Saturday, 5 October 2013

Update 32 - Me and the DWP!

OK - so I had to fill in their new form to our Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to see if I qualify for any benefits again (commencing the end of November 2013).  All 39 pages!

The fun part is that as the UK has severe austerity measures in place they have changed the criteria for being able to qualify for benefits for being disabled in really significant ways!  (I hope this is not happening in your countries).  There is also more of a points system and you have to get a certain number of points across the form to qualify otherwise you do not.  This means that even people in wheelchairs may not qualify for the benefits and I find that disgraceful.

One example is that they said on the previous form could you walk 50 metres, how long and how easy/difficult, they now use 20 metres as the criteria!

It is also even more of knowing how to fill in the form and what to say, as they are looking for key words and phrases to score the highest marks on a question.  SO anyone who is filling these in, do not be proud, go to the citizens advice bureau (CAB) or at the very least get professional advice/assistance.  I have being doing an exercise program specifically designed for my by a physiotherapist who knows about CIDP (Yes!!!!) and I asked her advice - but more about that in my next post.

I filled in the form around the beginning of August, as best that I could and sent it back.  Before I sent it I scanned it in, bearing in mind my last episode with the DWP, where they lost my forms and I had to get my MP involved, before they would even admit to loosing it!

   I do not expect to get the carers allowance anymore as though there are some tasks at home I still find difficult to do (e.g. lifting a heavy pan and moving at the same time)  most of it is manageable as I have adapted how I do things. Plus I have family around to assist.

I phoned them up mid way through September, to be told they didn't seem to have received my form!  (oh no not again).  I then asked for an email address so I could send the saved copy to.  Now comes my mistake, I had saved the 39 pages as a PDF (Adobe Acrobat read only format, so it couldn't be changed and was dated when I filled it in), even worse a colour PDF!  This meant when I cam e to send it in, it was 21.5MB in size.  Anyway I sent if to this email address and received nothing back.  So I phoned the next week and was told they would have sent a reply if they had seen it.  So I uploaded it to the Internet and sent a copy of the link to them so they could download it - but they could not do that either!  Oh and why was I using that email address as it was the wrong one...... (I could have screamed).

Any way I  am now talking to a very nice lady (I could put her name in here, but incase she reads it I don't want to embarrass her or get her into trouble) from the DWP in Bristol who has given me the right email address and I have tried sending it again, but it is too large and she tried to get the limit increased but their IT function won't allow this, she can't connect to the Internet to pick it up (as her IT function won't allow it!), she has sent me a fax number, but I don't have fax capabilities without printing it off.......

So I have just completed printing it and have asked for confirmation of the address to send it to and maybe a very large envelope!

More in a while.