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 physical 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:
- Walking outdoors
- Walking outdoors alone in unfamiliar places
- Preparing a cooked main meal for yourself
- Moving about indoors
- Taking medication
- Eating and drinking
- Staying safe if you’re alone
- Communicating with other people
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Getting into bed at night
- Using the toilet
- Washing, having a bath or a shower
- Looking after your appearance
- Getting dressed and undressed
- Social and leisure activities
(Shopping and housework are not generally counted as everyday activities that are relevant to DLA, but see More about the way your illness or disabilities affect you).
2 Choose one of the activities above that you have some problems with. For example:
- you may have problems using the toilet because you have irritable bowel syndrome which causes abdominal pain and urgent diarrhoea, so you sometimes don’t make it in time;
- you might have problems going outdoors alone in unfamiliar places because a visual impairment makes it difficult for you to see obstructions or cross roads safely;
- you may not be able to prepare a cooked main meal for yourself because arthritis in your hands means you can’t peel or chop vegetables.
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 do it, but it hurts. True or False?
I can do it, but only slowly. True or False?
I can do it, but only using a special technique of my own. True or False?
I can do it, but I need someone with me just in case things go wrong. True or False?
It’s not safe for me to do it. True or False?
I can’t do it at all. 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 factors such as 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.