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De-mystifying the DLA form

Before you start 

It’s useful to research your child’s condition before filling out the form. Great Ormond Street Hospital website is very helpful with descriptions of medical issues and what treatment or care is involved with the condition and the impact it could have on the child and carer’s life. Print off the information or take notes to help you fill out questions on the form.

The information booklet that comes with the DLA pack is really helpful to de-mystify the form, have it to hand and keep referring back to it. 

Support

It can be useful to fill out the form with someone who is involved in your child’s care they may be able to fill in the gaps. It’s easy to overlook what you have to do for your child on a daily basis, as it becomes your normal, but it is essential you include everything on your form to get the maximum support for your child’s condition.

If you are struggling to fill out the form or have a mental block with it you can get help from professionals involved in your child’s care, for example, the health visitor or social worker. You can also make an appointment with your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and they can help you to complete the form during that meeting.

Documents 

Keep hospital appointment letters for your child, you can photocopy them and attach to the DLA form as proof of your child’s condition. 

Also keep and photocopy recent reports from SALT or Physio assessments to send in with the form.

Filling out the form

Make sure you are answering the question. Keep referring back to the question to make sure your answer stays on track. What is it they are really asking? Keep your answer relevant.

Some questions allow you to expand on your answer, make notes before filling out the form. You may only have 3-4 lines to explain a big part of your life so keep your answer concise and to the point. 

You have to answer the questions referring to your worst moments/ your worst day dealing with your child’s condition. Remember, that you are only filling this form in today because it is a good day. On a bad day there is no way you have time or the mental capacity to fill out a 32 page form that takes a few hours to complete. 

It’s important to give a true reflection of your life, but it’s also important to tell the truth on the form, it is not a test after all. 

Make the answers fit your child. The questions can be generic but make it relevant to your situation/ child’s condition.

The effects of filling out the form

Be aware filling out this form might make you cry. Either because it can be very emotive going through your daily struggles as a result of your child’s condition, and/or it is a loooong and boring form, full of repetition and formalities. The tediousness of this form can bring the strongest of mumas or papas to their knees!!!

Don’t just dread the form, it can actually be quite cathartic to reflect on how the condition can impact on your and most importantly your child’s life. It’s good to acknowledge your hard work and why you are so tired.

And finally…

Once you have completed the form before sending it in the post, photocopy all of the form. Alternatively, take photos of your answers and email them to yourself to keep a record of your answers. This will come in very handy when renewing DLA in the future.