Disability Living Allowance medical examination - what happens next
The Disability and Carers Service will make a decision about your benefit, taking into account the doctor's report. You will be told about the decision once it has been made. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for it to be looked at again by someone else.
Making a decision
The decision maker will consider the report along with all the other information provided for your claim and decide whether to approve your claim and what level of Disability Living Allowance you may receive.
You will receive a letter stating their decision.
All the medical information related to your claim, including the doctor's report from the medical examination, is confidential and will not be released to anyone outside of the Department for Social Development (DSD).
Sometimes the doctor may want to send some information about your medical examination to your local doctor (GP). In that case, Medical Support Services (who organise medical examinations on behalf of DCS) will write to you and ask if you're happy for them to give your GP the information.
They will not pass on the information to your doctor if you do not want them to.
When you will hear about your benefit decision
It normally takes about 37 working days to process a DLA claim, from the day DSD receives your claim form. You can check on the progress of your claim by calling Disability and Carers Service.
If you are unhappy with the medical examination
If you are unhappy with the way the medical examination was carried out, you can complain to Medical Support Services. The complaints procedure is explained in the letter you received about your medical examination. You can also complain to the doctor at the time of the examination. If they cannot resolve the problem, they will give you a brochure explaining the formal complaints procedure.
You can also contact Disability and Carers Service for advice on making a complaint to Medical Support Services.
If you disagree with the benefit decision
If you think the decision about your benefit claim is wrong, or you disagree with the level of benefit you've been awarded, you can:
- ask the office who made the decision to explain it
- ask to have the decision reconsidered by another decision maker
- appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal
- How to appeal against a benefits decision (money, tax and benefits section)
The doctor's report
You can ask to be sent a copy of the doctor's report at any time.
If you appeal against the benefit decision, you will be able to see the doctor's report as part of the appeal process.
Repeat medical examinations
Your Disability Living Allowance award will be for either a fixed or an indefinite period. The decision maker will set the length of your award depending on whether your disability or illness is permanent or your needs may change.
If your award is for a fixed period, you'll be invited to make a new claim six months before the award runs out. This is called a ' renewal claim'. Renewal claims are processed exactly the same way as new claims, so you may be asked to attend a medical examination again.
If your benefit award is for an indefinite period, you will not usually have to make a renewal claim. However, indefinite awards can sometimes be reviewed and you may need to have another medical examination as part of the review.