Sounds a bit far fetched doesn’t it? I can assure you that this is true.. Spoke to this man on Thursday at our weekly demo. He was very understandably angry and upset. He’s lost everything that he loves in life… The reason? The Jobcentre he says.
Before this situation came about this gentleman had a family and a partner. They got along, even though one of their children had cerebral palsy and by this mans account was very disabled.
They managed, but his partner became more and more stressed and upset. The enormity of looking after a disabled child became too much for her. I really don’t think that they were getting the advice or the support that they needed. I’ve found that this happens a lot. Sometimes families and situations like this get overlooked, and can sometimes have the appearance of being able to cope, when in reality the situation is different.
This man said that he had supported his partner and children but it all became too much for her and she had a nervous breakdown. She was admitted to hospital and was that ill she never was able to return to the family home. I ask for no judgement on her behalf. We don’t know how hard her life had been and her situation.. She did her best for her children. As a result he was left alone with his children, one of them being severely disabled.
He put in an application for DLA and carers allowance and income support for himself. He had to be at home to look after his children. They had been through so much already and he very obviously had to be there to care for them.
He thought that everything was going to be ok.. Yes it was going to be hard but he would cope. That he said was his job as their parent. But all this changed in a matter of weeks.
The Jobcentre called him in for a back to work interview. They unlawfully told him that he had to look for work and start claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA). Yes we know that he did not by law have to do this, indeed his place was to be at home caring for his disabled child and his other children.
He said his whole life felt like he was on a treadmill. He had no rest. They kept sanctioning him because they said he hadn’t looked for work enough. He said he had, but he also had to care for his children. Then the sanctioning started. One sanction after another. He was going hungry, and he didn’t know what to do.. He just saw himself as a failure to his children. He said to me “I couldn’t even provide £70 a week for them. I’m a failure as a parent”. So he took the only option that he thought he could take at the time. He contacted social services and told them that they would have to take over the care of his children. He couldn’t provide for them. He could give them love but it’s not enough he said.
On Thursday I saw a broken and angry man. He said that he has nothing really to live for and is a failure. He couldn’t even provide £70 a week for his children he says. He also said to me that now they are in care they get everything that they need, everything that he couldn’t provide because the DWP refused him the basic human right of being able to bring his children up in their home environment.
To add insult to injury he will now be on another sanction because Ashton Under lyne jobcentre are now sending him to a workfare programme at an Age Concern charity shop in manchester. He can’t afford the bus fare and they won’t provide the bus fare either.
This man wasn’t known to us at the time of him loosing his children, or at the time of the Jobcentre telling him illegally that he had to return to work. Of we had known him then we would have helped him and this might not have happened. It’s no use saying that he should have done this, and he should have done that… It’s too late now. He wasn’t supported enough by anyone and that is very indidcitive of the state that this country is in at the moment.
Make no mistake the DWP commit illegal crimes like this all the time and they get away with it. This is the whole purpose of the blog, to expose, highlight problems and to deal with them. To enlighten people of their basic human rights regarding the DWP and how to enforce them. One day I really hope that they are held accountable for their crimes. And yes they are crimes in my eyes.
As you will understand this story upset me greatly. I had to take a day off from campaigning to deal with the whole injustice and cruelty surrounding this issue.
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