Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Hello Welfare Reform Bill induced anxiety

So this blog has been created as a distraction, trying to escape the panic that is being brought up by watching the House of Commons(HoC) Parliamentary debate on the Welfare Reform Bill (WRB).

Why am I so terrified? Well that's because they government are intent on systematically destroying the disability benefits that I may one day soon be forced to rely on. So far I am supported by my parents, child benefit (until the age of 19 same as someone in full time education) and a small amount of DLA at the wrong level (low rate care (LRC) & low rate mobility (LRM) which should be at middle and high rates respectively - but that's another story) - but one day soon, perhaps when I am 19, perhaps if I am no longer able to go to college I will have no choice to apply for ESA.
I have no NI (national insurance) and perhaps could be one of those young people who if the government loses their vote and the HoC keeps the Lords (HoL) amendment would have presumed NI contributions. I do hope to be able to work one day but the foreseeable future I have no chance, I barely manage 7 hours a week at college!
If (yes that's if) I got ESA I might be put in the support group - on my own assessment and that of my father (a benefits advise worker) I should go into the support group, however I know the system and I know ATOS medicals - the personnel who run the WCA (work capability assessments) are on the whole unscrupuless, they just don't care. And the WCA themselves are not fit for purpose a tick box system is not appropriate for complex conditions which so often effect people.

The change form DLA to PIP will be horrific for me too. Not only the anxiety in changing over but the difference in descriptors, the horrible assessments, I have had 3 face to face DLA assessments for as many claims (yes they DO happen) with ATOS doctors already I know what I am talking about. Each doctor has hurt me and lied on their forms about anything from how long they spent with me, to the level of ability I had and the level ability I showed them, or what aids and appliances I have and how much pain I am in. They judged my condition incorrectly, one even decided that it was entirely psychological which was definitely not her job (they are payed to comment on my level of impairment not diagnosis), they caused severe anxiety  and NONE understood the bundle of complexity and contradictions that is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. If these face to face assessments must take place then why not with our own GPs, Consultants, Physiotherapists or Occupational Therapists who will be much more familiar with us, our conditions and much better qualified t assess us than a random doctor who sees you for between 20 minutes and 2 1/2 (in my experience).

I am still anxiety filled and waiting for the speaker to collate and declare the results of amendment 15  which continues presumed NI for severely disabled young people allowing them to get contributory rate ESA.

For now, Becca

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