One of the most important functions of our Helpline is to provide assistance with claims for benefits. However, in order for them to get the most from the Helpline, we do need clients making claims for benefits to ensure that they are ready to make their application. Please therefore follow this procedure:
- Collate all of your paperwork relating to your illness and put it into date order.
- Take a lever arch file or a sturdy box and label it MY NARCOLEPSY RECORDS and store documents here. Use a piece of card or something similar to divide the categories. Colour-coding each group using a marker at the top right of each page may help for ease of searching (eg red for GP, green for Consultant and so on). This just helps you to find things quickly.
- On each document write clearly its DATE and its page number, so the first one might be “01 June 2000 - Page 1”, and the last one might be “01 March 2018 - Page 21”. This might sound laborious, but will help each time you need to look at your records
- Divide your papers into different groups, such as
- GP records (you may need to make an appointment to obtain these) relating to your narcolepsy and any other illnesses you will refer to within your application for benefits (but please note that we can only help with narcolepsy). You may be asked to pay for this but if you explain that this is because of your disability you may not have to, particularly if you are able to receive information electronically rather than on paper.
- Consultant records - If you don’t have these then ask for them .
- Prescriptions lists - noting any side effects of any of the medications.
- Employment - Any correspondence with employers, past and present, which relates to how your disability affects you in the workplace, and any of your personal records of incidents at work, grievances etc, plus anything relating to Access to Work support if applicable.
- Education - Records from school/university etc which evidence the problems you/your child suffers in terms of access, special assistance, care etc. You may be able to obtain attendance records as well as communications from school about being sleepy, lacking concentration, etc.
- Anecdotal Information - Any specific statements by you/carers/partners/parents/friends who have witnessed specific dangerous incidents eg cooking accidents, bathing incidents, any memory concerns, automatic behaviours, driving, how laughter or playing with the family may affect you. Are there things you resist doing because of the effect it has on you? BE HONEST - do not exaggerate but be clear about things which affect you adversely.
- A Diary - Keep a diary for a week or two - use our Activity and Sleep Log each day.
- Record how your disability affects you - use the form here.
NOW YOU ARE READY TO ring DWP (0800 917 2222) for your application form.
Upon receipt of your application form – take a copy of it and create a draft of your response (if you cannot make a copy, then write on the actual form lightly in pencil). Do not delay in filling in the form! There is a time limit for returning it and we need time to read it and respond.
NOW RING US on 0345 4500 394 OR EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your form and say that you would now like assistance with your application telling us THE DATE IT HAS TO RETURNED TO DWP.
You do need to have all of your records available at this point.