Some good news. My claim has been approved. So for now at least I can claim ESA. Now I will have to fill in that ESA50 form and send it to them (at the last minute of course), so I should be good until at least the end of February, depending on how long they take in processing that form and getting back to me about an appointment. Last time they wrote back saying you need to book an appointment within a fortnight of receiving the letter, give or take a couple of days. I would assume that hasn't changed. Don't know when the money will clear into my account, hopefully tomorrow as the letter is dated the 3rd, which is last Thursday.
So thanks to the people that have written nice things in the course of waiting for all of this. I'm glad it got sorted reasonably quickly, though there really has to be a better system than all of this. The benefit (pre assessment) is no different than what you get on JSA; considering ESA is employment support you'd think the two would be more compatible. I guess that's beyond the wit of the King of Universal Credit, who'd rather dream up an entirely new system and inflict that upon people, untested, during the biggest recession in living memory while the economic system dies on its arse.
Speaking of such matters, I notice that today the media is ablaze with the change to child tax credits. Am I the only one that regards such a clumsy change as more an exercise in propaganda. Do people really care that a few rich people (ironically including the Chancellor) claim a benefit they perhaps don't need? Surely so long as everyone is supported that needs help then what's the problem? No, instead it's more political misdirection; the debate doesn't focus on the injustice of a greedy chancellor who could easily have exercised some self control and not claimed what neither he nor his wife needs. It focuses on the usual hate rhetoric. All I've heard on the radio (the BBC, I should say) is the usual 'people spend their tax credits on booze and fags' or 'people shouldn't have kids they can't afgfgord' or 'people have kids so they can milk the system'. That last one is something I simply don't believe: anyone, if such few people exist, that thinks like that needs help. They are emotionally damaged and deserve help and support, not opprobrium and scorn.
This change isn't about fixing the system and it certainly isn't going to pay off the deficit (blah blah blah). It's another way to divide people. It's easy politics: look at the people that get tax credits that earn 50k - they don't need it. But will that money instead go toward helping people such as I've just mentioned? Of course not, such support is concurrently being chopped down with the axe of austerity. Besides which two parents of a kid can earn just under the threshold and still receive the benefit - and I bet there will still be plenty of George Osbourne's claiming CTC under just such situations; I'm sure his wife will put her affairs in order in such a way as to claim the credit that he clearly thought was his due, despite being a millionaire and a highly paid public servant (though given the attitude of the ruling elite you'd be forgiven for thinking they weren't).