Dear readers, my apologies once again for this weeks blog being late. I woke with a migraine and I’m struggling through it. Anyway enough about me, I hope that your ok.
Thankfully it wasn’t raining today which made a pleasant surprise because rain was forecast. The rain clouds are looming so it’ll be here soon.
Today was quiet, most likely because of the school holidays, but regardless we managed to help lots of people which is the main thing.
As usual there was a queue for the food parcels and I had a long chat with the young woman that I mentioned in last weeks blog. She’s surviving and was able to smile this week. She’s also been able to eat some good meals. She’s also staying at a friends home and they’re taking good care of her.
All the food parcels went as soon as they arrived which says a lot about this awful benefits system that isn’t really a benefit for many if anyone. Having to fight for every penny that you’re entitled to is no fun at all.
After talking to the people that took the food parcels, we then had a conversation with a woman that we’ve spoken to before. Her story is this. She’s received a letter telling her that her PIP assessment is next week and at her home. I asked her if she had anyone to be with her whilst the PIP examination was taking place. She told me that she didn’t so I volunteered to do this.
It’s important to get help with these assessments if that’s possible. This woman is really confused about the whole system, indeed she thought that it was an examination that she had to pass as do so many people.
We advised her and I promised her that I would be there for her, hopefully we managed to reassure her.
It was then that we had a long conversation with a confused and anxious man outside the Jobcentre. I walked over, handed him a copy of our survival guide and asked him if we could help.
This is his story. He went to the cash machine to collect his payment and saw that it wasn’t there, his payment was supposed to have been paid today but it wasn’, and this is why he was at the Jobcentre to try to find out why.
Some might say ‘Why didn’t he phone the DWP to resolve this?’ He couldn’t because he doesn’t have any credit on his mobile phone. I really wish that people would realise that many of of us can’t afford to buy phone credit.
I advised him to ask his advisor when he went in for his appointment and he did just that. Upon leaving the Jobcentre he told me that they said that they don’t guarantee that a payment will arrive on a specific day or date because ‘It depends on the month’.
So they accept that not all months have the same amount of weeks etc but they still don’t recognise the fact that a person claiming universal credit and working can receive two wages in one month. They stop their payments because apparently they’ve earnt ‘too much’ and aren’t entitled to their universal credit.
It’s one rule for them and one for us as usual.
Hopefully he will receive his payment tomorrow as promised but I wouldn’t hold my breath would you?
Roy then spoke to a man that’s claiming the sickness element of universal credit. The DWP have told him that he now has to look for work for 20 hours a week despite his disability. Of course he shouldn’t have to do this. But the DWP do exactly what they want and get away with it.
I then walked over to a young woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her children. I asked her how she was and if she needed any help. To say that she’s stressed was an understatement. I’ll name her Jill.
Jill is a single parent with children, she has no close family members to ask for help. So far Jill has been waiting 5 weeks for her first universal credit payment.
Jill and her children are trying to survive on £30 child benefit, loans from the DWP that she’ll have to repay and food parcels from local food banks and organisations.
The DWP have told Jill that she might get a payment next week, and apparently that makes it all ok. Eerrmm no it doesn’t.
Can you imagine how difficult and soul destroying this is for Jill? Having to literally beg for food and help whilst trying to be positive for her children. It’s horrific and certainly shouldn’t be happening.
We then noted an official from the ‘Job Gym” walking into the Jobcentre. The very name of this organisation is ridiculous isn’t it. There isn’t enough work out there for people and no amount of ‘working out’ at this ‘Job Gym’ can fix this.
By the way I despise these organisations that work on behalf of the DWP, and I find the names of these organisations to often be ridiculous. There isn’t enough decent work out there, not work that can sustain a family. The only work available is usually zero hour contract work for agencies.
I then spoke to a young man that had been sanctioned for not attending an DWP appointment because he was in prison on the day of the appointment. He then had to make a new claim, but the DWP told him that his sanction had been carried over to this new claim and he wouldn’t be able to access any money for a while.
Luckily he managed to overturn the sanction, so now he has to wait at least 5 weeks for his universal credit claim to be processed.
The whole 5 week wait for a universal credit claim to be processed is ridiculous, and it could be made much shorter if the government wanted to.
The government doesn’t want to help working class people though, they just want to continue to punish them for being alive and breathing. There’s an endless pot of money available to further their campaign of hatred towards the working class isn’t there. It’s despicable and cruel. We’ll never, ever forget this nor will our children.
This all happened within two hours outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre this morning, can you imagine how awful it is for everyone attending every Jobcentre throughout the country?
Many thanks to Gordon and Roy for helping today, they’re amazing people.
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