The good, the bad and the ugly – update

The good

  • The DWP received the tribunal’s decision the day after the tribunal. They will write to my sister within 28 days to advise how much she will receive. The payments (including backdate for the time she was erroneously not awarded PIP) should start arriving soon after that.

  • Because my sister was denied disability benefits in September 2017, HMRC decided she was not eligible to receive disability-based tax credits from that date. Now that the PIP decision has been shown to be erroneous, you might think it’s simple enough to reverse HMRC’s decision, i.e. restart paying her tax credits from now, and make a payment to cover the payment. Er, wrong! The gap in tax credits has spanned the end of a financial year, and my sister now lives in a universal credit area. The HMRC operative was personally sympathetic to my sister’s case but could only offer two options:
    • request a mandatory consideration of HMRC’s decision of September 2017, including a request for a backdated payment. The risk here is that if this request is turned down, my sister will not be able to claim any form or part of universal credit for some time afterwards.
    • apply for universal credit from now, and ask for a mandatory reconsideration about the period from September 2017 until now.
  • If my sister is awarded universal credit/tax credits, she can then apply for renewal of exemption from NHS charges.

The bad

Our mother was discharged from hospital yesterday. This was apparently a surprise to her. Post-discharge care around the conditions that put her in hospital is happening, but we need to reinstate some of the home-based medical care she was receiving for other conditions. So I spent a lot of time on the phone today, but there are several services that didn’t answer the phone. Also, my mother’s GP surgery didn’t receive a copy of her discharge letter, so is in the dark about what it should do. The other major query is about adapting the house to suit my mother’s needs. Apparently NHS can do some of this, but I’ve not yet been able to pin-point when this might happen and whether I need to go south to sort things.

The ugly

  • Travel to Brazil in January is finally booked! (My colleague Wegene Demeke and I won some funds to undertake a small project investigating whether and how participatory budgeting helps the very poor in Sao Paulo.) There is still a lot to sort.
  • Other Napier work on setting up writing sessions and doing some coding around a map of PB in Scotland is still on the back burner.
  • Recently I enjoyed marking reports by 3rd year students about the start of their industrial placements. However, I’ve had to field a few queries from the students about my marking. So I’ve learnt more about how to mark – not so ugly, I guess.

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