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Had my 13 week review today; a month later, delayed due to bus timetable related ignorance. To be fair the appointment went as well as it could have, I suppose. I give the JC their due in that regard. They are more understanding of the problems due to anxiety i feel than even my GP whose letter, written to tell them about all this, was a complete joke and totally misread everything I had quite clearly told him. Even so, it can't be healthy to feel as stressed as I did anticipating this interview; en route my legs felt so unsteady they almost didn't exist. I'm not sure how I manged to walk there. I imagine this is how an air hockey puck must feel.
This is the sort of problem I tried to tell the GP upon my last appointment; how stressful dealing with JSA is and how fraught the system is when you aren't even guaranteed to get your money from one fortnight to the next. He didn't understand, or even listen as his letter, received by the JC (they showed me today though I managed to procure a copy yesterday), demonstrated: a random collection of sentences that reads 'I'm not really interested'. Nice attitude, doc, writing the letter was YOUR idea.
Anyway, the appointment went by in a fairly benign way. My JSA was changed somewhat to allow reduced hours and greater understanding of the fact I have problems. Fair play. It's somewhat sad that the JC are more sympathetic to the issues surrounding health, ESA and of course ATOS, than my own GP! This is perhaps because they have to deal with the fallout of those failed sick claims, something the GP hasn't a clue about.
However there are clouds on the horizon: the spectre of the Work Programme looms. It's just unfolding locally. Fortunately I was not immediately referred (again it was felt that dumping me straight in at the deep end was a step too far, thankfully), but it's only a matter of time. There are two local providers, uin the small town where I sign, JHP and Jobfit. Are they any good? Who knows; their websites are the usual hyperbole and I've certainly never heard of them before. Where they formed just to capitalise on the WP? Interestingly neither the client nor the JC have any say in who sees whom, the referral is made to the organisation with the least clients at the time.
I'm not really looking forward to that, but on the plus side I have amanged to avoid weekly signing, another perk. Someone told me that was no longer the policy, but evidently not.
Lucky me for now.


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I Fucking Hate the Work Programme

That did not go well.
My legs were wobbly to begin with as I closed in on the church that passes for the office of the employment wing of the Salvation Army. My appointment was 3 to half past. I really did feel sick. Pretty early on, when he asked for the forms he gave me last time to fill in, I knew that what was arranged on the letter (a short interview with me bringing my CV and jobsearch) was actually going to be much longer. I also knew that, come half three when I had to leave to catch my bus back ten minutes later, I was going to have problems. 
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