A Fatigued February.

Good grief.

I thought January was tough, but that was seemingly just the warm-up for February.

February has been really tough for us.

  • I spent most of February feeling tired and overwhelmed with everything that is going on with us and our family. This culminated in me crying hysterically for the best part of two days and realizing I need some serious help with supporting Husband as I just felt like I was drowning. This feeling is not as strong now, but I can feel it’s still there, below the surface.
  • While visiting my mother and family back home during half term, we had to have her admitted as she  was very ill and they discovered she had pneumonia. She seems more herself now but is still incredibly weak. I found visiting her quite distressing as she was so confused, and I couldn’t help her or make her comfortable. The three days following it were spent walking around in a fog on autopilot.

At the same time, February had good parts to it as well:

  • Managed to forget to pay the credit card bill for January however the credit card company waived the late fees and interest as a one-off. This saved us £38.
  • The student loans department wrote to me to say we qualified to have the interest paid on my student loan written off for 2014, so that’s £1440 gone from my debt.
  • We were well under on the grocery budget – got some good reduced bargains and food at Foodprint. Also got some freebies through couponing.
  • I got to see my sister and her family, and my brother and his family.
  • My sister and her family very generously gave us a lot of meat and fish to take when I travelled back to the UK, which is helping our grocery budget a lot.
  • I managed to get six hours of free counselling sessions through the employment support hotline at one of the places I work.

Many colleagues and people on the internet have asked me about PIP and if we have got a court date yet – we are still waiting. We are in March now, and we started this process in May last year so it’s been almost a year we have waited for this to be resolved.




I need some change in my life.

This week has been very mixed.

Monday was very stressful at work, as we were down to two staff and my colleague had done her back in so I had to keep going to help her lift stuff or reach stuff.

As we were due to see the Work Health Programme coach the day after, I went home with a lump in my throat. I’d found some vacancies that could be suitable for Husband but the thought of having to sit and fill them in with him for hours filled me with dread.

Don’t get me wrong. We love each other, and as long as I have the will to live, I will support him and defend him.

But on Monday I just couldn’t.
I couldn’t face even the thought of having to do more work, after just having come home from work. And the day after that. And the day after that.

I broke down once I came home and was a crying wreck for most of the evening and the day after.

I just need some actual support, with supporting, if that makes sense?

If I am to continue going to work six days a week to support us financially, I need help.

I need more help at home keeping the house and I need help supporting Husband; filling in application forms, accompanying him places if he needs that, and so forth.

Naturally my poor mood affected Husband so when we went to the Work and Health Programme on Tuesday I cried for most of the appointment and Husband felt rubbish. As it is only the second appointment we have been to I can imagine what impression that gave of us, as the Wellbeing advisor was quite unkind and said that Husband’s problem is me. Because I work so much to support us and he doesn’t do as many hours and he feels he isn’t contributing.

We were both very upset with how they dealt with this, but will try to attend again as there isn’t anything else. Remploy wouldn’t help us as Husband is already enrolled on the Work Health Programme plus they don’t have an office nearby. The working scheme for people with Asperger’s Syndrome run by the county council can’t take him as he lives within the city limits, and it is just for people living within the county (???).

They suggested Husband applied for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) and it is something Husband’s mother has suggested as well, it is something he could be eligible for and still keep his job.

If applying for ESA is anything like what we have had to deal with applying for PIP, I will not do it.

Having had to deal with applying for PIP and being told in effect that we are lying has brought out feelings in me I did not even know that I possessed. We started this process in May 2017 and almost a year later we are waiting for it to be resolved.

If someone else helps me fill in the form for it and takes Husband to the assessment, sure.

But I am not prepared to go through something similar on my own. I’m sorry if it makes me sound defeatist.

But it’s making me ill.

Husband bless him must have sensed how desperate I have been feeling this week, as he keeps asking if I am ok, no, if I am really ok, and keeps doing things around the house and saying ‘I’m trying to help.’ He wants to give up his counselling so I can go have some, something I have rejected as he needs it more than me. I have explained to him that the problem is that I have so much work to do, outside of work, that I am beginning to feel like it’s swallowing me up.

I think three things have to change in order to help me feel better, as I am feeling so overwhelmed:

  1. I need much more help around the house than what I am getting now. I cannot go on working as many hours I do and still have more stuff to do at home.
    I suggested a cleaner, to which Husband strongly objected. So we will sit down and go through a list to divide chores more evenly. At the same time I understand that while things might not be done to my standard (Hanging the washing on the line in a lump? Ok then?), it will still be done. I have to let that feeling go.
  2. I need help supporting Husband’s search for a job. This means I will no longer actively look for vacancies for him to apply for, but leave that with him. If he wants to continue looking for work and finds something he needs help applying for, a gent at the WH programme is available on a Thursday and Friday to sit with Husband and help him actually fill in the form and write cover letters. I will support Husband with getting familiar with travelling there so he can make the journey there eventually unaided when he feels confident enough to do it.
  3. I need a release of some kind. A friend told me she goes swimming. I am contemplating perhaps going on a Monday as I finish earlier in the day and the tram takes me to the leisure centre. I went swimming three days a week to be able to even fit into my ruddy wedding dress get in shape before and I thoroughly enjoy it when I go. Maybe that’s something I can do.

I feel more calm now. As in, I don’t feel great, but it’s not all coming out. It’s simmering a bit deeper within me.

The end of the week has been better.

As Thursday was warmer and we had bright sunshine, I took the plunge and hung a load of bedding out to dry on Friday before leaving for work. It had almost dried by the time I got home Friday afternoon and hangs on the airer upstairs in the top floor to just get it completely dry.

I also got some lovely food bargains last week and this week, which helps our budget a lot.

Got these last week at Lidl; they are pots with a mix of barley, yogurt and juice, reduced from 65p each to 14p. They have been a boon to my lunches this week. On the left are my wraps; I decided to make three days’ worth of lunches in one go and just take them to work, saving me time in the morning. Something I think I’ll continue to do, rather than running around while stashing fruit and bits of bread in my bag in my race to get out the door.
Got some lovely good food from Foodprint last week. This cost us £5.95 and would have ended up in the bin if they had not snapped it up.
I managed to visit Foodprint after work on Friday and got these lovely babies. It’s 5 kgs of food we have saved from the bin, and it cost us £5.

Next week is half term and I am flying to Norway to see my family. Coach leaves at 2am on Monday morning for Heathrow (What possessed me to think this was a good idea, as I will be working 2pm to 7pm on Sunday? What?).

Hopefully I will have a chance to relax a bit.

And I will perhaps not feel so lonely.

EDIT: And to add further fuel to my feeling of not coping: Suddenly realized yesterday that I had not let my self-employed work know I am going away tomorrow (they need 2 weeks notice minimum to find cover), so I had better ruddy find a way to do the work while I’m there! And when I came home I’d gotten a letter to say last month’s credit card bill hadn’t been paid – I’d forgotten! Paid it in full immediately of course, but we have accrued £12 in late fees and £26 in interest! AAAAARGH!



Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 4.

Blergh. At this rate, this will become a multi-volume endeavour. You know, the kind that you could buy from door-to-door salesmen and get on an interest-free deal in the past.

(If you haven’t and you want to, you can read parts 1, 2, and 3 of our quest for PIP here).

So Husband had a letter to say that based on their assessment of him on the 4th of September, he would be awarded the grand total of 0 points in each category, meaning he had a score of 0. This means that the DWP felt that Husband does not need support with any aspect of mobility or daily living.

The discrepancy between what we wrote and explained at the assessment, and what the DWP reported back, was staggering. The more I read of their rejection letter, the harder I could feel my heart beating and the more upset I became.

Why did the assessor and the DWP not believe us? Did they think we were lying?

Two points of their report, no three actually, really got to me and continues to grind at the back of my mind.

  1. We explained in great detail and using examples, that Husband needs support when it comes to travelling, and what has happened in the past when that support has not been there. We also stated explicitly that Husband is so anxious of unfamiliar places that unless someone takes him there on the day he needs to go, or takes him on a trial run beforehand so he becomes familiar with the route and the place, he will refuse to go.
    And still the DWP awarded him 0 points for mobility, stating that Husband ‘can plan and follow a route unaided.’
  2. Regarding finances and maths, we explained both at the assessment and in the form what Husband needs support with, and how much of the finances I do because of this. Husband does not understand his own bank statements and wage slips, and he struggles with working his timesheet out, so I do this. I pay all our bills and all money going out comes out of my account.
    Twice at the assessment the assessor asked Husband if he could do it with support, and Husband very firmly said no.
    The DWP still awarded Husband 0 points which means he can ‘do complex budgeting tasks unaided.’
  3. One of the last sentences of their rejection letter:
    ‘You told us you like listening to music and accessing social media.’
    This sentence in particular riled me up and still continues to do so.
    I work at a college in the week, three of the days I work at the site where we have provision for students with learning disabilities. You would be amazed at what some of these students can do on a computer – designing and putting stuff together, let alone accessing music and social media. To equate that to be able to access music and social media to evidence of daily living skills is insulting in my view and I think it highlights how little understanding the DWP have of Asperger’s Syndrome and how not two people are the same. That people fall on a spectrum and will be different in terms of ability.
    To illustrate: We have one student who excels at animating and designing, and they do this during their free time at college. Their knowledge of this stuff far exceeds anything I could hope to just teach myself and they continue to impress me with what they come up with. However. They follow a very strict routine and any deviation from this is not acceptable as it makes them feel extremely anxious. Predictability is key. Therefore staff have to ensure that a PC is available for this student at break time, as that is what this student is expecting. In the past when a PC has not been available, this student has become, and this is being polite, hysterical.
    So how can you say using a PC to access music and social media, is an indicator of how well you cope with daily living?

You cannot go straight to tribunal now if you disagree with the decision the DWP makes. Prior to this you have to ask the DWP to reconsider their decision. I rang the DWP on the 10th of October to let them know we wanted a mandatory reconsideration and that we would be sending it in the post. You have 30 days to send this to them.

For this letter I laid out each category. I put what they had awarded Husband, and why we felt their scoring was wrong. I finished the letter with that we intended to take it further if we were not satisfied with the outcome. I also explained that it was me writing the letter on Husband’s behalf with his input.

The deadline was the 10th of November, so I had it proofread and sent on the 7th of November. I sent it recorded delivery and retained the receipt. Two days later I entered the reference number on the Royal Mail website and saw that someone had signed for the letter at their end on the 9th of November.

Then, the next week, on the 15th of November, we had that dreaded brown envelope through the mail slot again.

Letting us know they had reconsidered their decision and that their decision was still the same, 0 points for all categories.

Said letter was dated the 7th of November, the same date we sent them our letter with why they should reconsider their decision. This means they hadn’t even read what we put. In addition to this, you have 30 days from the date on your letter to let the court know you want to appeal.

By dating it the 7th and us getting it on the 15th of November, it had shaved off 8 days that we could have used to get our tribunal letter together.

Husband, myself and Husbands mother got together to write the tribunal letter. I would read Husband the different criteria and how many points were awarded for what, and he would say where he felt his support need fell on the scale for each one. I would then fill in what evidence we had of this and what we put on the PIP application form.
Husband’s mother very generously purchased a subscription for us for a page called Benefits and Work which have guides for these kinds of letters, so I followed their guidance.
All in all in his and our opinion, Husband should have scored 23 points for daily living and 10 for mobility alone. We also wrote in our appeal letter what had happened with our mandatory reconsideration.

We sent this recorded delivery as well together with the form to fill in, and got a response a few days later, stating that the court had received it, and to contact them from now on if we had any questions about the appeal.

So now we wait.











This week: Back with a bang!

Whew, back to the grind this week!

This first week back at work full-time has been really odd. I have been feeling quite off all week, all tired and spaced out, even though we’ve had time off since the 22nd of December.

Part of this is because I’ve had quite a bit to do on the self-employed side this week. CES which is a tech event has been on and brands use this event to showcase their new products. I do media analysis for a few brands (read articles in Norwegian about the clients, write a short summary, flag products/events/features/spokespeople/campaigns/etc/) and there has been a lot of coverage generated by this event. But what the client then does is that rather than sending out one large email they keep sending several smaller ones throughout the week, adding to the list of what products and messages to look out for, spokespeople, and so forth.

Add to this that they have reduced the turnaround time to the next day rather than 48 hours for this week, and the threat of that any analysis that doesn’t meet their demands will be returned to the analyst, it has made for a quite stressful week as I have come home from work, had dinner, and then carried on with my self-employed work before going to bed, every night.

And it wouldn’t make me so miserable if it was something that I was interested in reading. But when I had to analyse articles about, for example, TVs and nits (apparently a unit for measuring light, who knew!), then I just lost the will to live a little. Thank goodness the event ends on the 13th. Mergh. Mustn’t grumble, it’s a valuable side gig and we need the money now.

Husband had his first session of counselling this week. I waited for him at the office as it was his first time. Husband came out being very quiet. I asked him if it had been ok, and he nodded, and when I asked if he would like to go again, he also nodded. So this will be a thing now. Husband was very quiet after his appointment and I think it’s given him a lot to think about.

We have not yet heard back from Husband’s workplace about our appeal and what we discussed during the meeting at his workplace about the behaviour of the staff. While I was doing an online jobsearch today, I did come across two vacancies at the workplace – one of which is the kind of position Husband had! Very odd that they are hiring two new staff there, when they have said the reason why they have not given Husband any hours since the end of July is because they are underwater financially and cannot afford it.

Husband’s parents are coming by this evening after I finish work which will be very nice.

I did get these lovely things at Foodprint on Friday, which really made me happy:

My delicious bargains! Clockwise from noon, two bags of carrots, 5p each, two bags of potatoes, 10p each,  garlic, 15p, crumpets, 10p, six bags of sundried tomatoes, 5p each, bread, 5p, shortbread, 15p (disappeared now, no surprise there!), tea, 10p, onions, 20p, two cartons of juice, 30p each.


They have added a fund option now as well – if you can they ask if you will donate money to it. If someone then comes by and is struggling for money or can’t afford stuff, then their food shop is already paid for by the fund. So I donated money and will go again and donate next week. The gent who served me said that the Post had been by that day to write an article about them and that business is picking up. I do hope they stay as it’s a brilliant idea.

Here’s to next week hopefully being a bit less manic and doing more work – the other firm I do self-employed work for asked if I could do two hours of voice prompts, so that means more money in the pot.


Our experience of having an adult assessed for ASD/Asperger’s Syndrome – Part 1.

I thought I would share with you our experience of what it was for us to have an adult assessed for ASD/Asperger’s Syndrome. I have made it into two parts because it was quite challenging for us, and I feel it needs more than one part just to explain what an ordeal it was for us.

Husband (who I met through an online roleplaying game) has always been a bit different. He has always felt like an outsider and like he hasn’t fitted in, and has wanted to make friends but not had a lot of success, and has always been wary of new things, people and places. He coped as a child, a teenager and later as an adult by developing coping strategies and because he had the support of his amazing parents and siblings, and later, yours truly. We just thought that ‘Oh, it’s just the way he is’.

Then, our nephew was assessed for and diagnosed with ASD in 2014. Just by chance I picked up and read one of the books his mother, Husband’s sister, had bought on the subject while we were visiting them.

And it just all fell into place.

I read, reread, and read again the book and the diagnosis criteria for ASD and Asperger’s and I just though to myself ‘oh my goodness me, Husband fits every almost single characteristic on here!’

It was as though someone’d just turned on the light.

I sat down with Husband and talked about what I had read and how I felt it applied to him, and what it could mean for him and for us to get a diagnosis.

When Husband was a teenager, he was seen by CAHMS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service), due to the anxiety he developed after he was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager. The psychiatrist who saw him at the time verbally diagnosed Husband with Asperger’s Syndrome, however felt that because of Husband’s anxiety at the time it would not be beneficial to him to pursue a diagnosis at that time so it was left.

Husband graduated from college in 2010 and while he held down odd jobs or temporary contract, he could not seem to secure anything full-time or permanent. He currently works part time close to where we live and he this has done wonders for his confidence, plus he was also able to secure a casual job at another place (until they started being jerks.). But Husband had always struggled at work with interactions and reading the intentions of others and this impacted him and still impacts him at work.

To start the ball rolling, Husband needed a referral from his GP – we got this and a social worker came to the house and visited us in October 2014. She then made a referral to the local hospital for an assessment.

Husband was assessed by the Asperger team at our local hospital in January and March 2015. At the end of these assessments, which were done by a speech therapist, the team concluded that Husband did not meet the clinical criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder or Asperger’s Syndrome, and therefore they could not help him.

The team stated that the difficulties Husband was experiencing is seen in many children who have been in the care system. We felt that this is not the case with Husband at all, as he has lived with his adoptive parents from when he was six months old through to adulthood. He has lived in a loving, supportive family, and he has not lived anywhere else.

Because of this we challenged their decision and asked for a second opinion. In addition to this, we felt that the tests they used to assess Husband with there completely inappropriate for assessing adults with.

To illustrate: when we went to the second appointment in March, Husband had to do three tests. We immediately became concerned as the worker stated at the beginning of the appointment that they were using children’s tests as the department could not afford the tests for adults (!).

One of the tests they performed was that they read Husband a list of phrases and idioms, each with four possible answers, and Husband had to select which one was correct. So for example, what does ‘cut that out’ mean? And then there were four options as to what it meant ‘stop it’ ‘cut something out with scissors’ ‘go away’ or ‘edit something’. There were about twenty of these and the only one Husband didn’t get right was ‘like water on a duck’s back’ because he’d never heard that expression before, all the others he got right the first time.

I can understand why this test would be appropriate for a child but I am not confident this test would be appropriate for an adult. Having Asperger’s Syndrome does not mean that you do not retain information. Of course Husband knows what these mean as he is an ADULT and he will have heard these phrases at some point during his life, and will have learnt what they mean!

We also felt that they have completely disregarded the evidence Husband, his mother, and I gave to the social inclusion worker when she came to talk to Husband after he was referred by his GP in October. She asked Husband how he felt about eye contact for example, to which he replied that he knew he had to do it, but had to think about it a lot.

His mother and I raised at second assessment that Husband struggles with several different aspects of daily living, including changes in routine, going unfamiliar places, and situations where he’d be in a group. All of this seemed to be disregarded by the team.

So when the team announced that Husband did not meet the criteria in their opinion for Asperger’s Syndrome, and that they could not help him, I burst into tears. I cried all the way home and felt very despondent. It was as though they did not believe us at all and just dismissed all the evidence we had given.

When I had calmed down enough, Husband’s mother said we had the right to a second opinion. This was arranged and set for August 2015.



An Organized October.

So October is over, how did we fare?

Good things about October were:

  • Having Husband’s friends stay over for a night and playing games with them and eating junk. Friends, and especially friends who understand, are balm for the soul. Husband is visiting them this weekend as I am at work. No surprises there.
  • My sister coming to visit me, and us spending two and a half days in London together for my birthday. My sister and her family and my family and Husband’s family have all been go generous. They all gave me spending money and while I initially put things back in the shops, my sister told me to stop doing that, and explained that the people who had gifted me the money would be sad if I didn’t treat myself. So I bought – are you sitting comfortably? Two pairs of shoes, two packs of new tights, three pyjama bottoms and two pyjama tops and! three new bras (let’s face it, when two of your bras are pulled from the washing machine having been ripped apart at the FRONT while being washed, they need to go). We spent two full days shopping, eating good food and talking. My sister also gifted me three pairs of jeans and she also brought….
  • All the food. Seriously, she brought us all the food from home from her and her family! She brought: Two lamb roasts, a whole ham, three big packs of wiener dogs and three packs of bratwursts, a side of smoked salmon, a pack of lean pork and a pack of lamb steak, and a pack of diced beef from the farm. It’s so nice to see the freezer full again and it will help us so much with the food budget.
  • Speaking of which, we were under budget for the food this month – Lidl down the street from us opened after having been closed for a month for refurbishment. They gave everyone a card which got them a free item if they spent £20 a week shopping there so we’ve been going each week.

Things that could have been improved about October were:

  • Husband’s PIP claim being refused completely. We are asking for a mandatory reconsideration.
  • Situation at Husband’s work place still carrying on. He has not had any hours there since the beginning of July and the union solicitors are not sure if they will be able to challenge their behaviour in court. The union are helping us appeal the outcome of the grievance hearing as we were not pleased with the response they gave us. It still seems they have very little insight into how to support someone with Asperger’s Syndrome, and they seem unwilling to take this onboard or get some awareness training. They are saying they will not use casual workers now due to operational costs which is why they say he has not been given any hours. Husband is looking for other work now.
  • Having to deal with some quite challenging behaviour at work from students. Some, who can help it, and some, who can’t.
  • Back at work now full time as uni is back in session as well, and the whole department has had some rather unsettling news about a proposed contract change. I have let the union know a change to my contract is detrimental to me and to us as a family. I will write more about this in a separate post but it has definitely made me and many of my colleagues unsettled and concerned.

All of this stuff, feeling like we are perpetually in limbo, is taking its toll on Husband’s mood and self confidence. It is being slowly eroded, particularly due to the lack of hours and care from his workplace.

Only this week he said he felt blue as he wishes someone had use for him and felt he was of significance. That he can’t ever help out or be useful to anyone.

However there has been one change – when Husband has felt like this in the past (and it has happened not infrequently), he has flat out refused to seek help for it. Now however he has said he will have a few sessions of therapy. Not going to be cheap but if it helps Husband feel better in himself and restore some faith in himself, then it’s worth all the money in the world.

I will end the post on a cute note with a picture of the Cat snuggling up under my scarf.

‘Oh so this is yours? Cry me a river, human.’

Applying for PIP: Our experience, part 3.

(You can read part 1 and part 2 of the saga that is our experience of applying for PIP for Husband here)

Husband had his PIP assessment on the 4th of September.

We then had a a letter on the 23rd of September, from the DWP to say they now had all the information they needed to process our claim and that they would let us know what the outcome was in due course.

Then, a letter came on the 28th of September, and as I opened it and read it, I could feel a huge hole opening up under me.

DWP and Capita had decided that Husband was not entitled to PIP.

To receive PIP, you are scored out of 8 on most categories and out of 12 on two of them which concerns mobility.

Husband was scored 0 on each category for both Living and Mobility, meaning his score was a grand total of 0.

I genuinely could not believe their reasoning behind their decision to not award even a single point, in any category. The more I thought about it, the more I got angry about it/was convinced I was living in some weird alternative universe where Capita and DWP could either ignore or twist anything we had said.

I have been going through each section they scored Husband 0 on and explained and evidenced everything. We can ask them to do a Mandatory Reconsideration of their decision within one calendar month of receiving their decision letter. If we are still not happy with their decision after this, we can challenge their decision at tribunal.

Take Managing Money for example.

Husband was scored 0 for this which means they feel he can manage complex budgeting.

I have put the following in our Mandatory Reconsideration letter. Names removed for privacy purposes:

Making budgeting decisions (scored out of 6)

Your decision was to give me a score of 0 out of 6 points in this category as you have stated that ‘you can manage complex budgeting decisions unaided.’

I put the following in the PIP application regarding money and budgeting:

‘REDACTED manages at the moment as REDACTED is responsible for all the finances in the household, ensuring everything is paid in full and on time. Due to his dyslexia REDACTED struggles with reading and understanding bank statements and bills, and finds this frustrating, so he does not do it.

Bills are in REDACTED’s name and bills and expenses that have to be paid are done by REDACTED such as council tax, mobile phone bills and energy bills. REDACTED has his own bank account that his wages go into but he gives his wages to REDACTED to pay bills and for outgoings for the house. REDACTED explains to REDACTED if there are budget decisions to be made and the pros and cons of each choice so REDACTED can think about what he feels is best and this helps him decide. An example of how this has been done in the past was when REDACTED and REDACTED bought their own home. REDACTED did not see the value in owning a home however REDACTED explained to REDACTED that it would be the best decision to make for the future as they would not be able to rent all their lives.

If REDACTED did not have the support he gets with managing the household budgets, paying bills or planning future purchases, he knows ‘something bad would happen, something he does not want to think about.’ ‘

I also expanded on this in the section about reading:

‘REDACTED supports REDACTED by calculating his monthly timesheets and helping them fill them in as REDACTED’s workplace converts minutes to percentages, something REDACTED struggles with. When REDACTED had to complete his monthly timesheet once he stayed behind 25 minutes at his workplace. REDACTED felt this was very embarrassing as he was not able to work it out and his manager kept asking him if he had finished yet. REDACTED still had to submit this in the end and now takes them home for REDACTED to fill out as he feels it is too humiliating to try and work this out in front of his colleagues.’

I was asked about budgeting and managing money at the assessment, and I explained that I am able to go to the ATM and put my card in to withdraw money, and that I understand the number on the screen where it says the balance. I also explained that I can go to the shop and buy food for example and I would know how much change to get back.

I did explain however that I do not understand bills or my bank statements and that my wife reads these and deals with these for this reason. The assessor pressed me on this and asked me twice if I could understand it if I had been shown how to do it and I firmly said no both times. ‘

The refusal letter states that we have to send the Mandatory Reconsideration letter in within 28 days of the date on the refusal letter. So will do that next week.

Good grief.

Or just, you know, grief.