Slightly alarming letter from Social Services today, telling me that my Direct Payments Monitoring Return had been due at the end of July and that if I did not submit it within 14 days I would be in Trouble.
Quick call to the office who sent the letter, turns out it's a form that I have to send in with some bank statements and whatnot, to show that I am properly using the Direct Payments money. They sent it to me at the beginning of June. It didn't arrive. Happily, they believed me that it didn't arrive and are going to send another copy.
Much relieved, I decided to pull out my big Social Services folder (when you have brainfog but have to deal with reams of paperwork for government organisations, you develop excellent administrative habits) to make sure that I had all the bank statements and timesheets and suchlike to hand. I felt happy and confident in my filing system - all the bits of paper were grouped together in their little sections, and in date order within those sections - when I spotted alarm bell number two. One of the statements was missing. The one that would have been sent at... can you guess?... the beginning of June.
I'm not even going to bother with a rant about Royal Mail. There is a persistent problem here with mail (particularly birthday cards) not arriving, packages being left unattended on the doorstep, you name it, and all we ever get told is that nothing can or will be done unless the item of mail was sent by a Signed For or Special Delivery service and we are able to get the sender to provide the receipt for this service.
What I am going to do, is praise the customer service of the bank. I phoned the local branch. A person picked up within a few rings, no automated system. The person spoke good English and offered me two options - I could have a printout of the transactions for the missing period sent for free, or I could have a duplicate statement sent, but that would cost £5. I explained what I needed it for and asked what she thought I should do. She offered that she could send the printout, free, but stamp it with the bank stamp and the date stamp, and then if Social Services said that wasn't good enough, then I could pay the fee and get a 'proper' statement. Whole conversation took less than five minutes. Hurrah.