Missed telephone appointment – might I be sanctioned?

Some moments of sick apprehension today. I remembered, some time after the appointment time, that today was the day for my monthly UC phonecall. There was no missed call on either my mobile or landline, however, although either could have been missed whilst I took my dog out for a walk. I remembered that I … Continue reading Missed telephone appointment – might I be sanctioned?

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Some good news – I think

I've received some good news. My UC journal today had an letter added to it saying that they have decided that I have limited capability for work and work-related activity. What I don't know is whether this refers to the fact that I should have been treated as such since the start of my UC … Continue reading Some good news – I think

Why am I the mediator for ESA and UC?

Having phoned ESA a couple of days ago, today I phoned UC to tell them that ESA had told me that they needed to send a form to ESA to say that I'm now in receipt of UC. ESA kindly keep paying me until they get said form, so that I'm not left without any … Continue reading Why am I the mediator for ESA and UC?

ESA and UC aren’t talking

Phoning ESA again. It has a long spiel followed by 'please press 1 to continue'. Why not just carry on without having to press 1? After more spiel, there is an explanation about it being the wrong number for Universal Credit. Then it tells you, twice, that you need to state what benefit you are … Continue reading ESA and UC aren’t talking

Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

We might be responsible for getting ourselves into a mess, but does that make us ‘responsible’ for getting ourselves out of it? I use quotation marks because ‘responsible’ isn’t quite what I mean here, at least not in its usual meaning. I think what I mean is that people who are in a mess – … Continue reading Conservatives, Christianity and the Benefits System

Governments have no right to be ignorant

The government still doesn’t know what its talking about. But this time it’s almost seven years on from when it gained power, and its politicians no longer have the right to plead ignorance. They do not have the right to remain ignorant on matters of great importance over which they hold the power. A spokesperson … Continue reading Governments have no right to be ignorant

How successful is the Work Programme?

Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be … Continue reading How successful is the Work Programme?

Government vs Reality – the big society

Dear government, Let’s stop talking about what you think happens in theory and start talking about what is happening in reality. In reality, people are being told they can’t claim JSA after you have told them they can’t claim ESA. In reality, other countries are looking at your handling of social security and using it … Continue reading Government vs Reality – the big society

The Contributory Principle

There is a debate continuing around the social security system on whether those who have paid in more should get back more when they need it. The inverse of this is that those who haven’t paid national contributions get nothing – including those who have not had the opportunity to pay anything. This is where … Continue reading The Contributory Principle

Something for nothing cultures

I’m getting sick of this ‘something for nothing’ attitude that MPs seem to have regarding social security. They complain about giving Jobseeker’s Allowance to people who haven’t spent many years in employment, and forget that to have spent many years in employment one also has to have lived many years since leaving education. They forget … Continue reading Something for nothing cultures