Husband struggling with complex paperwork - any ideas on how to work with it?

My husband has pretty severe ADHD (coupled with bad dyslexia) and struggles with few things one of which is complex paperwork. NHS website mentions these symptoms of adult ADHD, and he is officially diagnosed and these difficulties were marked by his psychiatrist and he takes medication, but that doesn't make reading and paperwork easier for him. He makes fairly good 35k as a self employed while working at home so he does fairly well professionally, and he does well where actions and paperwork are simple and predictable (eg invoices) but he keeps getting charged various costs for his disability in all other paperwork life areas. Now, the paperwork required is often not complex for most people, but he struggles - are there any services that anybody offers and how to find them to sort out issues like these?

Example of situation that arises: I recently found out that he acquired 3 CCJs and it can have very bad financial consequences for us as renters. I checked his credit score and there it was. They all come from the same time period and I assume the same situation where he sent off change of address to DVLA (I made sure he did) but never checked if it went through and forgot about it. Address has not been updated, which we've learned when bailiffs stopped by his car for not paying the crossing of the bridge (the wildest action escalating from £2 for crossing each side!). He sorted out that paperwork with great difficulty, but didn't follow up on private tickets (which he acquires a lot because signs are often unclear/small/difficult to read and more and more places use car parks with varied rules or varied methods of payments or free stay for specific time periods that can change over time). CCJ came from these private tickets. So not checking if there were other letters he missed is a typical mistake he is going to make, or updating the address but not checking if it went through, or getting a fine unfairly but not contesting it because ADHD makes him miss deadlines. I appreciate he only has limited energy to fight his disability if he wants to use his executive function for his actual career and I have seen him work for hours on things that take people who read faster and easier maybe 30 minutes. He also can make mistakes on that paperwork so it's also stressful for me. But these situations escalate from small to large costs and I am unsure how to help him (and I don't have energy or time or ability to follow all of these complex situations or letters). Once he gets a parking ticket, he often improves his action, sets alarms and doesn't get into the same situation in the same place, but that of course doesn't guarantee he read and got that information correctly. I could observe it affects him and his self esteem, and of course our finances. Anytime he is unwell or so, he can slip up and that can essentially cost thousands, putting us in bad situation. He asked me to ask on 

Does anyone have any advice? Are there any services that offer regular maintenance of paperwork or something similar that would prevent us bleeding money and are accessible to people who don't make 100k+ a year?


  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,021 Forumite
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    I'm not sure if this would help or not, but I do know people who use a PA to 'get things done' which their disability would make difficult. So my friend who doesn't have much sight will ask the PA to come and read things out, help fill forms in etc. I don't think the costs are huge and it's on an 'as needed' basis. 

    What I'm not clear about from your situation is whether such a person would need to access personal information online in order to check the situation. My feeling is that CCJs should not be arriving before several letters have arrived, so a simple weekly "here's the post, please check it with me and action" might do the job. Also the PA could keep notes along the line of "address change sent to DVLA this date, check actioned in 2 weeks." 

    Quite a lot of these people advertise an online service (I've just googled!) but it doesn't sound as if that's what you need. 

    I don't know if this would count as a business expense, but it might well do (at least partially), and my gut feeling is that for a couple of hours it needn't cost a fortune. 
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  • A PA of some kind is the only thing I could think of too.

    I know there's an app called Be My Eyes that can identify things for people with visual impairments, but I don't think it goes as far as explaining what signs mean, only reading them.

    Would taking a photo to be able to enlarge help with reading (and maybe understanding) them?  You can also get apps to read text aloud, but again no explaining them.
  • Fruitcake
    Fruitcake Posts: 58,231 Forumite
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    CAB might be able to help with form filling, and sometimes will send someone to your home to do it. It would be worth contacting them.

    Does he have a social worker? If not, is he on Social Services radar as a vulnerable adult? It sounds like he should be, and should have an assigned case worker.

    For the parking tickets, if you/he get any more, visit the parking forum of the Motoring forum (not the "official" MSE page about parking charges).
    They can also help with getting CCJs set aside in certain circumstances. 
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