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Even archive footage of Marlon Brando on the radio in the early hours couldn’t help me get back to sleep last night. Instead I drift off at gone 4am and wake up a few hours later feeling absolutely awful.

I’ve made an appointment to see the GP (a different one given how poorly organised they are now). He, or someone, needs to understand that I cannot function in this society. Once again I’ve tried to find somewhere local that can undertake neuro diverse diagnoses. I should have attended the appointment last year, but I couldn’t deal with travelling to the venue. Now it seems there is somewhere more local – or so they tell me. I have to assume it’s true.

I cannot continue under this system; the friction is such that no claim can linger. Even people with lifelong conditions – including soldiers that have lost limbs – are being re-examined. The idea being that they might have ‘recovered’. Though my condition isn’t anywhere near as debilitating, I believe it to be life long; it is how I’m programmed and I need a system that can accept it and work with it according to my needs. If that cannot be found then god knows. The first step is to get something recognised and codified if possible.

The next step means having to see my regular doctor, and getting an appointment is hard enough given that he’s, inexplicably, only available one day a week! I only ended up with him because the previous GP was never there either. My current sick note expires in the middle of June. If he doesn’t want to write another note I’ll have to apply for JSA in time to allow how long it takes for the claim to go through. I can understand why he’d be reticent to do so, but I have yet to hear from ATOS so I’m in WCA limbo though ironically I’m not particularly keen to be sat in their waiting room for hours to undergo an assessment I have zero chance of passing because it’s not designed to recognise my needs. It is a hopelessly blunt instrument wielded by an equally blunt government.

The purpose of my ESA claim was firstly a response to the appalling way Salvation Army Employment Plus seems to operate, and it was to get into the Work Related Activity Group wherein I could – at least in theory – get the support necessary. Unfortunately for me what I need isn’t recognised by the system. I occupy a position between JSA and ESA which instead is taken to mean: I can work.

The Work Programme isn’t interested in offering specialist expertise or tailored support even though I’m obliged to attend. I was told that in order for them to recognise my particular needs I must claim ESA. Unfortunately that requires that I be sufficiently ill/disabled enough to pass the WCA. It’s a catch 22 I’ve already commented on.  Unfortunately also the Work Programme has decided that it can’t offer any of the help it hinted at when telling me to claim ESA.

The alternative is JSA which isn’t there to recognise issues. Its there to make sure you fulfil your jobsearch requirements and to be available. If you have sufficient issues that would warrant an ESA claim then you’d be ineligible for JSA. They are mutually exclusive and there is nothing in between nor any effort to work with people to that end. It’s either or, and a curious aspect of the welfare system that a benefit called Employment Support is nothing of the kind and only available to those so unable to work they are pushing up daisies.

I do not want to have to deal with the Jobcentre again. They are not going to accept the presence of any mitigating circumstances beyond what JSA, while it lasts, allows, which is to say not much at all. I could ask to see (and likely will) the Work Psychologist again, but she turned out to be not much help at all. I think it’s fair to say she was somewhat sympathetic (how’s that for unequivocal praise), but in the end she told me that, knowing I’d end up on the Work Programme, she couldn’t influence the process. Even though that is technically accurate, I felt that was a cop out. Putting something on record, which she initially offered to do, would be better than nothing.

This whole process is not designed to help. There is nothing available to me and there is no space that I can occupy that allows me to function. If I go back onto JSA there is a good chance my Work Programme adviser will tell me she has no choice but to enforce ‘conditionality’ on me. This means they demand my CV, under threats of sanction, to forcibly apply for jobs without my permission or even knowledge, and without them having the first clue as to whether it’s suitable. They will assume I can work, because I won’t be on ESA and this supposedly compassionate charity will operate in a hopelessly rough and uselessly binary function – at my expense.


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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. 
Unfortunately, though more for me I fear, it never got that far; at 20 past he terminated the interview citing my apparent 'putting up barriers' as the reason not to continue. This was because I refused consent for him to keep my CV. I asked why he needed it and offered, three times, to show it to him (that's all), he said it was to apply for jobs on my behalf. The EEC's need this information.
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I Hate James Bartholomew

Know the Tory mindset: according to these creatures welfare breeds dependency. Meanwhile they do not want to set a minimum wage, they do not want to create legislation to protect the un - and under - employed from the predations of the system they benefit from. That word is chosen deliberately, because they like benefits for themselves - the ability to sack whom they like, when they like and how they like. In this UKIP are the same. This is the febrile heart of the right wing.
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Magical Thinking

Well that's that for pursuing a diagnosis for Aspergers or anything remotely similar.

I contacted the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) to try and sort this out after being lied to by the clinician regarding referring me to the ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) people. That never happened and she continues to deny saying she would. Of course I cannot prove this and so the patient-doctor dynamic kicks in: I'm the lowly patient, she's the expert doctor, her reputation versus mine and so who wins?

I could make a complaint, but what would be the point. I might get a nice letter in a few months time saying sorry in a mealy mouthed way, but it doesn't get me any closer to what I need. That being a diagnosis, a formal, written and recorded, recognition of the issues I deal with. Lacking that, dealing with the systems in society, chiefly the DWP, becomes more difficult. Unfortunately the medical profession doesn't seem to care about that.

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