Hi to everyone - I'm not sure if I'm in the right place but here goes.
I've had bipolar for many years and gone through highs and lows,massive lows when I more or less close down and the naughtiest of highs(I shant go into detail there,best not to).I work part time but I'm off sick a lot although I've tried desperately hard to hang onto my job as it gives me an identity when "well".I get DLA,checked it all out and it seems you can work and claim as long as your needs are the same and that your job doesnt go against what you claim on the form.
This is my point - with all the media attention on benefits at the moment,I'm scared in case someone reports me even though I've done nothing wrong.I keep it to myself so nobody knows but sometimes I think I'd be better off without it.What do others think who have DLA?Do you think I'm worrying unecessarily,I get very paranoid even when stable.
I think we all feel paranoid about benefits.
You are quite right about being able to continue working and recieving DLA,I did that for a long time until I was unable to.
The important thing to remember is that you get the benefit because you qualify for it.
Each time my DLA comes up for review (last time was january) I suffer the worst kind of anxiety and I really do not believe that the DWP realise what pressure they put on people with the re-claiming process.
I don't know why they don't just periodically keep up to date with the GP in these circumstances,it would be a lot easier.
I certainly do not feel guilt about claiming any benefit because I/we have a right to claim and the DWP have a right to refuse that claim.
DLA is about what you can't do not what you can do. I get DLA because I'm a danger to myself and there are times when it's advisable for someone to be with me. I do voluntary work that is meaningful but the people I work with keep an eye on me when I need it. I don't tell anybody who knows my real name what benefits I get (unless they need to know) and it's none of their business. You're not breaking the law so don't worry.
I get it for the same reasons as you've stated.
I had great difficulty having been refused at first but like you say,it's about what your restrictions are and even going out to work does'nt neccessarily remove those restrictions.
I have'nt been referred to as balanced for a while so that is a huge compliment.
I don't think there's anyone on these forums that quite matches your 'balanced' views,I enjoy reading what you have to say,I find it very refreshing.
Thank you Yakusa. I've been blessed (though sometimes it feels like a curse) with a indepth insight into myself and my mental health. Pair that with the GP & consultant I've got and I find myself in an enviable position. I'm also lucky enough to have a GP friend who has taught me how to research and differentiate between good health reports and bad ones (I do research for him from time to time) and we discuss all kinds of health issues. I get access to material that's not on the open market and that is good. Being balanced, I've found, isn't about our mental health it's about how we deal with it. Some people spend so much time shouting about how well they're coping when they're not and I've found that the people who quietly go on their way just doing their best are the people I need to be with.
It's not really off the subject. It's about how you can strengthen yourself to tackle things. I was seriously ill this past week, desperately fighting to stay alive and out of hospital and it was only my knowledge of what I'd coped with in the past that got me through - that and the fantastic support of people on and off forum. I cry when I fill in the DLA forms, it takes me days. I think of myself as a teenager planning to go to university and what I am now and it hurts so much. But the DLA means I have the means to live instead of exist and so I push on. It can be incredibly hard living with a mental health problem but it means that the victories are so much sweeter.
I'm glad that you are feeling better and I'm grateful that you are on this forum
Funnily enough,I usually feel quite better about myself once I've filled out the DLA forms,I treat it as a kind of self-therapy in that I'm actually accepting the truth about myself and what my restrictions really are.
When I think of myself (and this is a recurring conversation with consultant, GP, support team) I say that if I can achieve what I do with just a few hours a week what could I have done with more time and energy. But I'd be in full time employment and beholden to whoever pays the salary. This way I'm totally independent so my word actually carries more weight.
As long as I don't let my ego run away with me. I'd hate to be arrogant - though I know sometimes my confidence can come across like that but my voluntary work is in a largely male dominated sector and people who don't actually work in the job don't usually get to have any influence at all so you have to project confidence. I'm still not sure how I go to where I am!
That's a good point. Well I have to talk to a new contact tomorrow and never even worked in that sector before so I have to get some sleep as I want to be on the phone to them at 8.30 before they have chance to get buried in paperwork. It's been good chatting with you.