Sorry for not posting anything for such a long time, I haven’t written anything or blogged anything or even done any long FB rants for over a month now. Every time I start I either sit their staring at the screen then eventually give up, OR, type many words, hate them and delete them. My few attempts at working on existing written had me seriously considering deleting months of work.
Anyway this is a rant, feel free to not read it, I’m trying to get this off my chest and release the anger without punching walls. Three guesses who I am angry at.
Five months ago I was moved onto ESA because the Jobcentre said I was unfit for work and therefore not eligible for Job seekers. I blogged about that back in March.
Since then I have finally had an appointment with a back specialist and a couple of weeks ago my ESA medical assessment. The physio I was undergoing was stopped, I had a meeting and a check up and review where it was concluded that the physio was having no beneficial effect and so it would be discontinued. The meeting with the back doctor came about because of the physio ending and after being prodded and jabbed and having my back and legs twisted and turned we spent the rest of the half hour talking about pain management, the ways to lessen pain and the ways I could do things for longer before the pain started.
No treatment, no cure, simply down to me to manage and deal with.
This morning I had a phone call, the DWP, about my ESA assessment. The review had been done, the medical examination was concluded. I can’t stand or walk for more than a few minutes without pain, I can’t sit for more than 15-20 without pain, I have to get up and walk around if sitting or sit if standing and do stretches and bends to relieve the pain. My supermarket shop involves multiple stops to relieve back pain and it’s a major problem just getting the half mile into the town centre. My back is a real pain.
My scoring based on touching my head with my right hand, sitting down and standing up, and having a rubber hammer banged on my knees (which didn’t do anything despite multiple hits).
Zero points. ZERO.
ESA cancelled, backdated to my last payment. Paperwork will be sent in the next two weeks, I can appeal then. I was asked my postcode by another woman and told I had to apply for Universal Credit on the government website.
That was it, end of conversation.
Some swearing and shouting later I went to the government site and it asked for my postcode, filled that in.
UNIVERSAL CREDIT IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THIS AREA !
Bend over, drop your shorts, the DWP are here. Deliberate cruelty or just utter incompetence, who the heck can tell the difference with the government and the DWP these days.
So I went into town to the Jobcentre to ask them, spoke to a lady there who say yes and no, Universal Credit isn’t available in this area yet but Universal Credit is, I had to go to another web site and apply for the other Universal credit.
WHAT OTHER UNIVERSAL CREDIT ?
So she explained, there are two universal credits because the one wasn’t universal enough to include most people so they have a separate one to cover people the first one doesn't, or some such. The government web site sends you to the Universal Credit site, not the Universal Credit site. Confused. I fucking well was, and angry. But I work hard not to take out that anger of people who aren’t responsible.
So, the ‘OTHER’ Universal web site. Fill in details, one box I went and asked because it said are you unfit for work such as covered by a doctors medical assessment such as a sick note. The Jobcentre woman said since I was (it’s with the DWP) I should tick yes in that box which I did.
YOU ARE NOT ELEGIBLE FOR UNIVERSAL CREDIT!
I didn’t shout or punch anyone or the screen, I wanted to, I really did, but I didn’t. Instead I asked the staff who scratched their heads and said I had to apply for JSA instead which I had to do by phone.
I went through this the last time, no phones in the Jobcentre so it’s a phone box just down the street. Five minutes of music and messages and a steadily growing pain, then a human being. Could you call me back on my mobile so I can sit down for this, Oh no, we don’t do that.
I didn’t mention the young man the last time; I don’t want him to get into trouble for being a decent human being. So its suck it up and name, date of birth etc, then the woman went through a list of questions, she wasn’t listening to what I said because several times she asked a question, I answered with a short explanation and then seconds later she asked me the same thing I had just said.
But hey ho, not her fault. So questions done, I then explained the situation about ESA, doctors notes etc. She told me I was booked for an assessment at the Jobcentre next week and that I would have to bring bits of paper to prove I was me. I asked about the being signed off situation, she said I should discuss it at the meeting.
She then went though the writing on her screen about missing the meeting would put my claim at risk and that I was required to prove my suitability for Job Seekers by demonstrating both what I was doing to look for work and my fitness for work.
Wait, my fitness for work, but, but. . . . .
She was gone.
Fitness for work.
FITNESS FOR WORK.
JESUS FUCKING WEPT ! ! !
I appeal the ESA with doctors notes and letters etc to show they were wrong in finding me fit for work but doing so demonstrates I am unfit for work which means JSA is out, OR, I destroy or deny the doctors reports and claim JSA which invalidates the ESA appeal and I will be sanctioned for not taking jobs I physically cannot do. I know this because they tried to sanction me for this already.
Appointment booked with doctor for a fresh letter, going to visit various advice sources such as C.A.B. and will appeal ESA arseholes as soon as the paperwork hits my mat but in the meantime I’ll explain the situation next week and see what happens.
Will resolve this or will punch someone.