It’s Groundhog week. I’ve had another week of massive resistance to doing all the admin connected to the Personal Budget and Steven’s finances. My block is partly down to the never ending monotony of it all. But it’s also an ethical resistance as well. Each time I begin to fill out another form, I start to feel angry about the level of scrutiny applied to a learning disabled person and their carer.
My avoidance tactics are pretty shameful. On Wednesday afternoon, two of my clients cancelled, so I had an ideal opportunity to knuckle down to the monthly Personal Budget audit. Instead, I found myself watching five back to back episodes of Four In A Bed.
It’s funny. The other day I wrote a blog about how professionals use client confidentiality to escape scrutiny of their actions. But when it comes to a learning disabled person’s income and the way it is managed by the carer, confidentiality goes out the window and it’s open season for microscopic, intrusive attention. The other galling aspect is that the scrutiny seems to have its roots in an embedded position of mistrust.
I think we’re in Parkinson’s Law territory here. The more the State pushes the line that the intense scrutiny is about safeguarding, the more I suspect the State is up to no good. Any idea of safeguarding is just a projection.
On Wednesday, I got the good news from the OPG that last year’s accounts have been agreed and signed off. They didn’t pursue the missing receipt for Steven’s latest Me Bean DVD. Unfortunately, the OPG is still unhappy about the naming on the bank accounts. HSBC insist I can’t just change the name but have to open a new account and as it’s a Deputy account, the account will have to be a business account. Which of course will attract the higher business account charges. It’s actually just an account for Steven’s DLA to be paid into and for a direct debit to pay his Leisure Club membership to. Why should he be paying business rate charges? When the bank clerk starts asking me, “Which countries will Steven be doing business with?”, you know we’ve lost the plot. To resolve all this nonsense, I’ve made an appointment with a new bank next week and we’ll start all over again with new accounts.
OPG out of the way, I can turn my attention to the monthly Personal Budget audit for April. I got an email last week reminding me that I’ve not been submitting receipts for the cab fares. I’ve got them all, stuffed in the sideboard drawer but it’s a job and a half scanning in 500+ receipts. I don’t have the spare time nor the staying power to do it all in one go, so it’ll have to be a weekend job.
Is this discrimination? We know that if you’re learning disabled the State has complete control over capacity assessments, best interest decisions, where you live, how long you can be detained. But this shows how the State has control over how you spend your money too.
I think it is discrimination because no other part of the population are treated the same way. If you receive a State Maternity Benefit, you are not asked to detail how you spend every penny of it. After Julie died, I got a Bereavement Allowance for a year but I didn’t have to furnish the DWP with receipts on what I’d spent it on. My friend has started getting her State Retirement Pension but she’s not told what type of bank account she needs to keep the pension in. None of this latitude is afforded to the learning disabled person.
I’d like to write more but the week pushes on and I’ve got the support worker’s wages to do and I need to pop to the bank to pay the April tax bill.
There’s always something or other….
From → Social Care