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British Lung Foundation
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No DLA Award for higher/lower rate moblity - No surprises here then! -

- Already had rationaslized I would not get it as people worse off than myself had failed -

And had given myself a rational course of action and plan - apply appeal pip ect -

but what I hadn't seen coming was just how upset, useless and stressed and fearful for the future I would feel. Because to fill in these forms you have to really focuss on how disabled you are and how you manage to /or do not manage get around things on a daily basis. Then the form comes back you are denied help stating you can walk - 50 yards slowly in a reasonable manner.

which translates too -

Whoopie at 51 - I can walk 50 yards.

slower than friends who are 65 plus

in a reasonable manner. (The effects of the weather/hot or cold making symptoms worse, carriyng bags, breathlessnes, stopping for breat chest infections 91 year old lungs are what is meant by a reasonable manner ).

I had only wished a small miracle for the lower rate for moblity but didn't expect to feel guilty or a fraud for daring to put in a claim - but I did.

I now am in a catch 22 as realise how much my old car has become my life line - And now the car will have now have to go in January as on JSA -£70 as I will not be able to afford it any more - mot Insurance ect. So when that happens will be imprisoned in flat and feel like my independence has gone--- as I can't walk as far as the local shops bus stops train stops or get to doctors or chemists ect

Up until now I always thought I could manage my illness and lack of funds and still keep possitive - but now with thoughts of winter no heating and shortly no car I am at a loss at what to do? sorry to be so selfish.

22 Replies

Hi Blackbird, take your form to your nearest Citizens advice bureau, thats who filled my forms out, when you answer the questions you answer as if it was you at your worse, even though you may be better on 2 or 3 days a week. Thats why most get declined, i was told to always put how you are at your worse. So if on a bad day you can only walk 20yds thats what you put. Wish you luck re applying


I can relate to this as I have gone through a very similar thing. I lost my paid job a year ago but carried on as a volunteer for a while, until the money ran out and I had to take the car off the road as I couldn't afford the MOT/insurance/road tax/petrol, which meant I just couldn't get to work any more. I didn't qualify for any benefits as I had been in and out of work for 6+ years, mostly get paid only part time or not at all.

I applied for DLA and was also told I could walk 50 metres, which is a load of rubbish really. How far is 50 metres, in my case it's 5 metres short of the nearest bus stop, where we only get one bus an hour up to 5.15 anyway. To get to the main road, and the frequent/evening buses is 270 metres. It's not just getting to the bus stop, but thinking what happens when I get off at the other end, how far do I need to walk to get to my destination? What about getting back, if I'm after 5.15 then I don't have a bus to the nearby stop, it's then the other side of the main dual carriageway and a 450 metre walk, through having to walk to a crossing to get over the road and so on.

I also need to take into account the weather. I had one very frightening experience where it was lashing down with really cold rain and I was almost on my knees, halfway between the bus stop and home. To cover that 55 metres usually means a stop on the way to get my breath. I was struggling so much that my breathing was very fast and shallow and I could feel the cold spreading through my body as I got soaked. I was moving so slowly that it took over 25 minutes to cover the distance and I just collapsed into the hallway when I finally got through the door.

Is that the 'reasonable manner' they refer to ?

My wife has a car, she needs it for work. I'm on the insurance, but can only use it now and again as we also have to consider the cost of petrol. I go to visit my Dad once a week, it's a 3 hour trip each way by bus and train, allowing for the short walks in-between and waiting for buses. I wouldn't do it if I had to walk any distance, but I am able to get a bus almost to the door. If I can use the car it's under an hour, door to door, and no hassle changing, or missing, buses. I have my bus pass, so travel fee, but it's a swine having to make sure I get back before tea-time, and that last bus home.

Yes, a car can be a lifeline. Without ours I wouldn't get out much at all.

I did my own DLA application, and used the computer based form as it was easier to fill in then go back and correct any mistakes, or add bits in I had almost forgotten about. That means I have a full copy here and it's still editable.

I've appealed, of course, but you can't change any details at this stage. If I wanted to tell them I can only walk 30 metres now, or I've been diagnosed with something else, or my condition has become worse, I can't. The appeal process is based on what I put in the form at the time, and I did go for 'bad day' scenarios when it came to walking and so on.

I really don't know why a 50 metre walking distance is used as a definitive limit for DLA. How many people would find that is a reasonable distance to their doctor, shops (chemist in particular), bank and wherever else they need to get? Are we supposed to be able to keep stopping and starting, then come back with our weekly shopping too? The people who make these rules don't seem to understand how impossible it can be.

It annoys me...

Blackbird, you are NOT being selfish. If you didn't feel the need to apply then you would not have started filling the form in. You need help, and unless you apply for these things you won't just get them handed to you. Good luck with your appeal, make sure you send one in before the time limit expires.


Hi Gordon ,

I too get very annoyed at the system , it does indeed make you wonder who makes these decisions on walking distance and how far you can reach and what you can lift etc . Walking is bad enough but who on earth can look after theirself by being able to lift up a pint of milk ??? . The whole questionaire is a travesty , all people responsible for them should try living as we do first , perhaps live for a week with a bag over their head !!!! . xxxx Dinny xxxx


hi gordon extract from DLA how to claim,

when it is being decided whether or not you are 'virtually unable to walk' four things matter: the distance you can walk, the speed you can walk, the time it takes you and the manner in which you walk,Any walking that you can only do whilst experiencing 'severe discomfort' should not counted. There is no 'maximum distance' in law, below which you become entitled to the mobility component. This is because speed,time and manner also need to be taken into account and are just as important.However as a guide, a social security commissioner(a judge who helps clarify the law) has offered an opinion that;'.. if a claiment is unable to cover more than 25 or 30 yards without suffering severe discomfort, his ability to walk is not appreciable or signifcant, while if the distance is more than 80 or 100 yards he is unlikely to count as being virtually unable to walk..

ps, have you ask them to look at your claim again asking for the case papers,you can still appeal if it still can not be resolved.


I wonder what severe discomfort means? I looked up the word discomfort and got the meanings: Mental or bodily distress or Something that disturbs one's comfort; an annoyance or something that disturbs or deprives of ease or even an inconvenience, distress, or mild pain

Right, so it's not a physical pain, but simply feeling uncomfortable about (doing) something ? A sense of uneasiness or apprehension perhaps? Words are used like annoyance, distress and inconvenience.

I feel very uneasy about going out of my front door, let alone after 30 yards, 40 metres or a quarter of a furlong, however they measure it. If the weather is bad, like ice or snow, then I should rate myself as being in severe discomfort as I put my coat on, prior to opening the door ?

Even in 'nice' weather, the fact that I can only just make it to the bus stop (quarter of a furlong away), with a couple of breaks on the way, makes me rather uncomfortable, and could therefore be rated as in severe discomfort very quickly?

In the DWP decision makers guide there is no measure what what severe discomfort is, so how on earth can they make any decisions ?

I've stayed away from this topic today as I got so angry about it all last night that I could not sleep. : x


severe discomfort= pain or breathlessness, brought by the act of walking if you walk say 10 metres then have to stop because of sob then that is your walking limit, any further walking is discounted. if you are in severe discomfrot when you start walking you still qualify


Not the dictionary definition(s) I found then? It seems to be the same with DWP decision makers, they have this idea that discomfort is actual pain or a physical thing, when it is defined as feeling uncomfortable or distressed - and can apply before even starting to walk, as you've also suggested.

The assessor for my blue badge was happy to award that, having measured my walking pace and listened to my breathing pattern as I spoke etc. If simple SOB and having to stop defines the limit then I am right to contest their decision as I don't walk '50 yards slowly in a reasonable manner', I have to stop within that distance.

OK, so after a rest I then walk a bit further, and will probably have to stop again. Each time the distance reduces and the resting period increases. I need a good 20 minutes or more to 'recover' enough to tackle another 20 metres or so.

I'm looking forward to attending a tribunal, eventually. I'm in the appeal stage, waiting to hear from them.


Hi sorry to hear about the stressful situation that you are going through I was in the same situation when I renewed my dla form I was turned down on my application and they stopped it same as you I was so stressed and upset because here I am with all the medical information confirming everything about my health and what was the total insult the decision maker had put down in a manner that I was choosing to live in a manner I was living so I had phoned the dla and told them that I don't agree with the decision and they give you the chance to go through what you don't agree with over the phone. which I did and I had to wait another 2 weeks for there decision again and thankfully they reinstated my dla for indefinite period so please don't leave it there give them a call and tell me them what you don't agree with all the best.


I agree that the best way to deal with this is your local CAB they are excellent at this. Hope you soon feel better & get the help you need. Keep at it.


Dear Blackbird, I'm so sorry you didn't get the help you need and I totaly understand your frustration and deflation. I too have tried for D.L.A. and believed with back up from the doctor and lungs aged 118, help would come in the form of some extra cash...huh! the worst of it is the form and having to beat the drum of how bad it all is only to find that you are not entitled to any help!! it is so unfair!! The best we can do for ourselves is to try and be positive about the fact we still have our lives to live and enjoy, okay so we are compromised to say the least but we can try to look on the bright side of life and look for other opportunities....they say when one door closes another door opens.....if only you could keep your car, definately 'appeal' it didn't do me much good but you just might have a better 'trial' than I did. There is a human rights law that states we are entitled as a birth right to be able to be 'mobile'.....There is no reason to settle for less in life when you can have more, I in my positive way have decided that the petty amount of money you can get from benefits is just not going to do it for me and I want to win the lotto!!! realisticaly,I am trying to find ways of making money from home, crafts, e-bay etc.,....and like Gordon says you are NOT selfish,don't give up and stay positive,Carol x


so sorry for your troubles. its just hellish. .I like alot of you know people who are on benefits and theres not much wrong,what a unfair world. are you going to appeal?copd is an expensive illness . by the time you count heating costs,car or taxi expenses etc.I will probably be in the same position soon,awaiting that dreaded brown envelope

please do not think that you are selfish--you are not. somehow find the strength to appeal. take care x


I am sorry to hear your story because I am approaching the same situation.

I simply can't understand why you can't be offered the cost of running your own car.

I live alone and without my old car I would be marooned here in my own flat.

I wouldn't be able to get anywhere - the chemist - shops - GP - Post office - library etc

Some are getting up to £20,000 a year in housing benefit - I have paid in all my life unlike some of those.

No benefits of any kind here - I'm dead cheap to "run".

Good luck.


Hi Blackbird, please, please get help filling out the forms. Citizens Advice can and will help you. You are not being selfish and if you need help then you should definitely receive it. Never give up and hope you can keep your car going as you need it. Good luck to you and wishing you well. xx


Oh dear - it really is depressing reading these accounts, this multi millionaire Goverment can find a million pounds A DAY to fight a war in Afghanistan which they can NEVER win, even mighty America now wants to pull out, and yet our Goverment say they "Can't afford these Benefits " - to look after their own people who badly need help, someone said on the Internet the other day " if Camoron had a family member in a similar situation, you would see the fastest U TURN in political history ...." - Good luck to everyone in this particular "WAR " with our own Government - Vittorio.


hi camron did have a disabled child and my sympathy when out to the family when his little boy died the difference may have been they had the finance in the first place to afford carers. i do still find it strange though why he is unable to relate to the disability needs of others


"if Camoron had a family member in a similar situation, you would see the fastest U TURN in political history"

Cameron's 'beautiful boy' dies news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7909562... (Cerebal Palsy)


Hi blackbird, I'm sorry to hear of your situation. Please try to be positive, I know it's easier said than done. I have been in a similar position with my wife but we got got help from the benefits advisor of our local carers centre. They know how to word the answers correctly when filling out the form.

Also, you have got to describe how your symptoms are when they are at their worst. We all have good days and bad days, just make sure you don't underestimate your problems when filling the form in.

Please don't feel guilty for claiming, it is this government who should feel guilty for employing a French company to carry out these disgraceful acts in the first place.

I wish you all the luck possible in your appeal.



I've just failed at my second attempt at DLA and have appealed.. All I ask all of you with appeals in process, don't let them adjourn your for more information. You will walk away feeling that their listening only to find a fresh set of legal people who don't take the first part before adjournment into consideration..

I have appealed, again and if that don't work I'll keep trying until I do, I refuse to let this buggered up system to knock me down again.. Keep going Blackbird, one day you will win..


I had applied for DLA back in July received a letter Sat just gone to say a Doctor from the Medical Services would be calling Mon 1st October 2012 - YES today between 12-1pm, well he did call at 2.20pm saying he was late because he had been held up with his last client - hmm leaves a lot to the imagination doesn't it! - he was driving a Jaguar with personalised number plates - not too interested in my bad days 3 times he asked what programs do I watch all day and I said not that it's his business but I don't watch daytime tv. He examined me (my hubby was present) not at all what I would call properly, not that interested in me as a person, told me that's it he was done he'd hand his report over and they'd get all my medical reports from my consultant, GP and any physio I've had (none). So I don't expect to have any luck - but I will most definitely appeal if it comes to it.


Make an appointment at Disability Rights, they will take up the case on your behalf, T/C x


Hi Blackbird - sorry to hear of your dilema. My wife, who suffers from a number of conditions including asthma, ME and fibromyalgia, has had a traumatic 12 months trying to resolve her ESA. She was initially put in the Working Group as opposed to the Support Group and, due to my hospital admittance she missed the 1 month deadline for appealing against the decision.

In desperation we turned to the CAB who were extremely helpful. They gave us a draft copy of a "letter of supersession" which we had to add meat to the bones and send back to the DWP. This letter had to be brief and to the point - we only had to list 1 reason why we considered that my wife should be included in the Support Group and this had to be backed up by a letter from her GP. After about 10 weeks we received confirmation from the DWP that my wife was to be transferred into the Support Group.

We also received excellent support and advice from our local DART [Disabled Access Resource Team] group - they offer advice on claiming various benefits and even give assistance in filling in the the lengthy and over-complicated forms. Unfortunately, I don't know if DART operate in your area.

I know that ESA and DLA are not the same but the principles involved in claiming the benefits are similar.

Good luck and please come back if you need further advice.


Hi Blackbird, you are not selfish. I will advise you what to do if you haven't done this already. Ask for the help of you GP. You will need a letter of support from him/her and ask for copies of any letters he/she has received from any consultants etc you have seen. Ask family or friends if one of them will write a short note saying how badly your life is affected by your illness/es. You should also ask at your One Stop Shop if they have a Welfare person to give you advice, (sometimes they will come to your home). The Citiizens Advice are also very helpful and they may tell you you could claim other benefits. You then appeal by sending a letter back the DLA stating your case again and enclosing any further evidence of your health now. If you haven't already done so make a weekly diary of how you manage your days and make note of everything, including the things you wish you could do, but cannot do because you cannot walk far enough. Make note also of anything you do that helps you such as walking stick (this will help you to walk slower but get further). Basically you are saying this is me and my life. I found I had to appeal twice before they took my problems on board and even so I have only got the DLA for 1 year until Nov 2013 (in case "my condition gets better" how stupid. I wish my condition would get better. I am afraid because you are working age you may find it more difficult but press on ask for help and appeal. Good luck Maximonkey


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