Saturday, 3 December 2011

Brown envelopes, government lies, sour tastes in mouths, new jobs and DLA

A few weeks ago I started work and as so had to inform the DLA of a 'change in circumstances'. Within a few weeks the dreaded brown envelope met me as I crossed the threshold into my flat. Timidly opening this document of doom I read the words and knew they wanted to review my DLA claim.

On informing Blackpool, I had made it clear that the job was only three-days per week; I told them I wasn't even sure I'd manage this over a longer term, and was testing the water week by week. It was also explained that my conditions hadn't changed since the last review some six-years ago; indeed, some of my conditions had worsened with age; and my care needs would be greater as a result of my working.

So much for the government's insistence that they want to get disabled people into work and will give them all the support they need.

Anyway, after receiving the review the whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth. It even took the sparkle off the new job I was really enjoying (and at heart still am).

So, I did what you do in these situations; I sat down, read the form, over and over; and, began to answer each question ensuring the smallest detail was covered.

Proof-reading the finished article I realised how much of my personal life was poured into those pages; just how much of my soul was bared in order to keep hold of a benefit. I wasn't trying to win a competition for a trip on a luxury cruiser; nor was I expecting to succeed in the lottery. No, I was putting my dignity and pride on hold in order that I could retain a benefit that doesn't even pull me up to the level of most non-disabled people in being able to live a 'normal' life.

What do I get out of DLA? The Mobility Component is swallowed up by a Motability car (plus a hefty downpayment); the Care Component used to be wholly subsumed into my care package (plus an extra £18 per week), now props up my laundry and heating bills, as well as those highly-priced disability extras, the ones that don't attract 20% VAT but seem to cost four or five times their non-disability equivalent.

The Daily Hate's Propaganda
Fuels Misinformation on DLA
Does anyone really materially gain from DLA? Most people I know either get by on this benefit or it goes some way to helping them get by. The idea that people on DLA are pulling a fast one; that they're somehow gaining an advantage over the rest of society is both risible and insulting.

As for the outcome, I pleased to say that my entitlement remains unchanged - well, until they tear me apart body and soul when I apply for PIP!

No comments:

Post a Comment