This morning a conversation with the DWP and a look at my bank account knocked me back into depression and leaves me even MORE disgusted with the way that the ESA system treats claimants suffering from mental illnesses and breakdowns.
I was expecting the notification in the post that I hadn't got enough points on the medical assessment to be considered not fit to work.
I wasn't expecting a total ZERO score, based on the form I completed and the medical - it's just so nonsensical. Didn't they read what I said and listen? Even on the points where I KNOW I made it clear I had problems, there is still a zero score.
Next, I checked my bank account as my cash card was not giving me anything. I then found out that my benefit had already been stopped without any warning whatever. Good thing I still have some savings to fall back on, but will be a few days before I can organise to get it into my current account.
I called the DWP again. Apparently, they will re-start the benefit and backdate it but ONLY when I return the appeals form. Had they sent it out, as I asked yesterday? No. They say they have now. They have a two to three month queue for hearing benefit appeals, by which time I might just possibly be well enough to think about work again.
It is a very stinky and cruel system that withdraws benefits from vulnarable people, leaving them without any income whatever, and without warning. Had I gone through all this a few months ago, it might well have pushed me back towards the suicidal feelings I was experiencing at that time and could easily do so for someone else.
And then there's the council tax benefits section. Apparently the DWP managed to write to THEM before they wrote to me, so they were on the phone saying that I had to complete yet MORE forms.
At the moment I am drinking tea, later on it might be something stronger. I have a feeling it will be a sleepless night again, or I stay up and compose letters to Yvette Cooper, my MP David Willets, David Cameron and a few more blameworthy others.