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.

Continue reading

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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. Continue reading

Why is Bruce grinding his teeth? update

Clearly there is a lot I’m not going to say in this public forum.

  • On-going foot-pain after travelling on many buses and trains in the past few days.
  • Today’s appointment with CAB advisor was postponed because she was off sick. She says she is likely to ‘drag herself in’ tomorrow. So I’m hopefully meeting with her to prepare my sister’s PIP appeal tomorrow lunchtime, then going to hospital to visit my mother.
    • Just now I feel very unprepared for the appeal.
  • She is still in a hospital over an hour away from her home by bus or train.
    • Treatment for her conditions has started, now that tests taken on Friday or Saturday of last week have filtered through to the relevant specialists.
    • However, understandably there’s no indication yet of when she might be allowed home or moved to a hospital in her home town. That brings up some fears.
    • However, she is lucid and chatty, and very much herself
    • Also the staff at her current hospital are clearly very caring, and have time to put this into practice.

Nighty-night!

Why is Bruce grinding his teeth?

  1. My sister’s appeal against not being awarded personal independence payments takes place on next week in Worcester. I have a meeting with the CAB staffer who has been advising us in Tuesday. So my current plans are to go to Worcester on Sunday, returning Saturday 27. While I’m away, a lot of other stuff is going to take a back seat.
  2. On the way to a community council meeting this evening, I was cycling around a roundabout. I wear a hi-viz helmet cover and wrist-bands, and my bike has reflectors on every other spoke. It was about 4:10pm, with no hindrances to visibility. And yet someone still drove onto the roundabout, into the space I would have been in if I hadn’t braked quite hard. To this person, I can only say Fuck you very much, you SMIDSY-sucking arsewipe. 
  3. While I was at the meeting, my brother phoned to tell me our mother has been taken into hospital, in a town 30 minutes’ drive from Worcester. This was about 5pm. As of 15 minutes ago, she was still waiting to be seen by an A&E doctor. The A&E sister told me that it’s not likely that there will be any news until 2 hours from now.

Graphic ‘bah!’

Online identity assurance programme: Scottish Government ‘show & tell’ (28 March 2018) #identityassurance @digitalscots

This post is my digital record of the Scottish Government’s Online Identity Assurance (OLA) ‘show and tell’. The day was very informative, and provided me the opportunity to catch up with friends in civil society circles. I’m especially interested because online identity is a natural precursor to online voting, another problematic area that greatly interests me.

The post starts with a recap of what was said at the event, then notes my input at the event. Next are my reactions to the event itself, followed by my thoughts on the whole OLA programme. In summary, while I think OLA is very worthwhile, and that the Scottish Government is trying to do it the right way, I have a lot of reservations about how useful it will be for those who most need government support. Continue reading

A not-so-brief history of Personal Independence Payments

Here is a saga of my sister’s application for Personal Independence Payments. She applied for this state benefit in June 2017, yet 10 months later there is no sign of her receiving it.

My sister’s network includes my ever-wonderful wife. Her help has included direct support of my sister, and of our mother who has very severe issues of her own. My brother and his wife are also very supportive of our sister and mother, especially providing on-the-spot support, while I concentrate on the bureaucracy. They all live fairly close, but my wife and I live over 300 miles from them.

While I feel more about my sister’s case than about any other, she has possibly one of the most fortunate cases. I am deeply concerned for others who do not have such a strong support network.

The major issues we’ve faced are, in rough chronological order: Continue reading

What has Bruce been up to? (again)

Following on from this post – I’ll try to blog each week:

  • Tuesday 13th: being interviewed about my experiences of Edinburgh, and how tourists and residents see different aspects of the city
  • Tuesday 13th to Thursday 15th: on this course, which was ‘enhanced’ by two fire-alarms and freezing our collective bits off in the snow
  • Thursday 15th: completing two funding applications, one of which succeeded. (The other will be decided in about 3 month’s time.)

Continue reading

Kozmik

In a vague tribute to a Janis Joplin album, today could be called I got dem ol’ co-codamol hughies again, mama! In other news, last week I succeeded in copying posts from Just another bipedal sack of DNA and neuroses – because that’s what humans are to this blog.

It’s been interesting – and quite emotional – revisiting the end of a marriage and my career in publishing, various family (mis)fortunes, my time in India and Indonesia, my MSc, the start of my community council work and research career, discovering spinning, and the beginning of my current, very happy marriage. So much of this feels as though it’s permanent, and has been part of me forever – but in reality much is less than 5 years old.

There will be lots of broken links, because some material was hosted on now-dead servers. I’ve tried to resurrect what I can, but if you find any, please let me know.

Family misfortunes: Bruce- or system-error?

Following on from this post

Yesterday’s knock again my state-socialist tendances has been mollified by a pleasant but so far futile interaction with HMRC. My mother and I spoke with with a very pleasant HMRC helpdesk staffer last night (Thursday 7 September). Once my mother had given her permission for me to speak with HMRC about this issue, I tried yet again to register my mother for SA using the access code HMRC had sent her, while describing what I was doing to the HMRC staffer. Yet again this failed. The code had arrived in a letter dated 4 September Continue reading