Thursday, February 21, 2008

Giving in

I'm going to attempt to claim DLA again. Yes, I know. Don't ask.

I've been going through the members' resources at Benefits and Work and it looks like where I'm really going to fall down is that I have not maintained a raft of professionals to back me up.

My condition cannot be 'cured', the best the medical profession can do for me is help me to control my symptoms.

The first year of my illness, I had any amount of assessments and tests, physical, neurological, psychiatric, you name it, and I was tried on all sorts of different medications and treatments (within the constraints of NHS provision) until we found the optimum combination for controlling my symptoms - not perfect by a long way, but the best we could do.

After which, my medical treatment pretty much dwindled to a repeat prescription every month, and the occasional GP appointment if something acute happened. There was no point remaining on the books for the Pain Clinic or the neurologist or the butcher, baker or candle-stick maker, knackering myself out by hiking off to appointments at hospitals ten or twenty miles away. They had nothing further to offer me.

Wrong. There was a point. They could have provided extra confirmation about my condition and my limitations to the DWP. As it is, the DWP have a computer, and if the computer sees that I am only treated by my GP, and that I've only had a few appointments with my GP in the last 12 months... then it will calculate that there isn't much wrong with me and send me on my way. There are no prizes for attempting to "not be a burden on the NHS" and so on. That's not playing the game properly, it seems.

I have to try and convince the humans that the computers have it wrong on this one.

I'm going to be working on this for a while, blogging might become minimised.


Carie @ Space for the Butterflies said...

Good Luck - and if there's anything I can do to help you've only to ask

Anonymous said...

Wow, good luck with that one.

Maggie said...

I highly recommend joining Benefits and Work. Their guides to filling in DLA forms are wonderful. I finally got an indefinite award after using their guide, which is what allows me to have the Motability car (which has been a godsend over the last awful year!).

Do get in touch if you think I can help in any way. And best of luck to you. You are entitled to DLA, and you ought to get it without having to jumps through all these hoops.

Hugs from grey and windy Liverpool

Anonymous said...

Good luck luv, if you need them beaten with a big stick just drop me a line...

The Goldfish said...

Good luck Mary. :-)

Mary said...

Carie - thanks, I think mostly I will need my mind taken off it from time to time with tea-and-knittings.

Jo - yeah, that's kind of how I feel about it...

Maggie - Thanks to advice given last time I had to tangle with this shower, I am a paid-up member of Benefits and Work. Without them, for instance, I wouldn't have known about this computerised rating of level of disability based on how big one's "team" is.

Tom - while you are a wonderful champion of social justice within the NHS, I don't think you want to take the DWP on as well. Also, aren't you still supposed to be poolside?

Goldfish - cheers, I fear I may need it.

Everyone - thanks. You are all ace.

Supermouse said...

I'll add a hug to the hug counter.

I hadn't considered that point. You do end up avoiding doctors because what's the point? Or I do.

BTW, my ME has returned suddenly, after a long break from beta blockers. I am not surprised. I'll see if the pills make it go away again, but for now it's back to good old 70%. One odd thing is how sour I smell after a single day of being poorly, even with washing.

My DLA claim, which I was finally pushed into trying to do, has stalled because the friend who was helping me fill out the form is busy and I absolutely can't do it on my own. I've had the form since October. :0(

I hate DLA so much. I'd rather just forget the whole thing. Pol's currently out of work so he'll be badgering me to get it done.

Good luck with your claim. I wish you the minimum of idiots and lost forms and the maximum of clueful officials.

Mary said...

Supermouse - Thanks.

It's not so much "avoiding" doctors, most of them have been perfectly pleasant. It's just a question of weighing up the plusses and minuses of those appointments, just like for everything else I do.

Like the neurologist. Nice chap. Seemed to know what he was doing. But, after he'd done his own exam of me, and sent me for MRI and EEG, and looked at the results, and drawn up a list of medications he thought would help me, what more could he really do? The hospital was ten miles out of town. Attending the appointments left me laid up for days or even weeks. It was a no-brainer.

It just bugs me like hell, this idea that my DLA would probably go through on the nod if I was the sort of person who had nothing better to do than attend unnecessary medical appointments, and called an ambulance for every bruise.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with this. Last time I applied, I got one excellent bit of advice, which may well have been a factor in getting an indefinite award. Once you've been through, listing all the things you can't do, go back through your submission and, after every one of them, add something along the lines of "I need help with..." - even if it's something that, in practice, you wouldn't actually accept help with because of other factors (such as privacy / independence).

Do contact me if you think I can help you at all with this.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I find myself in exactly the same position, without tons of appointments to back up my claim. I'm ploughing through the form a question per night, with the help of Benefits and Work. Good luck, I'll check back and see how you do,

Mandy said...

I'm thinking of you, good luck.