What supporting evidence should I include?
To increase your chances of a successful Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claim it’s important to send in evidence that backs up what you’ve said in the application form. This could be supporting letters from people who know your child, copies of reports or assessments, or a diary detailing a typical day or week.
Make sure you read all the supporting evidence carefully to make sure it’s up to date (within one year of the claim if possible) and doesn’t contradict what you’ve put in the form.
You can write your own letter to support your claim. Here are some examples of what you could include. Talk about how your child:
- needs you to gain their attention before starting to communicate
- relies on lip-reading and so needs people to face them, make eye contact, not cover their mouths and not stand in front of a window
- can’t lip-read a word unless they already know it or are given enough clues in order to make a good guess
- needs you to speak slowly and clearly, using short sentences and giving contextual clues
- needs you to use more body language and meaningful gestures and be ready to repeat, rephrase and to write and draw if necessary
- needs someone familiar to interpret for them.
Also, explain what help your child needs with things such as:
- waking up
- washing and dressing
- wearing and looking after equipment
- using public transport
- learning and education
- communicating with other family members and friends
- recognising and avoiding danger
- and the impact this has on the rest of your family.
If your child is under three include information on the dangers of swallowing batteries or choking on small parts of the hearing aids.
It will also help to get supporting letters from people who know your child well. We’ve given some examples below, with suggestions of the sort of information that would be helpful for them to include in their letter.
- Explain your child’s audiogram and what your child’s level of deafness means in practice.
- Explain that your child can’t tell the difference between sounds vital for learning speech and environmental sounds such as traffic, crowds, background conversation.
- Explain that your child needs specialised teaching methods and adapted teaching materials.
- Explain that your child can’t tell what caused a sound or what direction it comes from.
- Show your child's audiologist our resource Writing Reports for Non-Specialist Audiences. It has lots of useful information to help them write a letter that gives other agencies, like the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), a full understanding of your child's needs.
Speech and language therapist
- As above, but focus more on the need for structured speech and language development.
Ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist
- Explain the type of deafness your child has, what it means in practice and what support your child needs.
- Explain the type of deafness and the impact it has on your child's everyday life.
- Explain your child’s needs and the use of special teaching strategies to help with their education and social, communication and academic development. We’ve created some guidance for teachers who have been asked to support a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claim.
- Explain how your child’s deafness affects them and what their needs are. This could include difficulties with understanding new concepts, developing language, communicating and mixing with hearing people, as well as danger when outdoors (particularly traffic coming from behind).
If your child sees any other professionals because of additional disabilities or health conditions you could ask them to write a supporting letter explaining their care and supervision needs as a result of this, and the impact their deafness has on their ability to manage this additional disability.
Close family member or friend
Explain the impact your child’s care and supervision needs have on the family and give details of any recent dangerous events that happened because of your child’s deafness.
It could help your claim if you keep a detailed diary of your child’s care and supervision needs over a typical day or week.
To qualify for DLA, your child must have needs that are over and above those of their hearing peers, so your diary will have even more impact if you can compare your child to a hearing child of the same age.
We’ve created example diaries to give you some ideas of what to include:
If your child has a statement of special educational needs (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), an Individual Development Plan (Wales), an Education, Health and Care plan (England) or a coordinated support plan (Scotland) it could help your claim if you send in a copy.
Other reports and assessments from professionals such as a speech and language therapist or educational psychologist could also be sent in if they are relevant to the DLA claim.