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19 January 2010 @ 11:06 pm
The DWP  
Today I got a letter from the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions - the people that deal with benefits) saying, essentially, that I don't fulfil their criteria for being unwell, and therefore am no longer entitled to my Employment and Support allowance. And as such have no income whatsoever.



So according to their 'point system' I am a 0 out of the 15 points needed to qualify for benefits.

Now, when I read the letter i cried for half an hour. Cried so much my throat hurt. But now, now I'm just angry.
I have all my life, and still do, like many or most people with mental health problems, struggled with coming to terms with there being something wrong. With the fact that I'm not a 'fail' I'm 'ill' and it's not always going to be like this. And an awful lot of that is because although one in four people suffer from mental health problems, they're incredibly misunderstood and under represented.
And you know what, I also struggle every fucking day with feeling like a fucking failure. I had to leave University. I still live at home. I lost fucking relationships to my mental health problems. I spent months and months in a psychiatric institution because of it.
And it's taken me this long to actually feel like it's not all my fault, it's something that's screwed with me that needs help with.
And then the DWP send me a letter saying, what essentially is, 'you've failed a test you didn't even know you were taking, and no, we didn't consult your doctors. But as far as we're concerned there's nothing wrong with you, get back to work and stop sponging.'
So I failed at even being a failure.

Yes, I can appeal. But tomorrow I'm going to have to phone some faceless telephone person who I'm either going to shout it, which they don't deserve, or cry at, which doesn't help. And fuck me if this doesn't seem like a system that discriminates against those who are most vulnerable.

what the fuck do I have to do to be 'ill' ? Do my scars not show it? My hours of psychiatric appointments? My failed relationships, degrees or hospitalizations for overdoses?
I'm bipolar and have a personality disorder. I also have an eating disorder which I'm in ongoing recovery for and is part of my diagnosis. I.. it feels like what do they want me to do to prove I'm not well? What the fuck am I meant to do?

Fuck this. Fuck. This.
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la Reina de la Torta: Flowers_lady_vanilla_ on January 19th, 2010 11:28 pm (UTC)
Oh God, I'm so sorry honey. *hugs*

All I can suggest is that, yes, you do appeal. You'll get some sort of money whilst the appeal process is going on and you can give them all the proof they need to know you need this. The phone call will be horrid but I am more than hopeful it will be worth it.

Having worked at the DWP for six months now I find so many circumstances where ESA/Incapacity seems badly mismanaged and does the wrong thing. I just hope you can get what you need. Get doctor's notes, medical history and fucking cram it down their throats. They deserve it.
Graceless Lady: HP - Sirius drinkinglandfill_sky on January 19th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, any advice you can give me would be totally appreciated. Gemma is pretty savvy in this area and is helping as best she can but I just feel once again - impotent. and it's just horrible.

Thank you for the kind thoughts *hugs
la Reina de la Torta_lady_vanilla_ on January 20th, 2010 03:22 pm (UTC)
The DWP
If you haven't phoned them yet I could send you the appeal form you need you don't have to call them. Just private message me your address and I'll do it today.