Tag: band aid

Covid 19 symptoms and me.

Dear readers I must apologise for my absence of late. Last week I started with symptoms of covid 19 and I’m still ill although a tad improved.

Reading about covid 19 and actually having it are two completely different things. Nothing can prepare you for how awful it is and I’ve had a mild dose.

I’ve spent about a week in bed now not able to do much having to rely on my daughter to help me which I didn’t like doing.

The most scary things about this awful virus are the high temperature, I had some pretty funky hallucinations and difficulty breathing.
Everything takes so much effort.
Each symptom comes in at differing times not all at once and they come and go so it’s very hard to predict how you are from one day to the next.
I am hopefully getting better now but I’m taking it one day at a time.

Having to rely on friends to pick up food for me is awful because I’m so used to doing everything myself.
I’ve become reliant on online shopping to buy dog and cat food and other items, because I can’t go out means I can’t get any bargains so everything is more expensive.
When your money has been spent that’s it, tough there’s nothing that you can do.

I am worried about everyone thats suffering from these symptoms and are alone at home with no one to help. It’s so scary and no one wants to go into hospital unless it’s really necessary.

Last night I was struggling with my breathing but luckily I was OK, if my condition worsened then my daughter would take care of me.

So many people have died from this awful virus and the government haven’t done much if anything to help. They just don’t care about people like us.
Their negligence is astounding and I believe that when this is all over they should be made to pay for this.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people that have died from covid 19 and related illnesses and also their families. They can’t even have a proper funeral for them. Its awful, really awful.
I’m certain that the death figures are so much higher than is stated.

My thanks go to our fabulous NHS workers that have been keeping people alive and the keyworkers keeping everything going and at the same time putting their own health at risk.

I’m so sorry that I’ve been behind with this blog and I’m hoping that I’m back to normal ASAP, I’m missing real life, my walks in the woods with my dog.

This illness has taught me to appreciate every little thing more than I did and it taught me to swallow my pride and ask for help.

Please stay at home, only go out for essential items, take your exercise away from other people and wear a mask when you do need to go out. Wash your hands as well.
This is all very important because you really don’t want to catch this.

A huge thanks to my friends and followers for helping me to get through this.

Please share my blog and tweet and email it.

If anyone would like to donate there is a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you all so much.

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte

Queue for food parcels, people hungry. The only way to stop this is to use your vote.

Dear readers I’m thankfully back this week and I’m almost recovered from my illness, a massive thank you to everyone who wished me well and understood why I couldn’t do last weeks demo.

Yesterday was pretty dire, a large queue for the food parcels and even more people needing them than ever before. This Tory government has bled us dry of our basic requirements to live. Having a home to live in, food to eat and hope for the future is near impossible to achieve at the moment.

Our basic requirements should be met though and without question. We shouldn’t have to worry about how we’re going to feed ourselves and our children. But I don’t need to tell you this because you already know it.

This upcoming general election is the more important than any other recent ones.

You might ask why is it? No one is going to help us and they’re all the same, they make promises and then break them.

The Tory party are viscous and cruel both with their policy making and their attitude towards the working class person. They’ve made thousands upon thousands of people suffer and die as a direct result of their inhumane policy decisions. They’ve given us the bedroom tax, council tax supplement, ESA and PIP and their cruel so called medical assessments, universal credit, homelessness, the selling of our NHS and its lack of funding, the end of adult education for many, our education system being run down do much its virtually unrecognisable, a massive lack of funding towards policing, academy schooling, the withdrawal of much needed council funds especially to labour controlled councils etc etc.

I could talk for ages about what they’ve taken from us because they’ve basically taken everything away from us.

What I do know is that we won’t be able to survive another five years of Tory rule, things won’t become better miraculously they’ll only become much worse.

Every week for over 6 years I and others have been helping people outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. I’ve seen the town that I love, my birthplace become so run down it’s not recognisable to many anymore.

It’s hard for people to feel proud of living here when there’s nothing to look forward to anymore.

I see hungry people everywhere that I go, I have people phoning me up for help, I take people shopping because they have nothing. I hand out hats, gloves and scarfs to anyone that needs them. I shouldn’t have to do this though.

I’ve seen a family eating food out of a tin as soon as I’ve handed a food parcel to them, I can’t count how many people have taken their own life’s and equally I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have died as a direct result of Tory austerity, neglect and blatent prejudice.

Think about this though, it’s awful now will you be able to survive another five years of Tory rule? I know that I won’t.

Yesterday I helped people, people who have nothing and we will be back again next week to do the same.

Please I urge you to use your vote, the vote that your ancestors fought hard for. Please vote for the Labour Party to put an end to all this cruelty.

I don’t normally write posts like this but it is literally the fight for our life’s, for our children and grandchildrens future. It’s the fight for our NHS, for our education, for everything that we need to survive.

I hope that some time in the near future I and my comrades won’t have to be stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and other Jobcentres helping people.

I’d love there not to be a need for food parcels. I want to see an end for this and more.

Please register to vote it’s never been as important as it is now.

We need to do this in the memory of the thousands of people who have died as a result of Tory policy and austerity.

Austerity was a political decision and certainly not a necessity. Never forget this.

The weather was awful yesterday, and we had to leave early. We would have stuck it out but we’re both recovering from illness but we will be staying the full two hours next week.

We have to stay because people need help. They need to know that someone cares, this makes a massive difference and sometimes a difference between life and death.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support our campaign and blog if you can.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported both already.

Queue for food parcels, people hungry. The only way to stop this is to use your vote.

Dear readers I’m thankfully back this week and I’m almost recovered from my illness, a massive thank you to everyone who wished me well and understood why I couldn’t do last weeks demo.

Yesterday was pretty dire, a large queue for the food parcels and even more people needing them than ever before. This Tory government has bled us dry of our basic requirements to live. Having a home to live in, food to eat and hope for the future is near impossible to achieve at the moment.

Our basic requirements should be met though and without question. We shouldn’t have to worry about how we’re going to feed ourselves and our children. But I don’t need to tell you this because you already know it.

This upcoming general election is the more important than any other recent ones.

You might ask why is it? No one is going to help us and they’re all the same, they make promises and then break them.

The Tory party are viscous and cruel both with their policy making and their attitude towards the working class person. They’ve made thousands upon thousands of people suffer and die as a direct result of their inhumane policy decisions. They’ve given us the bedroom tax, council tax supplement, ESA and PIP and their cruel so called medical assessments, universal credit, homelessness, the selling of our NHS and its lack of funding, the end of adult education for many, our education system being run down do much its virtually unrecognisable, a massive lack of funding towards policing, academy schooling, the withdrawal of much needed council funds especially to labour controlled councils etc etc.

I could talk for ages about what they’ve taken from us because they’ve basically taken everything away from us.

What I do know is that we won’t be able to survive another five years of Tory rule, things won’t become better miraculously they’ll only become much worse.

Every week for over 6 years I and others have been helping people outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. I’ve seen the town that I love, my birthplace become so run down it’s not recognisable to many anymore.

It’s hard for people to feel proud of living here when there’s nothing to look forward to anymore.

I see hungry people everywhere that I go, I have people phoning me up for help, I take people shopping because they have nothing. I hand out hats, gloves and scarfs to anyone that needs them. I shouldn’t have to do this though.

I’ve seen a family eating food out of a tin as soon as I’ve handed a food parcel to them, I can’t count how many people have taken their own life’s and equally I’ve lost count of the amount of people who have died as a direct result of Tory austerity, neglect and blatent prejudice.

Think about this though, it’s awful now will you be able to survive another five years of Tory rule? I know that I won’t.

Yesterday I helped people, people who have nothing and we will be back again next week to do the same.

Please I urge you to use your vote, the vote that your ancestors fought hard for. Please vote for the Labour Party to put an end to all this cruelty.

I don’t normally write posts like this but it is literally the fight for our life’s, for our children and grandchildrens future. It’s the fight for our NHS, for our education, for everything that we need to survive.

I hope that some time in the near future I and my comrades won’t have to be stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and other Jobcentres helping people.

I’d love there not to be a need for food parcels. I want to see an end for this and more.

Please register to vote it’s never been as important as it is now.

We need to do this in the memory of the thousands of people who have died as a result of Tory policy and austerity.

Austerity was a political decision and certainly not a necessity. Never forget this.

The weather was awful yesterday, and we had to leave early. We would have stuck it out but we’re both recovering from illness but we will be staying the full two hours next week.

We have to stay because people need help. They need to know that someone cares, this makes a massive difference and sometimes a difference between life and death.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support our campaign and blog if you can.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported both already.

We don’t care that you’re disabled and distressed you still have to attend DWP courses. More tales from Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers it’s Thursday and we had a very busy demo. All of our food parcels were taken straight away and we helped lots of people. I’ll list today’s conversations but I will not be divulging anyone’s identities etc.

I realise that this week is an extremely busy week politically but people are still suffering under the government’s cruel and demeaning DWP policies. Please try to support this campaign and the many others that help people so much. It also looks like there’s going to be a general election in the very near future and this will be our chance to oust the awful Tory party. Please register to vote and use the vote that we fought so hard to get.

I spotted Alice sitting on a nearby bench outside the Jobcentre, she was sat with her daughter and toddler grandchild. I asked her if she would like one of our leaflets and she told me about her ordeal with the DWP..

Alice is disabled and like thousands of other people she failed her ESA medical assessment. She has appealed this decision and eighteen months later she’s still awaiting for a decision from the DWP. As a direct result of this she’s now dependent upon her daughter helping her in her home and to take her out for appointments

Alice told me that she’s finding the whole process demeaning and embarrassing, she doesn’t want to ask her daughter for help but she’s left with no choice. Needless to say the DWP regard her as fit for work when she obviously isn’t. I gave Alice some advice and signposted her to other organisations for further help.

I then spotted Ben as he left the Jobcentre. Ben is a University graduate and has always worked until he became ill. Because of this Ben is struggling with his rent payments. After all deductions being taken out of his universal credit payments he’s left with approximately £125 a month to live on.

Ben is struggling to cope and is understandably frustrated. He’s been refused jobs because he doesn’t have an up to date passport and he really wants to work. Being able to afford a new passport is definitely not achievable for him.

Needless to say it shouldn’t have to be so hard to find employment. The only jobs that seem to be available are zero hour contracted jobs and jobs requiring a driving licence. But hey the government reckons that the ‘world of work’ is fabulous and we’ve never been as well off.

The reality couldn’t be more different could it.

I then had a conversation with a man who’s struggling with his disability. Thankfully he’s got some excellent support but he’s still having to cope with the whole DWP rigmarole.

Life really shouldn’t be like this but it is for thousands of people. We should all be very angry, but sadly many aren’t. Far too many people accept that this is their lot in life and they don’t deserve anything better. Years of having a Tory government does this to you.

We’ve been targeted by the right wing media as being the enemy, that we don’t deserve anything because we’re a bunch of scroungers deserving of ill treatment and everything that comes with that. The truth is that we’re not and nobody should be treated like this.

I then spotted a woman and her friend leaving the Jobcentre, she was crying and obviously very distressed. She was at first unable to speak because she was so distressed but her friend was able to speak to me.

Jill is disabled but the DWP are treating her terribly. I’ve noticed her having to attend appointments at the Jobcentre every week. If that alone isn’t stressful enough she been forced to attend a DWP course elsewhere.

Jilll is really struggling with this. She feels that she’s being targeted both by the DWP and the course providers and she can’t cope.

Visibly distressed she told her adviser that she couldn’t cope with the demands made to her both both on the course and the DWP, she asked if she could stop attending the course.

Her advisor then told her that she would have to attend the course regardless and she started to cry. Her tears were ignored by the DWP but not by us.

I get both angry and upset when I see the DWP treat vulnerable people like this. It shouldn’t be happening but it is and to thousands of people every day up and down the country. Luckily I and my comrades were there to support and advise her.

Can you imagine how hard it is to cope with the constant stress and discrimination relentlessly metered onto you from the DWP? It makes people I’ll, many take their own life because they can’t cope.

In an ideal world this wouldn’t happen. We would all be treated with respect and dignity. I know that this is a dream and it most likely never happen but it doesn’t do any harm to want to achieve this.

Last but certainly not least I then had a conversation with Alice. Alice is 63 years old and had always worked until she became unwell. Years of hard manual work certainly hasn’t helped her wellbeing.

Alice thought that she could claim her pension only to be told that she has to wait three more years to do so and she must find work.

Alice told me that she struggles to use technology and doesn’t have a smart phone, even if she did she wouldn’t know how to use one.

Needless to say the DWP have demanded that she finds work despite her age and not being fit for work. “How on earth am I expected to find work” she told me “I’m old, riddled with arthritis and I struggle. It I don’t search for work they’ll stop my money. It’s not right but I have to do it”

I agreed with Alice and I advised her. Her situation isn’t unusual, far from it. With the government wanting to raise the retirement age to 75 they’ll literally be working us to death.

We deserve so much more than that and I amongst others will continue to campaign against this governments disgusting policies. We will one day make them answerable for all their decisions, for all the deaths that they have caused and for all the suffering endured by thousands and thousands of people under their rule.

We deserve so much more than this.

We also had many conversations with other people and we advised them. Never underestimate the value of a friendly face outside a Jobcentre. It’s essential that we continue for as long as people are suffering.

A massive thanks to everyone that came to help today you’re all amazing. I really couldn’t do this without you.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It might not be perfect but it is vital that we keep sharing these stories out there. The government needs to be made aware of the damage that they’re doing to the most vulnerable in society.

A massive thank you to everyone that has or is supporting my blog, I really couldn’t do this without you.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a PayPal link at the bottom and side of this blog. Thank you so much.

64 year old woman with multiple health condition fails universal credit medical assessment. Living in substandard accommodation. How are people supposed to survive this?

Dear readers, its Thursday yet again. The sun was shining for us today, what a welcome surprise. It was lovely to see. No joy was found from the DWP though, there’s a surprise.

I’ll be listing everything that happened today as usual. No real names will be divulged either. Today we handed out six food parcels and helped lots of people who would have otherwise been left, stranded without help by a system that doesn’t care about them.

Those of you that have been through the system or know people that have will already know that the DWPs flagship universal credit system is cruel, heartless and punishing. It discriminates against everyone but particularly women, children, single parents and people with disabilities.

Universal credit is obscenely complicated and hard to navigate, often DWP advisors don’t know the rules either. Not one department communicates with another even though universal credit is computer driven by default. You’d honestly think that the designers of it would have thought about people that are unable to use computers or don’t have any access to the internet at home. They also didn’t take into account the fact that libraries are shutting their doors or reducing the hours that they’re open because they can’t afford to stay open.

Universal credit is a system that rarely works well for anyone, but it was designed to do this, to reduce the unemployment levels by any means possible. If that means that a person takes themselves off the system because they can’t cope then so be it. No one will try and stop them either. Above the door of every Jobcentre a sign saying ‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here’ because that’s exactly what people do.

 

The first thing that I noticed today was the queue of women waiting for food parcels. It goes without saying that there shouldn’t be a need for us to hand food parcels out but there is, and will be for as long as this rotten government is in power.

As I was handing the food parcels out a young man stormed out of the Jobcentre. I asked him what was wrong and he shouted ‘It’s a pile of shit in there, they don’t give a shit do they’ I agreed with him and handed him a leaflet.

 

Meet Tom. Tom had successfully made an application for universal credit a couple of months ago, thats good you might think. Well, no because it appears that whoever processed his application didn’t quite do everything correctly.

Upon applying for universal credit a claimant is expected to provide ID and proof of tenancy etc at their first meeting, because as you know rent etc is all rolled into one payment every month. Here’s where Tom encountered his first problem. I say first because he’s bound to have more problems as time progresses.

Tom looked confused as he handed me a form that he had just been given by his advisor. As I looked at it he told me that he had already provided them with the ID and proof that they needed. Here’s the letter in all it’s glory.

 

In this letter he’s asked about every single detail of his tenancy, including gas and electricity check certificates and energy performance certificates. Tom has no idea what those are, his landlord didn’t issue him with these. The DWP need to remember that not all landlords actually do this.

Other questions included are ‘Are you up to date with your rent payments? If yes, provide evidence of this.’

‘Would your landlord accept less rent at times if you could not afford to pay the full rent?’

‘Will your landlord accept a lower rent if universal credit does not meet your full rent liability?’

‘Would your landlord take you to court to evict you if you failed to pay the rent?’

‘Would your landlord take legal action to recover rent arrears?’

These questions are totally ridiculous. Landlords rarely if ever lower a persons rent payment to suit the DWP, and of course a landlord will take action to evict a tenant for non payment of rent. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise, and very arrogant of the DWP to suggest that a landlord should back down to the demands of the DWP.

Honestly, the above form looks like something thats been typed out at home in a hurry. There’s absolutely nothing official on this form, no DWP logo either. It’s all very strange.

Tom quite rightly noted that they should have asked for this information when he first made his claim, he’s already received his first payment. He’d already paid his rent with this. Honestly you couldn’t make this up.

To make matters worse he had to make a new appointment just to hand in this form, if he doesn’t attend he’ll get sanctioned.

I asked him if he had moved house and he told me that he hadn’t, his was living at the same address when he made his claim for universal credit.

Luckily I was able to walk him through the questions and signposted him if he needs further help. Poor fella, he was so confused. He thanked me and he walked away hopefully less confused.

 

Tom looks after his sister who is computer illiterate, his sister struggles to get out and depends on Tom to do most tasks for him. Tom attended the Jobcentre a few weeks ago to hand his sisters fit note in. He was told quite bluntly at the reception desk that he couldn’t do this and he had to post it. So Tom posted it using an envelope that they gave him.

Today Tom attended the Jobcentre once more to hand his sisters fit note in. This time they accepted it but asked him where the previous fit note was. He told them that he’d posted it because he’d been told to. Unbelievable isn’t it.

Tom was understandably a bit fed up, saying this system is bloody ridiculous isn’t it.

 

I spoke to a woman struggling to pay the bedroom tax, a man that was sent away fro being ten minutes early and a woman who told me that she claims universal credit and PIP and its bloody awful.

I also spoke to an older woman that cares for her son who’s autistic. He had failed his latest ESA medical because apparently he ‘looked ok’. Obviously the DWP don’t recognised hidden disabilities, they’ve got quite a bad track record of this.

I spoke to a young man that has taken himself off the system because he couldn’t cope with it. I asked him how he managed from day to day, he told me that he tries his best but is dependent upon relatives. He hopes to get a job in the near future.

 

We spoke to a self employed plasterer, he quite loudly told us that universal credit has ruined many of his friends and colleagues. Universal credit made it impossible for them to continue with their trade. He was understandably angry, but angry at the government for doing this to them.

 

I spoke to Bill, bill has been sanctioned because his daughter had been taken into hospital and he missed his signing on appointment. He did telephone the Jobcentre and communicated this through his online journal, he’s even provided evidence of the hospital stay. But the gods of the DWP have decided that he’d be sanctioned so he was.

I told him that he could appeal the sanction decision and he told me that his advisor hadn’t told him that he could appeal. Thankfully hes now going to appeal this and hopefully he’ll win his appeal. He wouldn’t have known to do this if we weren’t there to inform him.

 

Meet Pat. Pat is 64 years of age and has numerous medical conditions, some quite serious. Pat hasn’t been able to work for years because of this. Pat also claims universal credit.

Pat recently attended a universal credit medical assessment, she failed this and was told that she’s now fit for work.

So the DWP gods have performed another miracle haven’t they.

Pat is determined to appeal this decision, so she informed her advisor of this. Her advisor then told her that she now needs to provide medical proof if she wants to appeal.

Pat has now had to pay £15 for a letter from her doctor. This is completely ridiculous, she’s already shown evidence of her medical conditions.

To make matters much worse Pat lives in a home riddled with damp and her landlord is reluctant to deal with it. She told me that she doesn’t know how much more she can continue like this, its becoming all too much for her.

Remember pat is 64 years of age, she shouldn’t be treated like this and she honestly didn’t expect this.

I did everything that I could to help her and signpost her. It’s absolutely heartbreaking when you speak to someone thats suffering as much as this. For gods sake we’re supposed to respect our elders. The DWP respects no one not even their staff.

 

I spoke to a middle aged man who’s in the process of being evicted. He told me that the move over to universal credit has caused this.n

We spoke to a young man that was prevented from attending an appointment with a friend, ten minutes later another man was prevented from entering the Jobcentre with his partner. He wanted to help her but he was turned away. The law states that a claimant is allowed support when attending an appointment but hey, the DWP employees at the front desk of Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre appear to totally disregard this.

 

Today’s conversations all happened within two hours on a Thursday afternoon. Universal credit doesn’t work, its very design dictates this.

We need to stop and scrap universal credit and replace it with a much fairer system that actually cares for people.

 

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

Thank you to everyone that turned up to help today, I really appreciate this.

 

Massive thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Without you I honestly don’t know what I’d do. Your support means everything especially when times are hard. As a skint single parent I can relate to everyone that I speak to.

Keep safe, we’ll be back next week as usual.

 

 

£213 a month to live on, and also have to top up rent payments with that. People are struggling to survive on universal credit.

Dear readers, today was grim and the weather didn’t help anyone, let alone the people forced to use the Jobcentre. Yet again we encountered numerous people with all sorts of problems ranging from universal credit, ESA and PIP, housing problems etc.

We handed out all of our food parcels, most were taken by single parents with children and working families. They rely on foodbanks to survive, it really shouldn’t be like this.

Thanks to Gordon for joining me and also Jack. Your help is invaluable and it’s appreciated by everyone.

As usual I won’t divulge the names of anyone that I spoke to this morning. The DWP snoop everywhere and I don’t want anyone that I spoke to being targeted by the DWP. This does happen, but not on my blog. I value everyone that I speak to unlike the DWP.

 

John walked out of the Jobcentre clutching the usual list of phone numbers that they hand out to everyone. I handed him a leaflet and asked him if he needed any help. John told me that he was ok, but thats only because he’s living with a relative that can feed and look after him whilst he’s waiting for his universal credit claim to be processed, saying that the alternative is to horrible to think about.

 

I then spoke to Gemma. Gemma has struggled almost all of her life, she’s 19 years old and to be honest isn’t enjoying anything about her life at the moment. In her short lifetime she’s been homeless twice and has been rehoused not long ago.

Gemma is claiming universal credit and is finding it almost impossible to manage. She receives in total £513 a month total to live on after paying her rent payment. Out of this she has to pay back her rent arrears that she keeps accruing because she’s finding it hard to pay her full rent. She also got into rent arrears whilst she was waiting for her universal credit claim to be processed, “What are you supposed to do, just pay your rent with the loan that they give you? It was impossible for me to pay my full rent because I needed food to eat, and gas and electric to buy. I’ve got no one to borrow money from, and that’d have to be paid back as well.

To make the situation worse Gemma also has to repay her universal credit loan back at £100 a month. There’s absolutely no regulation concerning the repayment of loan debts. No set amounts that people have to pay back, sometimes I think that they pick a number out of thin air and decide thats how much they should pay back. It’s ludicrous

Basically after all of her above debts are paid back Gemmas left with £213 a month to survive on. She’s got to buy gas, electric, food and transport costs. She’s a broken woman at 19 years old. Huddled up in the cold, Gemma muttered “It’s almost as if they’re trying to destroy me. I’m 19 years old and I’m worn out because of the stress and worry. There’s a good chance that I’ll become homeless again, and I’m doing my best. Universal credit is destroying me. They look at me (DWP staff) as if I’m stupid, like I’m something on the bottom of their shoe. They don’t want to help me”

Gemmas 19 years old, at the start of her life and should be enjoying life. Instead she’s worn out, depressed and feels like giving up. This, my friends is what universal credit does to people. It eats you up, totally consumes you until eventually you give up. That’s exactly what its designed to do.

 

Sarah is a single parent and is also having a difficult time. She’s claiming universal credit and to say she’s struggling is an understatement. Here’s her story.

Sarah was instructed to attend an appointment, which she was ready to do but unfortunately one of her parents suddenly fell ill and was rushed into hospital by ambulance. Sarah was with her relative when this happened and from the ambulance she telephoned the DWP to try and rearrange her appointment. The person that she spoke to said that this wouldn’t be a problem, and they’d phone her later with another appointment.

Only the DWP phoned the wrong number. Not the one that’s registered online, an old number that isn’t used anymore, and Sarah had already informed them about this.

Sarah also couldn’t remember her 16 pin log in details. How on earth is anyone supposed to remember this, its impossible. Even if people write it down its easy for it to get lost. If they put it in their mobile phone (if they have one) and the phone breaks, then the numbers missing.

Sarah phoned the DWP to tell them that she’d forgotten her PIN number. The DWP then told her that she had to go online to get the number. Sarah couldn’t access her online account because she didn’t have her pin. Basically they gave her an impossible task to complete.

Upon attending her next DWP appointment she was told that the DWP were deducting her universal credit payment by £200 but don’t worry, we’ll give you a LOAN for £150 that you have to pay back. Are the DWP getting their ideas from illegal money lenders or something? This is atrocious.

Basically Sarah was fined £200 for missing a phone call that she never received because they phoned the wrong number, and for loosing her PIN number. You really couldn’t make this shit up could you.

Sarah is also in rent arrears now because she was unable to pay her full rent because she was sanctioned. She now has to top up her rent payments and repay two DWP loans back.

Don’t forget Sarah is a single parent with a very young child, she didn’t have any food in her cupboards and didn’t know what to do. Luckily I gave her a food parcel and advised her on what to do. Hopefully she will access local services and she will appeal her sanction.

It’s despicable that people are treated in this manner, not only are the parents suffering but their children are too. The DWP just don’t care. It’s no coincidence that more and more children are being put into the care system is it. Many parents can no longer provide food, heating, clothing etc for their children and it’s not their fault. The blame lies purely at the governments feet.

 

I asked an older man how was he coping with universal credit. He looked at me and said ‘Just about. Now I’ve got to pay my council tax”

 

I spoke to a young woman working a zero hour contract at a local cake factory. When she started her job she was told that if she worked hard she might get a contracted job. She worked hard but never got the contract. Now she has no job security at all.

 

Gordon spoke to an older woman aged 62 who’s claiming universal credit, she’s struggling but then again nearly everyone claiming universal credit are aren’t they.

 

We then had a conversation Brian with an older man, he claims ESA and was told to phone an 0845 number recently. He wasn’t very clear about why he was told to phone this number up. He’s confused because the system is extremely confusing.

Brian has a contract phone and his phone bill per monthly is £15 a month. Brian tried phoning this number numerous times, each time he was placed on hold for great lengths of time. When he received his bill it was £54.

Of course he was angry, he shouldn’t have cost him  this much, all calls to the DWP should be free, but many still aren’t.

Brian was angry, frustrated and echoed concerns for those without a mobile phone contract saying ‘How the hell are they going to pay that? They’ll never get any help if they don’t have a phone will they’ He realises the systems rotten, and wondered why the government are allowed to do this ‘It’s criminal’ he said, and he’s not wrong.

 

Jack, a local councillor  represented a claimant whilst they had an appointment, this helps a great deal and I can’t recommend this enough. More should do this if they’re able to.

 

We left todays demo cold and a bit downhearted, but knowing that we’ve helped people makes everything worthwhile.

 

Please read, share and tweet my blog, also subscribe to it, it’ll save you from having to look for it every week.

There’s also a donate button at the top of this blog and at the side. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people, through my blog I’ve managed to reach thousands upon thousands of people. As a result of this and other campaigns, more and more people are aware of the cruelty of universal credit and the heartless state of our government.

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