I just tried to make a new claim for ESA having been declared ” Fit for Work ” as I couldn’t be arsed filling in and attending the WCA bullshit a couple of years ago as I had lost the cash anyway on the 365 day rule. Having got my sick note sent into the local DWP office by the hospital I then had to contact the DWP phone line in order that they could fill out the full claim form and forward it to DWP Belfast for processing.
I rang the said number and had to wait about five minutes to get through after which the call was answered by a friendly sounding guy from my local DWP office who informed me that the call would take 35 to 45 minutes to complete. He had no trouble coping with my broad Craven accent and the call proceeded in a professional manner allowing me to ad lib at times with a few jokes and even so it was complete in the stated time. The time included double checking all the information given for mistakes after which I signed by phone as advertised.
A couple of days after I got a letter stating that I couldn’t claim ESA due to a lack of national insurance contributions during the past couple of years since I told them to get stuffed to avoid the hassle of the WCA. Belfast were alleged to send me a copy of the phone interview and I can’t remember the exact chronology but it was well after the time promised. Furthermore the paper copy of my phone call interview was on 20 pages of A4 with no staple in the corner of the pack so it soon got muddled up out of order although I did spot several mistakes including the start date which was over a full month later than I stated.
Not withstanding I rang the number given to amend the document only to find that the number given was now out of date and had been changed and the voice at the other end informing me of the new one was far too fast to write it down with no repeat. And it didn’t end there as I was also bombarded with several letters ( again from Belfast and lost count ) asking me to ” tell them about the change ” with a pre paid envelope to send back the slip they sent.
Obviously if you were genuinely unwell it would be impossible to cope with all their Ministry of Silly Walks bullshit especially if you were suffering from a mental health problem which probably explains why so many mental health cases bounce back into hospital just to keep warm and dry and have a full belly.
It must be obvious that the current system is unfit for purpose but perhaps the problems are mostly due to PCS Union members acting like a virtual Zonder Commando in order to throw flak at the Tory minister IDS on the behalf of the Labour Party and cunningly hidden by the fact that its down to Belfast in Northern Ireland where Labour don’t stand for election. However it was obvious that Gordon Brown bought the votes of DUP MPs on 42 days detention by promising a fat government grant for an aircraft factory at Belfast with a huge investment promised from the corporate multinational owners. Fortunately it all fell trough when the bill failed to pass in the Lords.