Working with MS / Applying for DLA

Hello all,

I was diagnosed with relapsing / remitting MS in June of this year and I’ve been off work ever since. Currently, my MS is badly affecting my hands by making them constantly feel very sore and aching, meaning I struggle with things like typing on a keyboard (I’m currently typing with just my thumbs which isn’t ergonomically very sound!). I want to return to work as soon as possible but I work in an office on a computer all day so it’s impossible for me to do so currently. Work are being very supportive in trying to help me get back to work but my job is very ‘hands-on’ in terms of what I have to do, so speech recognition software isn’t going to help. Does any else have experience with this and did they find a practical solution?

Also, as I don’t have income protection I’m currently trying to live off SSP and struggling. I’ve been told I can apply for Disability Living Allowance but again, because of my hands it’s taking a while to fill in the form! Does anyone else have experience of applying for DLA and have any advice about the process?

Thanks a lot! - Stu

Hi Stu, sorry to hear of your predicament. We take our hands for granted sometimes and then are lost when we cant use them to the full.

I cant help with your question re work, but I expect someone else will come along to offer advice.

About the DLA. I worked for a year not knowing I could get DLA at the same time.

It isnt means tested and yes, you must apply for it.

I have heard this can be done over the phone. But it would take a long time and holding the phone, with dodgy hands probably isnt a good idea.

There are agencies who will come to your house and fill the forms in for you, like Age Concern…you dont have to be 60 to have their help. Or you could ring CAB and ask about this.

luv Pollx

Hi Stu

Access to Work are definitely worth contacting regarding support at work. They can help with lots of things e.g. provision of specialist equipment, physical help, transport to work. Who knows what they might be able to suggest!

There is also lots of help out there for filling in DLA forms, I would give the MS Society helpline a ring 0808 800 8000, CAB might also be worth contacting.

Good Luck!

Hi Stu,

12 things that don’t affect your right to claim Disability Living Allowance.

  1. You’re getting any other benefits - Disability Living Allowance will be paid on top.
  2. You’re working.
  3. Your partner works.
  4. You have savings.
  5. You have not paid any national insurance contributions.
  6. You don’t consider yourself to be disabled - Disability Living Allowance is for people with long term health problems which affect their everyday activities.
  7. You’ve been told by a doctor, nurse, care worker - or anyone other than a welfare rights worker - that you won’t get Disability Living Allowance. Eligibility for Disability Living Allowance is a legal question, not a matter of medical - or any other - opinion.
  8. You live alone and no-one is providing care for you.
  9. You already have someone, a partner for example, providing care for you.
  10. You don’t want anyone to provide care for you.
  11. You’ve been turned down before. You may decide you could put forward a stronger case if you applied again.
  12. You do not want to spend money on personal care: you can spend Disability Living Allowance on anything you wish.

Contact DIAL who will come around your house and help with the forms. Or Benefits and work who give excellent advice costs £19.40 per year. The DLS give excellent free advice it is essential you get help.

Simple rule ‘don’t say one word when 100 will do’ in other words explain in detail. Always quote your worst; they appreciate MS is a variable condition but don’t you say it. Be very careful though as there are some mistakes you could make like do not say you’re housebound as that begs the question why do you need the mobility component? Say “I would like to go out more if I could afford to”.

Good luck


Thanks for the advice everyone, really appreciate it!



All of the above is good advice

I was diagnosed in February, I have had 5 relapses in one year & one at the moment. Just been put onto Tysabri for Aggressive relapsing/remitting MS, so fingers crossed get better. work part time now & has been tough physically & financially.

I applied for DLA in April, I was extremely exhausted when I filled in my form in and never thought to get help with filling in the form.

I was knocked back & had to appeal, welfare rights are assisting with the appeal, I am expected to get a tribunal in 2013!!!

DLA also sent a GP to my home to report n my condition…

I would definetly recommend you get help from one of the MS agency or welfare agency, before even sending the form, it is not an easy process & it feels like they are trying to stress you out until you give up…Good luck with it all & hopefully your experience is different from mine :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your help everyone. Got the form in the post on Saturday so fingers crossed (not that I can do that at the moment!) that I don’t have to appeal!