This simple test is intended to help you to decide whether it may be worth filling out a disability living allowance claim pack if you have a mental health condition. But please bear in mind that it's a test we invented ourselves because the statutory criteria for DLA are so confusing. So, it is in no way a legal test of eligibility, just a way of helping you to decide whether to put in a claim.
1 Look through this list of some (but not all) of the everyday activities that are relevant to DLA:
- Going outdoors alone (especially in unfamiliar places)
- Preparing a cooked main meal for yourself
- Taking medication
- Being alone
- Communicating with other people
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Going to bed at night
- Washing, bathing and looking after your appearance
- Getting dressed and undressed
- Social and leisure activities
(Shopping and housework are not counted as everyday activities that are relevant to DLA).
2 Choose one of the activities above that you have some problems with. For example:
- you might have problems communicating with other people, because you get anxious in company or find making conversation too difficult or tiring;
- you might have problems going outdoors alone in unfamiliar places because you get very nervous or panicky;
- you may not feel able to prepare a cooked main meal for yourself because you are forgetful and leave pans to boil dry or you cannot concentrate well enough to remember all the different cooking times and ingredients.
3 With your chosen activity in mind, answer the True or False questions below. If your condition varies, so that the answer is sometimes true and sometimes false, then choose whichever applies for the majority of the time.
I can’t do it at all. True or False?
It’s not safe for me to do it. True or False?
I have problems concentrating to do it. True or False?
I need someone to remind me to do it. True or False?
I need someone to encourage me to do it. True or False?
I feel panicky or anxious if I try to do it. True or False?
I get confused when I try to do it. True or False?
I start doing it but then I don’t finish. True or False?
I can do it, but I need someone with me just in case things go wrong. True or False?
4 If you haven’t answered True to any of the questions, try the test again with another activity from the list and so on, until you’ve found a statement that is true or decided that there aren’t any.
5 If the answer is True to any of the questions in relation to any of the activities listed then you may be entitled to DLA, because they are all reasons why you might ‘reasonably require’ help or supervision, even if you don’t get it or want it. Whether you are actually eligible for DLA, and at what rate, will depend on how many activities you have problems with and which ones they are. Find out more about how we can help if you decide to complete a disability living allowance claim form.
If the answer wasn’t true to any of the questions it doesn’t mean you are definitely not eligible for DLA, you should try to get advice from one of the agencies listed on the Help with benefits page.