Tuesday, 18 December 2012
It’s lucky I don’t celebrate Christmas
This morning I got the call that no one on benefits wants to get. “Did you know that your benefit is changing? I’m just going to run through what those changes mean for you,” said the emotionless voice on the other end of the ‘phone before rattling off a bunch of stuff from a prompt sheet. He couldn’t give a toss that, at that moment, I began to shake as I knew the dreaded term ‘Work Capability Assessment’ would soon spill from his lips and that from that moment on my life expectancy would be measured in days.
He asked if I had any questions so I replied that as the WCA is based on physical disabilities, that my health issue is a mental health one and that I probably wouldn’t get a fair hearing. He replied that the questionnaire I was being sent to fill in and return has a whole section on mental and cognitive problems. I commented that that was of little succour to me as the WCA was not going to be performed by an expert in mental health. He didn’t have an answer for that.
Having an appointment with the psychiatrist tomorrow, I called Thurrock Mind’s advocacy service to see if they were allocating me an advocate to attend with me. I had called them early last week and today was the day that the advocates are assigned their duties. I hadn’t heard from them so, as usual, I had to chase them. It was not the answer I wanted to hear. “No, no one has been assigned to attend your appointment,” was the matter of fact reply.
It’s lucky I don’t expect to be happy or have things go right for me or this news would have made me positively suicidal on top of the ‘phone call from the benefits people. I now face the prospect of being railroaded by the psychiatrist again and I have no way of stopping it and no one in my corner to support me either. As I was left with the impression, after my last appointment with him, that he was looking to discharge me, leaving me with no services and not even another choice of anti-depressant to get me through, I’m not optimistic about my chances of getting through the WCA without a fight. At least if I had someone on my side at the appointment with the psychiatrist I might have had some hope of keeping the services I need and possibly a new medication to try.
Not that I can cope with all this crap going on anyway, I have the added problem of another device I rely on causing me problems. Yesterday, my new mobile ‘phone stopped being recognised by the computers at the library so I cannot transfer files between my mobile and the computer. It was working perfectly on Saturday. I’ve had the bloody mobile for less than two weeks and now it’s going wrong. Or perhaps it’s the settings on the library computers, not that the library staff have any knowledge or capacity to find out about any changes that have been done or the willingness to find out anyway. I haven’t got a working PC or laptop at home anymore so I can’t check the problem with the mobile at home either. I’m probably going to have to go to the shop I bought it from and see if they can find out if there’s a problem with the handset…if it doesn’t cost me anything, of course.
I’m really fed up of the Universe’s concerted attack on me. I haven’t done anything to deserve this constant assault on me. Why is it that it’s only fucking bastards who go through life with no resistance?