DLA Lifeline (Drawing)

I rely on my Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for many things to help with my personal care, mobility and medical needs. 

The British Government is seeking to stop paying this sort of allowance directly to people and to give funding to local authorities instead.  But the services that funding would provide would not include many of the things I rely on my DLA to pay for.  Effectively I would have my support cut off.

Read The ME Association’s concerned response to the Green Paper ‘Shaping the Future of Care’ http://www.meassociation.org.uk/content/view/1020/161/

A couple of extracts from that response:

“Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) use care needs (and in the case of DLA, mobility needs) as indicators of the extent of someone’s disability. Those benefits were created to help with all costs of disability including lost earnings and higher fuel bills, leisure and housing costs. Many of those on AA/DLA do not make use of fee paying care services and so switching resources away from AA/DLA and into professional care would mean that many beneficiaries of those benefits could lose out.”

“Research shows that much of AA/DLA  is spent on a broad range of informal care services such as paying for gardening, sharing lifts in cars and paying for someone to do shopping. These informal arrangements work well and bring with them a social network; friends are made and health is enhanced. This all supports the core principle of Individual Budgets that the care and benefit system has recently championed.”

Please sign the petition http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/AttendanceA/

DLA lifeline by you.

Here are just some of the things things I rely on my DLA to pay for:

  • prescription medication (a yearly certificate)
  • over the counter medication
  • suppliments (eg. fibre suppliments, vitamins and energy suppliments) which help with symptoms
  • help with gardening as I am unable to do any myself
  • upkeep/maintenance of my wheelchair which I rely on when I have to go anywhere when I need to stand or walk for longer than a few minutes
  • help with fuel bills as I am virtually housebound, being sedentary and having trouble with temperature regulation due to ME
  • thermal clothing to help keep me warm as my mobility problems mean I am sat still for long periods and also for when I do go out in my wheelchair (assisted) during autumn and winter
  • help with broadband which allows me to stay in touch with family and friends which would otherwise be impossible due to my mobility problems and difficulties with communication due to ME
  • earplugs for noise sensitivity
  • eye glasses which I require because ME affects my ability to focus when I am very ill
  • help with delivery for shopping as I am unable to go out to the shops and so rely on using online shopping and paying for postal delivery

Without DLA that I get paid there would be greater strain placed on us and our limited income because of additional needs due to my illness.  The same is true for millions of other people.

A huge thanks to Benefits and Work and their continuing efforts to rally support in opposing this Green Paper.  Without them many people would be unaware of the implications of these proposals and many groups would not be so actively engaging in the debate.


  1. Eeeechhhkkk! I think the same thing is going to happen here. Your drawing is great (of course) and I think you should make a few copies of it and include it w the petition, if you have the energy. I don’t know if you do most petitions by email now as we do, but getting your drawing in the mail to your MPs is probably worth much more than a petition w 100,000 signatures.

  2. very nicely and clearly put.

    However unfair and unsuitable the process and qualifying criteria are for DLA, and however much i cannot see myself going through again what i did in order to get it and however much i resent that experience deeply and the negative and long-term impact it had on my health last year, i do think that this form of benefit is worth fighting for.

    I feel that it gives a sense of independance to have some small amount of money that is our own, as for many, DLA may be their only personal income, or a welcome addition to other limited sources. Even if it soon gets spent on essential things, it is nice not to have to ask our partner/parent or whoever we are dependant on (if we are) for every little thing and to feel there is some choice in where it is spent. Taking this control away from the disabled person and back into state hands is a loss not only of finance but of control, autonomy, freedom and independance.
    I already signed the petition, of course!

  3. Great post, Rachel! Your drawing and list convey very well what DLA helps to provide for you. I’ve just signed the petition.

    Haven’t claimed DLA myself (just Incapacity Benefit) but your list really made me think! – it covered many things my parents have done & provided for me in the course of my illness while I’ve been living at home with them. No doubt I would have needed to claim DLA had I still been living on my own. Without that kind of assistance there is NO WAY I’d have been able to rest and recover to the extent I have now.

    1. Hi and thanks.

      You might want to consider putting in a claim. I need help to fill in the form – my husband does all the writing of sensible sentences with guidance from http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/ who are well worth the subscription fee for their brilliant advice on filling out the forms.

      What got me thinking, after advice from Benefits and Work, was the many things my husband helps me to do everyday are exactly the things you can claim for. You don’t (currently!) have to use the money to pay for the things you claim on the grounds on.

      For instance, if my husband wasn’t around or able to bath me, then I would need to pay someone to do that. So I can claim for that. If he wasn’t able to cook me a meal, which I cannot do for myself, I would have to pay someone to do that for me. So I can claim for that.

      I am fortunate, like you, to have people willing to help with tasks like these. But that doesn’t mean you can’t claim for them. As you can see I rely on my DLA for lots of other things which are associated with my care and mobility needs but aren’t necessarily things used as part of the assessment.

      It can be a bit gruelling to apply and lots of ME/CFS people end up needing to take it to appeal which is challenging. But I have been getting around £60 a week which has made a big difference.

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