Today I went to the doctor with Sarah from Stepping Forward, to ask the doctor to write me a letter summarising all of my health issues and how the combination of them affects me. We wanted this for 2 things: PIP application and my upcoming court hearing. We wrote a draft letter with all the information they need.
With PIP they only ever look at health issues on their own. You can have any number of health issues but if they deem them individually to not be stopping you from doing a certain thing, you’ll get zero recognition of any of them. It’s unbelievably unsympathetic and cruel.
For the court hearing, if I can show evidence that being made homeless would put me at risk of ‘exceptional harm’, then my solicitor might be able to argue my case to have 42 days to move out instead of 14.
Now this was a breakthrough of a kind— my doctor actually understood, eventually, how the sum total of demands on me are preventing me from being able to engage with any additional things, such as NHS ‘talking therapies’, or even looking into further knee treatment, and thus ‘tick the boxes’ to demonstrate ‘ongoing need’. Never mind the many other ideas I have for how to help myself (such as local charity meetup groups).
I ended up listing all of my current demands in a follow-up email. It surprised even me how long it ended up, and now I realise I can easily use this list to answer any future questions or even accusatory gaslighting about me seemingly not seeking further health treatment (such as I experienced in the PIP tribunal a few months ago). Because, considering the base time and energy it takes just to survive in this hellhole house without becoming suicidal, with OCD to deal with too, this list is fucking long:
My Current External Demands
- Engaging with Salvation Army Tenancy Sustainment service, who have helped me deal with my abusive landlord and letting agent, and in dealing with the council to try to get them to house me somewhere suitable.
- Engaging with the council’s Rent Guarantee Scheme and attending any viewings they can offer.
- Engaging with Launchpad for housing.
- Engaging with solicitor and legal process for defending/delaying eviction (since 4th June 2021).
- Engaging with Stepping Forward for help with Universal Credit and with starting a new PIP application.
- Engaging with Universal Credit.
- Engaging with PIP application process.
- Engaging with doctor for prescriptions and fit notes.
All this just to tread water and survive.