Ladies and gentlemen, the screwups have commenced!
The DLA unit have sent me a set of irrelevant forms - the ones for if you are reporting a change in your condition that may affect your DLA entitlement.
They maintain that these forms would not have been sent if they hadn't been very specifically asked for. They did not have an answer to "why would we have asked for the "my condition has changed" forms, when the whole point of calling you was to outline that my condition has not changed at all?" other than to insist the incompetence (or as I tactfully phrased it "a misunderstanding, a bit of crossed wires") cannot possibly have been at their end.
If there is some poor sod out there who, on Monday, requested forms DLA454 to report a change in circumstances, and has instead received something along the lines of "so you'd like us to reconsider our decision..." then I'm really sorry. I don't have it in me to concurrently run an dispute about their decision regarding my DLA award, AND a complaint.
They told me on the phone that I have four weeks in which to put together as much additional information as possible for the reconsideration. However, the Evidence they are sending (all the evidence used to make their decision and the reasons for this decision) will not be with me for another 10-14 days. So if the third of these four weeks is a Bad Week for me, I'm screwed. There is no possibility of an extension.
I've been let down by DIAL as well. Possibly they're very busy, possibly they remember me as being all capable and independent from the work days, maybe they just don't like me - but the manager phoned me back and pretty much brushed me off with "you can deal with that yourself, because it's not a full-on appeal, just a reconsideration". Oh. Sorry to have bothered them. Obviously I phoned them for the fun of it, rather than because I'm at a stage of "please, please, somebody help me, I really cannot deal with this on my own, I have no resources, I don't know what's happening, and I don't know what to do..."
With this in mind I have sent money to the folk at Benefits and Work (with thanks to an anonymous commenter on an earlier post for flagging them) so that I can look at some of their handy online resources including titles like "Appealing against a Disability Living Allowance decision".
I wish there was some way that I could just, I don't know, sell a kidney or something and have someone take over all this Aaargh-ness.
On the happier side:
I've completed the inner panel of the knitting needle case and have started on the pockets.
One of the pockets requires beads, and I've just won the perfect ones from eBay.
I also won a new top from eBay (little bit of shopping therapy a couple of days ago). The top, plus my beads, plus the postage for each, totals about £5. Bargain.
Being back home has meant popping in to see Pip and the Littlun for a cuppa. Littlun gave me kisses and cuddles. Spontaneous ones as well, not the "go give (visitor) cuddles!" kind (which always make me feel uncomfortable - kids don't HAVE to cuddle me, you know?). I also got offered a slice of apple, which was yummy, and about a third of a chocolate biscuit, but it was a bit... slimy, so I turned it down in the politest manner possible. Still, he's learning about sharing.