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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Disability Living Allowance medical examination - what it involves

Your Disability Living Allowance medical examination is designed to give a general picture of how your illness or disability affects you over time. It is not a snapshot of your health on the day of your appointment.

What the medical examination involves

Already claiming DLA and want to report a change in your circumstances - find out more

It's important to tell the healthcare professional if your condition fluctuates and whether this is a good or bad day for you. 

Before your medical examination, it's a good idea to think about how your illness or disability affects your everyday life. You might like to think about:

  • how much help you need during the day and during the night
  • what problems you have with getting around
  • if you can do more on some days than others, what a typical day is like for you

What you need to have with you

The healthcare professional will ask to see some identification before the examination starts, to make sure you're the person they've been asked to visit.

Your passport, if you have one, is adequate identification on its own. Or you'll be asked to provide three documents which can include your birth certificate, full driving licence, your life assurance policy and bank statements.

Your medical examination may include a sight or hearing test, if this is relevant to your disability. The healthcare professional may want to observe you using any aids you would normally use.

What happens at the medical examination

How long will it take?

As a rough guide, you should allow about an hour for your examination. Sometimes medical examinations can be completed in much less time, especially if the healthcare professional is looking at only one specific issue.

The interview

The healthcare professional will interview you about the kind of help you need and any problems you have getting around. It's important to give the healthcare professional as much detail as you can. If someone else is attending the medical examination to support you, the healthcare professional may ask for your consent to interview that person separately. The healthcare professional will write a statement to record what you said in the interview. This information will provide the decision-maker with a clearer picture of your needs.

The physical examination

The healthcare professional may decide a physical examination would be helpful. They should always explain what is involved first and check that you're happy for the examination to go ahead. It's important to tell the healthcare professional if you feel any discomfort. They will not ask you to carry out any action that causes you discomfort.

The healthcare professional also writes a report about the examination and returns it to the decision-maker. This report is usually written after the examination and you will not normally see it before it is submitted to the decision-maker.

The healthcare professional's report

You can request a copy of the healthcare professional's report from the office that is dealing with your claim. They will send it to you by post. 

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