It’s been a while since my last post, unfortunately life has got in the way! Since I last posted I have attended a careers advise session and an interview with my jobcentre adviser.
At the careers session I was given a computer to sit at and a questionnaire on the computer went through my likes and dislikes, whilst the adviser went off and left me to it. It came up with a few interesting things, a few totally unsuitable things, (hospital based in clinical areas when I’ve been known to faint at the sight of blood!), and a few pie in the sky. I was also asked by the adviser if I’d considered IT as I had completed the questionnaire by myself when most people wouldn’t have. I’m no whizz by any means but I have studied office based computer courses as I feel everybody needs them these days don’t they? I came away with a list of potential careers to peruse.
At the jobcentre, where I turned up at the alloted time to find it hadn’t yet opened, my adviser appeared to have noted very little from our previous two sessions! I was asked questions for a third time and then told that unless I needed help with a CV perhaps voluntary work was the way forward. A conclusion I’d already reached before any of these interviews! I was then told I wouldn’t be called in again unless the criteria changes with the introduction of Universal Credits.
I could have done all these things from the comfort of my own home, instead I’ve had to attend pointless time-wasting interviews in order for these people to justify their jobs.
On the ESA front, it looks as if the back money we are owed has been paid into my partner’s account although we have received no written notification and therefore need to wait until we get a statement to clarify this. At last we may be able to sort out our finances, well at least until the introduction of Universal Credits or my partner is called in for his PIPs medical!!
In the meantime I continue to look for that elusive job and am toying with the idea of starting my own business, but more of that later………
Posted in careers advise, DWP, employability, ESA, incapacity to ESA, job centre, jobs, PIPS, self employment, Uncategorized, universal credits, voluntary work, work based interview
Tagged careers advise, DWP, employablity, ESA, incapacity benefit, irrelevant questions, job centre, jobs, PIPS, politics, poor, self employment, unemployed, Universal credits, volutary work, welfare rights, workbased interview
Apparently there’s been a big hoo ha about the GP, Steve Bick, who went undercover on the channel 4 programme http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3388055, because he is a Labour party activist. I can’t see how this affects what came from the horse’s mouth, so to speak, as he didn’t seem to be asking leading questions and most of the mentor/trainer’s comments were spoken during the training process unprompted. Incidently the expert who advised the government on the ESA assessment tests is out. DWP say Professor Malcolm Harrington was always due to go after three reviews of the system but after stating on TV that the tests still had a way to go to be fit for purpose, it does make you wonder. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lldrc/Panorama_Disabled_or_Faking_It
Both the government and Atos declined to show evidence, in the form of the contract between them, that they didn’t work to targets. If you have nothing to hide why would this be a problem? As both programmes came to the same conclusion I’m inclined to think that they are right in thinking that the main aim of this ESA assessment test was to throw people onto JSA or off any benefit totally and save money regardless of their circumstances. After all can it be coincidence that many people get no points at all rather than failing due to not getting the required 15 points? Why does no one seem to fail because they get 5 or 10 points? Unfortunately they either haven’t been clever enough to disguise their real intentions or they just couldn’t disguise their contempt for the sick and vulnerable!
Posted in Atos, benefits trap, employability, goverment, incapacity to ESA, jobs, JSA, mental health, Uncategorized, work based interview, WRAG
Tagged disability, DLA, DWP, employablity, ESA, government, incapacity benefit, job centre, jobs, JSA, MP, unemployed, Universal credits, welfare rights, workbased interview, working class, WRAG
Did anyone see the two programmes on TV regarding Atos last night? http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3388055 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lldrc/Panorama_Disabled_or_Faking_It/. I found the channel 4 one particularly interesting as a GP went undercover to be trained in conducting the assessments. He uncovered that although both the government and Atos deny there are targets as to how many people they want thrown off ESA, in fact there is just that. Atos employees who pass too many as unfit for work are called up and asked to re-asses and alter their findings. Many of the criteria used for these assessments were shown to be fundamentally flawed and frankly laughable (if it wasn’t such a serious matter). How Chris Grayling could sit there, clearly lying through his teeth, is beyond the notion of any decent moral human being. The disgusting treatment of vulnerable people at the hands of Atos and this government is despicable. One man from my home county Derbyshire, had a heart attack and died 39 days after he was declared fit for work after undergoing 2 ESA assessments in a short period of time. It seems if you can sit behind a checkout and pass things over a scanner then you are fit for work. No consideration is taken as to if anyone will employ you with health problems that may mean you taking considerable time off.
People with mental health problems are also misunderstood under this system with people in hospital, sectioned under the mental health act declared fit for work! It was also mentioned in the channel 4 programme how one sufferer was asked why she wasn’t dead as she had taken several overdoses. What a way to treat someone already under stress. And the best thing yet Atos are on the shortlist to examine people for the new PIPS which will replace DLA so disabled and vulnerable people can expect more of the same.
The government is happy to shovel money into the pockets of Atos and the like, rather than pay genuinely sick people what after all many of them have paid tax for in the past and is only a meagre sum in real terms. I don’t know how they sleep at night!!
Posted in Atos, benefits trap, complaints, DWP, employability, goverment, incapacity to ESA, jobs, mental health, Uncategorized, universal credits, work based interview, WRAG
Tagged 21st century britain, appeal, Atos, disability, DLA, DWP, employablity, ESA, government, incapacity benefit, jobs, JSA, MP, politics, poor, unemployed, Universal credits, welfare rights, workbased interview, WRAG
Well I knew it was coming but thought they’d have such a lot to get through that I wouldn’t be a priority, but just had a phone call for an interview at the job centre next week. I really think they’ve got enough on with the millions actually signing on without seeing me, someone who is trying to make herself employable by doing various courses and who is constantly searching for info on different ways to widen my knowledge and opportunities. Whilst they did stress I won’t be forced into a job but would see if there was anything they could do to help me, I’m not holding out much hope for any help. A friend who is on JSA has had little or no help so don’t see how I’ll be treated any differently. As many have told me, I think they just go through the motions at the job centre. Said friend was in contact earlier saying how he had been told he must apply for fifty jobs a week in order to get his JSA. This from a man who clearly couldn’t be bothered to offer any help at all, sat playing a game on his computer!! He was then told his travel expenses were at the old centre and he would have to walk a total of four miles to get them or pay the bus fare out of his JSA. So if this is the calibre of help I can expect I’ll carry on trying to help myself!
Posted in benefits trap, DWP, employability, friends, goverment, job centre, JSA, Uncategorized, work based interview
Tagged DWP, employablity, government, incapacity benefit, irrelevant questions, job centre, jobs, JSA, knowledge, opportunities, poor, unemployed, welfare rights, workbased interview, working class
Well we won the appeal despite it being an ordeal for OH. I myself was past caring. It was not a pleasant experience and couldn’t help feeling those we sat before didn’t really have a clue what it was like to be in our shoes. But hey it’s over with and whilst I know it doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen again we got through and have learned from it. Hopefully this time next year I won’t be reliant on DWP for my income. OH has been placed in the WRAG group, which we were told was the best we could hope for. So OH will have to attend an interview at the job centre designed to help him back into work but he can’t be forced to apply for jobs. We have been told that this programme is sketchy in its success as the help you receive often depends on the person appointed to help you. We will see.
So I will be winding down this blog and starting a new one shortly. I will report back on here as and when there are any other developments and if anyone wants any help or pointers on the appeal process I’m only to glad to help if I can. Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading it has really helped to offload on here. Bye
Posted in appeal, benefits trap, DWP, goverment, incapacity to ESA, job centre, tribunal, Uncategorized, WRAG
Tagged appeal, disability, DWP, ESA, government, incapacity benefit, jobs, JSA, politics, poor, tribunal, Universal credits, welfare rights, working class, WRAG