Yesterday I was asked to help out with Dunkan's application for financial support in care for his final months. The rules turn out to be somewhat...labyrinthine.

Incapacity Benefit would seem the fund to apply for, but it's only avaliable if the Staturary State Pension isn't. One alternative is Attendance Allowance, for people who need constant or frequent care, but the 58 page explanatory PDF eventually mentions as an aside that it's limited to people over 65.

There's the Constant Care Allowance for ex-military personnel (like Dunkan) who have serious or terminal illness or disability, but only if they have it as a direct result of military service. But not Gulf War Syndrome.

However, the Disability Living Allowance - where illness is classified as a disability if it's disabling - seems to fit the bill.

usually you only become elligible if you've been severely disabled (and/or dying) for 3 months, and you're not expected to live 12 from the first diagnosis. However, there's a fasttrack form (called "Special Rules") which you can apply for immidiately - but only if your doctor expects you to die within 6 months.

DLA is really 2 funds - 1 with 2 tiers for help with mobility, and 1 with 3 tiers for help with care. You can apply for either or both.

If you successfully apply for the care allowance, you can then apply for increases in Housing Benefit and Job Seekers Allowance. Provided of course you continue to look for a job while immobile and dying.

However, applying for increases in HB and JSA bars your carer from applying for a Carer's Allowance. Which (I think) you can't apply for before DLA.

Patients and carers need to get forms DS1500 and DS700 respectively from doctors or social workers, and mail them to the local central employment office. Who may then arrange another medical examination.

I helped with the online application form. It took three goes because the website kept timing out.

I've ordered a 4 CD boxset of early works by Art of Noise - the band that first made me want to make music.

UKP30 for 56 "songs" and the strange feeling you get when you hear music you don't know from a band whose other music you know by heart.

By a chain of association, I've got hold of a copy of the 90125 album by Yes - AON began as a side project for the studio engineers working on it.

To set the seal on this post's association of death and music...I'm thinking of recording a cover of Gloomy Sunday. A song whose frivolous tabloid association with suicide paradoxically obscures it's despairing message.

Whenever I sing a set onstage, it's generally half my own songs and half covers of other people's stuff. But it's just struck me that the last three songs I've considered covering are Passe le Temps ("Pass the time", original by Souad Massi), Dragostea Din Tei ("Love from the Linden Trees", original by O-Zone) and Szomorú Vasárnap ("Gloomy Sunday", original by Rezsô Seress).

There's no connection between them - and Dragostea Din Tei isn't even a very good song - except I rather like the originals and they're in languages I don't actually speak - French, Romanian and Hungarian. Fortunately, in a past life (about 15 years ago) I was a fair student of grammar and phonetics, so I can at least grasp the essentials of what I'm singing, and get the pronounciation close.

1 comment:

  1. It's disgusting that you have to go through all that with Dunkan. I just can't get over it. As if death and dying weren't terrible enough. Doesn't the state think people have enough on their plates at times like these?

    I love Sinead O'Conner's version of Gloomy Sunday - I'd like to hear you do it.