I was expecting a bumpy ride when my DLA award came to an end in December this year. I wasn’t expecting it to happen early. Luckily I was expecting to be fucked over and I have been.
I have been on DLA and Income Support for seven years, after suffering a catastrophic breakdown. I’ve had many interactions with the NHS and private practice in that time but I am still severely unwell. I have a host of mental health conditions which include PTSD and chronic insomnia. However, I knew having piles of letters from that entire time wouldn’t be good enough for an Atos assessor who met me for 35 minutes.
I got a letter in July telling me I was being transferred to PIP. I filled in the form and waited, knowing I’d be called for a WCA meeting. The first letter I got told me to go to London. I rang and said that was impossible and they “found” me an appointment in my home town. Dutifully I went, with my mother, and saw a very smiley woman. However nice she was, I still expected to be stabbed in the back. It’s a horrible feeling knowing someone is two faced but having to speak to them anyway.
I got my award letter yesterday. I scored 9 points for care and 4 points for mobility. I was on high rate care and low rate mobility for DLA and these points just give me standard rate care and no mobility. That means my award is about £50 a week less. It’s affected my Income Support by £16 a week. Also the rate at which mortgage interest payments were calculated has gone down. All added together, I am down about £350 a month. I’ve had more panic attacks in two days than the whole of last month and the suicidal thoughts are back.
I am grateful that I at least scored some points. Many people in my situation score nothing at all. I will appeal. To do so, I will have to get a copy of my report, which is something I really can’t face. I can’t bear to see what the assessor wrote about me. I don’t like thinking that someone has lied about me. My integrity is something the DWP have never taken from me and that’s something that will never change. I can’t bear that it’s been questioned like this.