Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Joy and Frustration - the Attendance Allowance saga continues....and where is the District Nurse???

We have had a lovely couple of days, enjoying visits from our friends Agnes, Andy and Dave on Monday, and Keith and Glynis yesterday.  But the edge has been taken off the joy of the last two days by today's morning of frustration ....

Spoiler Alert - this post is a whinge...Feel free to ignore!

Back in September, I applied on Steve's behalf for Attendance Allowance under the Special Rules for terminally ill people. Such applications are supposed to be fast-tracked and processed within 11 days.  

Having heard nothing for a couple of months, I followed up in November and was told that although the application had been scanned in as "received" on 22 September, it had subsequently vanished without a trace.  

A duplicate set of completed forms was duly posted off that day at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) request, and I followed up again this morning, having heard nothing two weeks later.  

The first person I spoke to in "New Claims" unit told me I had got through to the wrong section.  They only dealt with enquiries from people making new claims and sent out forms. A different section dealt with people following up new claims which had been submitted but not processed....

So I rang again, got through to the correct section, only to be told that the only information showing up on the computer screen under Steve's name and National Insurance number related to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) - a different benefit for people of working age, rather than someone over 65 years, like Steve.  

In spite of my protests, I was transferred to the DLA unit, only to be told that I had been given the wrong advice. Surprise, surprise.  Transferred back to the Attendance Allowance Unit, I spoke to a different person, gave them the same information - Steve's surname and National Insurance Number - and explained the background again.

This time round, they found the record of the first attendance allowance application being received in September, and the duplicate application having been received in November.  But once again, the trail had gone dead.  The application hadn't even been registered, let alone processed in the fortnight since it had arrived at the Unit.  So much for fast-tracking applications for the terminally ill within 11 days.  We are now at 11 WEEKS and still counting...

The other frustration has been waiting at home for the District Nurse, who is supposed to be coming between 9.00 am this morning and 1 pm this afternoon.  Still no sign of her...

She is coming at the request of Hannah, Steve's lung nurse specialist, to look at a lump on Steve's spine which has developed into a sore.  Most people develop "bed" sores due to inactivity...Steve has a "sofa" sore where he has spent so much time sitting on the sofa doing crosswords, sudoku, browsing the internet etc etc  (or at least, that's what we assume it is...).  

Now, if I start lunch she is bound to come, isn't she?

With apologies for venting my frustrations on the's been one of those mornings

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