I have a lot of time for Martin Lewis of Money Savings Expert, for his advice on consumer finance and his annual debt advice booklet for people suffering with mental health illness.
He is also the face of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, based in London UK. I am proud to contribute to their research by being a member of the research community. This involves completing online questionnaires and surveys from time to time. There is no obligation to complete all surveys and there is also an opportunity to partake in online discussion groups.
The Money and Mental Health policy Institute have recently completed their research into how people are able to deal with financial institutions, including banks and utility companies and the impact having a mental health illness has on that. You can read the research report Access Essentials here
I had been receiving DLA and then PIP for the past 5 years or so, because of my mental health and Ulcerative Colitis. Following a mid award review which started in August 2017 and a medical assessment by Capita in November 2017, my PIP award ended on the 11th December 2017.
I have been reflecting on this a lot over the past 6 months. Financially the impact was significant, as it meant I also lost my Tax Credits award from the 11th December, and any day I expect a bill for £500 over payment following the year end tax credit review.
I have been lucky and been able to earn a little more money through the work I do and been helped by family.
I think the assessment found me no longer eligible, because I have moved into an acceptance phase of my illness. I accept the limitations of what I can do, because of my Anxiety and Colitis and have found a way to live which suits those conditions. Continue reading “Reflection about losing PIP Award”
I attended a DWP Medical Assessment with Capita in Northampton following a review for being submitted in August.
During the Assessment the assessor said that she was not there to advise but she thought I should go back and see my GP.
Having talked about my illness with the assessor I have realised that my anxiety has got worse. I can separate my mental health illness into three areas Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD) , Social Anxiety and Depression.
The depression will mainly be a result of the impact of GAD and social Anxiety
Social anxiety is relatively easy to explain: I have suffered with social anxiety most of my adult life, I feel uncomfortable in groups and crowds and don’t find conversation easy, unless with immediate close family members. This has now grown to mean I avoid all social events and a gatherings, I am scared to answer the telephone
In honour of World Mental Health Day on Tuesday the 10th October 2017, which this year focuses on workplace well-being, our friends at MyTherapy have put together an info-graphic to share some pretty surprising facts about mental illness in the workplace.
I have in the past pondered whether my anxiety in the form of Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety was a disability. As I also have Ulcerative Colitis (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) and receive Personal Independence Payment, now, if I am asked in a questionnaire etc whether I consider myself disabled, I do usually end up ticking yes.
I thought I would share with you what I have learnt about the financial help that is available to those with a disability. This blog is based on my experience of claiming benefits and getting financial help as I have a long term ill health in the form of a mental illness and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. I have linked the benefit types to relevant part of disability benefits on GOV.UK website
Occasionally I miss a dose of Pregabalin, my mental health medication for my anxiety. I take 300mg of Pregabalin (Lyrica) twice a day and have been for about 18 months now. Saturday night I fell asleep early and forget to take my medication. Sunday I felt, well all I can really come up with is odd. I was more touchy and short tempered – sorry family. But what I really noticed was that I was so itchy.
Early in August I received a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Review form dated the 6th August 2017, which is called a ‘PIP Award Review – How your disability affects you’. This came as a surprise (shock) because my PIP award is to August 2018. I have felt anxious and overwhelmed by the prospect of completing the form and the implications of the review: will it change my PIP Award, which could then effect my Tax Credits award (which I now claim as I work part time at home on a self-employed basis).
It shows that my understanding of my anxiety and myself generally is progressing, that I am writing this blog post, being aware of what is wrong.
There is, at least for me, a lot going on at the moment and I recognise that they feelings I am experiencing are because I am overwhelmed. So this post is mainly for me, as I know one way to help the situation; is to write down my feelings – to focus my mind and understand why I am overwhelmed.