The Great Disability Living Allowance Lottery
Roll up! Roll up for the Great Disability Living Allowance Lottery! What would you do with up to £119.45 per week extra?
Getting an award of Disability Living Allowance is like a lottery in which there are winners and losers, but there are ways to increase your chance of success.
Maggy first played the DLA lottery five years ago. She lost. Action for Blind People helped her to appeal that decision, and she was awarded the middle rate for care and the lower rate for mobility. Today this is worth £65.75 per week. After a couple of years, she was required to partake in the lottery again. She filled in her own claim form using the information from her appeal and won! When it came to having to reapply again this year she felt confident enough to complete the form herself. Despite giving exactly the same information, she lost! We will of course be helping her to challenge this latest decision.
Decisions on DLA entitlement are supposed to be made by matching the evidence to the qualifying criteria. The claim form is part of the evidence that should be used. Further evidence sought by the Decision Maker from professionals involved in the claimant'’s care increases the likelihood of getting the decision right. In recent months however, I have observed that bad decisions have been made without resort to further evidence and in ignorance of actual evidence contained in the form. Now, I'd never be so contentious as to suggest the other factors could influence decisions - factors such as 'protecting the public purse' by not opening it in the first place, cutting the disability benefit budget or wanting to claim backlogs of claims - so I am left wondering why this should be.
So how can you improve your chances of success in the Great Disability Living Allowance Lottery? Here are some tips.
- Get your GP, people involved in your care and if possible your consultant on your side before you start. Tell them the difficulties that you have with personal care and mobility. Tell them that you are making a claim for DLA and the DWP may contact them. Ask for their support.
- Get professional help from a Welfare Rights organisation or a charity that specialises in your disability. Some provide guidelines on form completion; others like Action for Blind People local teams will actually complete the forms for you.
- Send in any evidence that you have to support your claim with the form. Again it is best to seek professional help in deciding which evidence is suitable.
- If the award is refused or seems wrong, then get professional help immediately to challenge the decision.
For further information on claiming Disability Living Allowance you can contact us through the RNIB Helpline by calling 0303 123 9999 or you can email your local Action team.
Good luck! I'm off now to try my hand at the Euro Millions!