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New child DLA forms

Kathryn DWRS
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Durham Welfare Rights

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Joined: 15 October 2020

I was wondering what peoples opinions are on the new child DLA forms. I completed one yesterday and there is hardly anywhere to write about each activity and how the child manages it or what help is needed. It is now all tick boxes and how many times a day and for how long (only on some questions!!). There is only one section to be able to write anymore information. What are people’s experiences on how DLA process these new applications?? Are they now writing to professionals and schools more to gather information as there is no space to put this on the form itself?? I am concerned that they will be gaining info from schools that as we all know may be seen as positive and refuse the claim. I just cant understand why they have taken away the explanation boxes. The one I have just filled in I sent in extra pages that went into details as to what helped they needed for each activity but worry that other parents who dont have any support will not provide a high level of detail.

Mike Hughes
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Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

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My view is not dissimilar to the one expressed at https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/18500/#87693. The form is for evidence gathering. If it doesn’t enable that opportunity then do what you need to do.

There does seem to be some anecdotal evidence of more contact with professionals. As ever that’s a mixed bag. I would rather eat my own head than read one more EHCP or SEN report from a school where apparently all is well. No mobility or care needs at all.

Tim Saint
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Benefits Service Coordinator, Swindon Carers Centre

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I did a new DLA form with a parent carer the other day for a child with no diagnosis. We wrote an a4 sheet for each care category that we could hightlight care needs and slipped it in at the appropriate point. I did a DLA recently also with no diagnosis and very little professional supporting evidence and wrote lots of factual evidence from the parent on a4 sheets and it was awarded within 4 weeks with no further investigation, so I think continuation sheets are the way to go!

Mike Hughes
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Senior welfare rights officer - Salford City Council Welfare Rights Service

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I suspect that’s less about additional sheets and more about the value of detailed real world anecdotal evidence over medical evidence, which tends to focus on diagnosis, prognosis and treatment rather than attention/supervision of even bodily functions.

My favourite line of questioning to claimants or adults supporting child claimants in recent years has been

“Have you bathed in front of your GP?”

“Er, no”.

Then your GP has little to say about your ability to bathe do they not?

Of course with adults you can go down the line of

“Have you cooked for your GP?”

“Definitely not”.

“There you go. Let’s focus on the anecdotal stuff rather than obsessing on medical evidence then shall we.”