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Monday, 7 May 2012

Welcome to Social Services Review...

Hi guys, it's review time!
Those with social services input already in their lives, will know exactly what that means and those who don't, well, here goes...

Every so often (usually annually if you're lucky!), all care and support, needs to be reviewed by Social Services. Basically, it's to see if you still need and qualify, for the help you were assessed as needing last time around - with me so far? Good! lol
It can be a bit of a mine-field but if your needs have stayed the same, things are usually fairly straight forward and signed off relatively quickly, but, if your health has deteriorated and you need more help - in our case more Personal Assistant hours added to our Direct Payment - well, you need to prove you really need the help and go through the whole assessment process again!

Lucky us! This is where we are now - welcome to...'Review!'

The new assessment forms are fairly bulky.
They're 35 pages long and as Coo's condition is complex that means, very little fits into those wee tick boxes so every comment and qualifying box needs to be used to explain the disability effects and that's no easy task!
This time, the form took around five hours to complete but it now holds a very detailed account of exactly what living with so poorly controlled Epilepsy, is really like on a daily basis for us both.

These forms are always difficult for Coo and I as we have to 'open the box' and really look hard at all the gory details! Worse still, record it all and share it with social services. Coo always finds it upsetting and difficult and that's totally understandable! But...to get the help we both need to continue and live with things, it's really the only way! I try to make things easier for Coo by, filling in as much as I can, then adding input from family and lastly, a read - through with Coo to add and change anything he's not happy with. I'm not sure how others manage this but it seems to work for us best this way!

We've completed the first step: the dreaded forms and we've also had a follow up meeting so hopefully things are on track now, so...so far so good!

I don't think we're alone in finding review time so stressful. I guess the threat of losing the little bit of support you already have, is always a real worry and I just hope things move along smoothly and we hear back from Social Services soon!

Wish us luck and if you're knee-deep in the dreaded review forms yourself - keep your chin up!
(((hugs))) always,
Maz x

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