I've assumed role of full time nurse as PP is still in a lot of pain and unable to move around without help. So aside from normal caring duties I'm also administering drugs, topping up fluids, overseeing recommended intake of daytime TV, making sure small dog is comfortably settled by the patient, serving soup, plumping pillows and generally doing useful stuff.
The transformation from normal, healthy person to complete physical wreck has been sudden and shocking. I've always been of the belief that you went into hospital sick and came out well, but in this case has been the complete opposite. It's all very confusing.
Given that PP will be 'off work' for the foreseeable future, I tentatively checked out sickness benefits for the self employed this morning.
Ha! *that's sardonic laughter, verging on the bitter*
I think that embedded in the reams of FAQs, downloadable information on how to claim etc, is a subtle subtext to the effect:
"Don't even think it about it"
It seems that the self employed are treated as second class citizens when it comes to being unable to work through illness and needing to claim.
No matter that we already pay through the nose in NI contributions.
No matter that we do all our own tax assessment forms etc
No matter that we do not represent a burden on the benefits system ordinarily
The employed don't know they're born. Tax automatically deducted at source. Sickness benefit paid automatically. The only thing we self employed 'automatically' get is a bucketload of problems. Not to mention all the related stress and worry.