Tag: carers allowance

DWP increases its spending on fighting PIP and ESA appeals.

Dear readers I hope you are OK and keeping safe.

Let’s talk about my week.

It’s been a tough week for me but it is what it is.

I’ve finally finished my latest lot of antibiotics and at the time of writing this blog I am feeling a bit brighter.

Long covid is awful, but yesterday I walked the furthest that I’ve been able to for a long time.

I walked to the bottom of my street and back. Its a fairly long street and I’m proud of myself for doing it.

In other news I still feel like a failure for not being able to be a better parent for my daughter.

I do my best but health and finance prevents me from being able to take her out like I used to.

I’m alive though and I survived Covid 19. I’m very proud of this. My body was strong enough to fight this horrible virus, and I daily think about everyone that has died from covid 19 and their families.

Lets talk about the DWP

For years we have been saying that the DWP and government has created the ES and PIP system to punish people for being disabled and ill.

So many people have called us liars and suchlike, but thanks to Works And Pensions we now have the evidence.

The DWP has an endless pot of money to fight ESA and PIP appeals. They’re pretty blatent about this now, hell they don’t even deny it anymore.

They are spending this money even though they loosing an increasing amount of cases.

They don’t care if they loose, its all about punishment, making people feel like giving up and worse.

It’s obvious they see us as surplus to requirements. If they can’t profit from us then they will continue to persecute us to our very last breath.

No one should have to live like this. The government doesn’t have a heart, they don’t care and they don’t want us to fight back.

Luckily we are a savvy group of people and we have formed our own support groups via Facebook, Twitter and via local communities.

We care for each other and this is something that government officials haven’t got a clue about. They’re selfish morons. I could say more but I’m being polite.

Despite their appeal loses the DWP have increased its spending on fighting PIP and ESA appeals.

Remember it’s all about punishment and there’s an endless pot of money for that.

Figures obtained by the Independent, show the DWP spent £121m between 2017-19, with £58m spent on mandatory reconsiderations and £63m spent on tribunal appeals.

When broken down annually over three years, it shows that the amount spent on mandatory reconsiderations increased by 19% between 2016-17 and 2018-19, and the cost of tribunals surged by an extraordinary 64%.

The DWP is actually losing more and more appeals, with the success rate for PIP claimants now at 76%.

The DWP can’t just buy off tribunals with cash incentives.

Tribunals trust claimants and their evidence rather than the DWP and their obvious lies. They can’t be bought off like other organisations have been.

Thanks to Benefits and Work for your hard work and for keeping us informed. Check them out if you can.

https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/news/4273-9-september-update?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=benefits-and-work&utm_content=9+September+2020+newsletter

More about covid 19.

As children go back to school, the infection rates are dramatically increasing.

Combine this with the re opening of pubs etc it’s not going to get better any time soon.

As usual the government are failing to give any direction and proper leadership.

The public are confused and I’m sure that this is why so many people are ignoring the rules.

How can you abide to the rules if you don’t know what they are?

Anyway yesterday Johnson informed the public about his latest lockdown rules.

It’s farcical saying that people can only mix with six people whilst schools are back in and they have more than six pupils.

Yesterday I read that arough estimate shows that teachers can have on average contact with about 200 households.

Does the government think that teachers and pupils can’t catch Covid 19?

It’s unbelievable isn’t it. Johnson and his ilk are liars, but I don’t need to tell you that.

This week has certainly been eventful. The town that I live in is now in double red alert and I’m expecting a local lockdown like Bolton.

It’s awful but if everyone took it seriously and wore masks etc it really would help.

I’m scared of catching it again and I know that thousands of people are as well.

Please keep safe, wash your hands, wear a mask and keep your distance from people if you can.

Lots of love to you all. I do think about you.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

I really appreciate everyone that already does this.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports my campaign and my blog.

It’s been touch and go as to if I can continue writing my blog. Financially its a massive struggle because I don’t receive any funding from anyone.

For anyone who would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

My PayPal ad is seercharlotte@gmail.com

Thank you!

I’m sick of it all.

Dear readers it’s not Thursday but I wanted to write an extra blog post mainly to express how I’m feeling at the moment.

Since becoming ill with Covid 19 in March my life has changed so much. Its even changed the way that I look.

I don’t recognise myself anymore.

I don’t have an income to speak of and I’m struggling with everything.

Every month the bills roll in and I know that I can’t afford to pay them.

I’m now dependent upon foodbank food. Sometimes they’ll be some fruit and vegetables in the bags.

I’m so grateful for them but at the same time I’m totally ashamed of myself for having to depend upon them for help.

I and thousands others haven’t been shopping in a supermarket for months. Going shopping for anything is a dream now.

My health isn’t brilliant although I’m better than I was.

This week’s been a bad long covid week because I’m recovering from another bout of pleurisy.

Thanks for that Covid 19.

I really don’t know how long that I can continue to live like this. It’s depressing to say the least.

Everything that I used to take for granted has now gone. If I want to do simple tasks I have to prepare myself for it.

I can’t go to places because A, I’m very wary of catching Covid 19 again and B I haven’t the means to do so.

I know that this is depressing but it’s how it is.

I don’t want to have to rely upon foodbanks etc but I have to.

This government have well and truly screwed us all over.

You see Covid 19 and long covid has caused immense suffering for so many people.

It’s not just about health, its our whole life’s.

I want to be a better person, I want to get back to normal and be outside the Jobcentre again to help people I really do.

I’m hoping that my health will return ASAP.

I’m so sorry for ranting, but I needed to express myself. I’ll be ok, I’ll manage, but it’s not easy.

I’ll be plodding on as I usually do, but a bit of good fortune would be good.

I’m thinking about everyone that are also suffering, we can do this we really can.

As for myself I’ll take it day by day, hoping that tomorrow will be better.

Thank you so much for reading this and for supporting my blog. It means the world to me.

I shall be publishing Thursdays blog as usual.

Send your children to school. We don’t care if you and your children get Covid 19.

Dear readers it’s Thursday once again. Hopefully this latest lot of antibiotics are working.

Covid 19 has really taken its toll on me, I’ve never been this ill for so long. I really want to get better and back to normal I really do.

I’m sure that other recovering Covid 19 sufferers feel exactly like I do. We can’t plan our weeks or even days.

Our immune systems are damaged making us susceptible to any other viruses out there, and of course there’s the possibility that we might be able to catch Covid 19 again.

This week sees the return to school for our children. The government doesn’t care about our childrens health and the health of our children. They don’t even care about the teachers, classroom assistants and staff.

Nope our children MUST return to school.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18691158.coronavirus-dixons-kings-academy-confirms-case-reopen/

It’s easy for people to say that we should just keep our children off school and home educate. I’d do this if I could. I’ve always wanted to home educate my daughter.

Sadly I don’t have the knowledge to do do. I also can’t afford it. But I admire all parents that do home educate their children, they do a wonderful job.

You see my daughter wants to return to school. She misses her friends but she’s also apprehensive about her return.

It’s a huge worry. To say that I’m terrified of catching covid 19 again or any other virus.

I’m still recovering from covid 19 and another bout of pleurisy. My daughter deserves a mum that’s well and active again, not the person that I am now.

I do my best but I know that she’s been worried and upset about me being ill.

I feel like a complete failure even though I shouldn’t. Every day appears to be a struggle for me both physically and financially.

But I will recover many won’t.

I’m extremely worried about the parents and relatives of school age children that have disabilities and long term illness.

The ramifications of them contracting covid 19 are extremely serious but once again the government doesn’t care.

Personally I believe that it’s too soon for children to return to school, the pandemic hasn’t disappeared it’s still here infecting people.

Like I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts I realise that children do need educating but the government has given zero thought to their return.

This morning I was talking to a parent who’s child has already been sent home from school because they’re ill with possible covid symptoms.

I suspect that this will be happening to thousands of children up and down the country.

Will schools be shut again if lots of children, teachers and classroom assistants become ill?

What will the governments response be?

Also what will the oppositions response be also. So far from what I’ve seen and read Starmer is in agreement with the government, so he’s not exactly going to support us is he.

This only leaves us, as parents and educators to take it upon ourselves to make the right decision for our children.

If you decide that you want to home educate your children to keep them and your family members safe then go for it.

You know what is best for your children and there are plenty of support groups out there to help you.

If you decide that sending your children in school because it’s the right decision for you and your children do it.

You have to do what’s best for you and your family. I do urge you to have some kind of preventative protocol at home to prevent you and your loved ones safe.

Remember that it can take months to get over catching covid 19.

I really hope that you all keep safe and well, I don’t want you to be ill like I have been or worse.

I have however been helping people from the confines of my home.

I’ve signposted people and managed to get food for four families with the help of a local organisation.

I can’t stop caring about people, I just can’t. Hopefully I’ll be fully recovered soon.

Lots of love and solidarity to you all. Your support really means the world to me. I wouldn’t have been able to get through this without you all.

It’s been a long struggle for so many of us but we will conquer our struggles.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. This makes a massive difference and it raises so much awareness.

A massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog. I couldn’t continue if it wasn’t for you.

Thank you so much!

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

Thank you!

School uniforms. A cost to high for many to pay.

Dear readers it’s Thursday yet again. I hope that you are as well as you can be and also hope that you are safe.

I’m rather annoyed with myself because it appears that the pleurisy is back. Yesterday I went for tests and hopefully I will know what antibiotic will be successful in getting rid of the damned thing.

I’m writing this in the midst of a migraine so I apologise for any spelling mistakes etc.

This week has been a particularly bad week for me. Like so many parents I’ve been worrying about my daughters return to school and buying her uniform.

Thousands of families are also worrying about this though. So many people have become unemployed as a result of the pandemic.

I also suspect that thousands of parents have been ill with Covid 19 like I have as well.

My frustration lies with the schools. They know that their pupils parents will be struggling yet they still demand that all pupils wear a school uniform.

I have no argument with the idea of school uniform though. My argument is with the extortionate cost of school uniform.

Back in the day when my older children were at secondary school I was able to purchase their uniform items quite cheaply at Asda or suchlike. I could also buy a school patch to put on the supermarket uniform.

I’m sure that many of you remember being able to do this.

Sadly it’s not the same now. Schools and uniform shops have cottoned on to the idea that there’s money to be made from this.

It was then that embroidered school logos on specific school uniform pieces bought at specific uniform shops would be accepted.

I know at my daughters school everything bar the school shirts have to have this embroidered logo on them.

I was surprised that the girls had to have a specifically embroidered skirt with a choice of two designs. The boys can wear any type of black school pants, bought from any shop and they don’t have to be embroidered either.

I see this as blatent discrimination, but the school is an academy so they do exactly what they want to do.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is this. I believe that all schools should take into account the cost of uniform and the massive loss of employment and income due to the pandemic.

From my experience it was far easier when my daughter was in primary school. They did a uniform swap there. It’s far more difficult to do this in secondary school though.

Like I’ve already mentioned in my previous blog, I’m also worried about pupil, teacher and classroom assistant safety.

Why can’t schools return to the old way of doing things? It was less discriminatory and a whole lot cheaper.

They won’t though because there’s money to be had from this.

Personally I think that this cost is too much for many of us to bear. I can imagine that thousands of parents will be going without food, trying to patch up old uniform pieces up or taking loans out from dubious money lenders.

Thousands of parents will be trying to manage on meagre Universal Credit payments, some will be sanctioned and living on a reduced income, many will be homeless and living in temporary accommodation, many will be awaiting the decisions of their ESA and PIP medicals and appeals.

No parent or carer should have to go through this though, it’s morally wrong. An embroidered logo doesn’t enable a child to learn more or to achieve higher grades does it.

Surely our children deserve a better quality of life.

Like I said earlier I’m not against school uniforms but I am against the high cost of them.

We are living in unprecedented times, no one could have predicted the suffering caused by the pandemic.

I do know that organisations such as schools should be more understanding and they should offer cheaper uniform alternatives for pupils but they certainly aren’t rushing to do this are they.

It’s much harder to find second hand secondary school uniforms that fit than it is for primary school uniform.

Good luck to all parents and carers trying to get ready for their children ready for the return to school. Maybe one day it will become easier.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s very important for the truth to get out there.

A huge thank you to everyone that reads my blog and everyone that supports it.

I run my blog and campaign on a very low budget. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Too soon to re open schools? I have concerns.

It’s Thursday yet again, it appears to creep up on me far too quickly. I really hope that you are OK, well and safe.

This week has been a mixed bag for me, some good days mixed with some awful ones. I bet that you can relate to this.

Being poor and recovering from Covid 19 is no joke. Suffering from long covid is no joke either, especially when the highlight of the day is beans on toast when you can muster up the strength to make it.

We struggle on though. There are some fantastic Long Covid groups on Facebook and we support each other. It’s a good job that we do because not many other organisations do.

I am worried about a second wave coming in September when we have been told that we have to send our children back to school.

So many people still believe that children can’t catch Covid 19. They can and they do. Many unknowingly will be symptom free and will be at risk of passing the virus onto their loved ones.

Are our children going to be used as some type of sick experiment by the government?

My daughter attends a secondary school, her school has decided to keep lesson time to the very basics therfore her hours at school will now be from 10 until 2.40pm.

This won’t stop the spread of covid 19 though. Her school is a new school but they don’t turn the air conditioning on and many of the teachers don’t open the windows either.

Children will be stuck in this hot, sweaty environment at a very close proximity to their friends.

The school hasn’t suggested that children should wear a mask, but I’d challenge anyone to get all of the pupils to wear a mask all day. It’d be a challenge to say the least.

I am very concerned though. I don’t think that the government has thought this through, just like they didn’t put enough thought into pubs reopening.

As we’ve seen in the news lots of people have contracted Covid 19 from a visit to a pub. I’ve no doubt that it’ll be the same when our schools reopen.

I, like most parents want the best for my daughter. I want her to be able to have all of her lessons, to he educated and to do well in life.

Sadly, it looks like she doesn’t stand a chance of that the way that things are planned at the moment.

Educating children online isn’t the answer either. Thousands of families don’t have the Internet or don’t have a device to watch the online lessons on.

So what’s the solution then?

I do think that having a dedicated television channel for lessons would be beneficial. Children can often learn more visualy and some good results could come from this.

We could also learn alot from the parents of home educated children. They’ve been doing it for years, and so many home educated children go to college and university.

They rock this!

But I’m aware that I’m missing one important point.

I’m sure that my daughters school isn’t the only one that will be reducing their teaching hours and lessons.

What will the parents of these children do when they have to go to work? You can’t just leave children to their own devices, to rely on them to go to school without prompting.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have gone into school if my parents weren’t there to make sure that I did.

This puts parents in a very difficult situation. Childcare is expensive and not everyone has family members that they can ask to help.

People are desperately trying to hold onto their jobs if they’re lucky enough to still be employed. They can’t rely upon their employers to be sympathetic either.

What I do know is that if their children are absent from school, their school will soon be chasing them up and threatening them with legal action.

This isn’t at all fair though. Those making these decisions have absolutely no idea about what life is really like.

Then we have school uniforms to buy.

School uniforms are very expensive,

I know that I can’t afford to buy my daughter a new uniform this year. Thousands of parents will be in the same position as me.

My daughter has sensory issues so buying her school uniform is difficult at best.

To say that it’s humiliating and depressing to not being able to provide necessities for our children is an understatement.

Hopefully my daughter will never experience this when she has children.

When you’re left with no choice but to have beans on toast once a day how on earth can they demand that you buy a school uniform as well?

In my area there are no school uniform grants available which is shocking.

My daughters school, and most secondary schools send home pupils that aren’t wearing the correct uniform.

Once again discriminating against children living in poverty.

We will try but it’s not going to be easy.

So whilst it’s easy to congratulate the fact that schools are re opening on September, please consider the above.

I don’t want my daughter to catch Covid 19, I don’t want her friends to either. I also don’t want to catch it again.

I want my daughter to have a good education, but the very idea of that is seemingly impossible at the moment.

Will the government give out children time to catch up with what they’ve missed? I doubt it. Working class children aren’t high on their priority list, if at all.

Will the government give parents free access to online and in print learning materials?

Will the government push to dedicate a TV channel in the daytime for the visual education of children?

I doubt this very much.

Once again it’s left to us, as parents and carers to do the best that we can under very tough circumstances.

I do think that schools are re opening too early.

It’s easier to distance primary school age children from each other than it is a group of teenagers.

This is also going to be very tough and challenging for teachers.

Teachers in America have been advised to make a will just incase they catch covid 19 and die.

I’m certain that many teachers here in the uk will be doing the same thing.

I can’t imagine what could be worse than stuck in a hot, sweaty classroom with children for hours knowing that viruses, germs and bacteria thrive in environments like this.

How many teachers and children will become ill or worse because of the government’s decision to re open schools?

Will the government make the decision to shut the schools again if mortality rates from Covid 19 increase?

I doubt it, once that open they’ll be expected to stay open.

We have a government incapable of putting any positive plans into action. They blatently show their hatred of the working classes by the actions that they’ve taken and not taken.

The government has blood on its hands for more than one reason. They’re up to their necks in it.

It’s up to us to keep reminding them that we are important, that our life’s do matter and our children are valuable.

Don’t get me started on this idea. Covid 19 tests are very unreliable and weekly tests are just not doable. No doubt they’ll expect already hugely burdoned teachers to do this as well.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. I really do appreciate everyone that does this for me.

I don’t get paid for anything that I do and it is a struggle. For anyone wanting to donate there is a donate button at the side and top of this blog.

Thank you so much to everyone that does support my work and campaign. I really can’t thank you enough xx.

Covid 19 the unwanted gift that keeps giving.

Dear readers it’s been a tough old week for me and my Covid 19 battle.
Sadly I rebounded again and I’m now completing my fifth round of antibiotics.

Tough yes but however I do know and I appreciate that I have it much better than many have had it. I’m alive and I’m very grateful for that.

So yesterday I ended up back at the hospital with yet another reoccurrence of the pains that I’ve been getting.

I wanted answers, I wanted to know why I keep feeling like this. I hate the unknown which doesn’t fit well with Covid 19.

I had my bloods taken, x rays and scans done and I waited for the results.

Eventually I saw a lovely doctor who totally got it, he understood exactly what I’ve been going through.
He explained that my bloods are OK but from the scans he could see scarring on my lungs.

I then asked him about the pains and my sometimes galloping heart rate.


The answer was this. Because of the pneumonia and pleurisy my lungs have taken a battering and the pains are as a result of the remnants of the above and the scarring.

I asked him about my heart rate and he said that my heart appeared to be ok after being on a heart monitor. He said that lots of people who have had covid 19 get this and so far they don’t know why.
He’s referred me to a respiratory specialist and another specialist regarding my heart rate and for more tests.

Covid 19 damages your body in so many ways and because its an unknown virus it’s hard to get answers about anything.
Research is being done though and maybe we will get some answers soon.


I got some very good advice from the doctor and my friends. I need to stop trying to to too much, I will heal but it takes quite a long time to get back to somewhat normality.

This doesn’t mean that I’m going to give up campaigning though, infact it means the opposite.

We need to continue to campaign more than we have done before.
Our rights are being eroded away at a fast rate and so many things are being missed because of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Every day I publish the official Covid death rates, you know the deaths that the government wants us to forget about. They want the public to forget about Covid 19. It’s up to us to continue to publicise them.

Covid 19 is still having a massive impact both national and locally.

Whilst I was at the hospital yesterday I saw three very ill people being admitted to the hospital because of Covid 19. I know this because covid patients are being directed to another specialised department.
Their stories are the stories that the public don’t get to hear. The man that collapsed at home because of covid, the woman found in her bed seriously ill, the man that walked into the department and nearly collapsed when he got there.

Remember that their and our life’s don’t matter to the government and to some local authorities. Out of sight and out of mind.

Please keep in mind that telephone medical assessments are taking place once again.
If you have to have one of these examinations treat it as if you were at their medical centre.
Have a list of all of your medications and illnesses or disabilities. Try and have someone with you and ask them to take notes also.

I’m going to continue to plod on as I say, trying my best to give my daughter a good childhood despite having a very deminished income.
I can honestly say that I’ve never felt so bad about being a bad mother because I can’t give my daughter what her friends have.
Every day I feel this guilt like many parents do. Tough some say, that’s life. Except that it shouldn’t be like this.

The kindness and support of my friends has kept me going as have OUR NHS.
I’m determined to be back out there ASAP but I’m still helping people the best way they I can from home.

I want to thank each and every one of you for the support and friendship that you have given me. When I say that it means a lot to me I really mean it.

Stay safe everyone, wear a mask and wash your hands. Self isolate if your vulnerable and do whatever is right for you to continue.


Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you so much to everyone that already does this.

For anyone who would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you x

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.

Emergency measures for prepaid energy meters now released.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

Many thanks to everyone that pushed for this in Parliament. After being a complete pain they finally listened and measures have now been put into place.

A huge thanks to everyone that shared my blog post concerning this.

I’m also hoping to be able to make some bread for my neighbours that are really struggling to feed themselves and their families.

If anyone sees any plain flour please could send some my way. I have some yeast but I’d like to make them enough bread to keep going. Thank you so much.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

I run this blog and the campaign with a zero budget. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top of the page and the side.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog.

DWP Coronavirus procedures. Important.

DWP Virus info 13/03/20

For people already claiming support

Special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.

• Claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged.

• People who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a Fit Note.

• When claimants tell us in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, they will not be sanctioned. We will review their conditionality requirements in their claimant commitment, to ensure they are reasonable.

• Claimants who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness.

For people who need to make a new claim for financial support

We understand people who are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus may need financial support.

• Those affected by coronavirus will be able to apply for Universal Credit and can receive an advance without physically attending a jobcentre.

• The seven waiting days for Employment and Support Allowance for new claimants suffering from coronavirus or required to stay at home will not apply, so it will be payable from day one.

Employees and self-employed people

To make sure people in work can take the necessary time off to stay at home if they are suffering from coronavirus or to prevent its spread, changes have been made to Statutory Sick Pay and how Universal Credit supports self-employed claimants.

• People who cannot work due to coronavirus and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay will get it from day one, rather than from the fourth day of their illness. We intend this measure to apply retrospectively from 13 March.

• Statutory Sick Pay will be payable to people who are staying at home on Government advice, not just those who are infected, this measure will apply from 13 March. Employers are urged to use their discretion about what evidence, if any, they ask for.

• If employees need to provide evidence to their employer that they need to stay at home due to coronavirus, they will be able to get it from NHS 111 Online instead of having to get a Fit Note from their doctor. This is currently under development and will be made available soon.

• Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected.

Please continue to wash hands etc. I realise that many of my readers have a very limited diet already so please check with local food banks etc as to what their procedures are. We will hopefully still be outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre next week.

Also please check with your local doctors surgery because most of them have now iniated their own emergency procedures.

Try not to panic you will get through this. If you need someone to talk to and any further help please email me.

Love to you all.

I will continue to update my blog with further details and information.

You’ve got to wait a month for another food parcel. Universal Credit is literally starving people.

Dear readers, it’s freezing cold out there and the wind chill certainly isn’t helping. Today I woke up to snow but it quickly melted and at the moment the sun is shining. We’ve had endless rain so it’s so good to see it.

As usual we handed out all the food parcels and we gave everyone help and advice to everyone that required it. We gave everyone a copy of our survival guide as well.

It was a strange morning, quiet at first, most likely because of the snow. Needless to say we still spoke to lots of people. Some needed help, others needed someone to talk to. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t see anyone to speak to from week to week.

The first conversation that I had was with a woman struggling with her housing benefit and the council. She was patiently waiting for her son to arrive to give her support.

Asking for help sometimes takes a whole lot of courage and having to put your pride to one side can hurt like hell. The realisation that you need help can be very depressing. Most of the people that we speak to feel this pain. Please keep this in mind when you’re trying to persuade someone to accept help.

I had a conversation with a man that I’ve spoken to on quite a few occasions. He’s struggling with homelessness and is finding it hard to accept that he needs to accept help from the bed every night scheme.

Life is very complicated for many, and I hope that he does access this help. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a roof, shelter and a warmer place to stay. Let’s hope that he changes his mind.

I had a chat with a man who was in need of a food parcel. He’s waiting for his universal credit claim to be processed.

Earlier this week he asked his local food bank if he could have another food parcel, they refused saying that he’d had his quota and has to wait another month to get another one.

I handed him a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide which has all the links for most of the local organisations that will offer him help.

Thanking me he said that he’s been forced to live off plain pasta with salt and pepper on it to give it some taste. Feeling very relieved that he now had some food he couldn’t thank us enough.

It beggers believe that people that are desperate for food are refused extra food parcels. Many food banks do let people take extra parcels but its important to remember that many don’t either.

Let’s not forget the medical implications for people trying to survive like this. Their bodies will be trying to survive on zero vitamins and very few nutrients.

How on earth can people be expected to live like this? They have to fulfil the requirements that the DWP pile on them with little or no energy.

I’ve asked if food banks could hand out vitamin tablets with their food parcels and I was told no, no they don’t.

It’s very worrying that with mortality rates increasing every year and I doubt that anyone that I’ve spoken to over the years will live as long as the generation before them. It’s very reminiscent of victorian times in more ways than one.

We had a conversation with a man that was being messed about by the DWP.

The DWP had forgotten to send out an important email for him and as a result he hadn’t been issued a payment. Having no credit on his phone meant that he couldn’t phone them either.

This resulted in a series of conversations with the DWP and lots of messing around all of which should have been prevented.

I just hope that he’s OK and that it’s now sorted out for him.

I asked a man how things were going for him and he said ‘crap’. Yep that just about sums things up doesn’t it.

We spoke to a woman that has been waiting for her universal credit claim to be processed. She’s been waiting five weeks now and she’s struggling.

I offered her some advice and I’m hoping that she gets her payment ASAP.

We spoke to a woman that was told by her advisor that £900 had been paid into her bank account only she certainly hasn’t received the money yet. Let’s hope that it’s with the bank and is being processed, otherwise that’s a whole new battle that she’ll have to fight.

We asked a man how he was and if everything was OK with his claim. He told us that its shit, it’s all shit but he has no choice but to go through this week in week out.

It’s very clear that universal credit isn’t fit for purpose. Most people aren’t given enough money to survive on. Combine this with a rise in council tax, the bedroom tax and repayments of DWP and its a hellish nightmare.

Many people, in fact most people become depressed not only because of the stress that the DWP piles on top of them, but also because of the lack of nutrients in their diets.

Once again I’m positive that this is going to have serious ramifications later on in life. I worry so much about everyone trying to survive this cruel and inhumane system.

We aren’t just a number to be thrown on the floor like yesterday’s paper. We are people with dreams, hopes, ambition and everything else that comes along with that.

Be kind to each other, help each other and be thoughtful of others. Everyone’s path in life might be different but that doesn’t make them a lesser person than you or I.

We will be returning again next week as usual.

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Thank you to everyone that does and has supported the campaign and blog. It means the world to me.