Securing Disability Living Allowance when she became disabled meant Lisa could get out of her bedroom AND get an Honours Degree.
"My life changed on my 19th birthday. I went from being top of my class and looking forward to a first class degree, to being trapped in bed by debilitating physical and mental fatigue. After three years of NHS waiting lists, I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. The diagnosis meant I could apply for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
The University were relieved when I got DLA, as they could only help me with this recognition. The non-technological support included free parking – even before my Blue Badge – and ensuring my lectures were on the ground floor of buildings where my carer could park directly outside. It enabled me to have a Disabled Student Allowance, providing me with assistive technology to help bridge the gap between my abilities and that of an able student. I completed my degree with a 2.1 Honours, something that would have been impossible without diagnosis and entitlement to DLA.
Back at home, my DLA meant the council – after another three year wait - built a downstairs wet room. This meant I was no longer trapped in my bedroom all day and all night, as I have to be on the same level as the toilet. Being out of my bedroom – even still in my house – has made an amazing difference to my wellbeing.
Finally, the day my DLA letter said the award was indefinite was an amazing day. It meant I didn’t have to go through the constant reminder of my limitations spelled out in a form or told to a stranger.
It meant that I had financial security, and could plan my future. A basic right."