The forms used for claiming DLA and AA benefits– available from local DWP offices or by ringing 08457-123456 and asking for a claim pack—can at first seem daunting.
AA forms do not allow space for all the information relevant to many people’s claims. We’ve developed a supplement—please contact us if you’d like details. DLA forms come in a pack which contains two sections. Section 1 of the form is devoted to fairly straightforward stuff—who you are, where you live, what your diagnosis is, who is your doctor and so on.
Section 2 of the DLA forms is the real time-and potentially emotion-eater, for it is here that you are asked to detail the needs you have because of your mental health problems. Getting all the information the DWP needs down in writing can take ages, and can also be upsetting, given that you need to concentrate on potentially painful things.
You may want to get advice and/ or help with filling the DLA forms in—any good advice agency should be able to help you, or you might have access to a Welfare Rights Service through, for example, your local Mind centre, Mental Health Services or Council.
If it helps, take a friend with you for company, and be aware that it will probably take some time for the person who is helping you to gather all the information they need. If you decide to fill the DLA forms in for yourself, you’ll hopefully find the limited suggestions contained on this website useful. There’s a lot more in the way of suggestions and sample forms contained in The Big Book of Benefits and Mental Health - which your local Mind Group may well have in their library—and it’s hoped to include that information here in future as this website grows.
When you get the DLA form, it will have two dates stamped on the front of Section 1. The first is the date you asked for the form. The second is the date by which you need to return it to make sure any award is backdated to when they were first requested. If time is short, and you’re waiting for help with filling in the second section, it’s only the first section which has to be completed and sent back by the second date. However once you have sent back Section 1 the DWP often start hassling you for Section 2!The other thing that sometimes slows the process down is getting someone to complete the ‘Statement’ part at the end of Section 2 of the DLA Forms.
Although anyone who knows you can fill this in, it’s better to ask someone who knows you in the context of your health problems and who is preferably involved in your care—e.g. your keyworker, CPN, Social Worker, Consultant or G.P. You may, then, want to ask them as soon as you get the form.