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Hatchet Job

Following on from earlier, I've now read the letter that the DWP wrote back after my GP asked them to tell him how they were helping me (hint: they aren't). What a complete hatchet job. Now it looks like I could be in trouble: it ends with "Mr Whistler is required to cooperate with the WP to obtain JSA, at present he is not doing so therefore a doubt exists to his entitlement to JSA"! This is complete and total fucking bullshit. I have done everything I have been asked to by an organisation that, by its own admission, cannot help me.

Now the letter is dated 22/5 and in all that time I've had no comeback from the JC when I've gone in to sign, nor from the WP (though I must say I don't want to hear from them for the above reason, plus the fact that these so-called Christians are lying shitbags). Maybe then there won't be any comeback. I fucking hope not, but by god if I get that brown envelope through the door, out of the blue, telling me no more JSA because of this there will some serious aggro!

Anyway, at the risk of being very self indulgent (it's my blog and I'll cry if I want to!) let's cover all the bullshit. I think there are some lessons here in just how the system can really ffuck you over in these situations. Of course this is just my word against theirs, and we all know which of us will be believed when it comes down to it (to say nothing of the fucking rigmarole getting benefits reinstated will prove to be).

Firstly the letter is written from someone at the JC I've never heard of and copies in what the adviser at the Salvation Army Employment Plus fed back when he was asked. It starts be covering what the GP already knew: that I saw the Work Psychologist in January. It goes on to cover the Pluss debacle and makes the first accusation of my not engaging and general lack of interest. 

This is bullshit. I was told on two separate occasions by the Psychologist that Pluss would meet me locally. That turned out to be untrue when I contacted them (not the sort of thing the lazy do, but it matters not what you yourself do because it's never taken seriously nor credited). Not only that bu t Pluss seemed no better than the WP itself: it was either Pluss or the WP and the former was only a 6 month course so I would have ended up on the WP anyway, so why bother. The final part they ignore is that the Psychologist promised me she would speak to the Disability Adviser, who is responsible for the referral, on my behalf and clear the referral. The DA dug her heels in and insisted that I meet with her in person even though I explained that a) the Psychologist (A DWP official, of course, just like her) and b) going to the office is stressful (this is important as will soon become clear). She didn't even need to see me; it was only her need to be officious and supercilious. She had the Psychologist vouching for me along with my actual JC adviser. Yet she carped on about how she had to be sure that the DWP weren't 'wasting their money' with the referral - charming.

Pointless as well, given that there was no real alternative - it was either that or the WP! But instead of these facts the letter simply lists all the things I am credited with not bothering to engage with. This is the tone throughout the letter and it's just bollocks. It's the same attitude from my GP: he accuses me of not bothering, yet I'm the one that finds out which mental health service to talk to, asks to be seen by the local people whom he rubbishes out of hand (irony!), and I'm the one that engages in processes he doesn't understand and then accuses me of 'cant be bothered' when they don't work - and I explain how!

Moving on we find one diamond in this rough that might actually prove positive as it's now in writing. The letters says that they spoke to the Work Psychologist about my concerns and they were told by her that I "require considerable social and health support". Exactly the sort of thing that neither the JC, the DWP, JSA, nor the Work Programme provides or can hope to. Sounds quite emphatic and serious - just not serious enough to provoke my GP to write a fucking sick note. Instead he is convinced I'm a malingerer. The full quote is even more worrying: "require considerable social and health support, in order to be able to take full advantage of any employment resettlement services"! What the fuck? I presume they mean the Work Programme, but it sounds like something the National Socialist party in Germany would have done to certain members of the community; 'resettle' them. Typically Orwellian language from the state here.

It then says that the Psychologist said the GP funded a "specialist assessment of his mental and social adjustment needs" (wtf?). Well I presume she's referring to the asperger's diagnosis that's now looking like a waste of time (I think it's ADD instead and that should be looked at, as I've said before). I don't know how you get the above from an aspergers diagnosis. This assessment of my adjustment needs hasn't happened yet and the phrase again seems to twist the truth: it sounds more like an assessment of what I can do or need to work. Not an assessment of my actual health - away from that sort of bias.

In fact when I said to my GP why don't I go be seen by the CMHT in case it's not Aspergers he dismissed that and rubbished them out of hand, which is a rather ironic attitude to take. The whole thing has been completely misrepresented.So the implication again seems to be that I couldn't be bothered to attend or go through this process. Utter nonsense.  

Next is an interesting and worrying sentence: "However as the WP is now responsible for his employment development, any additional specialist service has to be provided through the WP contract." Well that won't happen will it; the Salvation Army as I've said made it abundantly clear they are not mental health experts (in the letter the adviser calls himself a 'job life coach' ffs) nor that they offer such services, whatever additional specialist services the JC thinks they mean of course - all geared with one goal in mind: getting off benefits by any means necessary, not my well being or my welfare. That's the real message to take from this folks, it's not about your welfare.

Finally the 'job life coach's' (JLC) reply to all this is copied in. It's pure character assassination, claiming that the first contact was aggressive. That's a dangerous overstatement. Crucially it ignores the key fact: the JLC had double booked me with someone else and that either I went back and arranged a completely new appointment (thereby going through all the stress of waiting for that appointment from scratch, on the eve of when I was supposed to be seen - a conveniently ignored fact despite recognising my health problems at this point). Or I could be seen, inexplicably, simultaneously with the other customer, which would have been totally impractical in every conceivable way, not least of all in terms of personal discretion. JLC fails to tell this to the jobcentre, nor that I turned up as agreed and did everything I was asked. In fact it doesn't mention that despite the DWP sending the information (crucially again including my health issues) and despite JObfit, the prime, passing that on to the Sally Army, and the JLC having received it (because how else could he have known my phone number?), he claimed not to have this information. Not only that, but throughout the interview I asked him this several times because I didn't feel comfortable discussing these things in an open church (even when there, as it transpired, were only a few other people - thankfully), and he refused to answer. He had the information, he knew the problems I had, it was all there, and he just wouldn't listen or answer me when I pointed this out). It was he that draw the interview to a close and gave me the asse4ssment forms to fill in myself and never contacted me back. Yet that's my fault for being aggressive.

JLC also claims that "we did go out of our way in order to provide a queet area for the assessment to take place, but he was unhappy that I left the door open". Really this is such rot. Firstly there was no door to close, secondly there was no such area: you had the main church hall, where we were and without any discussion either, and then a kitchenette at the back directly connected to the church hall with the door to the outside on the wall inbetween (imagine a little connecting space, with no door or screen to divide the two areas). It's such garbage; there was someone else being interviewed in that kitchenette and I could hear their conversation, and they could certainly hear us! It goes on to claim that this magical door was left open for safety reasons, presumably in case I launched myself over the trestle table or threw a bible at him.

I don't object to safety, just to bullshit.

He then points out that he had 'helped' me by suggesting, in order to further my intended writing career (something they are completely unwilling to countenance), I go to gigs (where does he think I live, London? No gigs around here, I live in the countryside and certainly can't afford to go gigging). At the time I said I don't feel comfortable in crowds. To be fair he does relay this, but again it's done in such a way as to ignore the aforementioned acknowledgement of my issues (which seems to be the overriding problem here, that and the lies) and focus on me being lazy and not engaging. If I can't cope with crowds and can't afford to go to gigs then it's not much of a suggestion, really, is it!

He ends by saying relating that he drew the interview to a close. He does mention that he said to me that JLC's aren't trained in dealing with or offering mental health support (something that youd' think would be important and is exactly why I got annoyed, which I did, with his not reading the health notes that were part of the referral). He then says that because I'm on JSA he has to look at getting people into jobs or job ready - so of course how can they help me if they can't offer help for my 'considerable' issues? HE says he suggested that if I wanted to be on a different benefit I should claim ESA (again ignored by my GP who's read this letter as well as heard me explain all this). Finally it mentions him giving me the paperwork to fill out myself, and then ends with this bombshell: "To date I am still waiting". Firmly putting the blame on me for not engaging: apparently I didn't bother to do what was agreed (even though there is no mandating of this task, which is important because if the WP doesn't mandate you then they can't accuse you of not engaging - at least that's how it's supposed to work, see the www.consent.me website for more info), and never bothered to report back. That was NOT what was arranged. Not that it discusses why he couldn't contact me. No, that's not his responsibility, ironically. So again the customer gets the blame and bears whatever consequences. 

The letter ends with the comments mentioned above. After the input from the JLC it concedes he isn't a mental health expert but says that "he referred the customer to FRIEND (a local mental health charity) again the customer has not taken up his offer of help". Again bullshit. Just plain bullshit. The JLC said this because he assumed quite vigorously that people with genuine mental health needs always have an adviser accompanying them and that, the absence of such, didn't, shall we say, count in my favour. Certainly that was the implication. However this statement is wrong because I actually did go to them (I have the info on the desk in front of me), not that the JLC would ever know (they aren't affiliated with the Sally Army, or, as far as UI know, Jesus). When I spoke to them I mentioned what I had been told by the JLC and was told, not unexpectedly, they don't provide such chaperones. They are a small charity that really offers no more than a place to chill out (expensive to get to unfortunately). They have an advocate service, but not a ready supply of people to come with you to every WP appointment either. Unsurprisingly.

There it is folks: this is the system. If you've waded through all this then I salute you. It's yet more Orwellian bullshit: selective editing and reportage of facts. There's also the assumption that everything they suggest is guaranteed to help or otherwise able to do something; it's not. The suggestion to see Friend is not only treated as a mandated activity but something guaratneed to help. Friend can't do that, they haven't the resources and they aren't the WP (remember the letter says that it's all the responsibility of the WP now, not whomever they are 'friends' with).

I was almost thinking perhaps I can't be too mad at my GP for not listening either, having read such a hatchet job, but then it says it right there in the letter, reinforced also by the JLC: "considerable social and health needs". Yet still not enough to work towards an ESA note - to write a sick note. Just what chance do people stand when the support systems aren't working or aren't interested. Or just plain lie.

Comments

  1. This is why i always Record by video and by digital recorder.. I know you arent supposed too, but I would rather protect me. I store them and burn them to dvds for my protection.. I dont let them know. Its always your fault, never theirs.

    I feel for you mate, i just wish it could all go away..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well time, as ever, will tell. There isn't much I can do. I have no problem with the idea of recording stuff, but I don't have the tools.
      In the end there are some things that, curiously, may work in my favour.

      Delete
    2. One thing you can rely on, as I have in the past, is their need to cover themselves if they've made a mistake. So quite often they'll give you want you want/need if it buys your silence on the matter of their incompetence. So note their mistakes and throw them back at the bastards individually until you find one that sticks.

      I wish you every bit of good luck in your fight.

      Delete
    3. Thanks, hopefully it won't come to a fight, but I can't help wondering if they have assumed some sort of timetable behind my back. They might think that the onus is on me to contact the WP before X, and then, if (well, when), I don't...

      But I have most certainly noted their mistakes (which is being generous as they are lies or at least lies of ommission).

      Delete
  2. Blimey GW.

    As I remenber you were quite reasonable when you attended.
    This is what's happening, complete bullshit, obfuscation and them doing exactly want they like, the usual stuff, just even worse.
    Knowing that they have a borderline fascist government behind them. Possibly?

    You were simply waiting for your next appointment, right?

    Goes to prove that they are all essentially nasty psychopaths.

    Good luck GW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I don't know about quite reasonable :D because it was stressful. But then what you do youexpect when you are compelled, under pain of sanction, to attend something you have no idea about. Especially when the people running it deliberately ignore discretion, information referred to them, and then tell you all they do is help you jobsearch (and, given their set up, with no guarantee of any effectiveness). They said themselves they aren't health/mental health experts - even though the JC claim the WP is meant to provide that support (or certainly that's what the this letter implies).

      I was waiting for my next appointment, though they might twist that to either: a) it's up to me to contact them (bollocks) or b) actually no Mr Whister it was agreed you would ring me (again, bollocks, especially as he never said this nor gave me a contact number).

      There's no doubt this whole thing is a pool of sharks just waiting to catch you out.

      Delete
  3. Decision Making & Appeals26 June 2012 at 16:19

    Dr Mr Whistler

    We cannot pay you JobSeeker's Allowance from the 1 July 2012 to 1 July 2015. This is because we told you that a doubt had arisen regarding your claim: that you did not co-operate with you Work Programme provider. We have now decided that this doubt applies. We cannot pay you JobSeeker's Allownance from 1st July 2015. This is because you have no paid enough National Insurance contributions.

    C. Unt

    For Manager

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris Grayling's lesser known middle name 'Unt' there.

      Delete

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