Just a form – some benefit myths

Myth: DLA can be claimed just by filling in a form.

Fact: Some people might only fill in a form to claim DLA, but decisions makers demand strong evidence to award the benefit. That evidence might come from the claimant’s GP, or consultant, or other specialist in their disability. It might come from an occupational therapist or social worker. Many people send supporting evidence with their claim form, but if they don’t the DWP will write to medical professionals and ask for it. If nothing is available, the DWP will send the claimant to a medical assessment – and they might well do that anyway. So the claimant might just fill in a form, but the decision needs a lot more evidence than that. Renewals may be treated differently.

Myth: DLA is awarded for life.

Fact: DLA is awarded for life ONLY if the disability is for life. Some cases are obvious. Missing limbs, progressive diseases. They don’t get better. They get worse. There is no point in repeatedly assessing people with such disabilities apart from to see if they have got worse, and in that case a simple letter asking the patient if they have got worse would suffice to determine who to reassess. People who have variable conditions or illnesses that might improve get awarded DLA for a limited time after which they have to reapply. In my own case I have been awarded DLA for two years, and more recently for five years. Not for life.

Myth: People on benefits get free cars.

Fact: People who are unable to walk or virtually unable to walk get the higher rate mobility component of DLA. This is worth about £50 per week. They can spend it to improve their lives however they wish. Many people use the money to buy a wheelchair or a car. There is a scheme called Motability which is run by a charity, NOT the government, and people who receive high rate mobility can choose to lease a car or a wheelchair through them, paid for out of their own DLA.

The Motability scheme (remember, paid for by people who use it) purchases new cars and leases them to its customers. Most customers pay the entire £50 per week of their mobility allowance to the Motability scheme for three years to lease the car. That is £7,800 in total. At the end of the lease the car is sold.  If the payments and the sale price together are not expected to match the purchase price, the customer pays the difference in advance. So it is perfectly possible to have a high end car, but unless it has a high resale price, the customer could be paying hundreds or thousands of pounds extra for that lease. And they don’t get to keep it.



Author: Latentexistence

The world is broken and I can't fix it because I am broken. I can, however, rant about it all and this is where I do that when I can get my thoughts together. Most of the time you'll find my words on Twitter rather than here though. I sometimes write for Where's The Benefit too.

3 thoughts on “Just a form – some benefit myths”

  1. Thank you for dispelling the myth’s about what some people believe disabled individuals receive, compared to the reality of what they receive.

    My fiance was only just awarded the DLA higher band rate in 2010.  Today, without warning, he has been declared fit for work and his benefits have been suspended.
    He has an inoperable spinal condition and chronic arthritis, both conditions are degenerative – he cannot walk without sticks and is in constant pain all of the time, yet due to the new reforms, he is suddenly being classed as sufficiently able bodied and can “actively seek employment”.

    As this was the only support the government was offering us, we now have nothing.  We will not be able to pay our bills and our home is now at risk if we cannot get the decision overturned.

    I fear that this is going to affect many other vulnerable people, who may not have family or friends to help them fight, so I have created a Facebook fan page, to try and spread the word.

    Is there any possibility you could help by simply liking the page?


    If I can get enough support, I am hoping that a solicitor or lawyer may pick it up and offer to represent people with disabilities as a whole, rather than on a case by case basis.

    Anything you could do to help support our cause, would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks


  2. With regard to the first myth.Bad enough that Ministers  propagandise that view,but what I think is totally unacceptable is that” respected” journalists and TV presenters unquestionally relay it as fact,their critical faculties,evident in other matters, suspended to a thoroughly unprofessional level.

  3. Regarding the second-Freud”:I have to make the point that lifetime awards were abolished in 2001 and only in very rare circumstances would they be reviewed. At the moment in DLA, we have indefinite awards that can be reviewed at any time”.

Comments are closed.