I first got ill in January 1996, and my health worsened and worsened until I had to drop out of college about 6months after that. About August 1996, I was explained all about benefits and support and I claimed and won Income Support and Disability Living Allowance (lowest tier).
I have been on them since, however its not a easy thing, I randomly get huge books for forms to fill in and its all so repetitive! I have had to get my personal Drs letter and other letters and have had people come to my house to check my bank statements, that I don't have huge amounts of income secretly coming in. There is one thing I have never had to have however and that's a medical, and I dread them.
But all that fun arrives tomorrow. I had my mobile ring about 2 weeks ago with a blocked number. I always want to ignore them, because they are always crappy people selling stuff. But my parents both work in places which block outgoing phone numbers and you cannot see them on caller display, so I answered it. It was a women to tell me that I was going to have an "assessment". I finally got stuff in the post about it. (they have to notify you 7 days before the appointment by law). Its not an assessment its a full medical.
I am really dreading it. I have had disabled friends have them in the past and read about them and they seem awful. People often lose all their benefits during them. Also the whole concept is horrid. I have to prove my illness to an anonymous person in like 30 mins or something! Also I feel like a criminal defrauding the system.
The Government currently have an initiative where they are checking people claiming income support on medical grounds. They want to try and get as many people back to work as possible, so it looks good in figures. A lot of people are randomly getting medicals for the first time just like me.
I think its a bad idea to scare myself with the negatives. Some people have had bad experiences and also have lost benefits, but I am sure others have positive ones! Also I read online that people who lose it, often win back on appeal when they query the doctors (inaccurate) report about them.
Its a horrid thing though, because you go through all kinds of feelings. - am I a fraud? - should I fake stuff to look more ill? I don't look ill, I am not in a wheelchair, my face is not bright yellow. I think it makes you question yourself.
I have come to the conclusion now that I just want the whole thing over. The appointments tomorrow morning and whatever happens, I just want to get through it whatever happens! I am just gonna act natural and say exactly how my life is. I have nothing to hide. I just hope I can handle it and not end up crying or suicidal by tomorrow night! ugh
I already have quite a lot of issues about the repeat "testing" of people who are disabled or ill on benefits. Some people get forms to fill in by their carer every couple of months when they are paralysed in bed! I understand fraud happens, but also apparently a lot of people could claim benefit that they are entitled too and don't! The system is very scary and people end up fighting in appeal courts. I have just been very lucky!
So tomorrow I have to proof my inability to work! ugh I just want it over with :(