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Personal Experience with claiming (PIP)

PERSONAL INDEPENDANCE PAYMENT

When does reform become dangerous?

Over three years ago the Conservatives began to roll out personal independence payments (PIP) – in essence, the mandatory, mass re-testing of disabled and chronically ill people – and the answer is getting stark.

Are you entitled to Personal Independance Payment?

You can appeal by writing an in-depth letter and collecting all the evidence to help with your claim. My evidence is my online journal on this site which I own.


Personal independence payments assessment is designed to punish the poor and ill, regardless if it is a legitimate claim or not. Everyone is thrown into one basket.

A report released by the Muscular Dystrophy UK is the latest piece of evidence to expose an administrative catastrophe: appointments canceled at the last minute, lost applications, year-long delays.

Two in five respondents report being sent to an assessment centre that wasn’t accessible for disabled people. This is designed purposely to save the government money as the people that genuinely want help may give up in the process of fighting back. Not everyone knows how to appeal and if the government makes it hard for them to claim and appeal, the disabled person will just simply just give up. The assement is designed to break you down.

Since the pandemic interviews have been suspended but prior to the lockdown and my own personal experience once you manage to make it inside the building, the picture is as dire: widespread reports of assessors – employed by private firms hired by the Department for Work and Pensions – who showed no respect for disabled people, (this is especially true in my case and the humiliation I personally felt and the length of time I had to stand ), while some didn’t even understand the condition they were testing (one man, with muscular dystrophy, pointed out that the word “progressive” means “muscles don’t come back”).

Once you are at the interview you will be asked to answer a series of questions and perform endurance manoeuvers to see if you can balance on your feet, walk or how mobile you are etc. My daughter’s neurologist wrote in his report my daughter has a spastic gate and the assessor undermined the neurologist report saying my daughter could walk fine.

You will also be asked questions about your finances and if you are coping or if you are in rent arrears and credit card debt to mental health issues. I was asked what I do for a living and did not elaborate on it other than to say I do web design.

I think this form of questioning is to intimidate and degrade you.

Just because one can manage finances does not make you a healthy person. Even if you spend 60 hours or more on the internet working as some entrepreneurs do will not make that person any less disabled.

Even if the person who is an entrepreneur but disabled could successfully trade online would not mean that because they are successful at what they do that there is nothing wrong with them.

I just have a problem with interacting physically and germ contamination, I have no problem being online.

I was personally asked about my toilet hygiene and routine and if I sat on the toilet and how I wiped my you know what and how I maneuvered around in the bathroom. I felt humiliated and felt the whole ordeal very upsetting and I still have anxiety about it to this day. So you can imagine my fear and anxiety of another assessment next year.

One woman, with a muscle-wasting disease, said that she developed panic attacks after her assessment. She is now under the care of a mental health team and doesn’t leave her house.

That the government deliberately built PIP with tightened criteria – and is sitting by as the system descends into disarray – becomes grimmer still when you consider that this is being done to a benefit tied to other essential disability services that people cannot live without.

Without PIP a disabled person can’t access anything from carer’s allowance to severe disability premium. If that isn’t enough, anyone who is rejected – or bumped down to the standard rate – is also barred from the Motability scheme for an accessible car or powered wheelchair.

Sarah, a nurse with progressive muscle wasting and weakness, was seven months pregnant – and was forced to hand back her Motability car. The 29-year-old had been receiving the higher rate of disability living allowance (the predecessor to PIP), but after being reassessed she was knocked down to the standard rate – despite her condition deteriorating.

Sarah could not take her fatigue medicine without affecting her pregnancy, and her disability meant she was at risk of falling when she walksed, and permanent damage. “That vehicle was a lifeline to me,” she says. “I’ve lost my independence.”

Sarah appealed and was due at a tribunal but found it was canceled with just two days’ notice – and no explanation.


The government is skewing benefits appeals against disabled people.

It took the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith and a budget hole of billions to get the mainstream media to shine a light on the disaster of PIP – or many politicians to find a conscience. One cut to the benefit is stopped. A new secretary of state is hired. And the news cycle moves on. The disabled can’t. For many, things are only getting worse.

Between 400 and 500 adapted cars, powered wheelchairs, and scooters are being taken away from disabled people every week. Independence went – with a maximum of seven weeks to hand your lifeline back. As an insight into the logic, let alone empathy, in this system, that’s notably less time than it takes to go to appeal or even to get the results of mandatory reconsideration – meaning the DWP’s ruling can be overturned, but the disabled person’s car or wheelchair will already have been taken. (At the last count, 60% of appeals against PIP were successful).

Darran uses a wheelchair – and has a degenerative muscle wasting disease – but last year was downgraded on PIP and lost his car. In his own words, it left him “housebound and isolated”, and he scraped together the deposit for another accessible vehicle. The DWP later informed Darran that its decision had been “mistaken”, and his old car would be returned. “My £2,000 deposit is non-refundable,” he says. “I’ve lost that money.”

This is starting to look like a game played by the ‘Dr. Evil’s’ of this world with repercussions on ordinary disabled people’s lives. Take away benefits and the sick become destitute. Remove a car or wheelchair and disabled people become housebound. It’s happening right now – and what’s worse, most of the public won’t even know it, not unless people fight for their rights and have advocates speaking on their behalf.

Note From the Editor.

For me I have severe OCD I cannot be around people and my symptoms have only got worse since the pandemic.

I am paranoid about germs“.

I even registered a domain name www.germawareness.co.uk as I think Saliva, Postal System, and Cross Contamination play an important role in spreading germs.

I also have severe depression and the only way I manage is if I self isolate. The only person I can be around is my daughter and she too is disabled with MS.

I can understand why the government has put a tight reign on the benefit and that is to stop people scamming the system. I know of one person personally, that would walk with a walking stick for show but when he was drunk he could walk perfectly normally. The government needs to send out spies on scammers that claim to have bad backs but go grocery shopping when they think no one is looking.

I am the modern-day female version of ‘Howard Hughes’ he suffered from severe OCD and self-isolated.

“I can function to a certain degree, but only in my own quarantined environment and if I have surplus disposable gloves and litres of Dettol Disinfectant on hand if I have intrusive thoughts and my OCD is playing up. I also have a designated area no one can enter or touch”.

I used to be able to venture out but now I have anxiety and panic attacks at the sheer thought of seeing other people. I am fine online but physically is a no-no for me. I used to enjoy going out with my daughter once a month when she had her monthly blood and urine tests done but that all stopped not only because my OCD has worsened but because the hospital has strict rules and that the patient should come in on their own unless they are severely disabled.

Obviously, if my daughter needed urgent emergency assistance outside of my home I would have to bite the bullet and no doubt in my mind burn all my clothing when I came home. My daughter’s being is a high priority to me so I would have to sacrifice my own just to help her, knowing I had a counteracting measure in place to ease my anxiety but that would be in exceptional circumstances.

I remember when I had my last assessment and the assessor claimed there was nothing wrong with me. She insisted on touching my photo ID even though I told her I had OCD and I had to stand for one and half hours as I did not want to sit down on public seating (This is humiliation, discrimination and if it causes harm under duress is also against the human rights act).

She also asked me if I had any suicidal thoughts, well in my opinion that is like handing someone a loaded gun. You simply do not put those thoughts into someone’s head if they say they have severe depression. Whatever is in the medical notes should suffice and some unqualified assessor should not plant a seed into someone’s head. Even if I had suicidal thoughts I would not admit to them, not that I have had, just saying.

(I have a reason to live and hopefully, there may be a cure for my OCD someday). I have set goals and am doing my best to achieve them.

But for someone more vulnerable than myself this is highly unprofessional to ask about suicide.

(I should have recorded the interview).

Imagine the applicant going home after the interview and then attempting their own life all because the assessor gave them the idea.

My assessment is up for renewal next year and there is no way I am going to go as I cannot venture out because of my mental health. I also found out that the DWP Agency Capita employs school leavers who have no professional qualifications. I know this as a fact as my daughter as it happens, knows one of them and they are really good friends. The other thing is this particular person actually spoke about people she had assessed to my daughter.

One can obviously see I am stressing about it a year ahead of my time but if I had enough money and I would not depend on PIP to help me buy disposable gloves and disinfectant at alarming levels.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/07/pip-disaster-disabled-access-report-benefits

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/philippa-day-inquest-dwp-overdose-benefits-b1793424.html

#personalindependancepayment #pip #disabilityallowance #mobilityallowance #tribunals #pipassessment #pipassessor #capita

Coping With Mental Health As An Entrepreneur

I have not been on this site for a while now as I have been working mainly on my other sites www.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk and https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/#home I have forwarded the domain name www.cymrumarketing.co.uk to this sub domain but it does not always work with Norton or Firewalls for some reason.

I have also updated the Disclaimer Page & added a Networking Page under the heading Legal Pages, this is to let viewers know that the owner of this site uses a SEO Link Wheels to generate traffic and that all the Websites and Blogs are all under one umbrella belonging to Renata M Barnes (UK Website Designers) You will see the credit in the footer of all the websites I own and also manage for other clients.

Moving on I have also started to intergrate video marketing into my services. This is a useful tool to attract business and I am now offering it to my clients. You can view a the portfolio of Videos here.

As for my health it is starting to deteriorate as the pressures and daily stresses of life can sometimes be overwhelming. I am fighting hard for it not to beat me but when my own health professionals are working against me rather than for me it can be too much to bear…….I will explain.

Not only am I disabled I also have a disabled daughter that I am officially a carer for, so when I see red flags I tend to question things as in the case of my GP who threatens you if you make waves. Read the latest on this Surgery that has brought me to breaking point: https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/category/bayer-pharmaceutical/ All I was doing was voicing my concerns as my daughter is classed as a vulnerable person and I was told I lack respect to the highly qualified pharmacist and clinician at the surgery and was told that seeing there is a breakdown of doctor/patient relationship it would be in my best interest to find another surgery.

I am really struggling with my health and have developed social disconnection disorder and have a fear of venturing out. The less face to face human interaction I have, the happier I feel”. I have been hurt too many times to care to mention and the people I trusted the most betrayed me. In my lifetime I have experienced discrimination, racial attacks, have been abused physically and mentally and have been physically assaulted, disrespected, undermined, critised, judged, belittled, robbed, have felt sadness, dispair and dealt with grief. All these things are contributing factors to my mental disability, which has been caused by other people and entities. There is no denying my mental health is due to a domino effect caused by direct consequences to other peoples actions.

My Richter Mental Health Scale.

It is because of certain individuals and certain events that I am this way. I am 58 yrs old and have met my fair share of people over the years and I can count on my one hand how many people I can trust. I can also name each and every single person and entity responsible for my ill health and the reasons why.

Some cope by turning to drinking alcohol or taking recreational drugs. People smoke cigarettes claiming it calms their nerves, I do not smoke cigarettes, do not drink alcohol or take recreational drugs but depend on the prescription medication that are prescribed for me. Everyone has different ways with coping with stress, trauma and life events, mine is documenting everything (therapeutic) and adapting around my disabilities aswell as trying to help others.

Anaphylaxis Allergy.

I also cancelled my Covid-19 Vaccine appointment as I have a severe anaphylaxis allergy to PEG where I was vaccinated with steriod in the past which had polythylene glycol in fact over the years I have had many anaphlaxis allergies including severe breathing difficulties from penicillin and severe skin allergy where my face looked reptilian and I was in excrutiating pain, all of which is on my medical records. https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2021/03/19/polyethylene-glycol-peg-allergy-as-a-cause-of-anaphylaxis/ I am not prepared to take any risks with my life or become more ill than I already am. At least with my OCD, Depression I can manage my life to a certain degree and can work around my disabilities. But being off work fully is inconceivable and is something I cannot do as I have obligations to my clients.

I have to be online every single day, imagine being too ill to work what would happen to your business if you had no one to help you? Your clients are not going to say “ok call us when you feel better”, the food chain still has to carry on. I have heard the second vaccine is worse the the first but I am waiting on herd immunity to kick in as I do not plan venturing out any time soon.

I would not describe myself as a hypochondriac as all my disabilities are medically documented. I try not to think about illnesses unless it is affecting me directly and at any given time. I try to actually block out my disabilities and try to live a relatively normal life to a certain degree (although there is nothing normal about me). The world on the internet is not going to know about my disabilities unless they bother to do some research about me, so me sitting in front of a computer screen I am as normal as the next person.

I cannot be critised for having no empathy. I will help people in need but will never make it personal. If someone needs me to lend them my ear or a shoulder I will try and help.

To be frank I have coped better than most during the Covid-19 Lockdown. My business has improved as people have turned to the internet for a second income stream. Where I had issues about people bumping into you and not looking where they where going in the past, it is as if the heavens have opened up and had everyone stay 2 metres apart (not that I go out anywhere though).

Wearing disposable latex gloves is no longer questionable and I do not feel the odd one out anymore.

I do miss going out once a month with my daughter when she and I used to go up to the hospital for her to have her monthly blood done and then we would go to a restaurant in the city centre. I won’t say I will never go again as they say “never say never”, but it is going to take me a long time to adjust to the new surroundings and facing people at the moment is really causing me distress. I am fine with the grocery and courier drivers but that is as far as I am willing to interact physically with other people other than my family.

“I do have a goal and that is to make enough money for me to retire comfortably and for my daughter to have a head start in life. My priority is my family and my business and nothing else”.

I won’t let this general practice surgery beat me. I have a long list of people I can complain to.

Coping With Mental Health in General.

  1. Take time out to have some TLC. Do something that will make you happy and relaxed. Try to occupy you mond with something else other than what is worrying you.
  2. If you work for a company see if they have an HR department that deals with mental health. If not suggest that they do have a department and volunteer to be a spokesperson, you will no longer be seen as a follower and more so as a leader. Every business no matter how big or small should have some sort of department to air your worries and anxieties and perhaps meet up once a week to just chat. However if you find that there is no such option and you have had no alternative to tell your employer, he/she has a responsibility under Equalities Act to be obliging and to accommodate you and your condition if it is considered a long term affliction. You may not be the only one that is suffering so considering starting a club even after work can make all the difference.
  3. Stay focused it is easy to just to clock watch until the hour hand hits 5 o’clock but that does not help you or your employer hence you need to set goals and try to make some progress on a daily basis. You should concentrate on the work in hand but at the same time consider starting a second income stream and do research and learn. Reading helps people to stay motivated and empowers them to learn a new skill. This skill could help your employer or can help you to break away and go it alone.
  4. Do not over critisie yourself, if things are not going your way, tomorrow is another day. Accepting the fact that we all experience good days and bad days is just a way of life and we need to learn to overcome obstacles that come our way. For me venting my anxiety, anger and frustration online is therapeutical. I know some one will read it and will relate. I also think that what I write could actually help someone other than myself.
  5. The impact of problems such as depression and anxiety are unique and individual to each and every one of us and how we cope with them and different situations of life is equally as individual. Above I have merely mentioned some advice on dealing with issues of mental health in the workplace, but speaking to your GP and building a network of support are arguably the most important steps you can take in your recovery. For me I personally will not be relating my anxieties any time soon to my GP if I still have one, as it is practice management that you tell the reception first what is wrong with you, what ever happend to GDPR and not sharing the information with anyone other than your doctor. According to an inspection report that I downloaded on another post I made https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2021/03/30/gp-surgeries-are-small-businesses/ the receptionists have to sign a non disclosure agreement. This is hog wash if they wish to talk about you without actually mentioning you name.

Super Power.

Disabled Entrepreneur Super Power!

Just because I have a mental health disability does not make me less of a person. My disability does not define me and make me less intelligent, in fact on the contrary my disability is my ‘Super Power’ and although it comes with challenges it gives me strength and purpose to carry on and help motivate and empower others that having a disability is not the end of the world and you can still achieve your aspirations and all you need is a gentle push. Never let some tell you it cannot be done or it is impossible for you to achieve, listen to your heart and not what others tell you. Do not listen to naysayers.

My Super Power is everytime anyone disrespects me, tries to undermined me or do other atrocities I will write about them. Anyone throwing obstactles in my way, making my life difficult or miserable, I will document. Everytime anyone tries to do anything to hurt me I will hit the keyboard. The same goes if I see anyone being treated unfairly, the perpetrator will feel my Super Power.

Whats your super power? Mine is exercising my journalist skills!

Reaching Out.

If you want to talk to just drop me a line, I am happy to chat to you online or send emails. Although I do not do face to face meetings I am happy to help anyone who is feeling distressed. Just because I have difficulty interacting physically does not mean I have a problem interacting virtually. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved. If you have a network of people you can rely on then that is fine, but if you don’t there are many organisation out there that can help and I also can lend an ear or shoulder to cry on or send virtual hugs.

Royal Mail VS Other Couriers.

Royal Mail Vs Courier.

This post is a mixture of two posts rolled into one (no pun intended).

  1. The First Being Logistics.
  2. The Second About Disabilities.

History of Royal Mail was originally established in 1516 as a department of the by the Royal Family. The company’s subsidiary company Royal Mail Group Limited which operates the brands Royal Mail (letters) and Parcelforce Worldwide (parcels).

The company provides mail collection and delivery services throughout the UK and is now a private company after it’s shares where floated on the stock exchange in 2015.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail

GRIEVANCE

Now my grievance is that such a big company has no online chat and if one wanted to lodge a complaint this is what they say “We are currently experiencing very high call volumes”, this tells me their service is not up to scratch and they have not employed enough people to deal with the demand and are delivering a poor service. The reponse time is between 10 and 35 days.

For people with mental health an immune disorders this is absoulutely inacceptable.

Employ more staff or give up your yearly bonuses and have a cut in salary meaning salaries from the top and that way you will be able to afford to employ more people.

Just because you are a PLC company there have been many before you which have tried and failed in our current climate with businesses going bust left right and centre.

You have to stay ahead of your competion, you need to dig deep into your pockets to survive.

Furthermore their website is not straight forward to navigate and I should know as I build websites.

“There should be no room for error”.

Any decent company should have online chat.

So this is the domino effect of a company simply not doing their jobs properly as I will explain:

Two parcels were sent on the 12/01/21 from the same Royal Mail Post Office, one to ‘Amazon’ and the other to ‘Pretty Little Thing’. The Amazon notification came within 24 hours and refund within 48 hours but for ‘Pretty Little Thing’ the parcel is still in the sorting office even though ‘Royal Mail’ aim to deliver in one working day.

Now considering there is a time frame for when things can be returned and my daughters return date is bordering on the deadline, you would think they would speed things along.

My daughter who suffers with Multiple Scleroris is on the verge of having a relapse because of ‘Royal Mail’.

Multiple Sclerosis can leave a person wheelchair or bed bound, so as her carer I think it is only right to ruffle a few feathers.

To think before Christmas someone refused to use Royal Mail to send a fragile gift and I tried defending the company I now have egg on my face, so has my daugher.

Unless the company can up with a quick plan of action I will not be saying a good word about this company.

The CEO is Stuart Simpson.

Domino Effect.

THE DOMINO EFFECT.

A domino effect is a sequence of events that you have no control over and by setting off one thing you will set off a series of events caused by the consequences of your actions known as a chain reaction.

The term is best known as a mechanical movement and is used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. It is best described as to a linked sequence of events where the scenario plays out and is caused from one direct incident causing another incident in a short space of time.

It can be used literally or metaphorically. The term domino effect is used both to imply that an event is inevitable or highly likely (as it has already started to happen), and conversely to imply that an event is impossible or highly unlikely (the one domino left standing).

Demonstration of the effect

The domino effect can easily be visualized by placing a row of dominoes upright, each separated by a small distance. Upon pushing the first domino, the next domino in line will be knocked over, and so on, thus firing a linear chain in which each domino’s fall is triggered by the domino immediately preceding it.

The effect is the same regardless of the length of the chain. The energy used in this chain reaction is the potential energy of the dominoes due to them being in a meta-stable state; when the first domino is toppled, the energy transferred by the fall is greater than the energy needed to knock over the following domino, and so on.

The domino effect is exploited in Rube Goldberg machines.

The domino effect amongst people who suffer with fear, anxiety, depression and mental health can make the individual spiral out of control. This can in some case be life threatening. A consequence to someone elses reaction of a decision one person made can lead to mental health problems.

The domino effect regardless of the circumstances is the direct cause of one person.

One person can cause catastrophic chain of events just by their actions.

Seeing as Covid-19 is soaring out of control we need to break things down. If everything was sterile and sanitised before person (a) gave something to person (b) this would start to slow down the virus. But people like sharing. People lick envelopes and stamps and spread their saliva dna from their fingers to the paper which then gets handled by several people before it reaches its final destination.

But imagine the scenario person (a) unawre they are the carrier of the virus touched something and then passed it on to person (b) you have potentially started a domino effect.

Not every one is going to sterilise their homes before connecting with another person.

Here is another scenario and you cannot drum this enough into young people that they will not listen or take note, just because you have a set of rules there is an element of risk that these rules will be broken. Just because you say do not socialise or meet other people from outside your household does not mean this is set in concrete. People who want to meet other will, “catch me if you can” will be their excuse.

If on the other hand you showed something that would shock the world only then would they start sterilising and staying at home. If you showed people dying from the virus people would be less likely to taking risks. However people take risks all the time and unless you tagged everyone there is no way of keeping people in if they do not want to stay in.

In my post I mention the domino effect from personal experiences.

Consider the consequences of your actions next time you offend or upset someone.

Disability Discrimination

Disability Discrimination

Disability Discrimination.

Disability Discrimination is rife especailly if you do not look disabled.

People can draw conclusions without actually looking at the facts and whether it is discrimination in the workplace or an airport people with disabilites have rights and should not be humiliated.

Companies should not pass the buck and should own up to their mis-doings and compensate the person they have discriminated.

Far too often untrained staff can cast judgement and make a disabled person feel degraded and made to look like they are liars when in reality some disabilities are silent.

People with auto immune disorders for example may not necessarily look disabled at a glance. The same applies to people with mental health conditions.

I think everyone who is disabled and diagnosed by a doctor, consultant or professor should carry a disabled card. Not everyone wears a neon sign on their forehead saying they are disabled.

I remember from personal experience refusing to step bare foot on airport flooring whilst I was told to remove my shoes and the looks I was being given as I was holding everyone up was beyond belief. I was then given used plastic shoe covers to cover my feet.

Had I continued making a fuss I would most probably would have been ushered away or refused to go through customs and consquently missing my flight. I had to just bite my tongue and reason with myself that the cross contamination of germs providing they did not get into my blood stream could be washed away as soon as I came home.

This was very distressing and for the two and half hour flight plus the one hour drive home felt like it was taking forever and felt like hell as I could not wait to wash my feet.

Not that I plan to go anywhere any time soon but the next time I plan to travel by air I will be prepared and will have my own shoe protector coverings.

On another occasion just before a court hearing where I was appearing as a witness I was told I could not bring my hand sanitiser past the security gate. You can imagine the commotion I caused whilst solicitors, judges and barristers where trying to get past to the courtrooms, in the end they let me through.

Discrimination is not just for disabled people it can range from, religion, race, gender and age and sexual orientation. Discrimination is the act of judging someone based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they are perceived to belong to.

Some links to disabled discrimination news:

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/disabled-woman-stansted-airport-refuse-help-ryanair-nathalie-allport-grantham-a8138051.html

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/oct/29/met-treatment-of-disabled-xr-activists-branded-degrading-and-humiliating

https://www.skillcast.com/blog/12-notorious-uk-discrimination-cases

My recommendation including shoes coverings and disability aids.