Tag: promotion

Coronavirus sees DWP halt face-to-face sickness and disability benefit assessments – Mirror Online

Coronavirus sees DWP halt face-to-face sickness and disability benefit assessments – Mirror Online
— Read on www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/coronavirus-sees-dwp-halt-face-21698775.amp

Today the DWP has announced that it will be stopping all face to face medical assessments temporarily, I suspect that they will be reinstating them as soon as the crisis ends.

There is no mention of any stoppages regarding face to face appointments, job searching and sanctions. Nor have the DWP been clear in their advice to any benefit claimants.

It is not fair to expect any person be sanctioned whilst we are facing this crisis, nor is it fair to expect anyone to endure already being sanctioned through this crisis.

These are people with already compromised immune systems due to lack of adequate food, heat and they certainly cant afford to buy loo rolls or stock up on anything.Please keep donating to your local food bank because its going to be increasingly difficult for them to access food, toiletries, nappies and baby milk.

Whilst the focus is still on the over 70’s please remember that people with compromised immune systems, disabled people and people with Coronavirus will still be at home isolated.

Because the government isn’t testing the public we just don’t know how many people are actually ill with Coronavirus at home, or are forced into work because they can’t afford to not go into work.

Please look out for each other and check on your friends and neighbours.

More updates as they are released.

Please like, share, tweet, email my blog.

I run this blog and the campaign on hardly anything, please donate if you can.

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

Sanctioned for six weeks because they didn’t have a mobile phone.

Dear readers I cant believe it we’ve got sunshine even though its freezing cold. My thoughts go out to everyone that is street homeless or can’t afford to heat their homes. I’ve been there, I know exactly what it feels like.

This week was busy and we had lots of conversations with people coming in and out of the Jobcentre. No one wants to be there in the first place and so many people struggle to make their appointments for various reasons. Just because someone looks ok doesn’t mean that they are and I hate the fact that so many people forget or brush aside hidden disabilities.

As usual our food parcels went almost straight away and we signposted everyone that we spoke to. Some just wanted a chat, we are often the only friendly face that they see from week to week.

The main reasons for people needing our food parcels are usually universal credit and sanctions. Universal Credit is cruel beyond belief, most people don’t have enough money to live off for the month, it’s even worse if you owe the DWP money from their loans but money is also taken out for other debts.

It’s very hard to claim any type of social security benefit and not be in debt. Because we have so little money we are good at budgeting for our necessities.

Before I had even reached the Jobcentre this week I had spoken to a man that needed a food parcel because he’s also helping another couple of people with food and shelter. He’s left with hardly any food for himself, but he’s an amazingly kind heart. The poorest are often the most generous often to the detriment of their own health.

For anyone thats reading this and are struggling, I hear you. I know exactly how it feels and how much damage it does to your mental and physical health. Keep on being strong, one day it will get better, we can help each other.

I directed a man that needed advice concerning employment law to the Law Centre. So many people have awful employers, kudos to the good employers out there you are appreciated.

We had a long conversation with an older chap that we’ve spoke to before outside the Jobcentre and he told us how he was getting on.

Sadly he’s having a tough time of it again because he doesn’t know how to use a computer. He’s trying to get some help to fill out his universal credit application form again.

He had tried to explain this to the DWP when he had tried to apply for universal credit previously. Their answer was to send him to the library, the library couldn’t help him because they didn’t have enough staff so he returned to the Jobcentre.

Understandably he returned to the Jobcentre and was very frustrated with their lack of understanding of his situation. Their answer was to make him leave the Jobcentre because he was arguing with a DWP employee.

For gods sake, if they had actually helped him in the first place he wouldn’t have done this. Empathy isn’t a quality that the DWP has, but I don’t need to tell you that because you already know this.

It was then that I spoke to a man that has been sanctioned for not attending an appointment. He had explained to his advisor that he no longer had a mobile phone because he had lost it and asked if they could send him a letter as an alternative to a text message.

The DWP ignored this and sent him a text notifying him of his next appointment. Of course he missed his appointment so now he’s having to cope living off hardship payments, most of which has to go towards paying his family member for food etc whilst he lives with them.

This system is so unfair and unjust, they knew that he wouldn’t see the text but sent it anyway. I remember the good old days when they used to give you your next appointment time face to face, and they used to write it on an appointment card.

Back then the DWP wasn’t a place of hatred and discrimination.

Whilst I write about discrimination, we then spoke to a man that had apparently been cured of all his disabilities and had been declared fit to work by the gods of the DWP.

Obviously he was both angry and frustrated and we did our best to help him and signpost him to where he can get help.

This was just an average morning outside the Jobcentre, so many people are suffering and we can’t see an end to it. We can never, ever forget the cruelty inflicted upon us by this Tory government.

We must continue to fight against their cruelty in whatever way that you can.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, the more people that read it the better. It’s an absolute scandals that we are being treated like this, the cruelty is off the scale.

A huge thanks to everyone that supports the campaign and my blog. I really do run both on an extremely low budget, if I had a budget to start with. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of the blog. Every penny helps me to continue with this important work.

A massive thank you to everyone that does support my blog and campaign. Thank you so much xxx.

I’m also looking for a printer so that I can print copies of our survival guide myself. My small home printer isn’t suitable because we go through so many leaflets etc. If anyone sees one that’s suitable please can you let me know. Thanks.

Food parcels and rain.

Dear readers, today was an absolute disaster.

I noticed upon waking that it was raining, but then again its always raining in Manchester (well Ashton Under Lyne) but what’s a few miles matter. It was raining as usual.

I stupidly thought that the rain might have died down by the time that I had walked to Ashton, but it hadn’t not one bit and I was soaking wet through.

As a result of this terrible weather I had to cancel todays demo. If we had a shelter to stand under I think that we would have given it a go for about a hour, but the rain was coming from all directions.

I did meet people who were waiting for food parcels, they told me that everyone was trying to find shelter from the rain. The most popular places being a local church that does hot meals today and the library.

However I did have chance to have a chat with everyone waiting, this weather is awful for them. They go from place to place all day trying to keep warm.

Despite this you’ll never meet a kinder group of people. If they had a last penny to give they would do. As it is today I helped one chap out with his electric before Gordon arrived with the food parcels.

As I type this I can see the clouds clearing, not that this matters much. It’s still cold and people are still struggling.

My thoughts go out to everyone trying to keep dry and warm this winter. So many people are constantly cold, and not all of them are street homeless. It’s no wonder that mortality rates are rising rapidly.

My thoughts also go out to everyone struggling with flooding. I couldn’t imagine how awful it must be to loose everything like they have. Some of them are asking Boris Johnson to care and to visit them. He doesn’t and he won’t because he doesn’t give a stuff.

Kudos to Jeremy Corbyn for visiting these people today, hes the only one that would have changed things for the better. We’ve lost any chance of that now.

All I can say to my readers is Keep going, don’t let the DWP or the government and its hostile environment win. In order to keep going we need to support each other, help each other and be kind to each other.

Remember kindness is something the government will never understand. They don’t know the meaning of the word, except when they’re letting their pals off from paying their taxes.

We must keep reminding the government and the DWP of how bad their policies are and how they’re responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. I hope that one day we will be able to hold each and every one of them responsible for their actions.

Never fear, we will be returning next week, the DWP can’t get rid of us this easily. Please come and say hi if you’re in the area.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. Believe it or not there’s still quite a few people that are in complete denial that this is happening.

If you can please donate to my blog. I run this campaign on an extremely low budget, often relying upon friends for help. I don’t receive any funding either.

A huge thank you to everyone that has supported the campaign so far. I can’t thank you enough.

PIP appeal failures, redundancies, homelessness and universal credit. This weeks blog.

Dear readers, I’m so sorry that I didn’t blog last week, my daughter had a baby last week and I had to be with her. Both mum and baby are doing well now thankfully, it got a tad scary at one point.

Anyway its that time of year when it’s continuously cold and depressing, its hard to see an end to it. Winter is also a very expensive time of year as well, heating, warm meals, clothing etc all costs money and it’s very hard to keep up with this.

Please keep in mind those who can’t afford to heat their homes and cook their meals. None of us can take this for granted remember most of us are one payslip away from this ourselves.

Today I had some really interesting conversations with the people that were waiting for their food parcels to arrive. Even though most of them are hungry, cold and have just started to access local services that will help them, their concerns were for other people.

Most of them told me that they were trying to help others that are in a worse position than themselves, they know the score, they realise that asking for help can be a very hard thing to do.

We spoke about the people that I knew in common who are no longer with us, they died as a result of the government’s cruel policies. It’s heartbreaking to realise that so many people have died.

As I handed out the food parcels I was asked if I had any milk. I replied that I didn’t and I only had a pound to my name. I did give this to a man who was in greater need of milk than myself. He was so happy that he could have a hot cuppa at home, believe me this makes such a difference to a persons life.

Today we spoke to many people, all of which were struggling in one way or another. I felt so frustrated that we had ran out of food parcels and couldn’t offer anyone else one. No one will go without next week.

We spoke to an older man that had been made redundant two weeks ago. He’s started the process of claiming universal credit, but he’s confident that he will find another job. He’s an engineer and I really do hope that he finds a new job.

We had a short conversation with a man that had told us previously that he had a job interview. Sadly he didn’t get the job and his hope for a better future has been diminished for now. Knock backs like this are awful and can really set a person back.

We had a conversation with a man that has previously told us that he’s having a hard time with the universal credit system. We asked him how it was going and he replied saying “Terrible especially now that the Tory party are in power again”

He isn’t wrong though, we’ve got at least another five years of this cruelty and we’ve lost any chance of stopping the governments cruelty.

We had a lovely conversation with a man that we’ve been talking to for years. He can’t read or write so is finding job searching very difficult as you can imagine. This week he had some good news though. He has a job interview and he’s looking forward to it.

I really hope that he does get this job not only. For his wellbeing but for his confidence also. Good luck to everyone out there that have job interviews in the coming week and month.

We had several conversations with other people all of who are finding life hard at the moment and their struggles are always on my mind. When I don’t see someone that I regularly see then I worry like I’m sure that you would, but I also hope that they’ve reached the end of their struggles and have happier times ahead.

We are doing something right though, a local organisation asked us for some leaflets to hand to their clients. Our survival guides have been a massive success and I’m so thankful for them.

We will be returning again next week to help more people. Please can I ask you to read, share, tweet, email my blog? The more people that read it the better because believe it or not there are people that don’t believe that this cruelty is happening.

If you can please donate it helps me so much to continue with this campaign and to continue to blog. For anyone wishing to do so there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A massive thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and the blog. Solidarity, one day we will have a better world to live in.

Disabled man told to apply for work at the same place he used to work.

Dear readers its Thursday again and it’s another cold, windy day. My thoughts are with everyone that are street homeless or are living in cold homes because they can’t afford to heat them. Fuel poverty is real and its only going to get worse.

You can bet that hypothermia related deaths will increase this year because so many more people are living in poverty, and it isn’t just elderly people either. Indeed this morning I topped up a young couples electric key for them because they’d ran out of electric. Life with pre payment machines is no fun at all. I’m talking from experience though because I’ve always had pre payment machines.

Winter with it’s dark mornings and dark evenings really takes it’s toll on many people so please be kind to each other, times are hard.

Like I said this morning started with being freezing cold but then a cold breeze became stronger and stronger so we had to finish early. I need to find some thermal clothes to wear.

Anyway, all the food parcels bar one were taken straight away. This week we were able to give people a packet of doughnuts with their food parcel. Doughnuts might not be nutritious but they do cheer people up, so does a packet of biscuits etc. Never underestimate the value of this type of food.

I bet you’re fed up of me writing that so many people are dressed in clothing not suited to the cold winter weather. This was the case today, so many people were walking in and out of the Jobcentre and council offices looking freezing cold.

Can I please have a magic wand to change this? I’ll be eternally grateful.

Noted today was the amount of young people going into the Jobcentre to make their first claim. Luckily I was able to give them a leaflet and some advice. Having to cope with the whole universal credit system can be so daunting and stressful for young people at the start of their adult life.

We spoke to a lovely man who has several disabilities, a brain condition,a completely knackered knee that he cant use for standing for any period of time and a back condition.

He explained that he was disgusted that he’s forced to attend the Jobcentre on a weekly basis even though he’s disabled and is handing in fit notes. Today his advisor told him that he needed to apply for a job at the very same factory that he was previously working at.

He had to end his employment because of his disabilities, the work is heavy going, on foot all of the time and moving heavy equipment etc around. At first he thought that they were joking but his advisor wasn’t and was deadly serious.

Obviously he was extremely frustrated at this, they’re setting him up to fail because they just don’t care. If they did care they wouldn’t be doing this to him in the first place, and you can bet that they’ll try to punish him if he doesn’t.

This is the side of the DWP that many people don’t see. They don’t understand that the DWP can, and often does behave like an abuser gaslighting its victim until they give up.

Don’t let them do this to you, appeal any decision that they make, you do have the right to do this.

I had a lovely conversation with a man that used to be street homeless in Manchester, hes now housed in a flat and is doing well. He told me that he used to be a solider in the army but once he left they ditched him and didn’t care about him one bit. I’ve heard this story so many times and it’s awful.

Luckily he eventually found support and he now helps other street homeless people. He told me how dangerous Manchester is for street homeless people and how concerned he is about this.

Gordon spoke to a man that had walked miles to the Jobcentre only for his appointment to last for the maximum of five minutes. I’m not wrong when I say that they do this to control people.

Last but not least we were told of the plight of someone having terminal cancer only for their claim for PIP to be rejected. They’ll be appealing this decision, but will they live long enough to see this through? I hope so, but no one in their position should have to go through this.

Sadly like I said earlier, we had to leave early but we spoke to lots of people, and helped many of these. We will be back next week as usual.

Please can I ask you a favour? Can you read, share, tweet and email my blog? I really need to get the word out there that the DWP system is cruel beyond belief.

Also I have a donate button at the side and the top of my blog. For anyone not able to see this my PayPal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com

I live on virtually nothing and every penny helps me to continue blogging and campaigning. Thank you to everyone that have done already.

I’m also in the process of writing a book based upon my blog. If you’re interested in this please email me via my blog.

On universal credit owes council tax and the bailiffs keep banging on my door. This weeks blog.

Dear readers it appears that winter is most definitely on the way. Today was very cold and wet a deadly combination for street homeless people and people that can’t afford to heat their home.

Sadly I also know what it feels like when the electric goes and you can’t top it up. Solidarity with all those in the same position, its not one bit enjoyable. Anyway I digress.

Today there was a lot of people waiting for the food parcels to arrive. Each and every one of these food parcels were needed and some of those collecting them hadn’t ate properly for a while.

It’s easy to fall between the cracks of society and not deemed important enough to help. Many don’t like to ask for help because they don’t feel that they’re deserving of it. Some are barred from local organisations for various different reasons. This makes life very hard for them. Others have had their allowed three foodbank vouchers and have been refused anymore. Can you imagine being in their position?

My first conversation was with a man that I’ve been talking to every week. He usually brings his dog when he collects his food parcel, his dog is lovely and he takes really good care of him. He told me that he’s hoping that his latest job application is successful and I gave him my best wishes. He deserves so much better than this.

After I handed out the food parcels a young woman asked me of she could speak to me privately. She told me that her health isn’t good at the moment and being homeless doesn’t help, telling me that later today she will be going to the walk in centre to hopefully get some medication. I gave her some money for a phone charger because her phone is her lifeline not only to the DWP but to her children and friends.

I really hope that she’s ok because she’s really not well at all.

Today we had various conversations about lots of different things, one matter kept popping up and that was council tax payments and visits from bailiffs.

I gave the best advice that I could but its awful when the person that you’re speaking to is crying because they’re scared. I was speaking to a lovely woman that told me she was absolutely terrified of the bailiffs banging on her door and windows.

It’s very easy for someone to fall into council tax arrears and a universal credit application was to blame in this case. Because of the long wait for her universal credit payment to be processed she fell into arrears with just about everything.

After her latest bailiff visit she went into the council offices to see if she could arrange a payment plan with her. Their answer was a flat no. No they wouldn’t help, no they wouldn’t stop the bailiffs from coming. Even though she was offering a reasonable repayment plan they denied her any assistance. They did however tell her to go to citizens advice and ‘they might’ be able to contact the council tax department.

This has not helped her one bit,she’s living in fear and she’s scared. I gave her some sound advice and told her that she can contact me if she needs to.

Although I am very aware of what the council can and can’t do in situations like this their refusal to help speaks volumes doesn’t it. So many people live in fear of bailiffs coming to their homes and sometimes barging in.

This shouldn’t be happening. The current council tax scheme is a punishing system. It .demands that people pay an unreasonable amount of money when they can’t afford it.

Council also costs more to implement than what local councils gain from it. It’s not working and this system needs to stop asap.

No one should be living in fear in their own homes, scared when the bailiffs come banging on doors and windows or barging their way into their home.

I’m also very aware of the laws surrounding council tax so please no comments saying that I don’t know how the system works. I know only too well how it works and I’ve been campaigning against it for years now.

I had a conversation with a lovely young man, he asked me what we were doing and I replied. He told me that he really didn’t know anything about politics but he’d like to learn more. We had a good chat and hopefully he will be more aware in the future.

This did raise my concern about the lack of public education regarding politics. It’s not taught as much in school as it should be and many people, like this young man aren’t as aware as they should be.

We need to educate those that aren’t aware by conversation but I believe that children should be given some political education whilst at school.

I then had a second conversation regarding council tax, and not long after another. I offered some advice and signposted to the best of my ability.

We then had a long conversation with a woman who’s homeless. She was worried because she needs to change her care of address but didn’t want to be thrown onto universal credit as a result.

To say shes scared and worried is an understatement. The words universal credit often cause people to panic. John was extremely helpful and helped this lovely woman whilst I was helping someone else. We did everything in our power to help her but thank you John.

I can’t thank the team enough today, the weather was awful but that didn’t prevent us from helping lots of people. We will be back again next week, please come and join us!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you to everyone that has done already.

Thank you to those that do support my blog, your help enables the campaign and the blog to continue.

There’s a paypal button at the top and side of this blog post if anyone would like to donate. Thank you so much.

Sanctioned whilst working. Apparently for not ‘committing enough’ to finding work.

Dear readers it’s Thursday again, I hope that you’re all ok and surviving this rotten system. I know that it’s hard but keep going because you are valued and are important.

Guess what folks, it was raining today and it was cold, it looks like autumn has arrived a tad early. This time last year we were experiencing a heatwave.

As usual I’ll list some of the conversations that I had today. It’s awful that we are being treated in this manner and I pray that one day it will stop. We deserve much better than this.

Today I read an article about a disabled man that had slit his throat because he was scared of claiming universal credit. You can bet that Amber Rudd won’t mention that upon questioning.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/man-terrified-move-universal-credit-3206672

Back to today. We handed all the food parcels out as usual I just wish that there wasn’t a need for them. I know that I keep saying that but it really bothers me.

I met Jim as he was walking towards the Jobcentre after climbing the horridly steep steps. He looked frustrated but nevertheless he went inside for his appointment. I spoke to him as he left the building, he looked quite distressed and I asked him if he would like a leaflet. Jim told me that he hadn’t received his payment as usual because he had three addresses. Of course Jim doesn’t have three addresses but this was their reasoning for stopping his payments.

It honestly isn’t rocket science is it. Most people don’t have three addresses so this must be an error on the DWPs part. He will be appealing this decision, in the meantime Jim has no money.

I had a brief conversation with a young woman that appeared to be having an argument with someone on the telephone about a bank account so when she walked towards me I asked her if she was ok. She wasn’t ok, her bank account had been shut down and she needed to find another bank account that she can use. Luckily she managed to find one but this is one of the perils of everything being online. It can’t always be taken for granted that a person has a bank account even though most have. There is a distinct lack of understanding about this and as a result some people will be prevented from claiming because they don’t want to open an account.

I spotted Bill as he was walking towards the Jobcentre clutching a piece of paper. I asked him if he would like a copy of our leaflet and he said yes and that he was having a hell of a time with the DWP at the moment.

Bills situation is this, he’s working and has made a claim for universal credit. The DWP haven’t given him a date for when he might expect his first payment and so far to date he owes £600 in rent arrears. I did tell him that he can get a loan off the DWP whilst he waits but he didn’t want that saying that he’ll have to pay this back. Bill makes a very good point. Most universal credit claimants never actually receive the full amount which drags them deeper into poverty.

Both myself and Gordon then spoke to a woman as she was walking towards the Jobcentre. I handed her a leaflet and as I did so she told us that she is working but has been sanctioned apparently because she isn’t ‘committed enough’ to finding work. This is absolutely ludicrous, she’s more than committed because she’s already working. She then went on to tell me that upon asking what dates she wasn’t committed enough for, they still wouldn’t tell her. She is now appealing this decision, it’s appalling that shes being treated in this manner. If that wasn’t bad enough she’s got children to care for on next to no income. Never believe the DWP when they say that universal credit helps people to find work, it does the complete opposite.

I then spoke to Ron. Ron is having a horrible time at the moment, his monthly payment was stolen and he doesn’t have enough money to survive on. He told me that he was going to ask about applying for a loan.

We had lots of conversations today ranging from sanctions, housing problems, not knowing their national insurance number etc etc. I’m just glad that we were there to help them.

Please read and share my blog also tweet, rt and email it. This is just a small snapshot of what happens up and down the country everyday.

We will be back next week as usual.

Thank you to everyone that supports my blog and the work that we do. It does mean a lot and I couldn’t do it without you.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you very much.