Tag: Conservative party

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.

All DWP face to face interviews cancelled as of this morning.

Well at least it appears that the DWP have at last seen sense and have cancelled face to face appointments this morning.

If you are unsure or the DWP hasn’t messaged you yet please contact them to confirm this. It’s always good to double check.

If you have still been asked to attend your appointment please let me know.

Now let’s see if sanctions are lifted.

I’ll keep you updated as further news comes to light.

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.

64 year old man told to apply for universal credit but not told how to. Digital systems don’t and will never work for everyone.

Dear readers it’s Thursday again. We had to finish this week’s demo early because it was freezing cold and I’ve got a poorly daughter at home.

As usual we handed out all except one of the food parcels before the demo started, I took the remaining one upstairs to outside the Jobcentre and it was taken within half a hour.

Everyone that we spoke to today were as usual offered help, advice, signposting and solidarity. We never leave anyone in need without any help.

I noticed that it was quieter than normal early on in Ashton Under Lyne Town centre. Maybe people were avoiding crowded places because of the coronavirus. Who knows but we have a lot of vulnerable people living in the area.

Sometimes people forget that everyone dependant upon food parcels will be vulnerable to any virus or bug going round because they aren’t eating a good diet with vitamins and minerals, they’re reliant upon whatever they can get to eat. Please keep this in mind, but it’s also not helpful to over react to this latest flu virus.

Do what’s right for you and your loved ones.

We spoke to quite a few people this morning and the DWP never fail to astound me with their incompetence and total lack of common sense.

Whilst some employees might have these qualities the majority don’t and the system certainly doesn’t.

Let’s take this man’s story as an example. He’s 64 years of age and in poor health. He suffers from multiple health conditions and was forced by this to end his employment.

Because he had never claimed any type of benefit before he didn’t have a clue about what to do, even when they gave him the usual telephone number to phone to start his claim.

Not having a clue about what benefit he should claim he couldn’t cope with the phone call. He didn’t know what department he needed etc so he gave up.

We spotted him as he was returning to the Jobcentre clutching a pile of papers looking bewildered. We advised him and he went into the Jobcentre a bit more confidently.

Luckily he left with a written application form, he must have spoken to someone that had an understanding of his situation. But if we hadn’t been there and he hadn’t spoken to someone that understood him the outcome could have been very different.

I honestly don’t know anyone that would employ a 64 year old man with health problems. They wouldn’t, he shouldn’t be having to go through this rigmarole in the first place. Shame on this government for persecuting disabled people and just about everyone else they come into contact with. After all they treat their staff with contempt as well.

We then spoke to a young man that had won an esa under universal credit appeal. The DWP owe him money for the time that he had been waiting for the appeal to go through.

He won the appeal in October and the DWP still have coughed up his money, telling him that he has to go through a ‘cooling off period’. That’s something that I’ve never heard of before. It’s ridiculous.

We advised him and told him to chase this up ASAP. They owe him the money so they should pay it back to him, it’d be a different story if he owed them money wouldn’t it.

I spoke to a woman that had travelled quite a distance to get to the Jobcentre. She was told to attend an interview but it was cancelled and they didn’t let her know, not by text, letter or her online journal either.

Needless to say she wasn’t happy because it cost her quite a bit of money to travel to the Jobcentre because bus fares aren’t cheap. It isn’t unreasonable for her to have been informed about her appointment change is it? But the DWP don’t do reasonable often.

I had a few conversations with people about how they were coping etc, none of it good. One woman told me that she now accepts that this is how the DWP will treat her so she will have to put up with it.

I did tell her that she shouldn’t accept being treated badly off anyone even the DWP. I informed her that she can make complaints about this if she wanted to.

The trouble is that most people are too scared to complain. If you as much as raise your voice or answer back you find yourself being escorted out of the building or having to have future appointments behind a glass screen.

The abusers aren’t the Jobcentre users, I hate the word claimant. The abuser is the DWP but they gaslight innocent people into thinking that they’re undeserving and unworthy of being treated with respect.

We then left because my daughter was at home poorly and the wind started to get stronger and it was freezing cold.

We will be returning next week though. Please come and say hi if you’re in the area.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. The more people that read it the better.

Also please donate if you can. I live off next to nothing and every penny will be put to good use. Thank you so much.

A massive thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog it means the world to me.

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.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

If you can please donate. I run this campaign on a very low budget and the blog also. Every penny makes a difference.

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

Man died before he got his ESA tribunal decision to reinstate his ESA.

Dear readers today was a busy day there was a queue for food parcels and I was passed notes from people that couldn’t pick up a food parcel due to illness. It’s cold and flu season and it’s extra tough for people who rely on food parcels to survive.

We were busy today, surprisingly so and we spoke to many people with differing problems ranging from housing benefit, postal voting, universal credit and so on. Whilst we can’t change the world we can help people others.

The weather is cold and people were rushing around most likely so that they can get things over and done with quickly. However the DWP work at their own pace and people are governed by them.

Whilst we were chatting to folk I noticed people that were leaving the Jobcentre one of them was holding his neck. I asked him if he was OK and he said yes. Far to many of us accept being treated badly it becomes the new norm and the new ok.

I had a lovely conversation with an older man who wanted to know where the council offices were, this is a common conversation that we have with people because there’s a distinct lack of signage. I congratulated him for managing to climb the steep steps to the upper level, he told me that he didn’t know that there was a lift inside of the building.

He expressed his concerns with the steep steps and rightly said that they’re an accident waiting to happen.

I had a conversation with a chap who has recently become unemployed. He told me that he’s struggling to find jobs to apply for online and those that are available are often repeat ads for the same job usually a zero hour contract agency work. He’s going to keep looking though.

This is a problem that thousands of people that are looking for work. Many are aware that these jobs are unsuitable but they’re forced to apply for them or else be sanctioned.

We said hello to quite a few people and handed our leaflets to many.

We then had a conversation with a woman who has just lost her job because her employer left his company and has refused to pay his employees. The very worrying thing is that this man owns several children’s units in the area. Let’s hope that the children are OK.

We handed some more leaflets out and were joined by a colleague and I was very happy to see her.

I had a conversation with a disabled woman who’s finding it difficult keeping up with the universal credit system.

I then had a conversation with a chap that works for the council. We had a lovely conversation putting the world to rights.

I then asked a woman of she was OK and I handed her a leaflet. She replied saying that it’s a load of rubbish. We have heard this a lot.

I then had a conversation with a young chap who’s finding it hard to survive on his universal credit payment of £288 a month. This is what he’s left with after his rent has been paid.

We then said hello to a woman who we’ve spoken to before. She looked me in the eyes saying “Let me tell you what happened to a relative of mine. He was very ill but had been declared fit for work at his ESA medical assessment. He appealed this and it then went to tribunal. Sadly he died on the day the tribunal decided that he should get his ESA”.

I wish that this was unusual but it isnt. This happens a lot, disabled people are being denied their rightful payments every single day. They’re left to live in abject poverty struggling to survive.

The government and their henchmen might say that they care, that they treat people with respect but they don’t. We know that that they’re lying and we’ve got enough evidence to back up our claims.

Enough is enough how much more of this cruelty are we expected to take?

We then had a conversation with a woman who told us that she’s had two strokes. As a result of her strokes she now has a very poor memory but don’t expect the DWP to care. She told me that they had read out her claimant commitment to her and asked her if she could remember that. She then told me that she said no, I probably couldn’t but she’ll try.

You see the DWP never fail in making vulnerable people’s life much harder. They say that they don’t and they help people. I’m certain that some of them believe this but its definitely not true.

The facts certainly back up our claims, the mortality levels, foodbank usage, also back up our evidence.

You see when DWP staff say that they’re ‘Just following orders’ doesn’t wash anymore. Some DWP employees find the time to try and troll blogs like mine. They feel threatened by our version of reality because its true.

One day we will get justice for each and every person who has suffered and or died as a result of actions taken by the DWP.

Like I said today was a busy day and we will be returning next week to help yet more people.

Please read, tweet, share, email my blog. Thank you so much to those of you that do this already.

For anyone wishing to support our work and the blog there’s a PayPal link at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to those that have done already xx.

Had throat cancer? Can’t speak? We expect you to look for work.

Dear readers and supporters I hope that you are all well and surving the best that you can. I know that lots of you are suffering, but remember I’m here for you to talk to as we are all there for each other.

Yesterday was a rather busy morning but once again I had to finish early again. We ran out of leaflets, I’ll hopefully have this rectified for next week.

We spoke to lots of people and helped lots also. We were also thanked by members of the public both for the help that we had given them previously or for advice that we gave them yesterday.

The most common sentences that we heard yesterday were ‘They never told me that I could do that’ ‘Thank you’ It’s crap and a pile of shite’.

As usual we handed out our food parcels and gave everyone that we spoke to help, advice and signposting if needed. Of course the DWP should be doing this but they aren’t so we have to do it.

We do all this because we can’t stand injustice, we also hate the fact that so many of you are suffering and if we can alleviate this a little its the right thing to do.

As I arrived outside the Jobcentre I spotted a woman walking in and out of the Jobcentre and council offices which are next door.

I approached her and asked her if everything was OK and could I help her.

Her story is this. She’s a single parent and works part time because it’s the only work that she can find that fits around her children. She is claiming universal credit and is struggling to survive.

Whilst she was waiting for her universal credit to be processed she accumulated rent arrears that she’s offered to pay off by paying a bit extra rent every month. Her landlord refused and has started the process of evicting her and her children.

When I say that she’s doing everything to rectify her situation I mean it, she’s really trying but to no avail.

As a direct result of universal credit she’s going to loose her home, and you can bet that our local housing options will tell her that she’s made herself intentionally homeless.

No person in this situation wants to make themselves homeless but universal credit ensures that almost everyone finds themselves in rent arrears.

Does the government care? Not one bit. But many people in the same position as her voted for the Tory party in the general election. Shame on them

I had a conversation with a 65yr old man who was told to attend Ashton Jobcentre to see an advisor. Upon seeing his advisor he was then told that he had to travel to Hyde Jobcentre for another appointment.

He asked them if he could see someone at Ashton Jobcentre instead but they refused. So he had to travel to Hyde which isn’t exactly near Ashton.

This happened twice yesterday, also with a younger man that had been told that he had to attend Hyde Jobcentre at 2pm making him late to pick up his kids from school. He asked if he could have an earlier appointment but they refused saying that he had to attend.

The DWP were responsible for him being late collecting his kids from school. The DWP doesn’t regard children and childcare as being important, nor do they care a bit about a child’s safety.

It wasn’t much later when I had a conversation with an older woman who asked for a leaflet. She told me about her experience with the DWP when they phoned her up recently.

The whole experience was awful for her, she told me that they were literally shouting to her and they made her cry. She’s disabled and already suffered from anxiety. This experience made her ill with worry.

I then was stopped by a woman that gestured towards me, she wanted to ask what we were doing. She couldn’t speak because she has had throat cancer and lost her ability to speak.

Luckily I lip read myself quite a lot so it could understand what she was saying. Her story is this.

Because she can’t speak she can’t make phone calls, she also finds the whole process of being forced to look for work very stressful. She had been told that not being able to talk shouldn’t stop her from applying for work.

Her advisor had also told her that she had done something wrong but she denies this.and is trying to fight it.

Even though she found it hard to explain what she had done wrong it was very obvious that she shouldn’t be forced to go through this rigmarole. But she is. The DWP don’t give a toss about anyone or anything.

It’s blatantly obvious that no one should be suffering like these people are. It’s such a cruel, horrible system that is determined to make everyone suffer regardless of age, sex and disability. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Needless to say we will be back next week to help people.

Thank you so much for all your support, when I say that it means the world to me it really does.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. The more people that reads it the better. Unbelievably there are still people out there that are denying that this is happening.

For anyone wanting to donate theres a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog. Thank you so much xx.