Like Louise Bolotin, the author of this rare insight into the insanity of the DLA system, I am also completely dependant on the financial security that Disability Living Allowance provides me. Unlike her however, I live alone, and depend entirely on benefits to survive, having no-one else to step in and support me so although my DLA has time left to run on it's current award, I'm permanently aware in the back of my mind that it could randomly be removed from me on the 'whim' of a decision maker, regardless of the level of my disability.
This for me is of particular relevance at the moment having strived so hard for so long to gain control over my condition and therefore improve my life. Should I inform the DWP that I have managed to 'improve' and therefore risk my entire award, which if I were to lose it would without doubt lead to a drop in benefits so drastic I would be left unable to meet basic utility bills and rent, let alone consider luxuries such as food, or should I say nothing as actually these improvements, although considerable for me, are by anyone else's standards minor and still leave me substantially disabled and genuinely entitled to the awards I've been given, if not the higher awards my GP pushed for me to be given at the time but the DWP in their typical nonsensical logic refused as they insisted the bodily functions I needed help with during the day did not exist at night.
This week saw my annual landlord safety check done by British Gas, where they come out and check all the gas appliances in the house. Whilst checking the gas hob the engineer asked if it always turned on in a particular manner, and asked to see me turn one of the rings on. I managed to do so after a couple of attempts, but only when prompted by him did I notice that as I'd turned it on, the only way I could do so had meant I'd had my fingers in the gas flames and left them there until he pointed it out.
For all the 'improvements' I think I've made, I don't think it's worth risking losing everything, including potentially my life, by informing the DWP of 'improvements' that are only improvements so they can remove benefits from the most vulnerable.