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Out of the Frying Pan?

Well I did it. I managed to convince my GP to sign me off. I explained just how the Work Programme were not interested in helping me, despite the vaunted covenant of the scheme, unless I was on the 'right' benefit. In the end he wrote a 3 month note. Now all I have to do is find some way to apply for ESA during the busiest time of year for the postal service (you can't apply online, so much for the IT systems).

To be fair, I have been quite critical of my GP, but today I think he finally started realising just how out of whack, out of touch and fucking ridiculous the welfare system is. In fact he was sounding quite emphatic about it and wanted to write to the local MP (a tory, sadly) to tell him just how ridiculous, as a GP, it is to have to operate this way. I'm not sure about that and wanted to wait until the claim is processed at least - one thing at a time.

I think part of it is having other patients with similar tales of woe. Certainly that's what he hinted at; I've no idea who else locally is having to deal with this insane system. Let's hope they don't have to deal with the likes of these privateers on the Work Programme!

Hopefully the claim will be processed in time for my appointment on the 14th of January with the Work Programme. I'm told there's a 2-3 weeks turnaround time, I should just about be ok financially, but of course there's no guarantee. So while I'm glad that I can sign off (and my JSA payment should go out tomorrow as it needs to clear in time for the Christmas holidays), I can't help wondering if it's a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire. I'd like to believe that the Work Programme might be more helpful on ESA, but that kind of schizoid about face doesn't exactly put these people in a good light.

Sadly, in other news the Tories have launched a new offencive in their great crusade against scroungers. This is a link to a questionnaire on a Tory website asking if people think more money should go to either: 'hard working families' or 'people who won't work'. Not people that can't, or don't (because of conditions out of their control, such as recession), but people who 'won't; lazy scroungers in other words. Like me! It's all under the guise of 'fairness'. This is just the Tories starting to realise the wind is shifting; they are now trying to play divide and rule even more to shore up support for the changes incoming next year: is it fair that you, having just been made redundant from your job in the public sector (boo hiss!) should take a hit when these other people won't work? Bollocks! 

Ironically one of the good things about unemployment is how it teaches you to see through all the urban myths and the bullshit propagated by the status quo. It broadens the mind. It's an education in its own right!


  1. At last some good news for you! I hope all goes well and smoothly next time you're at your WP. Perhaps your GP's change of heart is a sign he is at last starting to see the light? Perhaps as you say he's seen other people put through similar difficulties on the WP, or even the headlines about the WP in the media recently have convinced him? Well anyway I wish you a happy Christmas and better times next year.

    1. Thanks.

      However, the process of starting a new claim will be awkward. The note is dated the 17th which could affect the money i receive this week from what will be my last jsa payment. It's supposed to go through early but it hasn't gone out yet. given it's meant to clear for friday (conveniently when i would otherwise sign, so i can just post the form off and not turn up at the JC - hopefully) i'm a bit worried. If they reduce my payment, as i suppose technically they should, i will have less money to tide me over. I tried making an ESA claim over the phone today but their computer system went down. The guy said he'd post (good luck!) a claim form, but then put me on hold and after 20 minutes I got cut off.
      I think i'll be ok if i get the full two weeks JSA this week, but i can't be sure that's going to happen. If there's one thing i've learned you cannot rely on this system! I have no idea how long a claim should take to process, they say two weeks, but of ocurse that's when they get all the paperwork through. They did say that they shouldn't dock my JSA payment but instead take out the excess from the ESA payment if and when it goes through.
      Never a dull moment!

      Merry christmas!


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