Please Note: The question of COPD – will it kill you, and variations on that theme (will I recover, will I get better, etc), is addressed specifically in this post . All my COPD-specific posts are collected together here.
Note: this is a very long post, I’m afraid, so to find a specific item, use your browser’s Find function for a keyword search of this page and successive pages. This normally lives in Edit, in the toolbar, at least it does in Firefox, Opera and IE.
This post grew from my responses to Google searches that bring people to my blog, when what they’re looking for isn’t already covered. These searches generally relate to benefits, medications, Motability, ME/CFS and COPD, and for the most part, and I’ll do my best to cover them here. Note:- Benefit answers aren’t just off the top of my head, they’re properly researched, even if I already know the answer, as is anything else of which I don’t have personal knowledge.
February 10 2009 – this post is as long as it’s going to get; it’s a whisker away from 10,000 words, and this paragraph takes it past that level. In future new items will get their own individual posts. I’m reluctant to stop adding to this, as it’s my all-time most popular post, but I think it’s a matter of people being able to find information quickly. I’ve suggested, at the top, using the browser Find function, but people will still do their own thing, and scroll down, and there’s probably a limit at which they stop bothering. If you think I’m wrong, do tell me. By the way, 10,000 words is the equivalent of 20-25 A4 pages (depending on font and size), just to give it some perspective.
Obviously, by its nature, this is a work in progress, so if you have any questions about the above subjects, the areas in which I have personal experience, post a question in Comments and if I can answer it, I will. (NOTE:- Comments are moderated before being posted, so I can read them and delete them for those who require confidentiality):-
Can my wife work if I get DLA?
Absolutely – it matters not at all who works, even you (see below). Conversely, if they qualify, both partners can claim DLA – one person’s claim has no effect on another.
Return to work and lose your DLA?
There is no reason why working, of itself, should cost you your DLA. DLA can be paid regardless of income, wages or savings. It is paid for mobility or care – or both – and the need is not automatically obviated by working. I believe that if a claimant starts work, then that will trigger a DLA review, and THAT may result in loss of benefit, but it need not. I used to know a guy who worked and claimed Mobility Allowance, as it was before it was DLA, but his disability was incontrovertible – he’d lost a leg, and no-one can argue with that. Were I able to return to work – fat chance – then, because of the nature of my disability, I would find it very hard to justify continuing to claim DLA, and I would almost certainly be re-assessed, and lose it. The bottom line – working does not automatically prevent you claiming DLA, or retaining it if you already have it, it all depends on what’s wrong with you.
Attendance Allowance & COPD
That depends on age. Up to the age of 65 the benefit is DLA; over 65 you can no longer claim DLA but you can claim Attendance Allowance. In either case, the benefit is payable for COPD, providing it is sufficiently disabling. As with any illness, simply having it isn’t a qualification, it’s the disability that counts.
Presumably the questioner wants to know if you can drink with Clenil Modulite, a steroid inhaler. The answer is yes. Unlike oral drugs, inhaled drugs go straight to the lungs, they don’t get there via the GI tract and the blood stream, so alcohol has little/no effect. There is, though, with CM at high doses (2 puffs 4 times daily and up), the prospect of systemic side effects like those you get with oral steroids, including weight gain, which alcohol will exacerbate.
DLA medical examination uk – how to pass
It’s not a matter of passing – it’s not a driving test and there are no right or wrong answers to the questions.
The simple answer is to always tell the truth. That is, the version of the truth which is beneficial to your claim. If, say, you can walk a mile every few months on a rare good day, but usually are restricted to a short distance, then the latter is the truth in reply to the questions about how far you can walk. Actually, the question is about how many metres/yards you can walk without pain or discomfort. In my case, as pain accompanies every thing I do, the answer is zero. If it’s, in your case, say 40 yards, don’t say 10 yards, because there’s a good chance they’ll take you for a walk – they did with me (and just saying ouch, ouch, when you reach your limit won’t wash!). Basically, it’s what your normal situation is that matters – you don’t tell them about good days. That’s not dishonesty, it’s irrelevant. You don’t say how much you can do if someone helps you, either. It’s all about your unaided capabilities.
Unlike in the past, you don’t apply for the components of DLA (they used to be separate benefits, Attendance Allowance and Mobility Allowance), you submit a blanket application and wait and see what you get.
A medical examination is pretty standard, to verify your disability, and if you take a lot of medication for your condition, you may think it’s a good idea to reduce it or just not take it – I couldn’t possibly comment. I would suggest, though, that you insist on being examined at home. My personal view is that if you are well enough to go trekking off across town – or further if you live in a rural area – then that might adversely influence how you are perceived.
If you are asked to perform any actions that you feel would be harmful, then refuse. I can’t kneel, for example, and if asked to demonstrate that, or climb stairs, or bend down – anything, in fact, that involves bending my knees beyond an absolute minimum, I would refuse, because it would damage my knees, the ligaments, and leg muscles, and I’d be even more disabled for weeks. They cannot refuse your benefit on the grounds of your refusal; you are within your rights to refuse to injure yourself. Explain, though, just don’t say no.
If you have a mental illness, then you may want to take a close friend with you who can speak for you, or seek a benefits advocate, if you feel it would be difficult for you to properly explain your situation. In fact, I would suggest that anyone does this if the claim is turned down and goes to appeal. One thing you should not do, at appeal, is come up with new stuff that you should have told them in the first place, it just makes them suspicious. Unless, of course, your condition has deteriorated in the meantime. And one thing to bear in mind is that most rejected claims are granted on appeal.
Appeals are a pain in the butt. I’ve never been to one, but I understand that you’re pretty much treated as if you’re lying. My advice is to be firm with them but, no matter how justified you might feel, never lose your temper. A favourite tactic is to repeatedly ask the same question. My advice is that asking twice is acceptable, more than that is not, and a polite “We’ve covered that at length, can we move on? would be perfectly in order.
I’m sorry I can’t be more precise than this, but everyone’s experience of the application process is different. I’ve never had any problems with benefits, though I’m wary of applying for the middle care rate (I already get lower care and higher mobility), as every time you apply you’re reassessed, and that’s risky.
I also know, very well (this isn’t hearsay from the Daily Mail!), a woman who is little more than a hypochondriac, yet in her time she has managed to get every disability benefit available, including direct payments to hire her own care staff. Go figure.
One final though – fill in the downloadable application form from here . That way you’ll have a copy of everything. Also, you may find it easier to type your answers on separate sheets of paper. This is acceptable as long as your name and NI number is at the top of each sheet, and you show the numbers of the questions your answers relate to. I also date and sign each page, but that’s not a requirement.
Clenil Modulite gains weight
Not necessarily. Like any other steroid, it all depends on the dose. As I say above, at high doses with this high-strength inhaler (2 puffs 4 times a day), you get pretty much the same systemic effects as with oral steroids like Prednisolone (Prednisone in the US), including weight gain, and you should carry a steroid card. Clenil Modulite is a replacement for Becloforte, and contains the same drug with a CFC-free propellant, so you should expect the same side-effects. In addition I’m convinced that it causes increased sputum production, which is not a good thing.
Tesco website access issues
For a major player in the online retail market, Tesco’s website is pretty rubbish. The only way to ensure proper functionality in all areas is to access it via Internet Explorer – it malfunctions badly and unpredictably with Firefox, though it seems OK with Opera.
How long am I contracted to my motability
I’m not entirely certain what the questioner is asking, but the standard period for DLA-based contracts (HP or lease), is three years.
Help, I can’t get d.l.a. and I’m ill
A common complaint sadly, but being ill isn’t a qualification for DLA – being disabled by your illness is – the two are quite different. There is some advice about DLA above, and also elsewhere on this blog – type DLA into the search box at top right, and the titles of the posts it throws up will show which are relevant (DLA also cops up in posts which aren’t about benefits. In addition, if you’re in the same position, post a comment and I’ll see if I can help. Comments are moderated before they appear, so if you want confidentiality say so, and I’ll delete your personal details.