So here we go again. Round two with the DWP. I am preparing to be thrown in the ring again. 6 months I have waited for this assessment. 6 months of dreading that letter in the post. 6 months of hoping that I will accumulate enough evidence to prove that I am unfit for work.
I would love to say that I feel more prepared but, I am more nervous than the first time. I know what to expect and being denied ESA this time around will be a bigger blow. I have had most of my appointments, taken every medication under the sun and have tried my best to come to terms with the new way I have to live my life now that things have changed. If I fall at the first hurdle again, like I did the first time, I don’t know what more I will be able to do. I have spoken openly about my experience with the DWP on my blog in the past as I don’t feel that the reality of this process that so many go through is documented enough.
Since my first assessment, a lot has changed. I have a lot more evidence to back me up this time and my condition has visibly deteriorated. I often have to use my walking stick whilst out and about, I get noticeably tired both physically and mentally after only a short period of time and my pain levels are much higher now. However, unfortunately, whoever will be conducting my assessment will judge me from the moment I walk in the door. As long as I can talk, move enough to type and can walk 50m even if I’m in pain then I am expected to be thrown straight back into the working world. Over the last few months, I have had numerous phone calls and appointments with the jobcentre even though I am not signing on. I have been asked questions like; when will you get better? When will you be able to go back to work? Even though I have explained that I have a chronic illness that is incurable and that my condition is not going to drastically improve. They just want me to get better so they can add me to their list of successful candidates and no longer have to provide me with any money.
When filling in the long list of questions that were sent to me I stated that I would not be able to attend an early morning appointment due to the time it takes me to get up and get ready in the morning. I have to spend a few hours trying to push through the fog, ignore the dull ache in my back and legs caused by the hours of lying down and slowly wake myself up. But none of this was taken into account, why am I not surprised? I have been booked in for 10:10 in the morning. However, on the plus side at least they will see me at my very worst.
I shouldn’t have to pitch the reasons why I am currently incapable of working or push myself to exhaustion just to give them what they want. I feel like I am suffering for their own entertainment. They do not act like human beings with emotion or compassion for other people. You are just a box to be ticked and nothing else. Something I have become very aware of.
Wish me luck. I am going to need it. Hopefully, in my next post, I can talk about getting a positive outcome but, I am not holding my breath.