The medication is going well and there are very small improvements in some areas so that is good news, and I am keeping busy with this blog, my websites and also with good old facebook: however the major source of entertainment this week is down to Portsmouth City Council !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Curse of the Blue Badge
(as opposed to the curse of the weir rabbit)
The Blue Badge Scheme is Parking Concessions for disabled and blind people. and I was advised by my medical people to apply for a blue badge due to the lack of mobility that I have, so a couple of weeks ago I phoned Portsmouth City Council (PCC) and they sent me the forms to fill in, Now this is where I get confused and the fun begins ( I think its my age that does it)
I have been awarded the top rate of Attendance allowance by the Department of works and Pensions (DWP) due to my disablement and that I need help with various things throughout the day and night, and also have been classed as "severely disabled" also by the DWP and awarded extra pension credit, now I have the letters from DWP confirming this, so I decided to contact PCC and see if I automatically qualified for a Blue Badge. the reason for this is, that on the forms they sent for me to fill in it states that
"if I receive the higher rate of Disability Living Allowance for Mobility then I would automatically qualify for a Blue Badge"
Now this is where I get Confused:
With this disease, I have got very limited mobility, my whole body,s muscle system has been attacked and decimated, I can not walk more than a few paces at a time, my hips and shoulder muscles are worse affected, I can not lift my hands above my shoulders, so cannot go shopping on my own, as I cant reach the shelves, I need to be in a wheelchair as I have difficulty walking, and I cant carry heavy shopping bags, on top of all that my muscles in my lungs are weak so have difficulty with breathing if i try and do to much, and the muscles that control the bladder and bowels are also weak ( that brings its own problems).
Now according to the DWP Disability Living Allowance (DLA) can only be claimed by people under pensionable age, if you are drawing retirement pension you need to claim for Attendance Allowance (AA) which is what I am getting. and you only qualify automatically for a Blue Badge with DLA not AA as they say that when you reach pensionable age you are expected to have mobility problems (What a load of Crap).
However I explained to the lady on the phone that although I did not get DLA because I was drawing my pension I was classed as severely disabled by the DWP and had the letters in writing and that I was awarded Extra pension credit and the Highest rate of Attendance Allowance so I thought that I should be entitled to a Blue Badge Automatically.
Her answer was: No you need to fill in all the boxes on the form and possibly have a medical examination by a independent doctor ( For christ sake I have a rare disease which affects 3 or 4 people in a million), so keeping calm I explained to her that the only reason I could not get the DLA was because of my age and that I thought that PCC was discriminating against me because of my age, ( Oh dear that did it) the lady got very uppity so I asked to speak to a supervisor.
However it transpired that the supervisor would not speak to me but said through the other lady that if I sent in photo copies of the paperwork from DWP they would look at it and possibly give me a Blue Badge. ( and so the saga continues)
As far as I am concerned if age is the only thing that stops me getting the DLA and I need that to automatically get the Blue Badge then it is age discrimination, it will be interesting to see what happens now that the government is increasing the retirement age ?
Oh well there you are folks, another interesting event in the life of frank.