Regular readers will be aware that I've been waiting for the results of my DLA renewal. To recap, that's the disability benefit that is received regardless of work or income because it is supposed to help cover some of the essential disability-related additional expenses like equipment and transport.
I've been very anxious about this. Partly because of the circus that was my last renewal and partly because my existing award was due to expire at the end of this month, and I did not need my first few months of business to be dogged by personal financial struggles as well.
So this morning, when I heard the post land on the doormat, I wobbled out to the hallway, saw the unmistakable DWP Brown Envelope, reached for it, fell over, and was ripping it open almost before I'd hit the floor...
I have an indefinite award, at the same level I've had for the last two years.
In DWP-speak, indefinite is the word they use because the word permanent doesn't allow for people recovering, and the leaps and bounds of medical science can be unpredictable.
If I get better, then I must let them know and they will reduce the award.
If I get worse, then I must let them know and they might increase the award (or they might decrease it, because who knows where the political goalposts will be?).
If someone has too much time on their hands, they might decide to review my claim at any point just for squits and giggles. The government retain the right to put me under intense covert surveillance (google "Operation Ramesses" (sic)) and generally treat me like a criminal whenever they feel like it. That's par for the course of any kind of claim for assistance.
But it means they acknowledge that I've been in the same condition for long enough that I'm really not likely to change, and that there is little point putting me through the expensive bi-annual mill of renewals and medical assessments and appeals and suchlike. The level of assistance I receive can now be considered as permanent as my condition.
I'm shaking like a leaf. I've got the letter folded open here on my desk so I can keep looking at it to check I haven't mis-read.
If I was a more spiritual person than I am, I might believe this was some sort of reward for having finally taken the plunge yesterday and registered as self-employed. Which was going to be the topic of today's blogpost, but the DLA thing has kind of overwhelmed it.