Title subject to change :)
I've been on Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for some time now - Middle Rate care and Lower rate Mobility, lower rate, would you believe, because I can't walk very far.
Something I find deeply amusing. Since I'm on 'indefinite' , I chose not to appeal. As my old Dad used to say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". He was, of course, a Yorkshireman. 'Nuff said. :)
No great secret to how much I get - feel free to Google it, you'll find reliable info on the .gov.uk sites. You'll also find information there why it's awarded and the criteria needed for a claim to be successful.
I find it reasonable, and it helps in the way it's meant to, that is, with aspects of the help I need as I need it, and to get help getting around when I need to. Of course, a little more always helps.
I've probably said this in previous posts, but it's worth repeating, but you can work full time and still be awarded DLA. It isn't means tested. However, if you are on UK Income Support (IS), or Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), though DLA isn't counted as income, you are still bound by the terms and conditions of the other benefits, though you may be asked to speak to a Disability Advisor, who will help you find work. Apparently.
One other little quirk I came across advising someone who was on Lower Rate Care (and nothing else) who had found themselves in dire straights.
If you apply for an Emergency Loan, a small interest free loan that you can get to tide you over if you are on JSA or IS, which has to be repaid later at a few UKP a week - The income support and jobcentre people will NOT take Mobility Allowance into account as income, but WILL take the care component into consideration when making a decision as income. Never being in that position, I didn't know that.
Because I help out occasionally around the Net, I've scrutinised the forthcoming changes to the benefits regime here in the Uk very carefully.
For DLA (Disability Living Allowance) it's fairly straightforward.
You might have noticed I explained I was on 'Indefinite'. Normally, if you are granted DLA, you are granted it for anything between 1 and 3 years, depending upon your assessment of need. After that, you have to reclaim. Claiming DLA can be quite complex, means filling in a quite complex form, and I always advice using an Advice Centre.
However, every now and again, quite out of the blue, they'll grant a claim 'Indefinite'. That isn't for life, and it isn't forever.
It means you aren't required to reclaim. It does mean it could be a year, it could be ten years, but they may :) Likewise, you may be called in for what is mistakenly called a 'medical'. It isn't. It's a brief interview with medical professionals who are specially trained in 'assessment of needs' As DLA is all about 'needs', that's fair enough. If you've ever appealed against a decision, you'll know what I mean.
At the moment, there is no automatic DLA assessment of needs interview. The information is taken from your claim form, your GP, someone who knows you well, (usually a medical professional, not a GP) and Hospital consultants, physio's ect. If there is any doubt, you are called in for an assessment.
Still awake? :) From January 2013, uk gov is going to drastically simplify the claim forms.
Everyone, new claims, existing claims, and 'indefinites' will have to undergo an 'assesment of needs interview'. The idea is to "get those back into employment who can be employed".
I have no problems with this whatsoever. I'll leave the politics to some else :)
I do wonder how they will assess autism, alzheimers, aspergers, the list goes on, all who are a matter of degree, in less than an hour. For the record, those who I know who went through an advice centre won there claims, and often on appeal, received more than they had before.