After more hours on hold to various DWP departments than I care to think about and several discussions with concerned, expert DWP advisors about whether it would be better for me to do permitted work than full on employment....
I've managed to sign off ESA! Quite why it is such a difficult process is beyond me, the automated systems the DWP are using reduced me to tears, but all the staff I actually spoke to were excellent. This doesn't bode well for the 'digital by default' futureproof benefits planning the DWP are hanging everything on currently.
So having decided I can only face dealing with one benefit department per day, today's task is to try and sort out housing and council tax benefits.
And to try and squash the panic triggered by yesterday's DWP advisor asking me if moving into work was a change of circumstances for DLA. I don't see why it should be given I'm working part time from home in my pyjamas*. But, if that question does trigger the system as a change of circumstances it will also trigger an application for PIP.
There's simply no way I can remain in employment without DLA. There's also no way I can manage to juggle coming off several benefits, applying for several different benefits, deal with the social care implications, actually do my job AND apply for PIP.
So, should this be treated as a change of circumstances and the PIP forms arrive I'll have no choice but go to straight back onto ESA and stop working.
I'd really like to congratulate the government on having spent obscene sums of money on 'welfare reform', terrified disabled people and somehow managed to make it MORE difficult to move into work. As achievements go...that's quite an impressive one..
*frequently smelling of sick, so it's a good job I'm avoiding face to face meetings!