In a scene loaded with all the best dramatic irony the brown envelope landed on the doormat this morning.
Unlike the previous two letters from the DWP both advising me of 'urgent' changes to phone numbers, both of which caused me to dislocate my fingers trying to open them, I know is different because it is so bulky. It's an IB50 Incapacity for work form. I haven't had to fill out anything like this since the DWP sent me a letter several years ago telling me I no longer needed to send in sick notes from my GP.
I have until the week before Christmas to return it, although I of course won't find out the decision until weeks in to the New Year. I feel a bit sick, and very scared. I'm not even sure it's been sent to me correctly yet. Quite apart from being genuinely entitled to all the benefits I receive, I would give anything to be able to support myself financially by working and not to have to rely on this humiliating, degrading and terrifying system. It angers me to think of all the money this and every other government waste on so called 'welfare reforms' none of which provide any realistic opportunities to help disabled people into work.
Oh, and just in case you'd not already guessed, none of the questions on this form have altered. Those about whether you can walk more than 400m or climb a flight of stairs are still there, and there is certainly no mention of desks or mice, but then you didn't really think there would be, did you? This really is all about frightening genuine claimants into saying the wrong thing and cutting benefit rates that way.