How to claim DLA
Filling in a claim form for DLA be daunting, but when you consider that awards are worth several thousand pounds a year, this may be the best day's work you ever do. This section deals with the practical aspects of making a claim for DLA.
- Getting a DLA claim pack
- Help with making a DLA Claim
- What if you do not agree with the outcome of your child's claim?
Getting a DLA claim pack
Start by getting a claim pack soon as possible: DLA cannot be backdated beyond the date you first asked for this. You can:
- download a claim pack by visiting the Directgov website's DLA page
- request it from the Department for Work and Pension's (DWP) DLA helpline on 0845 7123456 or text phone on 0845 7224433.
- Complete the form online at the DWP
It's best to get the form by phoning because then the DWP stamp it with two dates: the first is the date you phoned to ask for it and the other is six weeks later. As long as you send the form back within six weeks, if it's successful, the claim can start from the first date.
Amaze keep stocks of blank forms, but these aren't date stamped.
Make sure you are sent the right claim pack. Be clear that you are claiming for a child and not yourself. Tell them your child's age. The application form you need is DLA1CH. This is different from the claim pack for adults. If your child is nearly 16, expect to fill in an adult claim form (DLA1A).
Help with making a DLA Claim
Get support. The forms are long and detailed and it's worth getting help to fill them in. Ask a friend to help. Other parents who have children with similar problems can be a great source of information about what to say and what not to say. Our fact sheet, 'Tips for claiming disability living allowance', should get you off to a good start.
“I'd got so used to helping her I had forgotten that other children her age could do these things for themselves.”
How Amaze can help
Amaze offers telephone advice about DLA. The Amaze helpline number is 01273 772289.
Apart from our factsheet, we also have detailed page by page notes of the sorts of things other parents have found useful to include. You can get these notes by ringing our helpline.
If you feel really stuck, Amaze may be able to offer you individual help. We have a small team of volunteers who can make home visits and help you think through how to make a strong case. And if you find that writing stuff down is hard, that's OK - our volunteers are happy to fill the forms in. This service is only available in school term time. Call the helpline for details
Amaze always needs more volunteers. Find out how you can volunteer to help other parents make successful claims.
Other sources of help
Brighton and Hove City Council's Social Justice Unit also has a helpful information sheet.
Many disability organisations and their websites offer useful advice about claiming DLA for children and young people with specific chronic illnesses, disabilities, or impairments. These can be good places to visit, especially if your child's needs are just emerging. It can be really hard in the early days to make sense of how a child's diagnosis might have an impact on everyday life.
What if you do not agree with the outcome of your child's claim?
If your application for DLA is turned down, don't give up. If you do not agree with a decision, ring and ask for the decision to be looked at again. Do this as soon as possible and follow up your request in writing or. If you think you should be paid it at a higher rate than they have offered you or you wish to challenge the length of an award, or its start date, you also have the right to ask for the decision to be looked at again. This sort of review is called a revision. Do this as soon as possible and follow up your request in writing.
Where a decision was correct at the time but circumstances have changed, you can also ask for a review. This may happen if your child's condition alters and they need more help. This sort of review is called a supercession.
It's important to seek advice so that you make the best of any of these opportunities. Amaze can help you look again at what you wrote and help you think about what would help make your claim stronger.
Going to a tribunal
If asking for a decision to be looked at again is unsuccessful, you can still appeal to an independent tribunal:
You can submit an appeal in writing, if you choose not to attend in person or send a representative. At appeal you don't have to take a representative to act on your child's behalf. You might choose to do it yourself, especially if you have a campaigning spirit and find it easy to speak from the heart. Download our factsheet for tips for claiming DLA.
You can find a legal adviser through Community Legal Advice. Funded by the Legal Services Commission, their website has a 'Find a legal adviser' search tool and all the advisers listed have the Community Legal Service quality mark. You can also look up sources of help at the library; ask to see The Legal Services Directory or visit Brighton and Hove City Council's website.
There are time limits for reviews and appeals, so always get advice as quickly as possible.