Hi , I wanted to ask at what point do you know if you should or could claim DLA I have never claimed it before or any other benefit for that matter, as the thought of having to have a medical or somebody come to my home to assess me really bothers me. I understand it is done for a very good reason but the thought of somebody sitting there looking at me I just don’t like it. I have had MS for 4 years I suffer the normal sensory things, weakness in my left hand where I cant grip and after a recent relapse very heavy stiff painful legs , my balance is not the best and I suffer from constant muscle spasms . I can only walk a little way before I have to sit down and it has got to the point where people tend to say “oh I will go on my own” as they know how long it takes me to get about. I have RRMS so obviously sometimes I am a lot better than other’s and this is what makes it feel almost wrong to make a claim as on my good days I would almost feel like a fraud if that makes sense. It is the same for me with a blue badge oh how I would love one on the days I can barely walk and get funny stares at how I am walking when I end up in tears because people are looking at me like I am on drugs or drunk .But I am afraid people will feel I shouldn’t have one on my good days. My family also have mentioned about me using a stick to help me get around It really upset me and I refused point blank now I have got to the point that when I have days that I cant walk I just don’t go out it is a simple as that, yes this sounds very vain and silly I know but it is just the way I feel. Any advice please Xxx Thankyou
Well now...........you need to think about how difficult life is on your worst days. This is the bench mark you should use when claiming any benefits.
The DWP forms actually tell you to do this.
There are many folk with RRMS, who receive DLA.
The same applies to Blue Badges. They say when they feel the need for their badge, they use it, but when they are a bot more able, they don`t use it.
DLA consists of 2 components.
The first is to do with mobility. Depending on how far you can walk before it becomes difficult or painful willetermine which level you will be paid. There are 2 levels.
The second component is to do with personal care. There are 3 levels in this. Again the level you are awarded is determined by how much you can do for yourself in cooking and personal care.
You can look at the typical questions on line, I think, but am not sure. You could ring and ask for forms to be sent. They will have a date by which they must be returned...usually about 6 weeks. Then you could read through and see if you want to apply.
I think a doctor would have to come to see you at home to examine and question you.
I hope this helps you decide what to do.
I was like you, i have had ms now for 20 years, and when i was really bad i just didnt go out at all, it got to the point that i became more and more housebound and cut off from life, very gradually i learnt that using a wheelchair was the only way to get out, but it took me all these years to accept it, i dont care anymore what people think, but i also think that comes with getting older,too,i would rather go out in my wheelchair than be stuck indoors nowdays.
You should claim DLA you have every right to claim it, MS is a progressive condition that will progress in time,mine took a long time,but i still claimed DLA to help me get about,dont let your pride hold you back, i know its not easy accepting that you have MS, but once you start to accept a little help, life will be easier for you.
I feel like a fake at times, and other peoples reactions dont help either, i can walk a little but only a very short distance, so if i happen to stand up when using the wheelchair,i do get some looks off people,and that upsets me at times, other times i just laugh, becuase they just dont know how much i suffer if i try to walk, i would like to see them cope with it all,the way i have coped over the years, so i hold my head high, these days,as you will in time.
I was diagnosed when I was 21 years and within 6 months was unable to walk/get out of the bath etc... I applied for DLA and was awraded it. Following my steroid treatment and able to walk again I cancelled it. 4 months later another relapse same symptoms etc... Reclaimed again for it. They sent forms to my GP to get clarification. My GP phoned me and asked that I come and see him. I thought oh no Im in trouble and obviously must be a benefit theirf!! He told me that he was going to complete the forms they had sent and use my worst day to go on and he told me NOT to cancel it again as I never knew when I was going to have a relapse and like others have said it is a degenerating condition. I was awarded higher rate mobility and lower rate care.
I cannot walk as far as I used to but because I was young and had a blue badge people actually used to have a go at me for parking in disabled bays. Maybe if they saw me at the end of a 30 min trip to the supermarket they may then understand. I still have people give me filthy looks. It took alot for me to even apply for a blue badge and when I go and collect it feel that people are questioning me with their looks. When I choose my motability car I always feel I have to justify why I recieve the benefit.
I still feel like a fraud especially when Im having a good day.
It is your right to apply for this and if they reject you I would suggest you appeal it. Im sure your MS nurse can offer you some guidance when completeing the forms or even your GP. I would ensure that you also discuss it with your GP and make sure you get a blue badge too. Id be lost without mine.
I would advise you to go and spend some time on the Benefits and Work website – it costs £20.00 to join but you don’t need to be a member to access some of the stuff that will help you decide if you should claim DLA. Once you decide to apply you can get lots of help filling in the form. DWP know MS is a variable condition so will expect that some days will be better than others.
Please don’t worry about the medical – I know it seems intrusive to have someone assess you but it’s not too bad. I’ve had 3 and lived to tell the tale!
I understand what you are going through with your thoughts about using a stick – I have been exactly the same with every walking aid that my darling daughter has foisted upon me. However if the choice is use a stick or have everybody think you are drunk – it’s a no brainer. Honestly I’ve fought each one, stick, crutches, rollator and finally wheelchair. BUT I’m not going to sit in my house going moldy so if I want to get out and about I’ve had to bite the bullet.
I would ask you this – if you see someone in the street using a walking stick what do you think? I can answer that for you – you don’t think anything because you’re probably not that interested and it’s not really any of your business.
I’ve had one or two people ask me what the stick or crutches are for (and I have a rehearsed answer ready) but generally folk just ignore it. To be honest I don’t think most people even notice. I started with one of those fold up ones that you can put in your bag and just get out when you really need it.
I am always irritated by those people who talk about “beating MS” as though the rest of us are just not trying hard enough. You can’t beat MS but by Golly you can let it beat you. If a walking stick or Blue Badge will allow you to get on with life then they are the tools that you need and you should have them.
Sorry to sound Jolly Hockey Sticks but it breaks my heart to think of you sitting at home when you don’t need to be
Yes - what Jane said ++++. This is so true - I just need to beleive it myself more of the time.
I have just been pointed at DLA by my MS nurse - becuase I work I assumed not elgible for any help. However it is not means tested. I felt guilty about claiming it if working - however if I get it I can use it to pay for a cleaner or help with the , ironing or other things which I just cannot manage.. I was also in denial about needing any support - but life has become such a struggle..
I went on Direct gov website - put in Disability Living Allowance and it takes you to the right page, It is completely free and you can follow the links to see information about the criteria they use There is a number to call - I rang them last week and am waiting for my application pack to arrive. I'm not sure what process they use to assess you.
By the way on sticks - I bought a brightly coloured foldable stick - a Switch stick - on Ebay very reasonably. I have now moved on to two sticks and special handles but for that first stick I thought I needed to give in for my own safety, however I might as well have a nice funky stick.
Hear hear!!! Brilliant advice
How very, very true.
Everyone with any doubts about making a claim should learn this off by heart first.
My Physio has just tried me on two (count them - two) sticks. So, I am slower, steadier, more upright, in less pain! I have now got to learn to handle them, and how to cope with them. For example: I can no longer carry things in one hand, while using a stick in the other. But - I really do not care how I look to anyone else. The two sticks are making my life just that tiny bit easier.
I have been trying a Handy Bar to help with getting into and out of the car (again, courtesy of the Phsyio) so now I must go off and buy one. Another new technique to be learned - and it only works if the car door can be opened wide. That’s where the Blue Badge comes in.
If anything helps you - go for it.
You've had some brilliant replies already. I particularly like Jane's comment of 'you can't beat MS but by Golly you can let it beat you'
I have found the 'rights of passage' with this desease difficult, I think most people have ....using a stick, a mobility scooter, the list goes on. However as a good friend put it 'they are ways of not letting the MS win'.
Please apply for DLA, it will really help. Don't worry about any medical assessment. The doctor came to my house and she was lovely, even awarded me lower rate care which I hadn't applied for.
Good Luck, having MS is not for sissys :-)
And you don't always need to have a medical. I was awarded High rate mobility/middle rate care based on the info I put on the form and the copies of all the medical letters (and the help of Benefits and Work). This was just in Novemeber. So you never know!
A few years ago, l had a doctor come to the house re my DLA/Mobility benefits. He had come to check that l was receiving the right benefit and not defrauding the scheme. To my amazement l ended up getting a higher rate.
Always insist they they come to your house to see how you manage. l think if you make the effort to get to them they automatically think 'well if he can manage to get here - can't be much wrong'.
So you fall over and break your leg (dont have MS) THIS is just a scenario.
You get plastered and have to use crutches, then a walking stick.
Would you still go out or would you just stay in?
Is it the fact that people see you but cant see why you have problems as like the example if you have a broken leg people will realise you use the crutches and walking stick because you have a kirt big white plaster on the end of your leg lol but with MS there is no big sign hanging over your head in neon lights saying I have MS.
STOP being so stubborn and listen to your family. You have MS you need help i.e. either with DLA and definately with aids to keep you upright.
I was 55 when i started to use my stick lol. OMG an old fogey, but still felt awkward but soon I forgot all about it, and it has become part of who I am and follows me everywhere, cant get rid of the pesky thing now. I was so impressed with it I bought another one, and they are hanging side by side on my coat rack keeping each other company until the time they need to help me go out and do stuff. I love my sticks as they stop me falling on my bottom lol which would be a lot more embarressing lol.
The day I fell into one of the freezers at tescos because i lost the use of my leg was the day I realised I needed to stop being so stubborn and use a stick.
I now have an artillary of things that help me get about. I have my two sticks, my mobility scooter Myrtle, my electric wheelchair for when I go out with hubby as he has no lungs to push me (smokes too many fags), and my manuel wheelchair for when my personal assitant takes me out if I need her to push me.
I have my blue badge and even got one of those radar keys for the loo incase i get caught short.
I love all of them. They are my life lines. Without them i would be stuck at home looking at four walls going slowly insane.
So download the DLA forms and start filling them in, and pop to Ebay and find yourself a really snazzy stick and stop being so stubborn lol. The only person who is worried about it is you, other people outside have their own problems to worry about and I bet you the majority of them seeing someone with a snazzy walking stick is not going to be thinking about that person, but about how they are going to afford to pay their bills that day etc etc lol.
I have to say hand on my heart i have had nothing but kind people try to help me when i have been out. IF they havent seen my care worker and I am sat in my wheelchair at the checkout i have had people offer to put my stuff on the belt....no bad looks nothing. Just kindness.
Anyway like i said DLA forms, and ebay for a stick lol. Oh and good luck the form is a nightmare lol xxx Maria