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A Carers Thought's

right from the start, you were a thief, you stole my heart

So true.

Jack Monroe

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I didn’t manage to say very much on Channel 5’s The Big Benefits Row, beyond an opening remark about people not being able to just rock up to a food bank with a carrier bag and help themselves. I started to talk about the Trussell Trust when Edwina Currie, also on my panel, cut over me to talk about my grandfather’s circumstances.

I wanted to say that poverty is almost indescribable to Edwina and co with their blinkered, self-righteous attitudes. That turning off the fridge because it’s empty anyway, that sitting across the table from your young son enviously staring down his breakfast, having freezing cold showers and putting your child to bed in god knows how many layers of clothes in the evening – it’s distressing. Depressing. Destabilising.

Imagine living for 11 weeks with no housing benefit, because of “delays”. Imagine those 77 days of being chased for rent…

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So we received the dreaded brown envelope yesterday, I was at work all day and didn’t manage to speak to si at all throughout the day so he sat here stewing about it. I haven’t even read the form yet, I hid it from him as soon as I came in as we were having a day out today to visit his family in Cardiff. I hoped it would be “out of sight, out of mind” but unsurprisingly it didn’t work. I wanted him to be able to have one last day off, free of the stress of it but understandably, he couldn’t get it out of his head.
He has ended up staying with his nan as she had a fall earlier in the week and it has affected her more than she let on. He has replaced one worry with another, which is equally out of his control. He had enough of some medication with him but not others, so I said I would post what he needed, when I got home I looked on the royal mail website and realised it’s illegal to post medication! Obvious when you think about it but I just didn’t think. He has said he will call NHS direct tmo and see what he can do but I know he will just go without if he can’t get it and even though it’s a 6 hour round trip, I would rather take it to him. I feel like such an idiot for not realising I wouldn’t be able to post it. I was looking forward to a few unexpected “days off” not worrying so much, not being ruled by medication times etc and now it’s even worse than when he’s here!
I know it sounds terrible but it is nice to have some time to myself, I won’t be just lounging around though, we were planning to do his form tomorrow so I think I will go over it and maybe write my suggestions for him, to help him and hopefully ease the stress a bit. I just reblogged a worrying post, which shows that 2 out of 3 pip applications are being denied. I honestly believe another tribunal will break him. It’s such an intense amount of pressure, and when you are coping with extreme pain, depression and a very limited life, it seems that much worse. It’s the very last thing any disabled person needs.
We only have until the 3rd of March to return the form and the onus is on us to gather any evidence, bastards.
Sorry if I have bored you with my rant! Just sick of getting shit on by this government.

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Hardly shocking but very worrying.

the void

atos-final Early figures from the DWP reveal that half of all claims for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been rejected. Appalling the figures also show that claimants are waiting up to six months for a decision on their claim whilst a massive backlog is developing.

PIP replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and is currently being rolled out for new claims only in some parts of the UK.  Most DLA claimants will not be re-assessed until Autumn 2015 when the notorious Atos, along with bungling Capita, will begin the work of stripping vital benefits from a fifth  of disabled people.

PIP began in April with 31,900 claims made by July, jumping to 99,600 by August and 171,800 by October.  At the end of the year 229,700 total claims had been made for PIP.  Despite this just 43,800 decisions had been made by December 2013.

These figures include people with terminal conditions who are…

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Typical

the void

The parody twitter account @UKJCP is back after the bungled attempt by the DWP to have them banned from twitter.  The spoof twitter feed, which has attracted a wide following, had been suspended from twitter after complaints from the DWP.

The DWP appear to have claimed that they wished to use the username @UKJCP and therefore twitter should close the satirical account.  A quick search shows that the DWP do not use these initials to describe the Jobcentre network yet they still attempted to claim ownership of them with the aim of censoring social media.

The DWP also claimed that some of @UKJCP’s tweets were ‘rude’ and potentially libelled the UK Government, politicians and the heads of large private sector organisations.  This is a…

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Amazing and inspirational.

Jack Monroe

Dear Edwina;
It’s 9 o clock on Tuesday, the morning after the night before, where we were both on a panel on The Big Benefits Row on Channel 5. I haven’t watched it back, I was there, and know what I look like when I’m angry.
I need to get this out – because it’s everything I wanted to say last night but couldn’t, as I kept being rudely shouted over by you. Honestly, my three year old behaves better than that. At least he knows that when Mummy does her ‘will you just be QUIET and LISTEN to me’ then the best thing to do is to stop running your mouth and let Mummy say her piece.
But you didn’t. Because you were terrified of what I had to say.
I wanted to say, when asked by Matthew Wright, that poverty is almost indescribable to someone as blinkered as…

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So it’s been ages since I wrote and to be honest, everything has been going OK. Si is getting worse but that’s to be expected, his hands and arms are starting to give up due to being on the crutches full time and his mobility is much worse, he is on stronger medication and getting more depressed but we have been coping. Money hasn’t been an issue really and that has made a big difference.

Then this morning we received the first letter about pip. They claim they wrote to us two weeks  ago saying he had to begin a claim for it but we have received nothing, this means we only have two weeks to get a form, fill it in, obtain evidence etc. And so the stress, frustration and justification starts all over again. 

It’s so terrifying knowing we are probably going to lose the car, and his money. Anyone who doesn’t have a good understanding of this process and the dwp won’t understand this as they can see clearly he should be entitled. That’s simply not enough anymore. People are dying before being awarded it, people are being driven to suicide because of the strain put on you, and I’m so scared of how si will react if he doesn’t get awarded it and we have to go through the whole tribunal process again. I honestly do not know that we would survive it. 

On top of this we were planning to get married this year but I don’t think we can afford to make that commitment to no matter how cheaply we do it. I am just realising that this is going to be a continuous process for our entire lives. Every two years or so we are going to have to go through this. Every time you win a battle, they start planning for the next one and you can never relax. 

I’m at work in 5 and a half hours and can’t get to sleep for worrying.

The only way I can think of explaining it to someone who doesn’t have to go through this is if you were to turn up to work and your manager decided that every two years, whether there was a change in your work or not, they would assess you and decide whether you would get paid or not. They would decide which evidence and parts of your work counted towards the assessment and your behaviour and ethic would barely be recognised. Doesn’t sound fair or logical does it? Yet this is what many millions of disabled claimants go through on a regular basis. 

As well as this my dad has started fainting again due to drinking even more heavily and my mom is threatening to leave him. It feels like my life is turning to shit once again. 

I try so hard to stay positive, especially for si but it just feels like the whole world is against you sometimes. Anyways I had better try to sleep again. 

Things can only get better 🙂 

 

 

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Painting On Scars

From the Archives

 

Really, With the Gay Jokes?” “The Rape-Joke Double Standard.” “Has The Onion Gotten Too Mean?” These are the headlines to just a few of the several articles appearing this week about comedians and conscience. All of them make excellent points, but the problem with trying to explain why a joke is offensive is that it instantly kills the mood. Culture critics aren’t professional comedians and thus they almost always end up being viewed as the more uptight of the two, even if their arguments are rock-solid.

And yet, the best comedians are pretty good culture critics, as Dara Ó Briain proved years ago at the Theatre Royal in London. Amidst his cracks about the idiots who ask you to remove your shoes in their home, the idiots who confuse astronomy and astrology, and the idiots who think the…

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So we had the tribunal on the 3rd of May and we won thank goodness! It was terrifying and the most stress we have both been under in ages but it was over very quickly. We went in and there was a doctor and a lady who I think was the main decision maker, the doctor asked si questions about his mobility for about 5 minutes, the lady then asked a couple of questions and then she told us that they were ready to give us a decision there and then which was a relief as when we arrived, the clerk told us they were running behind and we wouldn’t be told on the day. We stepped out for less than a minute and we were called back in. Si burst out crying as soon as they told us, I can’t even describe how relieved I was. They have also recommended that he is not assessed again for 2 years which is brilliant, I’m not sure that ATOS will pay much attention to this but we have been told that by showing our paper that says he won, this will override any other decisions within this time frame.
We are now due a back payment of around £3500,we will pay off our debts and then we are hoping to get a rescue dog with what’s left over, the extra money will be so helpful and will allow us to get things we need without having to forfeit something else.
It finally feels like things are coming together and I hope life will be a bit easier now, all I can say to finish this post is phew! Thank fuck it’s over!

So last night I should have been seeing p!nk, unfortunately she cancelled due to an inner ear and respiratory infection, as you can imagine I was gutted, we don’t know when but they have said she will reschedule. I was so excited to go out with si and to be doing something out of the ordinary, it is unusual nowadays for us to go out if it doesn’t involve an appointment for him, shopping or seeing family, so I was mega excited to be doing this. I really hope she will set another date, it’s not even just about the money, I really want to see her and want si to see her.
After that crushing disappointment, we had dentist checkups this morning and I found out I needed two fillings, they got me in today and get had it done but my mouth is so sore, the anaesthetic lasted for hours as well but now it’s pure killing me, I’m not used to pain and don’t handle it well at all!
So as you can see it’s been a brilliant start to my second week off work lol but hey things can only get better right?!