Thursday, 28 June 2018
After a respite break to relieve stress, I tried to get some advice about giving up a zero hours contract job to focus on my practice and my caring role.
I wasn't given any help or useful advice by the welfare team whatsoever. They just said "You know what do, then".
I could give it up, and rely on self employment alone, but with the risk of Universal Credit potentially making us destitute, and the abuse from the arts world of insisting on so much free work, I can't risk that.
I really don't want to reapply for PIP, either, but this seems worth a try.
So this is our experience of PIP applications.
We rang the DWP last week, and answered some questions; I spoke on behalf of my son, but when asked to provide some information, he did that. This probably won't go in our favour, but they won't do anything otherwise, even if he was shut in his room refusing to speak to anyone.
We were told that there is a two week time frame within which to make the application. If we need longer, we can apply for an extension, which is another two weeks, then that's it.
I guess if things take any longer than that, we'd have to make a new application and start again.
I've been advised by various people that they can help with PIP applications.
So firstly, being less trusting of Citizen's Advice, I tried Carer's First.
They have one person that can help, and he is not available within the two week time period.
Secondly, and reluctantly, I rang Citizen's Advice. I have an appointment booked - the closest one they had was a day when I'm working - which is another reason to give up the zero hours contract job - it doesn't matter when I work, it'll be THAT week that someone has the only appointment available that month, so it isn't as if anything useful happens when I'm caring.
It's this level of bureaucracy that is so frustrating.
I have to give up my self employed time for free, I have to deal with people working for free, instead of people paid to give accurate and timely help.