Sunday, 22 January 2012

Dear Mr Direct Payments Financial Assessment Authority (Copy to Social Worker)

Supportive Lion, Wilton Parish Church, Wiltshire

Dear Mr Financial Assessment Authority (Copy to Social Worker for info)


Thank you for appreciating the medical necessity of postponing my appointment with a member of your team to 2 February 2012 despite the requirement for this Financial Reassessment to be completed within fourteen working days of 2 June 2011.

I am confident my SocialWorker has made you aware of my circumstances, not least the delays to completion of disabled facilities and adaptations to my home. However I was distressed at your threat to withdraw the Direct Payment service I receive if I do not comply with your requirements:

" ... I have now discussed the case with your Social worker, her Team Manager and the Locality Manager for North Disabilityshire and they are all in agreement that if the Financial Assessment is not completed by the date of the proposed visit ... we will give you notice that your Direct Payment will be withdrawn ... "

It is not in my nature to be a person who avoids their oblligations, commitments or responsibilities. It is distressing to be addressed as such a person and, sternly, told of the persons who are lined up to reinforce that view of my nature.

It is the nature of my progressive disease, ill health and resulting disabilities, to interrupt, slow down and make difficult, my day to day living. Your department may as well address that sterness to those impairments and disabilities, though I doubt they will retreat, no matter how stern your wording may be.

It has always been my intention to fulfil my legal obligations first, so far as my cognitive dysfunction will allow, before I have any fun, time with friends, social inclusion, but I am ruled, indeed regulated, by the needs of my ill health and resulting disabilities, which I have no choice but to submit to.

I do not need stern letters to be persuaded of my obligations. Threatening to withdraw services and thereby making my specialised staff redundant is not helpful in my documented medical conditions.

I expect there is legislation that allows services to be withdrawn if a service user refuses to comply with the requirements of your department, but I do not expect it applies where a service user is unable, dis-abled through ill health and resulting circumstances beyond their control, to comply.

Yours truly

Sally Leo
Head of Disability Options to Say No,
North Disability Shire.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Sky is Falling In (DLA and Benefits reform)

IF the sky were falling in that catastrophe would affect 100% of the population, including lazy and/or mendacious MPs, government ministers, bankers and other ankers, together with those readers of the daily 'popular' 'newspapers' (sic) who read inaccurate alarmist stories (yes, stories not facts) and think that those of us dependent on benefits are somehow taking advantage of the system, to their detriment. As if we had the spare energy to defeat the mighty machine of DWP/HMRC and all its tentacles.
So, the sky is not falling in and we, the sick and impaired, are on our own.

Some capable sick and impaired people are DOING A LOT ABOUT IT, so sincere thanks from this old(ish) bird who can't do much at present, except report it here. Tweeting is beyond my capacity. (Pun intended.) Please click on the link below, follow their links, and do what you can to STOP THE SKY FALLING IN !

Friday, 6 January 2012

While I sleep

While I sleep
The Badger recreates her world in mine.

Prevented by barriers placed on her pathways,
She makes new problems of maintenance for me.

Thwarted only by pliable plastics
Her paws shift wood and brick and flint,
Shoulders prise open fences;
Thin green screening mesh
And bin liners of leaf mould are ignored.

She grunts in my sleep while, undisturbed,
I dream of hares and tortoises.