Thursday, November 22, 2007

Brown Envelopes

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.

9 comments:

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I hate those sort of envelopes. I received one yesterday wanting to access me for my housing benefit, giving me two weeks. Because I'm self employed, I have to give them my entire details for the last year. urgh!

having my cake said...

One wonders if they'll manage to send all your details to various fraudsters as easily as the Child Benefit people. Grrrrrr!

Clairwil said...

The new 'desks and mice' forms don't start until 2008. As an existing claimant you'll stay on the current system unless your claim is refused and fails at appeal, however don't be surprised if you get another IB50 between now and the new forms. My guess is they'll try and kick as many people off the current system as possible so that they'll need to start again under the new system.

Casdok said...

Good luck with filling it in!

frog ponds rock... said...

Just read it all twice before you sign it. Then read it again...


I am sending happy vibes to you..

I wish I could say something more positive for you.. xoxox

cheers kim

Pixie said...

It must be so utterly frustrating to know that you'd give anything to be 'normal' and you haven't chosen the life your leading right now.
It is very unfair.
pxx

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Vi, ugh. Good luck with it, sounds like a nightmare!

Cake, yes, that is a bit of a worry.

Clairwil, ty, I agree with you, especially as I've not had an IB50 since the first one I filled out (my GP was rather scathing in his letter to them about my future work prospects) The new system is really scary.

Casdok, thank you

Kim, thank you x

Pixie, yes it can be frustrating at times, mostly because none of this had to happen, and the system is very unfair, but I'm just as 'normal' as anyone else ;) BG x

spleenal said...

i saw a politican on the news the other day saying that they were looking to "help" 20 000 people off the sick list a year.

that's a quota isn't it.
it asks no questions like are there 20 000 a year we can get off the list? it's just get them off the list so we can save money.
i thought we'd got past that kind of thinking years ago.

Shows what I know.

Pixie said...

Hey hon,
Are you coming to my party?
If so send me an email, addy's on the front of my blog. And i'll tell you what time and who else is going to be here.
pxx