>Tomorrow is payday- hooray, I like payday. Tomorrow is also my last full pay as sometime during mid-July I will go down to half pay having been off sick for 6 months now. I am one of the lucky ones having an employer that continues to pay full pay for the first six months in the first place.
On Monday I got signed off work for another 4 weeks, my GP offered an eight week ‘not fit’ line but I declined, not because I think I’m going to be back at work but because that feels a bit like giving up.
I am awaiting to hear if my claim for DLA (disability living allowance) has been approved and at what level, I will then have to contact HMRC to see how this affects my tax credits, I will then need to sit down with a pen and paper and work out how much we have to live on and how we are going to have to cut our cloth accordingly.
I got a letter this week from the lovely people at carers allowance (which I receive for caring for my child who has a disability) they believed there was a period of time where maybe I wasn’t caring for him for the prescribed period of time (at least 35 hours a week).
They were right- I spent 3 weeks and 4 days in a psychiatric hospital, not caring for my son but I’m pretty sure the mortgage, electricity, gas and other bills that I pay to run my and his home were still being paid- from my bank account. I have also cared for him for 24 hours a day for nearly 16 years now with minimal services at best. Incidentally his DLA claim has also been under review this week so I had to fill in his form too. What a great week!
My mental illness has felt unjust in so many ways but this period, we’ll call it the admin phase has got to be one of the cruellest.
I have had to apply for benefit (itself a demoralising and dehumanising process), rearrange appointments that I missed (and go back onto waiting lists), take a mortgage payment ‘holiday’ and generally think about aspects of my future that are difficult to think about when one is well, let alone when everyday is a battle to keep things in perspective, particularly negative things.
Last weeks emergency budget brings no comfort to people like me; it does not need to be any harder to obtain benefits when one is mentally or physically unable to work- it needs to be easier and quicker. I should not have to wait “up to 8 weeks” to find out what our household budget is going to be when the very act of entering a supermarket to spend a portion of that budget is still such a feat.
I also want to note here so that when the time comes to make my advance statement I remember to include
“should I insist that I “neeeeeed” anything be it another iPod or another pair of shoes, my debit card should be seized until the “neeeeeed” has passed”
Bipolarity can be very expensive!