Monday, 11 February 2013

The letter from Newcastle. (Thank'ee kindly, Sorr, 'tis more than Oi deserve.)

At first glance, this second letter (see previous post, "DWP don't only decline to answer...") looked like good news. While I'm waiting for my appeal, I'm still being paid a benefit allowance, although at not much more than half the rate I was getting before DWP & ATOS got their teeth into me: the good bit is that this benefit is being increased in April.

But, by less than the 1% announced in Parliament. Only a penny less - they've rounded the increase down to the nearest 10p. But that really is penny-pinching. Of course, they'll say, 'what's one pee?' Well, in the light of how much they're deigning to let me have, quite a lot...

At least the increase will cover my costs, I thought... the cost of all the letters I have to send recorded delivery so that I have some evidence when DWP tell me that I didn't send this or that letter; the amount ATOS decided not to pay towards my fares (when I went for my assessment) without explaining why; the amount I'm going to have to pay for a SAR because I'm clearly being mucked me around. Of course, it'll take a lot of weeks...

Then I came to the second part of the letter. Later in the year my benefit (contributions based ESA, I think) is going to stop dead. If the letter is to be believed, the payments will stop even if my appeal goes in my favour... heart-attack time - it took quite an effort of will to realise that DWP only implied that, and that in fact they have no right yet to make such a decision. However does look like the benefit will stop if - even if - my appeal hasn't been heard yet.

There is a law which applies to DWP about how they treat the mentally ill (2010, I think). It includes not springing sudden unpleasant financial surprises. They've ignored that law far worse than this with me already, but even so... how to save the mentally ill from stress, Not.

But I forgot: ATOS' physiotherapist (I still can't believe that...) has decided that I'm fine and dandy. So they can't possibly be breaking any law designed to protect the mentally ill.

I restate: my invalidity benefit was due to me as a matter of contract. You, and the state, may believe that that counts for nothing. But breach of contract by a government remains a serious matter.

This crash-stop of my benefit came as a chilling shock. Because I'm not so well, keeping up with everything do with WCA on the net and elsewhere is not always so easy: I had no idea that the same sudden stop is happening to hundreds of thousands of people who are presently on the same benefit. How are they, we, all going to live?????

Anyway, the immediate point of this post is that the increase is so small, and will last for such a short time, that it'll come nowhere near covering the costs that DWP are inflicting on me... and I don't really know what to do...

Forgive the language, but, Bugger.

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