Jan. 19th, 2010 11:06 pm
sailor_jerry: (Default)
[personal profile] sailor_jerry
Today I got a letter from the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions - the people that deal with benefits) saying, essentially, that I don't fulfil their criteria for being unwell, and therefore am no longer entitled to my Employment and Support allowance. And as such have no income whatsoever.

So according to their 'point system' I am a 0 out of the 15 points needed to qualify for benefits.

Now, when I read the letter i cried for half an hour. Cried so much my throat hurt. But now, now I'm just angry.
I have all my life, and still do, like many or most people with mental health problems, struggled with coming to terms with there being something wrong. With the fact that I'm not a 'fail' I'm 'ill' and it's not always going to be like this. And an awful lot of that is because although one in four people suffer from mental health problems, they're incredibly misunderstood and under represented.
And you know what, I also struggle every fucking day with feeling like a fucking failure. I had to leave University. I still live at home. I lost fucking relationships to my mental health problems. I spent months and months in a psychiatric institution because of it.
And it's taken me this long to actually feel like it's not all my fault, it's something that's screwed with me that needs help with.
And then the DWP send me a letter saying, what essentially is, 'you've failed a test you didn't even know you were taking, and no, we didn't consult your doctors. But as far as we're concerned there's nothing wrong with you, get back to work and stop sponging.'
So I failed at even being a failure.

Yes, I can appeal. But tomorrow I'm going to have to phone some faceless telephone person who I'm either going to shout it, which they don't deserve, or cry at, which doesn't help. And fuck me if this doesn't seem like a system that discriminates against those who are most vulnerable.

what the fuck do I have to do to be 'ill' ? Do my scars not show it? My hours of psychiatric appointments? My failed relationships, degrees or hospitalizations for overdoses?
I'm bipolar and have a personality disorder. I also have an eating disorder which I'm in ongoing recovery for and is part of my diagnosis. I.. it feels like what do they want me to do to prove I'm not well? What the fuck am I meant to do?

Fuck this. Fuck. This.

Date: 2010-01-19 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am so fucking sorry. And so fucking angry. For FUCK'S sake. I actually shouted at David Blunkett about this in a questions session today when he DARED to fucking claim that the difference between Labour and the Tories is that 'tories will farm out the aspects of the welfare state to private companies who don't care about people.'

Actually, can I quote/link to this post in a write-up? THIS is why they are going to lose the goddamn election, the BASTARDS.

Date: 2010-01-19 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sweetheart, use this as much as you want/need. If you need my angst about this don't hesitate to ask.


If you want me to make this public I have no fucking problem with it at all.

Date: 2010-01-20 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
If you felt like making it public, that would be useful. I was meant to go to bed, but I'm actually going to stay up and blog this all over the internet, after that fucking toad had the fucking gall to fucking LIE to us about this. I've been through this with my partner, after we'd spent a year getting to the point where he could admit that no, he's not making it up, he has fucking Fairbank's disease.

One thing to check - did you actually have an ESA interview? or did they just send you this out of the blue?

I just want to get on the train and give you a hug. I'm so sorry.

Date: 2010-01-20 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes. They cited in the letter that my 'questionnaire' and interview were the basis for their decision, where my views were HORRIFICALLY unrepresented. I.. I don't even know how the conclusions were made that were gleamed from what I wrote/said.

Please, source this and spread the word. Like i say, just let me know and I'll make the post public if it's helpful.


Date: 2010-01-20 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*is public*


Date: 2010-01-20 02:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

They don't call me the fastest blogpost in West Leyton for nothin' *grinny*

I sleep now.

Re: here!

Date: 2010-01-20 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You are some kind of liberal genius! Hurrah!

Date: 2010-01-20 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*agrees wholeheartedly*

Thank you for shouting at David Blunkett, lovely.

I don't know if you saw but [ profile] mirrorshard did a full write-up of his experiences claiming ESA last spring, here, which he has said he'd be very happy for you to use if it would help with what you're writing.

*more hugs to [ profile] landfill_sky, and also to you*

Date: 2010-01-20 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*hugs to everyone involved in the madness that is the DWP*

Date: 2010-01-20 09:37 am (UTC)
ext_15802: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I posted Sam's experiences to my MP, who's a shadow minister, and he said he would look seriously into it. I have this on record.

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