This is really just an update – a post to record facts. I posted my ESA1 Form, Fit Note and Tax information to the DWP, in their envelope, on May 24th. They received it on June 2nd -so it took 9 days for a Second Class envelope to get to them, and that’s when there isn’t a postal strike. I hadn’t heard anything from them on Monday June 13th. I was told that when they received it, they would text me as I had put my mobile number and details on my Fit Note. This, of course did not happen. When I called, I was told, yes, they had it, and that it took them 10 days (note, not Working Days – so you don’t need to add weekends) to process it. So on that very day, I should hear something – either I would have a letter, the mythical text or a phone call. But nothing. It’s now June 16th, 10 Working Days since they got my Form, Fit Note and Tax information – and no contact.
I got incredibly Anxious and Depressed filling out that ESA1 Form and organising my Fit Note. I became Suicidal, stopped eating properly and scratched bloodied symbols into my left forearm. So I will literally have the marks of this experience on me for a long time, perhaps (given my EDS and scarring problem) forever. And I hear nothing from the DWP. They will have logged I called to ask, they will know I’m concerned. They will also know that I am without funds* and that getting help quickly is pretty necessary for me. But they don’t care. The longer they keep you hanging, the less money they have to pay you. But they don’t think that it may cost the Government more money in the long term – via the NHS. The DWP just want to keep their costs down, and if in the process they make people ill, and thereby cost the NHS money, so be it. It’s quite an inhumane policy.
In contrast, my Physio, who I last saw on June 2nd, wrote a referral letter to a Pain Management Team for me on June 6th, and I got my copy on June 14th – she did as she promised in 4 days.
* My Dad is still funding me, but I had to replace some worn out clothes (underwear) and I’ve now run out of money. I will not starve, but I won’t be able to use Public Transport etc. until the beginning of July. At least my pants should last at least 6 months, unless something fantastical happens to them – theft by Panty Monster.
Update: I phoned the DWP today (June 17th) and they told me that it was not 10 or 12 Working Days, but 14. 14 ‘Working Days’ is basically 3 weeks. 3 Weeks to process a form. I can tell you from living with a Representative that in the UK an Insurance Company has to process your claim in 10 days, and if nothing happens, you can get the Independent Ombudsman to sort it. I don’t think we have an Ombudsman for Government Departments. But I’m going to find out.