British Lung Foundation
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advice please

I have someone from dwp comming to see me on tuesday. First time I have requested help for benifits. dont know what I will be asked, or what to say. I certainly need the financial help , but am afraid I will end up saying "i'm fine"

have read some horrendous stories on here and I am anxious about visit. lordy how I have changed, being in constant poor health sure knocks the stuffing out of at present not very hopeful of a positive outcome, therefore all help gratefully received. thank you for reading

18 Replies

It may be helpful to write down the many things you have problems with. How you cope with your daily routine, anything special you need to do to get out, problems you may have cooking for yourself - all those sort of things.

The sort of things they look at are your ability to look after yourself. Can you get out OK, if you had to go to the doctor's for example. How far is it, do you get the bus, how far do you have to walk, does someone take you by car, could you get there on your own...

Don't go into massive detail, the person visiting may not have time to go through it all if you do. Simple things like how far you can walk without discomfort. Have a look at some of the questions they ask if you were to claim Disability Living Allowance, as an example - and go over the basic points.

Is there someone who can come and be with you when they call, to give you moral support ? They do not need to be answering questions for you or anything, just to sit there and smile, so you're not alone.

The best way to deal with a visit is to tell it like it is. Explain that you need their help and support and would like their assistance to help you find and claim what you are entitled to. Let them give you the options, answer their questions as best you can and don't be afraid of them.

Remember, they know nothing about you so you must tell them of any severe problems and just how they affect you. Don't leave anything out as it can only help your case if they understand what these difficulties are.

That's why I suggested writing things down, so you are sure to tell them and can't forget.


To be totally honest with you don't the word fine. If you feel totally rubbish more than 50% of the time then say so. Don't think of it as telling a lie because in reality you are not. You alone

know your body & mind and their limitations, so be true to yourself and tell it as it is. Never ever be afraid to use the words "Mental Health", anxiety is a part of mental health and can be helped. I wish all the luck in the world I'm sure you deserve a break.


sit down and write down what you hope and need from the meeting. Write down any questions you have . They are suppose to be there to help you. You are not fine and know you are not so be up front on that point . be as honest as you can they can find out and have the questions worded to see if your replies are consistant . Deep breath before answering a question to give your self chance to come up with the answer.

I hope you get through the interview , but try and keep calm or else you will make your self worse.

Good luck


Hi I agree with the above. I will just add one more thing - when asked about your difficulties talk about your worst day - not your best!

Good luck xx


Hello nellie, I hope the visit goes well,I read somewhere that they look out for things like. your medication being handy and if you say you use a walking stick,they may take a peek to see how 'worn' it is! Remember it is your right to claim financial help,you've paid your dues and you have every right to as much help as you can get.When you are asked how you are tell them the honest truth,you feel very ill indeed and anxious,hopefully the person coming to see you will be of great help and very nice! wishing you all the very best,Carol x


When we kept getting refused help for Attendance Allowance and all my appeals kept being refused, (I am my husbands carer), I was at my wits end so wrote to our local MP. Someone then rang me from AA and asked me questions about our problems. It was a heck of a lot easier speaking to someone and explaining in detail what I could not put down on paper and the next day a letter came stating we had been granted the higher rate of AA.

So don't worry tell them exactly what happens in your day, starting from when you get up in the morning until 24 hours later. Answer the questions you are asked in detail and tell them about your worst day and not your best. It is not only your physical health that causes you problems, it is your mental health also, as stress can be absolutely terrible when you are so ill therefore making your illness twice as bad.


Hi Nellie15, you dont mention your age but do remember if you are an older person you can get invaluable help from Age Concern and help with filling in all the forms. A lovely lady came out to fill in my application form and about seven weeks later was awarded the higher rate of AA. She used worst case scenario in answering all of the questions. Good luck in your quest for benifits you are entitled to. Regards D.


Hi i was told that if you only have 5 minutes a day of difficulty Then you haven't had a good day. Therefore, Every day is a problem..

Good luck

Julia x


read earlier comments at 7.30am and just sat and cried at the kindness. went to bed and slept .now back on.

what can I say except I thank each and everyone for your replies. it's done my

heart the world of good sharing my concerns. For years,when I wasnt so bad I was in denial. first time at rehab ,in my arrogance I told the nurse"I shouldnt be here"she stated that according to my readings i most certainly should I have learned my lesson

I am66years old .I am a widow who lives on her own.I spend too much time in bed . as i've stated before never asked for anything,dont go out often because I get s,o,b and I hate having to stop, watch people looking at me ,perhaps if I had a big bandage I would get a little sympathy.

thank you everyone.will let you know how it goes, now going to press the submit button before I delete this and tell myself not to be a drama queen . bless you all x


Does not sound like a drama queen to me, just someone who has realised that they are trying too hard to push their problems into a corner and make out they are 'fine'.

Take the advice given, don't cover up the things that cause you problems. Tell this visitor how bad it is for you and that you've tried to cope all this time but know that you are running yourself into the ground by making the denials and not seeking assistance.

Put some emphasis on not being able to get out, and how that is affecting you. One of the components in the Disability Living Allowance is mobility. For many this means the chance to run a car and get around. For those who do not drive it can be used for taxi fares to get you to the Doctor's, or shops, or wherever you want to go. You can also use it to give friends or family 'petrol money' for taking you somewhere.

Let them tell you what's available, then ask them the questions.

Someone from Age UK (the new name for Age Concern and Help the Aged, they've merged) should be able to give some more advice. They are on 0800 169 6565 from 8am to 7pm daily. They can send you leaflets to let you know what benefits are available, how to get care in the home - like minor adaptations, fitting rails where needed etc., looking after yourself and more.


Definatly get in touch with AgeUk because apart from helping you fill out forms they can help you with getting handrails and half steps etc. I thought I didn't need them but I was wrong, the best thing was the seat in the shower. Also Occuptional Therapy got me a rollator and with this I can walk further as it is like walking with a shopping trolley, and my oxygen tank goes in the bag so I don't have to carry it. Hope every thing goes well for you and you get what you need and deserve.


I've just had a second handrail installed on the stairs, and the existing one fixed, as it was loose. I also have a squatting stool that is proving very useful in the kitchen. These items were arranged via the council, their Adult support team.

It took a while, I made my initial contact last November and they only came to see me at the end of August.


Oh bless you nellie your no drama Queen just someone who needs some help - all good advice above would just say again get help age concern who will help with forms ect. Thinking of you and hope everthing goes well and you get the help you deservex


Hi first of all dont wory they are thir to help you if its to make a claime theywill ask what help you need and any personal problems .

If they are checking up on you dont wory they can offten get more help for you please have a open mind and any imfromation like hospital appoint or stayes allso you latest pres ciption

we all ned help sometimes and this may well me for you best wishes bob


Hiya, please dont worry about your visit, let them know you have difficulty at home need help house work- shopping -personel hygine?- in general not able to look after yourself properly, dont know if you live alone or not,stairs if you have any, going out and about -do you drive how far can you wak without having to stop- do you have a shower as bathing is not possible? Just be honest but not to honest as this is as awful illness and its only gonna get worse so dont be frightened to get all the help you can, youll feel much better, I know I did after a friend bullied me into getting it . dont know if this is any help love but you take care x


As well as al the other advice you are getting.

Make notes of anything you want to say in case "in the heat of the moment" you forget to tell them important information.

Plus you will be asked a series of questions BE AWARE that some of these questions can be crafty. They will ask you the same thing but in different ways so if you tell them for 1 question that you can only walk 40m on a good day don't then tell them you can get around the supermarket with no problems! Just be careful and don't be afraid to tell them the questions themselves are exhausting and you need a few minutes to collect yourself.

Hope all goes well.



Fully agree with Hypercat and drifter. You need to describe your worst day. Filling in forms myself did not work. Tried several times. Finally enlisted aid. Result high rate care and to my great surprise I got higher rate mobility. Put pride aside and tell it as it is. Worked for me.


Hi Nellie15, I dont know when you are applying for the benifits, but just to let you know mobility allowance is not available to the over 65's so attendance allowance is the option open to you. Good luck . PS. I am over 65 and I now recieve AA. Go for it!!!


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