Saturday, 14 July 2018

PIP tips! {Personal Independence Payment}

This post kinda slots into a short run about when Smiler switched from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) when he turned 16 - you can find the other posts here (part one) and here (part two)  I thought it might be useful to share these tips and pointers for others who are filling in PIP forms for their child (or even themselves, so please excuse my references to 'your child').  It seems the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are retaining DLA for under 16's (for the time being at least), so this switch from one to the other at age 16 is here to stay.  There's a few photos of Tilly the kitten thrown in too, just to relieve the tension!

Making a start:
Working out where to start when you're filling in any of these forms is a bit of a nightmare, but often the first page or two are basic info about the person the form is about - date of birth, address, GP contact info - this seems to depend on whether the PIP claim is brand new, or if there was already a DLA award - if there is a current DLA award this info might be printed on there already, in which case you need to move on to listing health professionals, so skip down the page until you see the ◇.  Double check on the front page of the form whether  you must use black ink or all capital letters or mirror writing - I think they've relaxed a bit in the last 15 years or so but it's best to double check!  Take a pen (not a pencil, even if it doesn't specify what colour ink you need to use, they still want pen I'm afraid) and a deep breath and make a start.  Fill in the things that you absolutely know to be accurate - middle names and dates of birth and postcodes are important here.  If you aren't sure, leave it blank for now, and try and find out in a minute - especially things like contact phone numbers - you really don't want to guess!

◇  So, question 1 asks you to list health professionals that your child sees.  As you're asked for addresses, write out the whole address, including the postcode.  If you don't know the whole address, for example of the GP surgery, Google is your friend here - type in the name of the practice and the town, and you should be able to find their website, and if you go to it there will be the full address (and phone number, you'll need that too) either on the main home page or a contact page.  Might also be handy if you're not completely certain how to spell the name of the GP, as there's probably a list of them on the site.  Go back through your calendar or any letters you have to see when they last saw your child, and if you really can't work it out you could ring the surgery / hospital / office where they are based and ask if they could look it up for you - always be friendly and polite though, as you are asking for their help, and the people that answer those phones have a million and one other things to do!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Meet Tilly

After we lost our beautiful cat Meg last year we knew we would want to get a kitten at some point - Mr and I had cats before we had the kids, and my lap was just too empty with none in the house!  Once kitten season was in full swing we sent the message out that we were looking for a kitten, hoping that someone we knew would hear of a litter somewhere.  We were lucky in that we heard back very quickly that someone who runs a youth club that Smiler goes to had a pregnant cat, and offered us first pick of the litter.  After much anticipation, on Saturday we headed over and picked out a little ball of fluff to take home.  Though initially called Jinx, by Sunday she had become Tilly - and here she is.

So far we know that she likes snoozing, tuna and chasing her tail.  She has a wonderfully rumbly purr when she is being snuggled, and likes to sit in the crook of my neck when I'm sat on the sofa.  She and the dogs are still sizing one another up, but she has hissed and spat at them when they try to steal her food, which I look at as a great sign - personally I'd rather that than she be timid and run from them, but we'll have to wait and see how it goes I guess!