DLA application: Ok I finally got... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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DLA application


Ok I finally got around to ringing the dreaded DWP for a claim form last week. The girl that took the call asked me the usual questions ie name address date of birth, then got round to the important ones........my illnesses, Osteoarthritis and COPD are the only 2 I told her about as they are they are the 2 that give me the most problems from the list.

The conversation went something like this..........( her) do you have a serious illness )

(me) well they are not funny as they haven't made me laugh yet after all this time I would have expected a chuckle from them if they weren't serious.

her( are either of your illnesses terminal). ( me) COPD can be. ( her) no I meant is it going to kill you in 6 months. ( me) I have no idea if I'll die in 6 months or not, do you know if you will? can you see into the future? because I can't and I've not spoken to a clairvoyant to find out. (her) it's not a terminal illness then. ( me) oh that's good news, now when will I get the claim form?. ( her) you should get it in 5 days. Ok that was 10 days ago, is she walking from Newcastle to drop it off personally I wonder.

28 Replies

Good grief. The more I hear about ATOS et al the more depressed I get about the state of things regarding the way seriously ill or disabled people are treated.

Who are the idiots they employ? Completely unsuitable. I'm sure their guidelines are too, if dying within 6 months is the criterion for terminal illness. Outrageous.

Good luck with your claim


Jo_BLFHelplineBritish Lung Foundation

Hi There

That sounded like an unsympathetic call - if you haven't received the forms by Friday call again as if you are awarded the DLA it will be backdated from the day you call.

I think the reason they asked about whether your condition is terminal is because of the DS1500, this is a form that a dcotor etc can fill in if it is thought a person may die from their condition within 6 months - the DS1500 effectively speeds things up.

Generally speaking COPD is a chronic condition but is not automatically classed as a terminal condition.

I know this sounds a bit contradictory.

Please give us a call if you want any benefit advice - 03000 030 555.



Not wishing to make a judgement about a person I have never spoken to or met (but I will anyway!) perhaps her normal sunny and empathetic disposition had deserted her due to her pet crocodile being at the vets :)

I do hope you have the kettle on standby ready for her arrival with your claim forms, poor girl may be breathless :)

cheers for that Jo, I've got the much dreaded ATOS medical on Monday I'm not looking forward to that in the least.

she'll be getting a much needed cup of arsenic I think lol

To be hoped that filling in the form is simpler than the phone call when the pack arrives asking for help and guidance from the BLF helpline.

those forms are pretty scary animals so I most definitely will be ringing the helpline or taking to CAB for help, that's if it turns up, and filling it in with the arthritis in my wrists will be fun :)

guess I could commander my daughters for a couple of hours.

Gordon57 in reply to ann1webb

Get ahead while you're waiting for the paper form to arrive, start filling in the electronic version - dwp.gov.uk/advisers/claimfo...

You can download and save this to your computer and keep editing it until you're happy with the information you are giving them. The finished form can be printed off and sent to them, and they've no excuses like not being able to read my handwriting :)

I add my voice to those saying to get help, the Welfare Rights officer of your council, the CAB, DIAL, all useful resources.

ann1webb in reply to Gordon57

that was my plan before I rang them, until my poor printer screamed at me that it would leave home if it had to spit all of those pages out :) around 56 sheets..........what happened to saving the planet amongst all that lot or a paperless world

Gordon57 in reply to ann1webb

I put mine on a CD, a pity they don't accept email submissions really. Would save reams of paper.

ann1webb in reply to Gordon57

and do they really need to duplicate the questions on the form, wish we could just copy n paste a lot of the answers.

Go see CAB,,they will fill it in for you,,ph and make a appointment with them,,they will tell you what to take with you can take a bit of time,,, Dont fill it in yourself unless you realy have to,, :)

I am going to second that! dont even waste your time filling it in yourself. Get all your print outs and proof that you can from your dr or nurse, make an appointment with welfare rights or cab. They know the right words and it makes all the difference,, and if you do fail, they will do the appeal too. Take it from one who knows.!!!!!

best wishes

Hi welfare rights done it for me they were fantastic, I also got it back dated which was a nice surprise. Good luck. Debbie

Hidden in reply to debbie19

that's good news ... am waiting to see if my application is successful . How far was it backdated ?

debbie19 in reply to Hidden

It was back dated 3 mths. Which was a nice surprise, plus i got my car tax which i wasnt expecting. So good luck.

Hidden in reply to debbie19

thanks :)

A friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 4 terminal breast cancer and told she could expect to live till November 2011. She is still alive.

What is called terminal is always going to be guesswork, but the six month limit doesn't remove that element of never knowing what the future brings, it's the woman's reaction on the phone I didn't like - if you won't be dead in six months then it's not terminal.

Six months is an arbitrary length of time. But then when do you classify something as terminal? Life is terminal in that we are all mortal and don't know when our time will be up.

I just don't like these black and white ways of seeing things, flexibility is better.

(This rant was about the OP's phone conversation)


I think they should take the question out of the form and also refrain from asking people it, because unless we are all clairvoyants none of us can answer it either way. I'm so pleased for your friend, obviously not as pleased as is.


raptor in reply to ann1webb

Sorry to say COPD,is progressive it cannot be cured,,will get worse,,you can only slow it down,,not stop it,,If that is not a terminal illness i dont know,,,sad but true,, :(

ann1webb in reply to raptor

if we think about it logically life is terminal. if it's not 1 thing that gets us it will be something else, I know it's a morbid thought but it's the only certainty.

debbie19 in reply to ann1webb

I totally agree with you.

meant to say as she is

Very poor wording


Hi Anne. The reason why she asked whether the illness is terminal is that there are special rules that apply then ie you get benefit much quicker. I agree the question should have been phrased better ie Do you have a terminal diagnosis from a medical professional. She however is probably following a mandatory computer text. When I worked at the DWP in their contact centre we had to ask some very strange questions - like do you have a war pension? I am sure customers thought they were daft questions but we had to ask them. If we didn't and were found out we were bollicked!

Don't blame the poor woman on the phone. The ones on the front line get the flak which should belong to the managers who produce the questions.

I remember people complaining to me about the law and wanting my opionions on it! Who on earth did they think they were speaking to? The Prime Minister....

Bev x

Hi Bev, I don't blame her in the least she is just doing her job, and very lucky to have 1 in this day and age, but do they really need to ask some of these questions over the phone? can they not just be patient and read the answers when they get them back?, would the answer yes to terminal make the forms get to us any faster or get back to their office in the blink of an eye and would they read them any sooner if the forms were in front of them? the answer would be no on that score I think.

Ann x

I believe part of the problem is that, along with many other services, they are outsourced to private for profit companies, so that the staff are not always well trained nor well paid, likewise with the assessors medical and otherwise. The problem is then that the service is no longer there to help those who need it but to line the pockets, at the expense of the taxpayer, of the directors and shareholders of the private company which often ends up costing the taxpayer more for a substandard service than that of the public staffed one it replaced. See Report from the commons Select Committee on Public Accounts, for Works and Pensions Contract management of Medical Services. In fact there are so many reports on all sorts of services where The Public Accounts Committee has cause to report substandard services provided from Private companies who apparently have been given such generous contracts that there are little or no clauses relating to penalties for lack of delivery or substandard delivery or even fraud (see PAC Chair statement on Out of Hours GP cover in Cornwall where the private company concerned deliberately altered figures to apparently show higher delivery numbers than actual). Sorry to go on but a real bee in my bonnet re how much of 'taxpayers money is apparently being syphoned off to private companies in return for what is, I believe, usually sub-standard services - all these being examples of 'profiteering' in the true sense of the word viz. a 'profiteer' being 'one who makes excessive profit at the expense of the public' - in these cases at the expense of the already stretched (or so we are told) public purse. These arrangements also offer many opportunities for corruption - as the famous saying goes if you want to get to the truth 'follow the money'. And in these times of austerity I find it scandalous that these practices should continue whilst the rest of us 'tighten our belts' etc. Sorry rant over all Good Wishes and Good Luck with your claim ann. xxx

Hi I got CAB and a benefit person from a local princes trust carers office help to fill out the forms remember if they refuse you appeal again again and again gerry1950

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