Monday, 22 August 2011

Another letter to my MP - an afterthought

I'm not sure why this suddenly occurred to me last night. I kept drafting it in my head and couldn't get to sleep for ages because I was itching to write it. I suspect that because it would be showing a lot of faith in the little sheep who claim ESA and DLA, the idea will be shot down before it even gets anywhere. I hope at least that my MP will read it though ... I want to plant a little seed.


Dear MP,

I am writing to you again in reference to Welfare Reform. Something occurred to me, though I am uncertain of how well it will be received by the minister concerned. When someone is called up for the medical assessment I think they should be able to have the option to postpone it under mitigating circumstances. If they are already going through a stressful life experience, they should be able to state it to the DWP, providing evidence.

I’ll explain why this occurred to me. While as you know, I do appreciate that you cannot comment on my personal experience, I can! And it makes a good example.

When I was called up for the medical assessment I was in the process of a divorce, putting the house up for sale, and recovering from an extreme relapse during which I thought I was going to die. I have read time and again that divorce and moving house are considered to be at the top of the list of stressful life experiences. It was actually the medical assessment I found most stressful. Because of the medical assessment I returned to self harming, and came extremely close to suicide. I apologise for being so blunt. Had I not already been going through three stressful experiences at the same time, it would probably not have affected me as badly as it did.

Obviously I do not believe someone can be excused a medical assessment due to illness. However, being in the process of divorce, or moving house can be easily proved, as also can various other stressful experiences. I am aware that the DWP would be placing trust in people to inform them when they were then available for assessment, however I do not see that this is any different from the trust placed in people to inform the them of when their circumstances change. Personally I am so afraid of being penalised by the DWP that I would not dare to not inform them if my circumstances were to change.

It would be a small almost human touch on the behalf of the DWP to a public who perceives them as treating us as numbers. I would be grateful if you would pass my comments on again.

Kind regards,

Olana.

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