The good, the bad and the ugly

The good

Thursday’s tribunal decided that my sister qualifies for personal independence payments (PIP) at the standard rates for both ‘daily living’ and ‘mobility’. (These are explained here.) This qualification is backdated to the date that her disability living allowance payments ceased, and has no time limit. The tribunal judge stated that this is because her condition is unlikely to change.

It’s interesting that

  • The decision was transmitted to the department for work and pensions (DWP) on the day of the tribunal.
  • The tribunal ‘has no legal power to enforce its decisions’. So it cannot compel DWP to pay out the backdated amount or ongoing payments . (Nor could it compel my sister to reimburse DWP if the tribunal had found she owed it.)
  • DWP did not contest its case at the tribunal. (Apparently this is common.) This implies to me that DWP does not expect to win at tribunals, and hence tacitly accepts that many of its decisions are incorrect. Someone has pointed out that this is ‘yet another example of causing unnecessary strain and anxiety’.

So my next tasks are to

  • ensure DWP pays
  • ask HMRC to restart my sister’s disability-based working tax credits, including backdating to when they ceased.
  • ask NHS to reinstate my sister’s NHS charge-exemptions.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that I slept well last night for the first time in about 2 weeks. And the end may well be in sight for this pile of pooh!

The bad

Our mother is still in hospital, about 40 minutes’ drive from her home. She is doing OK, but will need a lot of physiotherapy before she can return home. I guess I’ll be travelling between Edinburgh and Worcester at weekends during this period.

The ugly

  • I’ve done no Napier work while I’ve been away, so I’ll need to catch up on preparations for the PB research trip in Brazil in January, ideas to improve how PB in Scotland is presented, and some work on writing sessions. There’s quite a lot of community council and Leith Chooses work to catch up on too.
  • My left leg: it’s swollen from the mid-calf downwards, and recently I’ve noticed some interesting bruising on the tops of my left toes.

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