at what level does my RA qualify for DLA?

I was refused my DLA claim, first time claim. I was diagnosed 12 months ago with RA, and prescribed MTRXate. Some days are good, some are bad but I soldier on and go to work (desk job) as still have bills to pay. Was looking earlier and people recommend appealing against decision, but just how bad do you have to be to be awarded DLA? Can anyone advise please?

19 Replies

Just apply again, appeal,you will get it in the end. Do put down how really bad you are. What your like eg; stiff,can't walk far,very emotional. It is a drawn out process i'm afraid.

Keep trying.



Diagnosis of a condition does not qualify you, an award of DLA is dependant on how a condition affects your daily life. If someone is working it's often very difficult to prove that level of need on a daily basis therefore, it's important to paint a clear picture of your daily life, physical difficulties, problems and how you overcome them and any help/support you get. It's also important to show how these difficulties affects your mental health.

Beth x


Good advice Beth. I was thinking of you and hope you're feeling a bit better.

Xx Cathie


Hi Cathie, I'm fine.... And we all know what fine really means! lol

I've got my written results and app to see the Cardiologist so a little less stressed and the tears have stopped for now. Plus, I forced myself to make that difficult call to social services for help/support.

I don't know why I didn't do it sooner, it's so simple to do and usually there's a very nice person who answers, they really are nice and sympathetic even when they can't help.

So all in all feeling a little more positive.

Cheers for asking xxx


I'm glad to hear it, ESP with holiday weekend coming up. I've been on my own this week and nearly every arrangement I've made to reduce the loneliness has fallen through. But husband is coming back today, so things should cheer up. I hope social services can be helpful, just a good telephone manner can make all the difference. Xx

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The thing you have to remember is to fill in the forms as if it is your worst day , even if your not too bad on the day you are filling it in. Always get help filling it in I always go to CAB they know how to put things that will give you a positive result, I get high rate mobility and middle rate care my wife gets carers allowence. Good luck in reapplying.



The problem with doing that is;

The questions ask about how you manage tasks over 7 days, if you exaggerate and say you can't manage anything, if or when called in for an assessment that's the condition they'd expect to see you in and if you don't have that level of disability you'll lose your benefit. You also face the possibility of a prosecution.

A genuine advice worker would never advocate that stance.

However, I do agree with seeking help/support from an advice worker either at CAB or another welfare rights organisation, but even that is no guarantee of success.


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I agree there Beth, I honestly feel the medical the dla did on me supported my claim as it proved what I put down was correct because I wasn't over exaggerating how I was, just being honest with how I felt and what I struggled with

I found welfare rights very helpful and I also did a questionnaire form for everyone involved in my care gp, nurses, rheumy etc and they were totally honest I did questions like does this patient struggle with preparing a cooked meal and then a tick box for yes no and don't know, I ended up with about ten off these forms and about 6 off them were filled in with a lot off don't knows but at least it showed it was there honest opinion. Good luck

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hi,you need to keep on with the appeal and dont back down theres plenty out there who are claiming for this benefit who shouldnt really get this and they are the ones who make it hard for the real ones who actually need this,i myself was on the full rate of dla and when it came to renewing it last september my claim was turned down i have been appealing ever since it had got to the tribunal stage which was on 12th march only to be rang on that very morning to say it had been cancelled due to insufficient medical evidance and they had to write to get my medical files from my gp but i had to give my consent for this to be done,i rang them thursday of this week to be told that they were in the process of getting them its a long drawn out process but hang on in there and dont give up good luck i hope you get there in the end.

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I put a claim in

for DLA/ RA and went to CAB who were very good and helped me complete the form. sent with them all my letter of attending RA clinic anf GPS about my condition

I then received a phone call at work FROM THE BENFITS OFFICE,

they asked what aids were in place at my place of work lifts , chair hand rest for my computer .

I wear hand supports has hands swell throughout the day as well as my knees she asked me how i got to work I told her I had a automatic driven car she wanted to know how i drove this with my swollen hands

why I did i not have a walking aid and also tohelp me feed myself i could buy a eletric tin opener toopen tins for me to feed my self instead of having my help with my meals and getting my meds out of the foil packages i could ask my family to put them weekly in a pill box i could open

I was then refused DLA I feel I SHOULD OF APPEALED

but SHE MADE ME FEEL I WAS BEGGING tha twas 2 years ago i was also frightened I was getting done for begining a fraud claim? thats how she made me feel

she mentioned that her friend had RA so she was aware of the condidtion and what i could and could not do once the meds kick in so

she was aware of what my good and bad days .

these people from DLA ARE NURSES WHO ASSESS YOU for your benifit therefore have a knowledge back ground of the condidtion .

I should of complained to the DLA how she spoke to me I do have her name some where I think i will follow this up as

i feel my condidtion has got worse i going to apply again this week i let you know i get on

mac 1313


Hi, I am on middle rate DLA for my third year I have fibromyalgia and depression and my DLA is more for depression, I have been recently diagnosed with RA and struggle every morning getting downstairs and even sitting on the toilet everyday is so painful and because of this im am getting more depressed as I don't want to be in pain for life as im only 43, I was always fit and weight trainind since I was 15 and because I am slim people think im fit and healthy, but in comparison with yourself I have appealed 3 times to stay on ESA and lost my appeal, being in front of a panel made me feel very upset as I felt interigated by the docs on the panel and had a panic attack infront of them. I worked from I was 15 in more than one job at a time and only took time off to have my children, I think I have paid plenty of National Insurance over the years and am entitled to be supported at this hard time im having. My DLA finishes this time next year and I am already worried about applying again even though my health is worse than when I first received it. I am on jobseekers because I'm expected to work but cannot get a job that is suitable to my conditions.


Hi Shoebox

It looks as if you've already recieved many useful replies to your question. We are hearing that lots of people are unfortunately currently being turned down for DLA, but have heard that appealing can be very successful. It may be worth contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) as the others have mentioned to get some help putting an appeal together. There is another organisation called DIAL (Disability Information Advice Line) who may be able to help, you can contact them on 01302 310 123 or visit their website:

I believe the AdviceNow website has also already been mentioned to you by another HU member, but they do have a booklet you can download called, 'Turned down for DLA, or think you're not getting enough?' which has lots of good information on appealing a DLA decision:

As the others have mentioned it is not the diagnosis of RA that would entitle you to DLA, but it is paid because of the effect that the symptoms of RA have on your mobility and ability to take care of yourself.

I wish you luck if you do make the decision to appeal, and I hope some of these organisations will be able to offer further advice.

Kind regards

Sarah Kate

NRAS Helpline


Thank you all kindly for your advise - waiting for Hand Therapy to start, then will persue forms again with CAB and will look at the other organisations mentioned by everyone above, thank you again. Deb.


Hi I to am waiting on goin to pain clinic hope it helps


So was I but I was just told by my rheumatologist that I had it in my back arm neck so I sent the letter of to get looked at again how bad do u need to be


Hi there so I did I only I can't work as am to sore I have had to send in further proof


Yes definitely appeal. I first applied in Nov 2012. They turned me down and I appealed. Then they sent my correspondence to the wrong address and held the appeal in my absence. I applied for a set aside. The appeal Tribunal was held three weeks ago and I finally got low rate care. Whoopee. So don't give up that's what the want. Good luck.


Hi I had to wait 12 month's for my appeal to be heard and a man from DIAL went to the appeal with me and I was awarded both mobility and care!! with 12 month's back pay


unfortunatley i got no DLA or ESA. i had DLA for two years. moved to scotland and reapplied of course, change of circumstances etc. along with ESA as my RA was outof control so no chance of working. well i got them both..and then ATOS got involed!!!!! what a watse of time. BOTH times i had a medical with an ATOS sponsored examiner..both time i was fine no RA flare up... guess what the result was.. 0 ESA 0 DLA! now im on Jobseekers allowance because of them. yet 2 days before my first exam i was in BED unable to move. even with all my medical notes and what each tablet does etc etc.. i didnt qualify. right up through to tribunal i STILL lost .....yet now i still suffer and can spend days in bed at a time.


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