The letter came through on Friday. I don't think I've ever shaken so much opening a letter. Apropos of nothing the envelope was not brown.
I am in the Work Related Activity Group with a recommendation that I not be tested for six months.
I wanted to be in the WRAG so hopefully this won't be a case of 'be careful what you wish for' as I am due a phone call from my new adviser at the Salvation Army (all change without my consent of course) on the 8th. Regardless, this is the only honest outcome: I have tried to be fair and open about my situation. I am averse to bullshit - and why should I have to lie?
I don't know what the future holds, this system and this government is doing it's damnedest to destroy lives and wreak havoc; IDS has said he wants rid of the WRAG as well, for example. But for now there is some security and some hope that, with the independence of these tribunals, some justice might come for people.
Unfortunately as of last October that process was made tougher by forcing people to undergo a period of mandatory reconsideration, without ESA, before reaching this stage. Given that the tribunal, a female judge and a male doctor (both of whom had a friendly demeanour, despite the formality of the setting), was explicit in pointing out their independence from the DWP it is not hard to see why they stick in IDS' craw.
Nonetheless this whole process has been fraught and worrying. All of this tension and stress, which helps no one, could be avoided so easily. All we need is the political will to see and adopt a better system, rather than this dreadful mess. By listening to independent experts (called doctors) and to the patient/claimant themselves people could get the help they need to move forward (hopefully that will happen). This will give them the security and confidence without which they will only struggle and possibly fail.
This system can't go on as it is.
Thanks to everyone for all the support. Happy new year!