Citizens advice/DLA


Made an appointment at Citizens advice to get help with filling in DLA forms & have to say im a bit worried, she didnt ask for any side effects of my various medicines & brushed off my fatigue as almost nothing! Everything i wanted to say got a snappy “You seem fine sitting here!” and now the forms have been sent off im expecting nothing! Im not the most eloquent of people but im annnoyed with myself for asking for help in the first place, can anybody give me any advice? Is it normal for the forms to be filled in 20 minutes & is this a typical response? Ironically i used to work on Reception at CAB years ago and always thought them invaluble but can i appeal without their help even if they filled the forms in? Any help massively appreciated! xxxx

Mmmm not good. From personal experiance the CAB were realy helpful and actuly won my appeal for DLA for me. I would advise checking your local concil dont have a service for helping you. In york we do and i also found them to be helpful. I beleve in your situation if it came to trying that you wouldl have to wait 6months before you can reaply.

Hi, can I just ask why you sent it off if you didn’t like what was written on it in the first place? Ive no experience of appealing myself but I would have thought that the fact that the cab helped you fill them in in the first place would be irrelevant to whether you could appeal or not. Surely you could appeal under your own steam! Cheryl:-)

Read this publication and use it as a guide to fill in your form - I found it invaluable.

Hi notorious & friends If you follow the tread DLA??? Oin the section New diagnosis you will find links supplies and ESA DLA info. I would not try to appeal without help. Read post by as detailed and follow links He it helps If you have a prob repost and I will try & help Mike

Thanks for the replies, very helpful so thanks again! Cheryl i made the appointment almost 2 month ago & would have been well over the date due to send the forms back so i rang DWP & was told to get the advisor to put a cover note in explaining this was the earliest appointment i could get, i left them with her to send off, didnt think too much until other people asked how it went and said that didnt sound right! Im not knocking them in any way just steeling myself for the inevitable and wondered if i was “obligated” to use CAB if i appealed. Sincere thanks once again xxx

Thanks Mike, ill take a look now xxx


In my recent experience, CAB seem incredibly busy with ESA appeals & maybe this is the reason for the apparant short change.

You do not have to use them if appealing, you can use friends / relatives / other organisations.

CAB seem to be turning more people away who they don’t feel will win appeals due to their workloads.


I used to volunteer at CAB, and was horrified to learn (from this forum, I think) that some of their advice is now means tested.

This runs totally contrary to my training, which was that it was there for everyone, irrespective of circumstances. Although, statistically, we would have expected a lot of people coming through our doors to have money worries, we were always taught it was no more acceptable to discriminate against someone because they were, or were perceived to be, well-off, than because they weren’t.

But apparently, that’s all gone out of the window now.

Even when I worked there, which was a few years ago now, we had people queuing round-the-block, and it was a very high-pressure environment, as we had a pledge never to turn anyone away. If you did spend more than about twenty minutes per client, you’d have the supervisors raising eyebrows, wondering what you were dallying about at!

So now there are record numbers of people needing advice, it’s likely the advisor was operating under very strict time pressure.


Wasnt aware of their services being means tested, that leaves a sour taste!

As ive said, i dont want to knock CAB because plenty of people have recieved invaluble help & thinking on a bit more, maybe i dont actually need DLA if DWP refuse me? I didnt want to come across as a fraudster just wanted to explain the impact of fatigue & pain. A lot to think about, thanks everybody for your replies xxx

I have been in a terrible state filling in the form to get me off incapasity benefit!

I felt so degrading having to put down all my problems with bowels and bladder. My cognitive problems as well as the MS and CMT. My husband filled in the form for me. I think that made me feel worse. Where these nerves have come from i dont know. Unable to sleep last night. I so do hope these feelings will go away.


Spudz, they work under a lot of pressure but im with you, if it wasnt for the fact i was coming off a relapse & mentally and physically drained i would have braved the forms myself, as it is im actually more worried than before!

Jane, its awful filling in your symptoms because its like holding a mirror up to yourself and obviously the stress of it is affecting you all i can say is try not to worry; we live to fight another day! Just another obstacle hurled in our direction although im not sure what more we can take eh? xxx

Hi Notorious If you are struggling you should apply for DLA. It is not means tested, like ESA. and is a passport, dependant on the rate, to increased level of benefits. You are always better having your Tom completed for you, if CAB no help try social services, and see if they can do a needs assessment at the same time, it would make it easier to discuss yr needs and the person completing will get an idea of you. Do not give up as it is a stepping stone to getting the help you need Mike

Thanks Mike, the forms have been sent off so its a case of wait & see, not expecting a lot to be honest! I will look into Social Services as i know i need more help and as someone who’s fiercely independant its taking a lot to admit that. Thanks for your help Mike xxx

Notorious Any time I can help I will. If you don’t get what you expect-appeal as you have a better chance, do it ASAP. Also for DLA TO BE. PASSPORT FOR EXTRA ESA YOU NEED MIDDLE RATE CARE you can ring DWP ON 0800 882200 benefit help line DLA LINE TO CONFIM THEY GOT YOUR FORM AND IN SYSTEM 08457 123456 Sorry bout caps I ain’t shouting Mike

Hi Everyone

I currently volunteer at my local CAB and I am shocked and saddened by your post.

I can assure you ALL that the advice that is given by ALL CAB offices is FREE. If you look on their main website it quite clearly states “The service provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities. It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.”

If you feel unhappy with the service that they have provided you with then you should make an appointment to go back to them and tell them about your concerns and ask to review what they have written with another Adviser.

I wish you all the best and hope that they will make you feel more comfortable.

Echo XX

Hi Echo,

I don’t know if it’s my post, specifically, you were replying to, but I wasn’t saying it’s not free - only that some advice is now means-tested.

Not as in “you’ll have to pay for it yourself, if you don’t qualify”, but as in: “We won’t advise you at all, if we consider your need is not severe enough”. For example, I’m pretty sure I could no longer get a benefits check here in Bristol, because, for the present, I am not on low income and have savings. So wouldn’t be seen as a priority case. I’d be seen as someone who could pay for it elsewhere, if I really needed advice. Which is almost certainly true…

But not really faithful to the original “for everyone” concept.


Tina Your friends on this site would be willing to guide you also try the disability law centre. mike

Hi Anitra

I just wanted to let all people know that it is free to all who come for advice, even if you are a multi-millionaire (as, of course, I will be when I win the lottery tonight :wink: !).

There are some people that we (the CAB) are not able to help and in these circumstances we would always try to signpost them to other sources who should be able to help. The advice should always be imprtial and without any predjudice and that is what I was concerned about in Notorious’s original post. Anyone can have an off day but in the case of the CAB that is no excuse!

Echo X

Thanks Mike but i recieved a letter this morning saying CAB would help me with any appeals etc & on the information given this may entitle me to low rate mobility & low rate care even that is a massive help but i suspect im in for appeals/tribunals etc!

Echo, as ive said other people find it invaluble but i found it a bit disturbing that everything i was saying was brushed off with a “You look fine!” What a sexy disease we have when we look good but are coming apart at the seams!

I may be surprised but i really hope other people dont have this kind of experience, guess i should harvest my non existent energy for an ATOS battle :wink:

Thanks to you all for your replies, very much appreciated xxx