victoria conway Posted December 3, 2014 Share Posted December 3, 2014 I am posting this in an effort to sustain anyone else who has made an application for this benefit and may be enduring the frustration of delays and, dare I say it, ineptitude. As background, I suffered my SAH in July 2011 and came out from hospital with no idea of what to expect - like everyone who posts here, I think. I was lucky to have a truly benevolent employer - in effect, myself, as manager of a charity offering financial assistance to disabled people. The original founder of the charity helped me greatly and daily to get to and from work (at first I could only do an hour or so - and he is in his late seventies!). I thought I could hack it - just get back to normal work and everything would, in time, be back to life as it was. So, I never thought then to claim any benefit - although, obviously, I was totally aware of benefits available to disabled people. Two years plus after my SAH, I finally realised that things would never be as they were. Physically, I am not capable of cleaning the house - not the whole house. I can just about manage the kitchen in one whole day if I break down the task into three and rest plenty in between. As for getting a vacuum out - a) I can't physically get it out of the cupboard and the tinnitus which constantly fizzes about my head can't stand the noise. To the point, somewhere about October last year, I applied for a PIP ( a "Personal Independence Payment" - to cover the costs of getting help with cleaning the house and the costs of my hydrotherapy (which I have been paying for myself). It took the DWP six weeks to acknowledge my claim. So - late November. Three months later, in January 2014, ATOS sent me a letter saying they would arrange an assessment. That, eventually, happened on 7 October, some nine months later, and I was advised by the assessor to contact the DWP if I had not heard anything six weeks after the assessment. So, again, I sat on my hands and waited the six weeks. Then, and this is where the truly awful frustration started, I called the DWP and waited, endlessly, while a disembodied voice told me that "they are sorry claims are taking so long" and " they are working hard to correct this" and, finally, "we are all busy now - perhaps you would prefer to call back later". No! - and go through this whole process again? At long last, some human bean answered, checked that I do exist and told me that they could not do anything because they had not received the assessment from ATOS. I called ATOS - three times and each time, they could not even give me any information about my assessment. Finally, I sent an email to my MP last week begging for help. Suddenly, amazingly, the assessment was sent from ATOS to DWP on 1 December, the DWP made a decision on 2 December and I have been awarded some help. It is, quite simply, enough to cover the costs of my hydrotherapy and enough for paying a cleaner once a week to do what I used to do - it's all I ever wanted. So, I hope this is helpful to anyone who is enduring this stupid process with any claim - fight and, involve an MP! Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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