On the 6th September the Disability & Carers Service, part of the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP), sent me a letter and a renewal claim form. Despite the UK's notoriously inefficient postal system, Royal Mail somehow succeeded in delivering the missive on 10th September. Actually 'form' is an understatement: it is a thirty-five page booklet. Thus far I have managed to complete the first twelve pages at a rate of what is averaging out at two hours per page. At the rate I am going I shall definitely overshoot the required return date of 4th October. I have actually been given less than a month to complete it.
[Image description: page one of the mentioned form, DLA80; Crown ©]
Unfortunately I have multi-morbidities with concomitant co-morbidities which include several fluctuating conditions. This means I cannot answer yes/no to most things, but rather have to explain the range of symptoms, etc. Furthermore, on many days I cannot concentrate long enough to do anything useful on the form. I calculate at the current rate of progress, it is likely to take me up to two more months to fully complete, as I have already begun to enter my annual winter malaise. Yikes!
Every time I complete one of these renewal claims, I have requested that the form(s) be sent out much earlier, due to my inability to manage to fit into their tight time-frames. Every time I am ignored. This adds to my anxiety, puts me under unneeded additional stress and thus pejorates my health and well-being. This is direct discrimination and in breach of disability legislation, which expects service-providers, etc. to make reasonable adjustments.
Furthermore, I cannot write. And there is no carer to do it for me. So all my responses have to be typed. In this day and age one might have expected that the form could have been completed on-line or, at the very least, the DWP could have sent an electronic pro forma via email. (See also my rant on Govt. passport forms, disabled-friendly official forms.)
The only thing left to do is write a letter to the DWP to apprise them of the delay. Thankfully, I might just cut & paste and emend this article. But tomorrow, as I need my siesta now. ZZZZZzzzzzzz…