I'm still in rather a relapse after my Damson Day efforts, and all the anxiety surrounding my welfare benefits. Last week I got a bus to my local Citizen's Advice Bureau in order to visit their drop-in session. I don't know why, but the bus was particularly jerky and it had this annoying beep beep whenever the driver indicated left or right - which was about every thirty seconds. Then I had a walk to find it, and then a forty-five minute wait to see the advisor. It was SO worth it. She was absolutely lovely and straight away explained to me she was going to refer me to two different specialist advisors.
The Department for Work and Pensions have asked for further information regarding my claim for Disability Living Allowance. I was only awarded a renewal about six months ago but I think, because I have been found fit for work twice since October the computer has decided I need to be reassessed. The arrival of the letter and the form caused me to feel sick and dizzy and I can't think clearly about it at all, which is why I have asked for help. The turnaround time for the form is only two weeks. I have an appointment with a benefit advisor two days before the form is due back.
The other referral is about my Tribunal for Incapacity Benefit. This was stopped when I was found fit for work in October 2010 and I have made an appeal. They told me that I could expect a tribunal date around July time this year. A day after seeing the advisor on Monday I received my tribunal date for the middle of June. Since the CAB can't get me an appointment in time now, they are going to squeeze both referrals into the one this week. To make things doubly difficult the appointment falls on my Mental Health Coffee morning which I open up and take the money for. Still following? So tomorrow - coinciding with my appointment with the psychiatrist, (more bus rides) I have to locate the support worker who helps me and give him the key.
I feel like I'm wading through mud most of the time. My body is like an ironing board and my ears are roaring. I wake up in the morning and I just lie there staring, too anxious to move as all the thoughts come flooding in. I'm trying not to project about what will happen if none of the appeals (I have another one running for ESA as well) or form fillings bear fruit and I am left completely without income. It means I will be, like many others, forced to claim Job Seekers allowance, attend work focussed interviews and show evidence of looking for full time work. We won't be able to pay the rent. AJ's income is not large. He pays maintenance for little R and will be paying legal fees for the next eighteen months. Neither of us now own a car - his work car is under threat from budget cuts and if they stop providing a car he will not be able to do his job.
Frankly I'm terrified. I know i'm not the only one. Mr Cameron et al - how is this helping?