Tag: Conservative

I’m struggling…

Dear readers this week’s blog is going to be rather short and I apologize for this.

The other week my daughter brought a virus home from school. This in itself wouldn’t be problematic but combine this with my long covid and respitory problems because of this it’s been a nightmare.

I was prescribed some meds which have worked to an extent but I still feel terrible. As a result it’s impacted my life dramatically this week and all that I’ve been able to do is nothing. A flat nothing except essential tasks.

I know that I should probably go back to the hospital but I’m putting it off because they’ve got much sicker people than me to deal with.

The reality is that long covid sufferers like myself are left to it with very little or no support. If you haven’t been admitted to hospital then it’s extremely hard to get someone to listen and to help you.

Unluckily I was admitted to hospital so I have been able to access some very basic tests and have been allocated a respiratory specialist that I’m still waiting to see.

I’ve tried all of the alternative remedies out there and none of them work. Some slightly ease the symptoms but the only things that really work are time, antibiotics for any infection lurking and a nebuliser on bad days.

To access any of these you either have to have access to a decent doctor and a local hospital. By decent I mean a doctor that actually recognises that long covid and related problems are an actual thing.

This sadly isn’t as easy as you might think. Often when you get covid 19 you also can get some really strange symptoms that there’s no explanation for.

My strange symptoms have been high temperature but not skyrocketing high, hallucinations in the early stages, really strange aches and pains, fatigue, breathlessness and a crappy immune system that can be set off by the slightest thing.

When the decision to have another so called lockdown not once were people with illnesses, disabilities and long covid taken into account.

The government shuts pubs, restaurants, gyms etc but they refuse to shut the schools, colleges and universities.

It’s a total misconception that children are being adequately socially distanced. The covid 19 and other viruses are running through these establishments at a high rate. This then returns home with the pupils, teachers, teaching staff and school staff and is passed onto any person living with them.

It’s extremely dangerous but so many people are failing to see this. We aren’t even an afterthought we aren’t thought of at all.

It’s also extremely frustrating to see that so many people in my area at least don’t believe that this virus exists or if it does it’s not harmful.

It’s all a conspiracy they say, wearing a mask takes away our freedom! They fail to see that wearing a mask actually does help to give them the freedom that they crave.

Then we have the news of a vaccine that’s on the way. It’s supposedly around 90% effective and it should be welcomed. But it isn’t by many.

Like anything new it’s ok to be suspicious but this vaccination has been tested adequately. I can’t however comment on any side effects but to be honest I’d give anything to feel well again.

Whilst the schools etc are still open the virus will still be spread amongst our communities. Add into this the people that refuse to wear a mask etc and so many more people are going to become ill or much worse die.

This week saw the death total for UK hit 50 thousand. Yes these people died from Covid 19 related illnesses but people still insult the dead and their families by saying that its all a lie.

It isn’t a lie, people are dying and they need to take this seriously.

I’m sorry for repeating myself again but people do need to hear this. It’s extremely important.

As for me, I’ve not been able to go out anywhere except for my local post office which isn’t far.

I struggle walking there and back, breathing isn’t easy when your mobile but it is what it is.

I wear a mask whenever I do go to the post office and I’m very strict about using anti bacterial hand creams etc.

I stay away from any crowds of people because I realize the risk of catching something else.

I’m not contagious anymore but so many people are vulnerable and we all need to look after each other.

What I do want is a proper lockdown with the full support of the government for workers and self employed people.

I want people to realise that long covid is a serious thing as is having a weakened immune system thanks to covid 19.

I want people to realise that we don’t get well overnight. It takes a long time and its a struggle to do so.

For some catching covid 19 is the only way that they’ll start to realise how awful it is.

As for the vaccine. It’s going to take quite a while for it to be rolled out to the general public. It’s being offered to vulnerable groups of people first and quiet rightly so.

Please don’t become complacent because a vaccine is on the way.

Please keep safe. I know that as a single parent it’s doubly hard to do so but it’s so important.

Continue to look out for each other, help and support each other.

I’m going to end this blog here but please know that you’re all in my thoughts.

Please read, share and tweet my blog.

A huge thank you to all of you that do this already.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. I receive no funding for anything that I do. Every penny helps me to continue with my blog and campaign.

A massive thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. Your support means the world to me.

I’m still here. My continued battle with Long Covid and good memories.

Dear readers an extra blog post from me, I hope that you don’t mind.

I’ve been a tad quiet recently because my recovery has been set right back.

My daughter unknowingly brought home a nasty virus with her when she returned home from school about two weeks ago.

What would normally would have been a slight cold etc completely floored me. I was forced to retreat back to bed.

I really hated having to retreat to bed because I wanted to be out and about and I had plans to do ‘stuff’.

I’m now out of bed but I’m coughing a lot and I can’t get my stats above 94 to 96. I’m also experiencing the return of the stabbing pains.

Yes I know that I should go back to the hospital and I will do when I’m financially able to do so. Shite happens and I’ve got to learn to deal with it.

I was looking at my Facebook memories today and I was reminded of the email that I wrote to The Scum (Sun) after the requested my help for them.

I’ll paste the letter below, it really made me chuckle.

How dare they have the nerve to request help from me after I had just published a petition against them that went viral.

I was advised to take it down, but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it. I should have kept it up and fought them. I’m quite sure that I could have found legal advice.

I will not make the same mistake again.

Anyway here it is.

My reply to The Sun On Sundays request yesterday.

Hi Gareth,
Thank you for your email.
Primarily I need to correct you on your referral to Universal Credit as being Universal Credits. These are different things, and although I don’t want to argue about semantics, it is about conveying the correct message across. Therefore using the correct benefit title is very important isn’t it.

I’m sure that you will agree with me.
As you can tell, I’m rather fussy about the getting the correct message out to the public. After all the public deserve to be correctly and reliably informed about important issues, especially in newspapers and the media. However this is something that The Sun Newspaper has regretfully been doing a terrible job of.

Headlines such as ‘Benefit scrounger mum of 8 says £500 a week handouts aren’t enough for her four bed council house’ Dan Sales 18th February 2017.

Other headlines such as ‘Takers dozen. Sponging mum of 13 who rakes in £30,00 a year in benefits is branded a scrounger by her own daughter’ Alex West 30th December 2016. ‘Family planning. Scrounging mum of 12 Cheryl Prudham who pockets £40,00 a year in benefits flashes her tummy outside medical centre days before announcing shes expecting baby 13.’
I could continue sharing these headlines with you, however you get the gist don’t you.

Not only were these headlines not based on fact, not researched correctly they were damaging to the people concerned and to the most vulnerable people of this country and were created specifically to cause prejudice and division towards the poorest of this country, the very people that your newspaper is now reaching out to.

These headlines were so hard hitting, a phrase that you like to use, that as a result of the ongoing campaign of hatred against the poor, led by The Sun newspaper, other newspapers and television channels, I, myself have been shouted at, called a scrounger, told to get a job, and spat at. Luckily it didn’t touch me, but you can see how this works out right?

The people that I help have also experienced prejudice as a result of this ongoing campaign and do so on a daily basis.
I can never forget the “Scrounger Awards’ that The Sun newspaper published, also ‘The Welfies’ and the ‘Job Dodger’ awards.

Sympathetic also isn’t something that I associate with The Sun newspaper, after all we can never forget Hillsborough can we.

A point to note, lying has 5 letters, but so does truth. Hurt has 4 letters but so does heal. Everyday I try and rectify the harmful and malicious lies set about by The Sun newspaper.

Maybe the newspaper could do the same.
You also might like to read this, because if you had researched my name correctly you would have found this article about myself.

https://thetab.com/uk/manchester/2017/05/26/spoke-woman-petitioning-manchester-boycott-sun-28665

I therefore would like to decline your offer of a chat, nor will I be referring any vulnerable people to your newspaper to talk. You see, I simply cannot trust the newspaper not to twist their words and to turn them into figures of hatred.

However, we would like an apology from The Sun newspaper for all the hurt, damage and discrimination caused by the words printed in your newspaper.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that was a front page headline instead of a Benefit Scrounger headline.

Respectfully
Charlotte Hughes.

I’d really like to thank all of my friends and readers for all the support that you are giving me at this moment in time.

Knowing that I can speak to a friend on the phone whenever I need to is and will continue to be a massive help to me.

Also a massive thanks to my friend Alex Tiffin, you know why.

Also huge thanks to Keith also.

How am I doing otherwise?

Trying to cope is an adequate description atm. It’s the same old fed up of being ill and sick to death of being skint. I’m sure that you can relate to this.

I’d love to be able to do a good supermarket shop instead of having to buy essentials online because it’s so expensive.

I just want to be normal again.

It’s so bloody depressing but it is what it is. But I have got good memories to look back on and I’m grateful for that.

One thing to look forward to is Halloween, my favourite time of the year.

My daughter has found the Halloween decorations so when I’m up to it I’ll be able to transform the front garden.

Please read, share and tweet my blog.

Thank you to everyone that supports my campaign and blog.

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

It’s official the government wants children to be hungry.

Well yesterday the government hit an all time low. Not only have they purposely neglected to protect the public from Covid 19, they’re now allowing our children to become hungry.

As a covid 19 sufferer I know exactly how vicious this virus can be. Thousands have does from it and the secondary infections that follow.

Thousands of people have also lost their jobs as a direct result of Covid 19.

The government have been woefully neglectant in the so called support that they’re giving the public. They even plan to take away the extra £20 top up money for universal credit and tax credit claimants in April.

It might not sound like a lot to many, and it isn’t but it is helping people to survive this covid 19 nightmare.

This week Andy Burnham and the other metro mayor’s took a stand against the governments covid phase strategy.

I live in the Greater Manchester area and the monies offered to our local councils weren’t enough to help anyone.

Thankfully Andy won his fight in parliament this week, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

It’s not enough to compensate people, nor will it make a big difference in the R rates. I’m a big believer in a full lockdown for at least two weeks, and everyone should be adequately compensated.

Yesterday a motion was put forward in parliament to ensure that all children would receive free school meals in the autumn and Christmas holidays.

Despite putting up a good fight, Tory MPs voted it down. They don’t care if our children are hungry, not do they care if we die from Covid 19.

Boris Johnson’s cruel, evil Government voted down a motion which would have prevented a million kids going hungry over the half term & Christmas holidays.

This is proof that they don’t care and will never care. Some Tory MPs are disgusted in their behaviour as are some ex Tory MPs.

The fact is that the Tory party has always been cruel and judgemental. They believe that the working class person is responsible for their own poverty, and they fail to acknowledge that they are the ones responsible for this.

If they could they’d round us all up and throw us in workhouses again like they did in the old days. Maybe this is why they always hark on about the good old days.

They now claim that eating is a choice that we have to make and it isn’t a necessity. They claim that all working class parents are bad parents because they can no longer afford to feed their children and themselves.

The truth is that the majority of parents living in poverty are bloody good parents. They feed their children before themselves and often go without meals to do so.

I honestly was waiting for the day that the government would stoop as low to suggest that eating food is a choice. That our children don’t deserve to eat, that they must go hungry at any cost.

They actually want our children to be hungry.

The ramifications of child hunger don’t just end when a child grows up. Not only does it hinder development it also causes health problems that continue throughout their lifetime. It also can cut their lifespan short.

We’ve already seen the return of Victorian illnesses and this is going to become a whole lot worse.

Combine hunger and the covid 19 and you create the perfect storm. The covid 19 virus loves to target a person with a weakened immune system, so I expect the child and adult mortality rates concerning covid 19 to rise substantially.

Being poor is no joke, I know because I’m in this situation myself, and the lack of care and consideration from the government never fails to anger me. Some high poverty areas voted for the Tory party because they were more concerned about Brexit than their well-being. This has bit them on the bum big time and hopefully they regret their actions now.

It’s going to be a struggle for many to donate food to food banks as more and more people are plunged into poverty yet the need for them will be greater than ever.

The Tory party actually like the fact that we are literally begging for food to survive. They love it, it brings back memories of the deserving and undeserving poor, only now no one’s deserving.

God help you if you’re northern and working class. They don’t even hide their hatred of us.

We all need to be angry about this, we need to remind them that we won’t be walked over like this. That every human being deserves a good quality of life. This isn’t an extremists views it’s a basic necessity.

So what will happen to the odious, lazy prime minister Johnson?

Johnson has been a failure since day one and I’m certain that he only got the job because of what he’s got on everyone else.

There is a time though that the Tory party will have to do some damage limitation. They’ve now lost thousands of supporters and if there was a general election in the near future they could well loose.

Will they do the dirty on him and get rid? Who knows but what I do care about is the future of our children.

I’m a Thatcher’s child, I grew up in a time where the working class was hated and poverty was everywhere.

I grew up with a lot of anger about this and a determination to try and help others and to try and change things.

I’m positive that our children will never, ever forget the cruelty inflicted upon them. They will fight back like I have I just hope that they’re more successful than I’ve been.

Health-wise I’m still not 100%, I’m struggling to stop coughing and to get my breathing back to normal. Yesterday I had to go out to do some errands and I felt awful, trying to breathe and beat exhaustion.

Please keep safe everyone and let’s continue to fight the heartless Tories. We can’t allow them to continue their cruelty towards the working class and also northern England.

It’s not the desolate north it’s beautiful with amazing people living there.

My thoughts go to other areas entering phase three of the so called governments covid strategy and also to the areas entering phase two.

We were in phase two for ages and you can get through this.

Now is the time to ignore the conspiracy theorists and to follow the hygiene and mask rules.

We need to beat this virus and every precaution helps.

Please read, share and tweet my blog.

Thank you to everyone that supports and reads my blog and campaign. Thank you so much!!!

I don’t receive any payment for any of the work that I do. If anyone would like to donate this would really help me. There’s a donation button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!

I’m sorry.

I’m so sorry that I didn’t publish this blog yesterday.
I’ve relapsed again and have become progressively worse as the week went on.
Yesterday I had to see a doctor, finally giving into the fact that I’ve relapsed once again. I really did think that I’d beaten it this time but I was wrong.

Anyway, armed with more meds I hope to get better soon. I’ve been on the struggle train all week for several reasons but I know that being ill hasn’t helped one bit.

I’ll sign off now for this week, I’m hoping that I start to feel better soon.

A massive thank you to everyone that reads and shares my blog, and everyone that supports my campaign and blog.

I will be back asap.

Thank you xx.


For anyone who would like to donate to my campaign and blog there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.
A massive thank you to everyone that supports my campaign and blog.

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

Sanctioned during lockdown and Covid 19 diary update.

Dear readers I hope that you are OK and keeping safe.

The government is yet again relaxing the social distancing rules whilst the mortality and R rates are rising.

Whilst I know that its so tempting to go out and meet people I urge you to use caution. Covid 19 is still here as much as it was when lockdown started.

There’s probably a few reasons why the government is easing lockdown. The main one being that they want people to start working again, for the wheels of commerce to roll as before.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that they care about you, that they want you to be safe. They don’t, they don’t care one bit.

Now let’s look at the real person that’s advising Johnson. Dominic Cummings is the person behind each and every decision that Johnson makes.

At the beginning of the pandemic he put forward his herd immunity plans, stating that if the weakest die it wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Of course Johnson was forced to officially stop the herd immunity plans but its obvious that they’re still implementing this. They aren’t even bothering to hide it either.

It’s herd immunity by stealth and in plain sight.

Please keep to the social distancing rules if you value your health.

Of course if you’re forced back into work you won’t have a choice. My thoughts are with you all.

Take it from me Covid 19 is an awful virus, my experience has been awful.

You see whilst some people can get an extremely mild dose many of us don’t.

The side effects of contracting Covid 19 can and often do last for months after.

Please read my previous blogs to catch up with my personal battle against Covid 19.

As I write this blog I’m still not feeling 100%. After finishing my third lot of antibiotics I’ve been feeling the pains that I had before returning.

I’m keeping my eye on it and if I get any worse I’ll have to attend either the Covid clinic or hospital.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t have to.

The harsh DWP system and some of their operatives have no sympathy for anyone that were sanctioned before the lockdown started.

If a person was sanctioned before the lockdown started they are expected to continue with the sanction.

The DWP don’t give a stuff if you can’t afford to buy food and if you’re ill with Covid 19.

All sanctions must be completed. No leniency will be given.

However the DWP aren’t supposed to be issuing new sanctions during the lockdown period but you can bet that they’ll still try to do this

If you find yourself sanctioned for not being able to find work during the pandemic you must appeal this decision.

Here is a report of a man that found himself in this exact position. He contacted a newspaper and appealed their decision.

The result was that he won because it’s totally unreasonable to sanction anyone for not being able to find work during the pandemic.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/dwp-sanctioned-during-coronavrius-left-21906845

Like I always say its your legal right to appeal these decisions. Help is out there for you to do this.

One more thing, something else that has really annoyed me this week is that some people still don’t recognise the fact that not everyone has access to the Internet.

Thousands of people don’t have smart phones, computers or tablets and Internet access at home.

Earlier this week I was having a discussion about being isolated at home and being totally alone if you catch Covid 19.

Whilst there are some really good Facebook groups and some amazing community groups they aren’t accessible to all people.

Being alone and being extremely ill with covid 19 is a massive problem. People are being found dead in their homes because they haven’t had the means to contact anyone for help.

If I didn’t have my daughter, my friends and a phone to use it might have been a very different outcome for me.

Not everyone wants to join in with local community groups. This can be for various reasons and we need to respect them.

Please keep an eye out for your neighbours and if you are worried about them ask the police to do a welfare check.

Once again I hope that you are all keeping safe and each and every one of you are in my thoughts.

I’m still plodding on trying to get better.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if I relapse so be it but I hope that I don’t. If I do I’ll get help once again but I do know that many can’t.

Please keep safe and I’ll be back next week, maybe earlier.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. We need to continue to get the truth out there.

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

I write this blog and continue with my campaign on next to nothing. It’s a struggle but I’m never going to give up fighting for what is right.

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

Thank you so much xx.

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.

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.

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