“Work for those who can. Security for those who can’t. Support for all.”

Work for those who can. Security for those who cant. Support for all.

Friday, 30 May 2014

DLA is a gateway to life and opportunity

Securing Disability Living Allowance when she became disabled meant Lisa could get out of her bedroom AND get an Honours Degree.

"My life changed on my 19th birthday. I went from being top of my class and looking forward to a first class degree, to being trapped in bed by debilitating physical and mental fatigue. After three years of NHS waiting lists, I was diagnosed with ME/CFS.  The diagnosis meant I could apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The University were relieved when I got DLA, as they could only help me with this recognition. The non-technological support included free parking – even before my Blue Badge – and ensuring my lectures were on the ground floor of buildings where my carer could park directly outside. It enabled me to have a Disabled Student Allowance, providing me with assistive technology to help bridge the gap between my abilities and that of an able student. I completed my degree with a 2.1 Honours, something that would have been impossible without diagnosis and entitlement to DLA.

Back at home, my DLA meant the council – after another three year wait - built a downstairs wet room. This meant I was no longer trapped in my bedroom all day and all night, as I have to be on the same level as the toilet. Being out of my bedroom – even still in my house – has made an amazing difference to my wellbeing.

Finally, the day my DLA letter said the award was indefinite was an amazing day. It meant I didn’t have to go through the constant reminder of my limitations spelled out in a form or told to a stranger. 

It meant that I had financial security, and could plan my future. A basic right."

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