I very rarely post on here but I read the posts daily. I had my DLA renewal come through in December 2013 ready for its review in April 2014. I asked for some DLA guides and was very kindly sent a link to Benefits and Work for some free guides for completing the forms.
Using these guides I sent it off at the beginning of January and I received my letter yesterday saying it had been renewed for another 2 years. Mobility High Rate so I can keep my motability car which enables me to get to work and to have a life, and low rate care as my daughters have to help me to wash my hair, cook our meals and many other things for me. I have Fibro, osteoarthritis, pernicious anaemia, low vitamin d, anklyosing spondylosis, cervical spondylosis, migraine, plantar fasciitis, and permanent tendonitis in my ankle - this all means I am in severe pain every step I take as it comes from my foot all the way to my head. I have Fibro fog some days, I am permanently tired and physically exhausted but I still work 30 hours a week and am a single parent. I love my job and have the most wonderful employer who allows me to work from home when I'm too unwell to get into the office. My attitude to having these conditions is that I still have a life to lead - I still need to be a mum and no amount of pain, discomfort, exhaustion etc will stop me from having a life. Sure I have days when I can't get out of bed but I have to take my daughters to school so I have to get up or it impacts on them. I have days when I can't even work out how to make a cup of tea, so I ask for some help and do what I can. Working means I contribute to society and so I feel less of a burden on the state. It keeps my mind healthy and stops the "poor me" that I initially felt when diagnosed 4 years ago.
I know people get turned down for DLA/PIP etc, but using the guides and getting your GP onside can help you. It's not about how many conditions you have, it's how the condition affects you. They don't care if you can't do housework or shopping; you have to show that you need help with all personal care, cooking a meal from scratch, that you use aids to help you walk and that you walk extremely slowly, in constant pain and have to stop frequently, that you have aids and adaptions at home to help you get on/off the toilet and still sometimes need a hand with this, that you need help with your medication as you forget to take it or can't get it out of the packet - so much of this is in the guides and it's laid out in such a way that you can make it fit to your condition and how it affects you daily.
Thank you to the volunteers who help this site and sent me the guides. I don't think you get praised enough sometimes and people don't realise you are still a human who is giving your time freely and all for a common cause.