All the DLA stuff is now compiled, copied, and sent. Well, I say "all". They never did get round to sending me the copy of the medical report I'd asked for - in fact all they sent me was that half-baked Written statement of reasons and that took them two weeks. Still, it's something.
So they have a copy of the specialist report, and they have a copy of the certificate from my Incapacity Benefit renewal which confirms that the level of disability (by which I mean, the extent to which my condition hinders me from doing things in a usual manner) that I described on those forms was consistent with the medical evidence and is unlikely to change for a couple of years yet. They have a copy of a statement from Steve about my care and mobility needs, they have a description of what happened with That Locum (a considerably shorter, calmer and more polite version, but containing all the important bits). And, they have the step-by-step refutation of the ridiculous claims they made on the Written Statement of Reasons.
It is all immaculately calm and polite, full of "I ask you to bear in mind" and "obviously you have already read (blah) but I would like to reiterate" and as many references as I could make, all prefixed with "please see (evidence)".
A slightly interesting exchange when I went to the Post Office. I put the envelope on the scales and explained that I needed it to reach its destination within the week, preferably sooner, and that I needed proof of it having arrived and been signed for and accepted by the recipient. The gentleman on the other side of the counter nodded and asked me to pass the envelope through, he took it, looked at the address, and chuckled. Apparently the DLA address is rather notorious to frontline Post Office staff. The DWP "lose" an awful lot of stuff, it seems. I was worried that it might be a little bit paranoid to insist on proof of receipt as well as proof of delivery. Turns out it's the only really sensible way, especially if you've got a time limit.
There is only one thing I still have to do, and that's go to the council and get them to change the bit on my housing benefit that says "Disabled (in receipt of DLA)" to "Disabled (in receipt of long-term Incapacity Benefit)". This won't make any difference to what I receive, but will cover the gap between my original DLA award expiring and the renewal being approved, or indeed if the renewal isn't approved.
I'm not sure whether I want to try and do this by letter or in person. In person is trickier, and you don't have black-and-white photocopied evidence of what was stated - which has caused trouble for me before with them. But letters often don't get read properly, little things like they don't notice words like "not" or "no longer" - which has also caused trouble for me before with them.
I also know that I should be making a complaint to the DLA about the problems I've had, but part of me is worried this could be detrimental to my reconsideration (I don't believe in the Chinese Wall) and a large part of me doesn't want to have anything more to do with the department than I can possibly help. Your thoughts, as ever, are welcome.