Fear: The ‘Little Death’.

About a month ago now, I read a comment under a blog post (can’t remember which one), of a man who the DWP had turned down for ESA. He requested a Mandatory Reconsideration, but was turned down, so he naturally appealed. During that period, he was obviously claiming the appeal rate set at the same level as JSA.

He won his appeal, but despite that, the trubunal – though recognising that the original decision was wrong – said that they did not think his case merited a back-payment of ESA. This man had already lost ALL income during the lengthy MR period, as this period is not back paid, and now he was not entitled to the back payment of his ESA!

Another man had waited 8 months for his permission to appeal, and because the MR period is not back paid, he lost an enormous amount of yearly income.

I wish that I’d saved these comments dear reader, but you know what it’s like, you flip from blog to blog, site to site, trying to stave off the boredom.

I haven’t seen anywhere yet that those DWP decisions that deny you an appeal rate, or the tribunal decision about back payment have become the norm, but it is indeed very worrying. Securing back-payment of benefits at least means that you can pay off your debts, and hold some back ready for the next round of ‘nil income’.

I’m concerned that something else has changed however, that does seem to be becoming the norm. I came across this blog that ‘Britain isn’t Eating’ linked to https://minionofthestate.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/hardly-beneficial/ It was written by a social worker that was frustrated because the DWP stopped the benefit of a person she was supporting, because this person could not attend a WCA, due to being a patient in a mental health hospital.

That, apparently, was no excuse at all, so with the support of the social worker the person asked for an MR. The MR was turned down, and the DWP said that they’d have to appeal. I always thought that at such a point you claimed the appeal rate, but they were told point blank that the person would have to claim JSA, which obviously, being chronically ill, they are unlikely to be successful.

So let me get this straight. Firstly, being in hospital is no excuse for not attending a WCA; now I’m not surprised by that because being in a coma isn’t an excuse; similarly having a heart attack during an assessment isn’t an excuse for not finishing the assessment. Further, after an MR period, you’re not allowed to claim the appeal rate, but we all know that the DWP won’t let you claim JSA unless you are fit for work, so they keep turning people down for JSA. Not only that, even if you do win your appeal, it’s quite possible that you will receive no back-payment.

Basically then, for whole years of your life, you will have to exist with no income at all. Spread what you do receive in benefits over a few years, and that adds up to a massive benefit cut.

I used to have ‘The Fear’ about this. It woke with me every morning, and often kept me awake in the night, like most of us in these circumstances I guess. I already have PTSD – though this is the lesser of my disabling problems – it’s obviously deteriorated due to the lack of perceived stability: if you didn’t have a mental health problem before, I can guarantee that you’ll develop one if you’re ever subject to the DWP. The weekend that the Conservatives won the election, I nearly lost my mind again: I wonder how many people were sectioned – or at the very least had to visit their doctor due to depression – the week following the election?

I’m convinced that being in such a state of mind – allowing myself to be overcome by it – has permanently damaged my health, so I’m trying as best to work out ‘worst case scenario’. whilst meantime researching in detail what to do if all income is removed.

A quote from the book ‘Dune’ has always stuck in my mind:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

I’ll try to do that, to allow fear ‘to pass over me and through me’, but you and I know it’s not that easy. I hope that I haven’t left it too late in that regard – and I’m warning you reader not to let that fear get ahold of you year in and out – because I’m not just facing ‘the little death’ now; it’s a hell of a lot bigger than that: it won’t just kill my mind, but obliterate me completely.


4 thoughts on “Fear: The ‘Little Death’.

  1. Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions and commented:
    I know how you feel, I’ve had a physical nervous breakdown, where I found out I have PTSD. I also have severe depression inherited and severe GAD.

    Having the conservatives back in makes me ill, I’m much worse now. I want a support worker but I know I won’t get one, or the long term support I need to be independent and find a job.

    My depression was debilitating before, but now it is much worse. I don’t eat, I don’t care for myself and hardly go out except food shopping and Maximus appointments.

    I hardly sleep, and I am waiting for that brown letter to come through the door to to tell me either I am sanctions because I haven’t been looking for a job on ESA, or a WCA appointment.

    And all I want to do is die. I’m ready to die, I’ve been ready for years but I am now confortable with the fact.

    I forgot to mention I have suicidal thoughts and they have become worse to the point I want to cut. I am more paranoid than ever due to not sleeping properly, and the thought and worries of the post and government.

    I wish I could go onto a ward, but that would involve me being sanctioned for not attending, even dying wouldn’t stop them from doing so.

    Everything is just so fucked up now, I’m exhausted and I don’t know how long I can stay strong for. I useless and unneeded, a bother to everyone. The horrible thing is, this is exactly how the Tories want you to feel, it’s a win win situation for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry that you’re illness is so severe; it’s hardly surprising with the circumstances you find yourself in.

      You are needed though; you’re getting the word out there, and that doesn’t make you useless, because it’s very important, for now and the future.

      It takes a lot of courage to start a blog. I did 6 years ago, and then I became afraid. Then after the election, I thought to myself, I’m not going to be afraid, or at least, I’m going to try not to; it’s a battle that I’m still losing, but after the post has gone in the morning, I get a little relief.

      Yes, this is all planned; they know full well what their policies are doing to people.

      Keep talking about it on here and elsewhere; it won’t make it go away, but you’ll be a part of something, and you know that you’re around people who care just as much about what is happening to us.


      Liked by 1 person

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