Yay, I’m Permanently Disabled

Well not yay on the disability itself, which is disagreeable no matter how I try to spin it. Yay that the Social Security tribunal have decided that I’m disabled without me having to jump through hoops to prove that my leg isn’t going to grow back.

It’s not a big surprise. I clearly can’t do any job at the moment, I’ll never be able to do my old job of tour guiding, and they don’t usually ask you to retrain after the age of sixty. I should be getting a small pension, probably very small.

Of course, there’s paperwork. In my case pretty intimidating paperwork because Spain will pay based on my contributions in Spain, and the UK pays based on my contributions in the UK. This is logical, but complicated. I was horrified to find out that the form is fourteen pages long. After I had a soothing cup of tea I looked closer and found that I only have to fill in eight of them, which is bad enough. I need to dig out the dates for all previous jobs and unemployment, which is not surprising. Then they want to know about my income, other family members etc. presumably so they can calculate if the minimum income (the “don’t starve” benefit) would be higher. I think the bit that’s really going to complicate it is that a) my first job after Uni had an opted-out pension scheme, and I can’t see where I say that, and b) the twelve years I spent working at the observatory I was physically in La Palma, but employed by the UK government. Surprise, surprise, there’s no box to tick for that, either.

I’m going to get my data ready and ask the nice social worker at the Town Hall to help.

I think it will take a long time to sort this out, so it will be a long time before any money appears. But at least nobody’s telling me to go harvest bananas in a wheelchair.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. Good luck!

    I’m still fighting bureaucrats in the UK and Spain to get access to my own money, let alone to state resources.

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