After such a lovely day yesterday attending the University of Plymouth Centre of Excellence launch, sadly I've hit rock bottom today with the realisation it has been SIX MONTHS, I repeat SIX MONTHS since I last had a Disability Living Allowance (DLA) payment and also sent in my renewal form.
Let me repeat the time span again, and I hope my MP Andrew George is listening as I have contacted him privately, also via Twitter and Facebook, SIX MONTHS for a benefit I am entitled to. The excuse from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), is that the application was 'put on the wrong pile' which was for applications for the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit which is replacing DLA and I am supposed to be assessed for *next* year! They still cannot decide whether the renewal form can be used for a PIP application or not. I have an advocate who has tried her best but there is *still* no answer from the DWP about it.
I am 54 (or will be on Sunday) as most of you know, I have an inoperable brain tumour and will not be getting better. I don't know what else to do and would ask the same question that that tens of thousands of us who find ourselves in this situation right now, why am I being punished for something that isn't my fault?
It's bad enough to feel most days - at best - useless and a burden to society with added worries about bills etc. Plus I want to live as full as a life as possible, to contribute where and when I can which is actually a basic human right, according to the Equality Act of 2010! This does not fill me with a great deal of confidence about the Employment Support Allowance I currently receive but will have to be assessed for next year. In this case I will be assessed for my 'capacity' to work, not as to whether I am actually fit to be employed or not.
So I will ask again, WHY AM I AND THOUSANDS OF OTHERS BEING PUNISHED FOR BEING DISABLED/ILL! WHY AFTER SIX MONTHS IS THE DWP DRAGGING IT'S FEET WITH NO IDEA IF/WHEN I MIGHT GET DLA/PIP! SOME OF US (AND THIS COULD INCLUDE ME AT SOME POINT) DO NOT HAVE THE LIFE SPAN LEFT TO WAIT! WHY AM I HAVING TO RELY ON FAMILY AND FRIENDS FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT WHEN 32 YEARS OF FULL TIME NATIONAL INSURANCE PAYMENTS AND PAYING IN TO AN OCCUPATIONAL PENSION SHOULD BE DOING THAT!!!
...answers on a postcard please.