant.

You can take steps to help avoid this by telling these people that you are applying for DLA benefits and asking them to support you in your claim. They may be willing to write a letter for you to enclose with the claim pack.

You could also ask others who know you—e.g. drop in staff, friends etc. to put something in writing about their experience of how your mental health problems affect you. Whoever you ask, enclose as much supporting information from others as you can with the claim pack.

Problems can also occur if the DWP send an EMP—a doctor paid by them—to visit you to assess your difficulties. Some are fine but others don’t seem very good at assessing people’s mental health problems. You can make it less likely that this will happen by sending supporting evidence with your claim.

If the DWP do want to send a doctor to see you, try to have someone there to help you deal with their questions when they call. You will be given a date in writing in advance and can ask for a doctor of your own sex.

It’s a good idea for any companion to take notes on what is being asked and what is replied, what sort of physical examination or walking test was carried out, how long the examination lasted etc. Don’t be intimidated (easy to say, I know!). Copies of an EMP’s report can be requested from the DWP.

If it would be very distressing for you to be visited by a strange doctor then tell the DWP this, and try to get someone to support you—e.g. might your keyworker be willing to write and explain to this to them? Sadly headed notepaper seems to work wonders.

But you can take all these steps and still get turned down for your DLA Benefits. This is always upsetting but can also feel very personal, especially as the DWP send you a coldly phrased standard rejection letter quoting cold paragraphs of the law back at you. But remember that the DWP can and do get it wrong first time! Get advice! DLA and Attendance Allowance
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