Managing my paperwork has become more and more of a headache as my illness has advanced.
Some tips have helped. Precarious tottering mountains of paper were moved into folders. Creaking unliftable folders were later sorted and emptied into a lightweight filing type cabinet. However I still struggle to keep up with the unending weekly post and letters can be found dotted around my flat in the most unlikely of places.
After 2 years of asking for help and several threatening letters from social services wondering why I wasn't dutifully sending in my records and receipts for my direct payments, I was reassigned a social worker.
This led to a reassessment which took several 2 hour long sessions after which it was agreed that I did indeed need an hour of help a week for paperwork, to be added to my direct payments. I was informed that I would have to undergo the same reassessment 3 months later to check that everything was "ok" and I was using the hour for paperwork. (Drat. There goes my plan for weekly skydiving).
This had to be written up as a report and presented to a panel for approval. Unfortunately it was turned down by the council who insists that I MUST use an agency chosen by them. And I am only allowed an hour a week for a month and half an hour after that. So much for disabled people having choice over their lives.
Not only this, but because of this "increase in care" I must now have a financial reassessment. They will kindly send me a list of all the paperwork I will require at the meeting...
This leaves me in a bit of a dilemma. I am not physically able to prepare this paperwork myself. But with the limited hours they have allocated me, I do not have the spare time to ask my newly allocated helper from the agency to help me either. We are currently ploughing through a backlog of paperwork and sorting out my filing cabinet, before scouring the flat for all the letters currently hiding and giggling from under various pieces of furniture.
In other words they are asking me to produce the paperwork myself so that I can have someone to help me with paperwork...
On a separate note I am appalled by the cost of all this. The amount of extra care I will receive totals 28 hours per YEAR. I will be expected to contribute a third of the cost under the "fairer charging scheme" which laughably charges people on benefits but not people who work (a subject for another time perhaps). So the yearly cost to the council will be around £170.
How much more have all these assessments cost? And that's not counting the exhaustion and inconvenience caused to myself. All this for half an hour help with my paperwork.
P.S. My "paperwork helper" was just here. I asked her if we would be ready for a financial assessment in 2 weeks time. She laughed.