Monday, May 23, 2005

Those lovely benefits people

I went to the housing people today to clear up a few things, the lass behind the counter was abjectly apologetic (always nice) and gave me a complaint form...

Now, what on earth makes me think filling this out and handing it in will have any effect whatsoever? My current problem stems mainly from their inability to check a form in the first place?
Seriously, I have many times mentioned the complete incompetence of the Manchester city council's benefits unit. They give you a receipt everytime you hand anything in to them, then when they lose it and request it again and you show them the receipt they say "well we still need to see it I'm afraid, your claim is on hold until we receive this information..."
Surely it would be far more cost effective for them to save the paper, unless it's all part of the psychological warfare designed to make all claimants give up and live on the streets instead of 'sponging off the government'
People I swear to you, dealing with the benefits agency is a full time job in it's own right!
This latest fiasco says it all.
They stopped my benefit completely because they were querying a cheque deposited in my account in January. It was a large sum, just over what my monthly wage used to be as it happens.
It wasn't a wage however. Oh no, that would be far too easy and convenient for them - after all, I'm on benefit because I want to be, I love the fact that I was forced to leave a well paying job and end up in a large amount of debt due to illness.
Really. I do.
The joy I feel every time I see my bank balance now is just indescribable. That 90% drop in income just does it for me every time.

The sum in question was my benefit.
From them - the people querying the sum, you know - our highly efficient county council benefits agency/ treasury department.
The reason the amount was so large - it was backdated for the almost 5 months it took to get it.
Why did it take almost 5 months to receive when they state it can take up to 28 days to process a claim? They not only asked for the same information at least 3 times (at around 3-4 week intervals) they then asked for different information from both my Dr and my employer - several times.

But hey! They're busy.
The fact that they are also in receipt of a letter from my GP stating that stress exacerbates my 'disability' has obviously not clued them in to the fact that I'm on incapacity benefit and need help with my rent because I'm unable to work.
I'm not on jobseekers allowance (a.k.a 'the dole') I'm not trying to 'play the system' I just want things settled so I can concentrate on getting well again and off all benefits for good!

*deep breath*
Silver lining... Silver lining...?
Oh yeah, I get to spend more time with my baby than I would if I were still working all hours god sends, I went to Madrid, I've caught up on a lot of reading...
So it's not all bad.

I'm feeling a little hormonal today - can you tell?
I'm also a bit worried because I have a Dr. visiting tomorrow, my first home visit. His report will have a direct impact on my benefits, this would not worry me if my symptoms were straight forward and highly visible.
They're not. They also fluctuate wildly - I never know from one day to the next how I'm going to be, today has been pretty shit so going off past experience tomorrow will either be worse or I'll be functioning at 'normal' speed.

ARrrrrrrrrrrgh feck it!
I just need chocolate. A fuck off big slab of Cadbury's Caramel would hit the spot right now.
Which is weird, I never used to like that... Damn these cravings!

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