I have previously attempted to get DLA on three occasions. Twice I've got as far as a tribunal, although on one of those occasions I was ironically too unwell to attend. I was turned down every time.
As well as HMS, which is a new diagnosis for me, I have Aspergers, a history of anxiety problems, asthma and severe allergies. Related to the HMS, I now have permanent problems with my feet (thought to be mild CRPS, along with damage to my Achilles that won't heal), problems with my hands (arthritis? Carpal Tunnel?), problems with my hips, difficulty raising my arms above my shoulders (combing my hair, washing my hair and keeping my under-arms clean are all problems), severe constipation, POTS-type symptoms,fainting and 'pre-syncope', mild incontinence, unstable blood sugar and fibromyalgia.
The main problems I have are severe fatigue and very poor stamina, chronic pain, toileting and bathing problems, pain when walking even short distances, difficulty cooking, severe problems with organisation and paperwork (for which I receive Direct Payments from social services and employ a PA), and trouble with dressing (stiff buttons, bra straps etc are all a bit of a struggle). All of these problems have been steadily worsening, although my mobility is much improved on a couple of years ago when I was forced to use a wheelchair for some months.
Everyone thought I should have got DLA years ago - including my social worker (now retired), OT, CAB advisor and pretty much everyone who knows me, but many of my problems are subtle and Asperger-related and there has been a general lack of awareness in DWP circles of such problems. We are told PIP will fix that, but I remain sceptical. My latest application for DLA was a couple of years ago, following my HMS diagnosis but I was turned down again, even though by then I had developed physical problems.
However, now that my physical needs are becoming much more significant, I am being 'encouraged' to try yet again, but there doesn't seem much point with DLA being scrapped very soon. I don't think I can face that 39 page form again - its soul destroying having to enumerate everything you can't do, all the skills you have lost. I am wondering just how bad things have to get before a person like me can actually get some official support. Life is getting very expensive as there are so many things I need help with - like mobility scooters, special cushions, extra home-help (my PA is only for 4 hours a week and isn't supposed to just to housework, even though that's what I need), maybe even a gardener so my weed patch doesn't upset the neighbours. And my daughter is soon to leave school, but doesn't want to go away to university because she's worried about caring for me - whether she goes or stays, I don't want her feeling she has to be my carer. So DLA/PIP would really help, but I'm frankly scared of applying again.
Also, our CAB is closing and there are no organisations in my area doing DLA-form advice. Which I clearly need, having been turned down so much.
What do you guys think? Should I leave it for a bit? Should I have another go? Does it even sound like I'd be eligible, given that some days I can do loads?