Wednesday, June 20, 2007


According to my records...

On the 24th May I was turned down for DLA.
On the 2nd June (a Saturday) I received the letter telling me this.
On the 4th June, (Monday) my mother on my behalf asked for a reconsideration and for us to be sent copies of the reasons and Evidence used to turn down my application.
On the 6th June, the wrong forms arrived.
On the 7th June, I rang up to query this. I was told to ignore the wrong forms and assured the reasons and Evidence would be with me in 10-14 days.
On the 16th June (a Saturday), I recieved a letter confirming that I was up for reconsideration, but with no mention of the reasons and Evidence. I phoned and was told that my request for this documentation was being processed.

Today is Wednesday the 20th June. Depending on how you look at it, it's been 13-16 days since I requested the documentation relating to my claim. If it isn't here by Friday, then I have to ring them up again and attempt to be assertive. I'm not looking forward to that.

So, I'm waiting. I've done my best to clear the decks of all other claims on my time and energy, I've made sure I have plenty of food (a combination of microwave meals, pre-prepared saladyveg, fruit, juice and smoothies for healthy vits, and junk comfort food) but now I'm just tensed. I know that as soon as the paperwork arrives, I have to get working on it, and I know it's important.

It's exactly like the feeling you get before an exam, which I suppose it effectively is. Except, when I was at school and college, and I had an exam coming up, I knew when exactly it would be. I knew that on this day at this time, I would be required to walk into the exam hall and force my brain as hard as it would go for two or three hours, after which, it would all be over. So my tension was generally reserved for the four or five hours leading up to Exam Time, and maybe an hour afterwards winding back down. Which was fine. But with this, I don't know when the exam starts, and I feel like I'm not prepared for it, and instead of it being over by lunchtime it's going to be several days of sustained effort, plus, you know, ILL, with the headaches and muscle pain and nausea and whatnot.

I keep trying to sleep - I'm shattered even by my standards - but I can't, because I'm all tensed and my mind won't stop working on what they might say is a reason and how I should best argue against it.

To cap it off, today is Little Sister's birthday. I was sunshine this morning and I'm going to go and be sunshine this evening for dinner as well, and even her friends will agree that my sister is an exhausting person to spend time with, but luckily, while I'm in this kind of state, I'm not really registering what people say to me so the torrent of words should hopefully just wash right over my head (Sister Dearest, if you're reading this, you know I don't mean it nastily, but you also know it's true). On the plus side, I will be getting a really nice, home-cooked, fresh-ingredients meal, without any of the prep or clearing up, since my parents simply won't let me. I do feel guilty about it, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a nice treat.

Sorry about the grammar and punctuation in this post (nod to Dr Crippen. I know it's all over the place, but I can't make it fixed any better right now.


Cusp said...

I hope this all sorts itself out soon.

You describe the effects of this kind of stress so well. No one ever seems to think how these sorts of worries affect PWME.

It took me weeks to complete my original DLA application because of my limitations in concentration etc and re. the emotional implications of applying for something which said I was disabled. I don't think anyone comes to that point lightly.

When it was finally submitted they wanted to know why it had taken me so long --- as if I was being underhand in some way: see, they don't like it when you're tardy, but when they are it doesn't apparently matter.

Let's hope you can get it all over with soon :-)

Mary said...

The issue faced by the DWP is that while lots of genuinely ill/disabled people have a certain amount of pride and don't claim all the benefits they're entitled to* because they hate the idea of begging or focusing on their weaknesses and so on, the fit and healthy fraudulent claimants have no trouble at all listing imaginary personal difficulties to try and get some extra cash while teaching salsa dance or training for marathons.

*I had been going to try to get by without DLA myself. I figured the £56 a week Incapacity Benefit would be enough to live on as long as my rent got paid. Then I found out that because I was under 25 and childless, I wasn't entitled to full housing benefit for my bedsit flat - and paying the top-up would have swiped 50% of my IB each week. So I had to get Official Disabled Status for my full rent to be paid, and IB didn't count for that, it had to be DLA.

Or, I could have done what the lady at the housing office suggested, and got pregnant :S