Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Here’s your expiry date, young man
Here’s a lovely Christmas present for me to come home to yesterday – a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) telling me that my benefit is changing and that I’ll soon be called in for a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which basically means I have been handed my expiry date by the Government.
Oh come now, you may well be saying, aren’t you being a little melodramatic? Possibly, but having seen in the media the amount of people who have been declared fit for work when they are nothing of the kind and the constant background noise from the mental health community stating that the WCA is not fit for purpose with regards to assessing someone who has mental health issues, do you blame me for breaking out in a cold sweat?
I have, over the next few weeks, a massive amount of stress and worry to contend with, waiting for the inevitable ‘phone call to discuss the changes with someone who doesn’t give a toss about the effect the changes will have on me, followed by the questionnaire to fill in and the dreaded WCA appointment at which I will be assessed on purely physical health grounds.
I am not the kind of person who wants to sit at home doing nothing; indeed, I like to have at least one thing to do to occupy my mind every day. It’s not easy for me to get much else done because of my reliance on public transport to get me to the various locations I need to get to but that one thing a day is helpful for my mental health. I would prefer to be bringing in some money but if all I can get is voluntary work then that is what I shall do.
I have been dreading this letter for months now and now it’s here, the worry and stress have just increased. I have been told that the WCA really isn’t all that bad but I haven’t exactly got the best of luck when it comes to doing things the right and proper way. In fact, doing things by the book has screwed me on more than one occasion. In the next few weeks my mental health is going to take a battering, destroying all the good work I succeeded in achieving through my voluntary work and when, as is probably most likely, I lose my benefit, I will be able to measure my life in terms of weeks at best or days at worst.
Thanks DWP. Thank you so much for the expiry date on my life and the other lives that the benefit changes will affect. Merry fucking Christmas, you heartless bastards! I hope you sleep soundly in your beds knowing that you’ve killed a few more desperate, vulnerable people.
Until next time…