DLA Application - is it worth it?

I've had endo and ME for years and take high doses of morphine everyday. I've never applied for DLA because the questions don't seem to apply to me. However, my fatigue has gotten much worse and for the last few months I've been mainly housebound - I don't get dressed for days on end, can't cook, can't clean, can't leave the house unless I get a taxi as my fatigue is too bad to walk, and I'm getting joint pain that makes walking very tough.

However, the questions say things like "do you need help to dress yourself?" - I don't get my husband to help, I just don't do it, the same with things like taking a bath or walking (I don't do either as often as I should as I don't have the energy). With questions like "can you walk 200m" - if someone held a gun to my head I could, or if I really had to, but i would then be in pain and badly fatigued. Some days are better than others and I can walk further than this, but the point is that I don't walk that far on 99% of days. I don't know how to handle the application.

Also, online it tells me that I should apply for DLA and can do so up until June - is it worth applying and then having to be reassessed straight away for PIPs? I'm self employed as I'm too ill to work and money is very tight - if I don't apply for anything until June, I'd potentially lose a few months of payments.

Can anyone give me any advice?

12 Replies

  • Hi cupcakegirl,

    I have recently made a claim for it and although its taking a while I'm pretty sure I will get something out of it. I am pretty much the same as you except my partner is stubborn and helps anyway lol.

    Filling in the form is tedious but it surprises you when you read back through it just how bad endo can get for you. I filled it in as if it was my worst day as that's pretty much how I am all the time anyway and that should get you enough money to tide you over.

    Hope this helps and you get something soon.

    Feel free to contact me with anymore questions,

    Leya :)

  • Hi im new to endo. Just wanted to know if you was successful with your claim

  • No, I tried 3 times and nothing came through, I might try again with the new PIP stuff though

  • Hi I have endo and I also work for the citizens advice bureau. Please contact your local bureau as they will have fully trained staff who can help you to complete your DLA form and they may also be able to help you find agencies and charities that can help you in other ways like having someone to come and visit you and help with some household chores or just have some company to break up your day. Please keep in mind that the government are phasing out DLA as of today and replacing it with PIP This means a change in criteria but it depends on which area you live in as to which benefit you may need to claim. You can contact the Benefit Helpline to find out though. Best wishes Kx

  • Just found out that, in my area, I can apply for DLA until June - if I get it, DLA may continue until 2015 or later, unless my situation changes or my DLA award period ends. So assuming you get it for a year at a time, it is worth applying as it may be a year or more before I'd be reviewed for PIPs.

    For those who live in certain areas, you can only apply for DLA for a few more days - after that, you'll have to apply for PIPs so it's probably worth waiting.

    Thanks again ladies - will contact CAB. My husband does help with lots of things like cooking - he's had to go away a few times recently and the whole time I survived on apples and cornflakes!

  • ive just applied for DLA for the 3rd time and did it through the citezens advice and they were great and really helpful and now they are writing to my doc not sure when pip comes in near me waiting to hear but good luck and i hope you get something im thinking of going self employed aswell seems like the only way i can work!

    good luck


    p.s cupcakegirl when im well would you like me to make you some meals up to put in your freezer? and just microwave them if you can although living off cereal is tasty xx

  • You're so sweet, thank you - honestly, I'm fine, my husband works from home and is usually here, he just had lots of things close together where he had to go away.

    I'll definitely get in touch with CAB this week and apply - I should have done it years ago really.

    I had to stop working two years ago after a very tough time with my employers - I tried everything to carry on but I just couldn't. I set up a business teaching cake decorating and it was going well but no-one can afford it at the moment. Now trying to help my husband with his web business and hope we can bring in more money - he's been paying all the bills and I hate not being able to contribute properly.


  • I've just applied for ESA, I'm self employed and I've cut my hours. Five years ago I worked full time, but these last few years I've cut my hours to around 12 per week, it's all I can manage and keep up with all other stuff, house etc, now I'm off post lap, in far more pain than ever as no endo was actually treated, not one scrap of it was, just getting myself up and showered and pottering around is so hard, I spend so much time breathing bad attacks, can't even think of work at the moment - but it's all so confusing, it says something about 'permitted work' such as less than 16 hours a week, what does that mean? And then if you have to have an assessment they ask things such as 'can you stand un aided?' Or 'can you put a pen in your top pocket' none of the questions would even be relevant to my symptoms, I've never claimed any benefits but still feel guilty now claiming, but I had to try we're struggling so much without even my small income, it did make a difference.

  • Have you only just applied or have you been assessed already? The questions and assessments only seem to apply to a tiny percentage of disabilities - they don't factor in that to do a job, you need to be able to do those tasks repeatedly and every day, and be well enough to work every day. Thats what the assessment should be on, but it's not.

    It's frustrating - my brother was on DLA for years because he had ADHD, and my mum had a breakdown and was on IB and ESA. I'm much sicker than they were but I'm sure I wouldn't qualify for ESA because it's not designed to assess people like me adequately.

    My husband and I are both self-employed and we've just put both of our work into a limited company so that we can reduce our tax and claim for more things. We're both going to be on a low salary each and take dividends for the rest - my side of the business isn't making much if any money at the moment, and most weeks I do less than two hours work as my health has gone way downhill. I know you can do up to 16 hours work each week on ESA so maybe I should look into it as I will be an employee again, but as I'm a director of the company I don't know where I stand with that. I'll have to try and find out.


  • i applied last week, i wasn't sure what to do, but i didn't even think of DLA, but i really do not understand any of the benefits system, its all new to me, the first response i've had back from them was a letter on saturday stating that the medical certificate (you get one week included or something and then they need a doctors note) but it says it ran out on 25 march, and to send the new one by 26 march......i only received the letter on the 30th!!! and i only rang up and claimed actually on the 26, what the hell?!?!? and its for this reason i didn't want to get into all this rigmarole but with absolutely no income coming in at the moment i had to try. they dont realise i've let my business go down because of this illness, from a pretty decent wage each week to a pittance.

    and then i see others, even my customers claiming esa or dla, one claims esa for depression and has done for three years, how does that work with the work capability assessment? and the dla person well i really do not how he gets it but he certainly knows how to work the system and brags about it, i don't want to work the system, i just want some help while i'm not well enough to work, and i haven't been well enough for a couple of years but have still managed most weeks to get a few hours in, even though i'm gritting my teeth, or having to get my husband to pick me up because i'm in too much pain to drive home, i've always worked even if part time, apart from a couple years off with my two babies (sorry for rant) any help/advice would be appreciated xxx

  • You can apply for both ESA and DLA - you can get DLA whatever your work or financial status, so you should definitely apply for both. If you google 'DLA pips' you'll find the info on which areas are changing over to PIPs first - if you live in one of those areas, wait a few weeks and apply for pips directly. If not, you can apply for DLA until June.

    I would speak to the CAB to get some advice - I do remember something about having to be off work for 6 months before you could claim IB, but since ESA replaced it I'm not sure what the rules are, and I'm not sure what the deal is if you're self-employed and working minimal hours.

    Definitely get some advice about what you're entitled to - until 2011, I'd only ever 'signed on' once and I got a job two days later. I have real guilt associated with claiming benefits, but when I was essentially made redundant, I had no choice - I was on JSA and nothing else, they asked if I wanted to claim ESA but I knew I wouldn't get it, and I wanted to work. I set up my own business but I was still making a loss so they left me on JSA - honestly, they didn't know what to do with me. After a while, they put me on a scheme where they give you a bit of money each week for the first few months when you're starting a business. It was a big help. I realised I'd been working and paying NI for over a decade without a break and I was entitled to them.

    Now that the government is out to screw everyone over, from benefits to privatising the NHS and fire service, I'm more than happy to take what I am entitled to. Any assessment that decides I am capable of working regularly is deeply flawed - I haven't woken up before 11am this week, and still need two hours of sleep in the afternoon. I haven't been able to get off the sofa, cook, wash my hair... I'd love to know who would hire me if I was honest about my situation. I started my own business to avoid ill-health benefits and because I felt I could still work but the reality is that I could possibly manage around 5 hours a week, provided I can do it from home. Still, because my husband is so vastly wealthy (ha!) I don't qualify for any means-tested benefits. Once our company is properly established and we're both employees on set salaries again, I'll have to look into it.

    I hope you can get the info you need - let me know how you get on.


  • yes i will try and get to CAB, i can't drive at the moment as in so much lower left front and back pain. until my lap a couple of weeks ago i was managing a few hours a week work, about 10-12 hrs, but i also was ok to go out walking, i went to aqua and sometimes zumba, i was in pain throughout the whole time but i found once i was moving i was ok, it didnt take the pain away but i was capable, i'd still have those 'catch you by surprise stabbing take your breath away pains' but stopped let it pass and carry on. but standing doing hair for even an hour, let alone 8-9 hours is crippling, maybe its the angle i stand at possibly, sitting at my computer desk i can only do for 20 mins max as the pain becomes too intense, i really don't get why i could do the exercising and not be in the same pain, if i think that what are benefits people going to think? i have to delegate some housework to my hubby and sons, hoovering etc, i cannot carry anything heavy for work or at home.

    this new, more intense pain could be just since the lap, the fact that nothing has been treated yet, but i'm hoping i will get back to those work hours and activities, but with a hysterectomy on the cards it wont be for long and i'll be off again :( - i have lost so many clients, which i understand, they can't wait around forever for me, they need their hair done and i end up letting them down when i'm poorly.

    thanks for your advice, i will sort out getting to the cab xx

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