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It did indeed thud

Well the doormat actually groaned as the large A4 sized brown envelope collapsed to the floor. There I was, comfy under my duvet, contemplating my day, waiting for morning carer to arrive when this *thunk* travelled from porch, across the lounge, along the hall, into the bedroom and landed in my dozing lobes.

The accompanying booklet some twenty pages, along with the forty paged form, it’s covering letter and return envelope amounted to a significant hunk of pulled tree.

I’ll be busy for the next couple of weeks while I take time to put together my evidence (which I’ve chased up again) and carefully and concisely complete the questions and add the additional details as required.

This is worse than any examination I’ve ever done, the stakes are pretty high too.

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Posted by on August 21, 2019 in General

 

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My Mat Remains UnThudded

Well folks we are a week further along from the telephone call stating that the original PIP2 form has not arrived and guess what ……. it’s still not arrived. *sigh*

I grasp the phone and dial the freephone number (ever wondered what their phone bill looks like 😲). After going through the ‘please visit out web site at ….’ schpeel, the press 1 for this, press 2 for that, press 3 for the other, press # to hear these again, I sit tediously in the loop of a very tinny opening strains of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons which is interrupted with the ‘All our operators are busy right now, please hold or you may wish to call back’, back to Vivaldi before being interrupted 30-seconds later with the same voice.

Seventeen minutes later an actual proper live human person speaks! We whisk through the security questions (I sometimes wonder if I sound too confident and knowledgeable when I answer them, too many times answering the same questions plus too many years asking the same questions). Up shot – call back on Monday if it’s not there – it seems last weeks lady was a tad bit over eager in our Royal Mail operatives.

I explained that I wouldn’t be calling on Monday because it’s Big Sis’s funeral and I don’t think I’ll be coherent enough for business. She was incredibly understanding, made a note on my claim (brain was visualising the old 110 screen from my days as a processor) and said to call on Tuesday or Wednesday.

So in limbo, I wait……

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2019 in General, Life

 

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It’s one of those Monday’s, that’s why

Technology is bad enough when it complies with our instructions, but it turns into a belligerent stroppy over tired toddler when it decides to be awkward.

Today I wanted to print off some notices for Big Sis’s ‘reflections’ service, she was adamant she didn’t want any fuss or funeral. I had spent Saturday working on the layout and wording, finding one of the very elusive photos of her and refining it for my purpose. Sent it off to BFF because I always miss something when proofing etc. Left it alone to give one final check over before printing it off, showed bro-in-law and hit the print button.

Printer chugged and clunked, whirred and span eventually printing out the test go, but the picture came out oddly coloured. Damn, colour cartridge must be super low. Discovered how to pull printer apart, remove cartridges and dispatch Bro-in-law to remortgage my hovel for a replacement. He was delayed getting back to mine as the police closed my cul de sac as an elderly gent had collapsed mid street and there were police cars and ambulances galore.

We attacked the razor sharp finger slicing packaging and extricated the cartridge and reinserted into its little housing compartment. Click, clunk, all done. Hit print and ……. flashing lights. *sigh*. We fiddled and bodged, I googled and “ah-ha’d”. According to the manufacturers website the domeflotchy (I am fully conversant with the tech terms) that senses whether it’s the correct cartridge and ink levels doesn’t work after the first lot of cartridges are removed but there is a work around, just hold this button for 15 seconds and presto the flashing lights will cease. So I did and they didn’t. *sigh*.

I disconnected everything, unplugged everything, uninstalled printer from my computer. Drank my (second) coffee. Plugged everything back in, turned on the printer and ……. light still flashing. *sigh*. So I hit print anyway, and it printed it out.

Of course I knew it was going to be one of those sorts of Mondays when I woke up, every hour or so from 1:15am, as I floated around the bed in a sweaty menopausal hot flush, as I turned over and neck made an awful crunch sound, when I poked my eye as I was sponging my face, when I clumped my funny bone on the desk draw.

I want to curl up on the sofa with buttered toasted crumpets, but with my luck today I’d set off my new ear piercing smoke alarm (installed by two very tall svelte firefighters).

Still, I almost managed to order Big Sis’s coffin topper spray of flowers coherently, only cracking up into a few tears as I read out the wording for the two cards. Not a phone call I ever wanted to make but the lovely lady was most patient and concerned to get everything ‘just right’.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2019 in Grumble, Tech

 

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Brown Envelope Lost

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Well ….. *sigh* ….. it begins.  Remember I said that the dreaded envelope had thudded to my floor?  Well his follow up one hasn’t.

After a mere 17 minutes of listening to the repeated opening strings of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and uncountable “Please hold” thingy I  got an actual person answered.  After the relevant security questions which I think I zipped through too confidently a new form should be with me in a week – which makes me wonder why the first form was allowed three weeks to get here.  Hmmm…….

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2019 in Grumble, Life

 

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Big Sis, the biggest loss

I was not yet prepared to have to say the following. My Sister died Friday 26th, at 5am.

Last October she had an emergency op to remove two tumours from the edge of her brain (we joked she’d had her marbles removed) little knowing there was a lung tumour. She recovered well and had radiation treatment before commencing immunotherapy in February. She had been responding well despite a few issues.

A little over three weeks ago she was suddenly lethargic and severely dehydrated and admitted to hospital where they discovered she had infections. While there were signs of slow improvement on Thursday she suddenly deteriorated and died within moments of her hubs and son arriving.

The impact of this has not fully hit me yet, on top of the recent changes in my personal circumstances 2019 is not being kind to me and my nearest.

Give a loved one, even if it’s your dog or cat, a hug and recall a pleasant memory.

I will be okay.

I’ve spent the past few days dealing with the bureaucracy of death, going through the emails, unsubscribing from lists, shutting down online shopping accounts. Amazon is a nightmare! Make sure you have your partners email password and account password because there are numerous hoops to get tangled up with. Getting the contact details on utility bills and insurances switched to hubs details. Answering question after question over what’s to be done in accordance with her wishes.

Timing of life is tricky, today is her grand daughters 4th birthday.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2019 in people

 

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The Ominous Brown Envelope

It’s arrived …. I’ve been waiting for it since 2013. This time it wasn’t Royal Mail’s infamous tardy service, more a case of good idea failing as soon as it was put into practice.

I’m talking about the DWP migrating Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP). As DLA was a benefit claimable from birth to 65 years old there have been many changes in policy, administration, review process, awards criteria during its life time, as well as medical progress with many conditions. I fully supported the need for a major review and reassessment of claimants to make things more even across all spectrums, but it was obvious that the incentive behind it was to reduce the benefit bill and ‘move’ people into work. The DWP in its ‘wisdom’ out-sourced this mammoth task to a company called Capita (also ATOS) who tendered a two year time table, an assertion of numbers of claims rejected/stopped and the minimal number of staff needed. Many of us would have seen news reports and media articles about disabled people being forced to seek work when they obviously are not able to work, as well as reports about how slow and bogged down the switching process has become, reports of Capita/ATOS staff going off sick with stress and depression, the poorly trained or qualified staff making medical decisions, the number of award decisions being appealed and subsequently awarded at a higher rate. Generally the whole business has been something of a debacle.

Now it is my turn. The brown envelope dropping on my door mat on Friday 12th was the letter informing me that my DLA award would be ceasing unless I began a PIP application within the next three weeks and that I should telephone the claim line with a list of information required.

Taking a couple of days to calm down and amass all the health professionals business addresses and telephone numbers I waited to call on Tuesday 16th. It’s never good to telephone bureaucracy on a Monday in my opinion. A twenty minute phone call where the lady zipped through her well worn script began the process. Now to wait for the heavier brown envelope containing the forms to arrive sometime within the next two weeks, or I telephone them.

The nail biting aspect is how to get across to the claim processor exactly what my limitations are with the evidence I can provide. DLA/PIP is a ‘gateway’ benefit, it is a primary indicator of a persons circumstances which means additional premiums are added to other means tested benefits (like Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit), for me that has no bearing because I’m not receiving such benefits, but for many it is their everything. Copious notes, copies of documents and records will need to be kept of the whole process just in case I need to question things or appeal a decision at a later date.

I’m off to the Gov.uk site to download a copy of the form coming and the assessors information, to educate myself.

So it begins…..

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 20, 2019 in Life

 

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Game, Set, and new strawberries please

The past two weeks have delivered a rather welcome distraction from the trials, woes, chaos, stresses, bureaucracy and struggles I am wading through. With the BBC having such extensive Wimbledon coverage online I could switch and flip through numerous matches from 11am until almost bed time.

Boy have there been some thrilling and entertaining games, from the rocketing prowess of the 15 year old Coco Gauff, the epic men’s doubles games and the men’s singles to the antics in the Gents and Senior Gents Invitational Doubles (affectionately known as the old and the dead) with such characters as Mansour Bahrami, Paul HaasHois and Henri Leconte. It has been lovely. But that’s ended for another year *sigh*

Time to get back to my lists of jobs, chores, tasks, bureaucracy and such. So here goes

  • Update Management Company spreadsheets
  • Email Agents for update on works pending
  • Liaise with Director over estate business
  • Order Great-Niece’s birthday present (4 already!)
  • Collate care professionals names, addresses, phone numbers
  • Begin DLA to PIP migration (scary)
  • Amass medical evidence
  • Do own financial evaluation
  • Source home demo powerchairs
  • Update website (1st Aug)
  • Cogitate Mac ‘big project’
  • Go through and weed 300+ saved read emails
  • Finish cat blanket crochet

That should do for starters. None of them are exactly five minute easy jobs and seeing them it looks a little daunting, but I’ll get there one tick at a time.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2019 in General, Life, Projects

 

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