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”
Last night you had kebab, not just any kebab, you chose the extra-large mixed kebab, with three pittas- there is a clue there, in theory to share with your wife, (but she didn’t eat much). Today you have been awake since 5am feeling bloated, nauseous and sweaty. You started going to the toilet at about 7am, wanting to rid your body of the bloated sick feeling. But now at 11am having been to the loo more than 10 times, you are in pain, your bottom is sore and bleeding, you still feel sick and bloated and in pain. If you are lucky this will ease around 1pm and you will start to feel better.
Why does this happen? Well in simple terms you have a bad relationship with food that started at secondary school around 12 years old, when you would spend lunch money on ice cream, secretly make sandwiches to take to school and beg for food from friends. From there your bad relationship with food has developed.
I have been receiving PIP for a few years and was asked in the Summer to confirm my current health situation by submitting a medical questionnaire form back to DWP. I think I may have blogged about my quandary and in the end I confirmed that my ability to dress and bathe had improved. I then had an anxious couple of months waiting to hear further from the DWP. Then I was asked to attend a medical assessment with Capita on the 10th of November.
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.