Those of you who know me well will be aware that I have struggled financially for many years, my only personal income being some meagre pensions which I had to draw out many years too early in order to survive after my accident almost 13 years ago.
That is about to change.
When I visited the Mental Health nurse at my GP some weeks ago to renew my prescription for Fluoxetine (Prozac) she suggested that I made contact with a local support organisation, Link Living, in order to get help in receiving benefits.
Surprisingly enough, and much against my usual form, I actually followed this through and within a short space of time had a visit from one of their managers. She went through my situation with me and promised me the help of a Support Worker for 2 hours a week as soon as someone appropriate became available.
Last week was my first session with her and we decided on a plan of action which would start today.
So this afternoon, to begin with, she telephoned the Benefits Office and put in place my application for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). This will take some time to process, has a massively detailed form to complete, and will involve assessment etc. etc., plus she feels it unlikely that I will get anything, although she will assist me with the appeal as and when the time comes.
Then she telephoned the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) because, in her opinion, despite my feelings that one of the pensions I receive is “in place of” my State Pension she was convinced that the State Pension is separate to this.
It turns out that she was right.
After a reasonably short and quite straightforward telephone call the news is not just good, it is almost unbelievable!!
Irrespective of my other pensions, not only am I entitled to the full State Pension of £174.62 per week (!), but this will also be backdated to my 65th birthday last July!!
Having spent the last few years having to scrimp and save, to watch every penny, to look at my bank account and see that I have less than £5 to last the week until my next money comes in, I am now looking forward to NEVER having money problems again. EVER!!
So, what is on my new shopping list, other than shoes?!
Well, first and foremost I’m going to keep a promise I made to myself a few years ago. My Dad passed away about 20 years ago, and at the time I didn’t get a headstone for his grave. I have been promising myself for years that if I ever had enough money in the bank to correct that situation, then I would. Now I can. Now I shall.
Shoes, of course.
I will, at last, be able to contribute to the running of the household. As much as wifey and I don’t get on, it’s only fair that I pay my part when I can.
A holiday! I have been NEEDING a proper holiday for years. I mean a PROPER holiday, away from everything, not just tagging along with wifey when she visits China. Maybe I’ll hit a beach in some trans-friendly resort somewhere, or pop over the pond and hit “Route 66”. Who knows? Wherever I go I’ll be sure to need shoes too.
Electrolysis! I will, at last, be able to afford to rid myself of the need to shave! (Insert a whole series of exclamation marks at this point.)
Then, of course, there will be shoes. Did I mention them before? I will be able to be selective about the shoes I buy, and actually buy some nice ones for once. Hallelujah!!
And one last thing.
There are some people over the years who have showed me real kindness and have supported me, especially during my journey from the old “male” me to myself as I am today. I intend to repay that kindness wherever I can. I probably wouldn’t be here today without it.
There really are “Days like this”!
Stay safe, and keep believing in yourself.