We know benefit applications can be such a complicated, drawn out and degrading experience.  We have an amazing Volunteer called Wendy who has volunteered previously with Citizens Advice Bureau, she is an Amputee herself and has done marvellous work in helping navigate appeals and submit applications for our amputee families.  Wendy gets it and she is extremely friendly to talk to.  We asked Wendy to note down her TOP TIPS as she has such a wise head on how best to navigate this process.  We hope you find them useful …

 on’t panic! 

Read the questions through several times before you attempt to fill them in. 

Preparation:  get list of all medication (even items you buy yourself over the counter), showing dosage and strength.  

Collect all Consultants/physio/OT/GP/Physio/Psychotherapist etc. appointment letters showing diagnosis, treatment’s, surgery dates etc. address, and phone numbers. 

List ALL your disabilities, conditions, and illnesses, even if you think they won’t count. Remember, your difficulties didn’t start with your amputation!
List of all aids you use, take a look around your home, you’ve probably got more aids than you think! Include everything such as a grabber, a chair if you need to sit to dress/undress, grab rails etc.   

Be 100% honest but look at the really bad days, consider that you may be able to do the activity specified, but you may do it much slower than a person who doesn’t have your difficulties, or you need to use an aid, or you need help from another person, or it may be unsafe for you to complete such an activity. Include how it makes you feel.  

Always try to give examples of the difficulties you have. Explain if any activities cause you pain. 

Don’t be embarrassed! Don’t forget, it’s OK not to be OK! If you don’t tell them the full extent of your difficulties, they won’t know. They don’t take anything for granted or second guess even if it obvious to us!

Allow plenty of time to complete the forms. 

Keep a copy for your reference when you have your assessment. 

If you post your completed forms, send them recorded delivery so you have proof of delivery. 

Finally, you are not on your own, we are here to help. you can contact us on 01223 734000.