Top tips for making a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim
General tips for both DLA and PIP claims
- Fully explain the difficulties your child/you face(s) on a daily basis and the help you/they need wherever relevant. Don’t assume that a decision maker will know what these are – you need to spell them out clearly. For example, if an activity such as listening to a teacher/tutor is tiring, frustrating, etc., you need to explain this.
- Don’t give GP contact details if your child/you don’t regularly see them in relation to hearing loss as they may not know enough about the effects of their/your hearing loss.
- Keep a diary for a few days illustrating the difficulties your child/you face and send it as supporting evidence. More detailed guidance on providing supporting evidence for DLA and PIP can be found in our pages about claiming DLA and PIP.
- Make sure that any supporting evidence you send backs up what you say rather than contradicts it.
- Keep a copy of the form and supporting evidence you send.
Tips for PIP claims
Remember, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decides whether you are entitled to PIP by looking at a range of activities. For each activity there is a list of difficulties you might have, called descriptors. Each descriptor has a number of points, and you score points according to the highest descriptor that applies to you in each activity. You need to score at least 8 points to get the standard rates of PIP and at least 12 points to get the higher rates.
- PIP differs from DLA in that the questions are directly linked to activities and you need to focus your evidence around the activities in order to score enough points.
- Repeat the types of help you need in all of the relevant activities.
- With each activity think about whether you can do it safely, to a good standard, in a reasonable amount of time, and repeatedly.
- The examples you use must be directly linked to a disability or health condition, e.g. you need to be able to see someone’s face so that you can lipread because you have difficulty hearing certain sounds.
- Hearing aids/cochlear implants can be treated as an 'aid or appliance' – a phrase that is used in the PIP activities. Think about how well you can carry out an activity when using hearing equipment and factors that affect how useful the equipment is, such as background noise.
Tips for DLA claims
- Compare your child’s needs to those of another child of the same age who is not deaf – your child’s needs must be greater than theirs.
- Concentrate on the help/supervision your child needs now because of their hearing loss and other health conditions they have. They must have needed this help for at least three months and be expected to need it for at least another six months. Each time you complete a DLA renewal you shouldn't simply copy what was said in an earlier claim, as your child's needs will have changed.
- Only give information for the questions that are relevant to your child but repeat relevant information wherever it applies.
- If a question asks for how long or how often help is needed you should give a specific amount of time (it’s fine if this is a range, e.g. 5–10 minutes).
- Give details of any times when equipment such as hearing aids are not useful, e.g. where there is a lot of background noise.
- Explain why a particular type of help is needed (remember it must be because of a disability or health condition). For example, your child may need you to tap them on the arm to get their attention because they can't hear you calling to them.
- When talking about the difficulties your child faces, explain how other people can help them.
- Ensure that the DWP gives you a date by which to return the claim form.