So, I've been being very organised about this whole DLA business. I phoned the Benefit Enquiry Line to get a form sent to me that would be date-stamped so that my claim, if successful, would be backdated. I scoured the members area of Benefits and Work and saved a copy of the guidelines to filling in the adult DLA form on physical health grounds. I went through that document and made a Notepad file with my notes based on what would be most relevant for me. Next, I downloaded a copy of the new form (it's different to the forms I filled in before. There's only one of it and it's a lot more reminiscent of the IB50). Then I started slowly working on one question at a time, typing my answers into another notepad file.
A number of people who know me in real life were lovely enough to say they would write statements for me, detailing their experiences of my care and mobility needs, if I told them what was needed. So I whipped up yet another notepad file, this one being a rough guide to the sort of information the DLA people are looking for.
Today, the actual forms arrived. There are 63 questions. Unfortunately that's not a useful number. "Date of birth" is one question. "National Insurance number" is one question. However, on the other side of the coin, "Would you have difficulty preparing and cooking a main meal for yourself? Is there anything you want to tell us about the difficulty you would have planning, preparing and cooking a main meal?" is all one question.
Having got to a point in my notepad file-o-answers where I was feeling really useless and like I wanted to throw my laptop across the room (question 32, if anyone's keeping track), I decided to start working on the form. After all, my notepad files are a bit pointless if the actual form remains blank.
And, ladies and gentlemen, I have made my first mistake. Question 6. "Address where you live", I got my postcode wrong.
I am wondering whether to make a note of this in the Additional Information.