Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome! – Fremde, etranger, stranger! Not an original greeting I grant you, but one of my favourite things. Mimicking Joel Grey’s nasal faux-German singing brings me great joy – particularly in the way it makes my nose and sinus cavities vibrate. This is not a ‘blog’ about musical theatre – oh, how I wish it were. It may turn into variegated mixed bag affair, but it was founded for a more serious reason. And a reason that is also not fun. I’m one of the many, many people in the UK who suffers from multiple invisible disabilities – physical and mental illnesses. And I am also in the group of people who were found ‘Fit For Work’ after a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and taken off of a benefit – in this case ESA. I’m afraid this blog is going to be about that.
My life is far from unique in regard to the DWP, ESA, Maximus (the company who administer the WCA medicals – a form of physical means test) but after 5 years of being on ESA, having to fill in a form of 23 sides of A4 and attend a medical annually, and also having to go to Tribunal, I have been forced into doing something unique for me – to record and share my experience with people beyond my family and limited friends.
This is an evidence blog.
Last year I was taken off of ESA, and began to fight the decision. However, Fate being the cheeky B*stard that it is, the same week I found out I was ‘Fit For Work’ my Mum (with whom I lived – I lived with both parents, now it’s just Dad) was diagnosed with Terminal Lung Cancer and given 6 months to live. This happening, quite frankly, f*cked me up and scrambled my brain. I was unable to undertake the appeal properly. My parents and I made an agreement that while Mummy was sick, they would support me, and once that was no longer the case, I would re-apply for the ESA. And that is what I am doing. I am just about to request a new application form, but I’ve been preparing for this stage for months – since January. My Mother died in October 2015, and between then and Christmas the house (well, me and my Dad) were so occupied with Funerals, Wills and donating clothes that the ESA Question was not addressed. But then 2016 woke up, and so did the need to deal with the DWP – what happened between then and now, more anon.
I think I shall leave you now – this is enough of an introduction. I apologise for my spelling, grammar, punctuation and erratic capital letters. Oh, and the swears- there may be quite a lot of them. I’m a sweary, uncouth person in the real world; I like the way such language sounds, I like the variety of it and how easily the way crude words can convey so much more than the obvious via the way they are said. I just wish the rest of my vocab. was as robust as my profanities.