annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



Well, I got my benefits assessment form. Woop-de-doop. This assessment is the result of the govt employing a French company to reduce the welfare bill by some hideous percentage, as if the majority of recipients were scammers and scroungers rather than the odd few. They're even trying to make people fill them in if they're off work for chemo, which thankfully seems to be considered a step too far, at the moment, at least.

I feel all screwed up about this, having read a bunch of comments on FB, written in response to a photon of a woman holding a letter to Obama, thanking him for his health care bill which had allowed her to get treatment for cancer and saved her life. I saw the pic, thought, aw, they're getting it sorted in the States, good, and idly clicked to see all the comments, expecting to find general agreement with my response. Ha. Not a bit of it. She should have had health-care and if she was too lazy/feckless/uneducated to have organised it there was a lot of resentment at having to pick up the tab via taxes.

What I hate most about this is that Britain is moving towards the same attitude, away from the idea that we all look after each other, as and when needed. We all pay 11% of our income into National Insurance, deducted at source by employers, so that health care is free at the point of delivery and those unable to work for whatever reason are entitled to claim benefits. But it breaks a tory heart to see all that activity and no one making any profit, so the system is being dismantled, whatever they say to the contrary.

All of which leaves me very anxious and uncertain about filling in my assessment form. I know that if I'm to have any chance of keeping my benefits I'll have to write about how I am at my worst, about the things I sometimes can't do, which is like turning away from all the positive mental chit-chat I give myself and throwing myself headlong into The Pit of Doom. The form consists of a few quite open questions and lots of big white boxes to write in. I've only looked at the first one - 'How does ill-health affect your daily life?' That's not the place to boast of how well I'm doing, considering. It's my opportunity to own up to the days of not getting dressed, the weeks that can elapse between showers, not answering the phone, looking at Bob every five minutes when she's asleep to make sure she's still breathing, losing the plot in the supermarket... Ach.

I think fuck off, you bastards and leave me alone. Even if I am fit for work, where am I going to find work in a job market like this? Over forty applicants for jobs which pay a living wage so there are going to have to be thirty-nine pretty ropey people for a fifty-seven year old recovering depressive who hasn't worked for five years to be the best choice. If they take away incapacity benefit, they have to give me job-seekers, but that involves all sorts of bollocks about proving that you're making an effort to get a job and going on courses about how to do a good CV. Spend that time and effort on the young people out there, the people who long for a job. I haven't got it in me. Not now. I might have in a few months if everyone will just leave me alone and let me mend myself, but right now I can't. Though I may have to. Beyond weepiness. Crushed.

8:38 p.m. - 06.01.12


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