Personal Battles with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) continued…
With the benefit of hindsight, invoicing the DWP for the time I spent appealing their decision to sanction me might not have been the best move…They have written to me refusing my appeal.
If I want to appeal again, I have to take them to court within the next month.
Because of this sanction, I’ve been surviving on just over £40 a week Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) since the end of last year. My underlying health conditions have been exacerbated by the physical, mental and emotional stress of it. I’ve been homeless and sofasurfing for many years now. I have early onset spondylosis, IBS, PTSD and am naturally depressed by my personal situation and by the mutliple converging catastrophes around the world.
As a white man born in the UK, I do recognise how privileged I am, in spite of what I am suffering. I don’t believe that my relative privilege means I should suffer or struggle in silence though – hence blogging publicy about it. I’m struggling and I’m depressed and I’m angry, but this isn’t supposed to be a ‘boo-hoo’ blog.
I’m sharing my story to let others know they are not alone and to let UK Gov Plc’s army of beauracrats and surveillance state agents know what utter bastardry they are involved in.
I’m very grateful to Tarpaulin Simon for his donation of £50, which I drew on recently and declared to the DWP. I’m also grateful to the DWP’s complex decision maker, for choosing to distinguish this voluntary donation as ‘capital’ which will not be deducted from what’s left of my entitlement. (If you’re able to make a donation to support my activities, please use the donate button in the sidebar).
I had previously received Employment Support Allowance (ESA), but was found ‘fit for work’ by ATOS. They deemed me ‘fit for work’ on account of my ability to hold my arm out horizontally for 10 seconds or so. This angered me greatly and I refused to claim any benefits at all while I worked a shit, zero hours job for a couple of years and became much more sick.
To apply for ESA, you first need to close your claim for JSA, because the DWP are helpful like that…SO – I’ve been to my GP, got a sicknote from him, closed my claim for JSA and applied for ESA again.
This means I have one last payment of £80 due in the next few days after which I will have nil income. I will be completely at the mercy of the DWP’s decision making processes.
They expect to make a decision on my claim by the 22nd of February. There is a 7 day lag apparently, so if my claim is succesful, it should hopefully go into payment by the 29th February.
I need to decide whether I have the time and energy to take them to court over the sanction. I think I probably will – further updates to follow.