I've got a medical for my DLA application today. I am very nervous.
For those who don't live in the UK so don't know about it: DLA is not exactly a social security payment (we have an incapacity benefit for that). It's more of an extra allowance that acknowledges that disabled/ill people have extra needs and added living costs that other people don't have. I've already been approved for the highest rate for mobility costs, and I don't think they can take that away from me as it's clear I have major mobility problems. But I was only approved for a low rate of care money, when I should really be on 'middle rate' for care, given how much The Girl has to do for me. So I asked them to reconsider, and they're sending a doctor to my house to assess me (at first they wanted me to come in to their centre, but that idea was giving me so many panic attacks that we asked for a home visit).
I should be fine because The Girl will be with me and won't allow the doctor to do anything wrong. She will also be checking that I don't forget anything or get confused and make mistakes (I have severe doctor phobia, and the brain fog will kick in as a result of that and I won't remember ANYTHING...) I'm just hoping it isn't too stressful or anxiety-causing, especially as I have a British Sign Language exam tonight. If I get turned down, it won't be the end of the world - but I probably won't be appealling, as a fair number of people with ME/CFS and FMS are turned down at appeal (and even have money taken away that's already been approved) because of how little-known/understood these conditions and their effects are. So this is my last chance at getting money that I *really* need for physio, remedial massage, hydrotherapy, consultant's fees and actual personal care. I just need to remember that it's not the end of the world if I don't get it, because I still have some money coming in (at a lower rate) from DLA. We'll see how it goes, I suppose... :S
We've just heard today that we still have more hoops to jump through with regards to getting care from social services, too. Our social worker's manager approved a care package for me immediately, but it has to go through some kind of 'board' of laypeople. It was first presented to them last week, and they asked for more information which they already had in the report, causing our social worker to want to tear his hair out. Now they're asking for further medical confirmation of my disability. Of course, all they're going to get there is a confirmation of my diagnosis and symptoms, but maybe that will help persuade them. It's highly ironic (as my social worker himself pointed out) that the social worker wrote in his report about how badly people with FMS tend to be treated, and that we tend to be disbelieved and made to jump through hoops and so on... and now that's exactly what they're doing to us. Nice. Well, in the meantime I've been approved for two visits a day (I think) from care workers on the four days that The Girl is away visiting her family abroad, as an emergency measure. So that must be a good sign.