Friday 16th July 2010
I am glad that the NHS has a new white-paper which is going to sort out all its ills, introduce, “seamless services,” “bottom up care,” “joined up thinking,” put patients at the centre, etc. Perhaps someone someday will also get round to sorting out the employment and welfare system, oh they are, that is good news!
I’m afraid those tenses leave me even more tense and foxed. It seems they have projected me into the future from a future further on than that.
I have also received a second letter, from “jobcentreplus,” and a mighty thick form about my putative Employment and Support Allowance. I haven’t asked for this and the form doesn’t seem to apply to me, it’s for people who can’t walk or dress themselves and have serious fights in the street.
Some time ago they decided that I was entitled to £9.93 a week, during the chemotherapy, while I cannot do much work. I was glad. That will buy a few bunches of nutritious asparagus, but this new letter says they have looked at the claim again, and I will not be getting it.
They give a detailed breakdown of my claim ending with, “You would have been entitled to ------- £0.00”
On another sheet it says, “because you are entitled to contribution based allowance we will pay you - £9.93”
No idea what I am getting – is it £0 or is it £9.93? It says both in the same letter.
I don’t get out much so it will be exciting waiting to find out!
I had no idea I was getting them!
Write them an abject letter apologising for whatever it is I have done, or not done, as the case may be.
A phone message from my doctor inviting me in as he has to fill in a form for my Employment and Support Allowance, that is apparently still going on somewhere. This is followed almost immediately by another letter from the jobcentre people telling me that I am not getting any money. I have never once asked them for any money – and completely forgotten how I got into this!
Try to explain all this to the doctor. "Just take whatever they offer," he says, as if I am asking for money, which I am not. He is a busy man, doesn't have time for the subtle beauty and serpentine wonder of these things.
Wonder what that is for, was it to do with the doctor and what period of time it covers. Perhaps it is a one off? They don’t say. I won’t enquire – best left well alone.
Letter dated the 20th arrives with this news: “From 7 May 2010 your Employment and Support Allowance will be £9.93 a week.
We cannot pay you as you because you have as much or more money coming in that the law says you need to live on.”
Clear as mud as my mother used to say.
They also say I will get a “Christmas Bonus” of £10!
They will credit my NI contributions “while claiming Employment and Support Allowance.”
They add a form to fill in if I wish to “appeal against this decision.” Hardly likely as I do not understand any of it. If some smidgin of money ends up in the account that will be very nice, I don’t want to investigate further.
Pehaps I will be had-up in the future for claiming money unlawfully. I know that ignorance is no defence, but I will plead utter confusion and I’ve got the paper work to prove it.