My DLA medical finally arrived yesterday. If you remember I had some difficulties over the location, first by them saying I couldn’t have it at the centre, before they said I could as it was accessible.
The same friend helping me with the claim came with me for moral support and to be a witness, as my last medical went so horribly wrong, when he put the opposite of what we talked about down throughout the form and declared me fine as detailed in the post ‘Applying for Disability Living Allowance Part 2.’
We arrived at the door and pressed the buzzer for entry. I was slightly worried at the big step into the building, but saw a sign with a wheelchair on, that said to ask for assistance. I assumed there was a door around the side or something with level access, but when the receptionist came to the door she informed us that was actually the only door. So yes, I did have to get my wheelchair up that step and the building for accessing people with disabilities did not have wheelchair access.
I asked if there was a ramp, and the receptionist said there wasn’t. My friend pointed out we’d informed them I was coming in my wheelchair, and the receptionist snapped she hadn’t been told. I then asked if she could help me, and she said she wouldn’t. It’s important to note the lady helping me is also disabled, and is on two crutches, so there was nothing she could do. But instead of recognising this, the receptionist turned to my friend and said “You’ll have to tip her in.”
My friend pointed out she physically couldn’t, and finally the receptionist said she’d see if security was about to help me.
This whole issue made my anxiety levels which were already ridiculous jumped to heart palpitations with the urge to curl up in the corner of a room rising. I was embarrassed, and just wanted to abandon ship.
The receptionist returned to say there was no security in the building, and that I’d have to get myself in. Again, we both turned to stare, before she decided to go and get the doctor to inform him I couldn’t get in.
Luckily at this point a really kind man walking past stopped and asked if I was okay. I explained I was trying to get into the building, but couldn’t. I thought it could probably make the step in the electric wheelchair, but I couldn’t do without someone standing behind just to steady it in case it tipped. My wheelchair has two small anti-tip wheels at the back, that actually make it more difficult going up steep steps, so he managed to adjust them out the way, then helped me up. Thank goodness for human decency.
The waiting room had a lot of chairs in the way, so I decided it was safer to just to wait in the corridor. The doctor came and got my notes from the receptionist and went to read them, while she came to look at my ID. The letter said I needed my passport, or three other forms of ID. While fishing them out, she said I only needed one, and that she had no idea why it said I needed three. I explained her we weren’t blaming her for the building, we just couldn’t believe they hadn’t made provisions for a wheelchair. She agreed and said the building was terrible.
The doctor then called me in, and we both went in. He seemed confused as to why I had been called in for a medical having read my information, and apologised for me having to come in. He then asked if I already had DLA, and I said no. First claim? Nope. Third. He seemed shocked, and asked if they’d seen all my medical evidence. I explained they hadn’t seen the exact information he had, but I’d had other evidence and knew what was wrong with me.
He then said although he could write a whole report on my medical evidence alone, he still had to go through the form with me. We went through everything, and he did a few minor physical tests like a grip test which he said was poor. He didn’t make me stand as he realised it would be painful.
At the end he said he didn’t make the decision, and they are turning a lot of people down, but he would do his best for me.
I would love to be optimistic at this point, but I have just been screwed over too many times before with other medicals and tribunals that I can’t be. I need to have the decision in my hand before I let myself think anything.
Now all I can do it wait.