Warning this article may contain a swear word or two, Well that’s 3 hours of my life I’ll never get back.
I knew today was going to be bloody awful.
Firstly there is no nearby disabled parking for those attending the Horsham jobcentre, actually there is no nearby parking at all that I know of.
So for those of you that live locally, I had to park in the Swan Walk multi storey car park, not ideal, as it took me 30 minutes to propel myself in my wheelchair to said jobcentre.
I still managed to arrive 20 mins early.
On arrival I was faced with two bloody great sets of fire doors, and after watching me struggle with my chair and the door, a security guard walked over and held the door open.
Here’s a little twist though, the pavement slopes down slightly towards the first door, which when opened revealed a low step, I found this ot when I was almost tipped out of my chair, watched by the security guard, no offer of assistance and no warning of the step. Happy days.
I was left to get through the second door myself. I was then checked in for my appointment and told to got to the waiting area. I was an absolute wreck, I was exhausted, and in so much pain I just wanted to swear and ask for a ketamine injection, well it worked for me the last time I was in hospital.
After waiting for around 10 minutes, I was called over to the interviewer, I handed over all of the forms I’d been told to bring, they were then scanned I to the system and handed back.
Next I was told I would have to sign a contract, to basically do what they tell me to do.
This is how the contract goes.
If I am late in attending a meeting with my soon to be appointed work coach, I will be sanctioned. If I miss an appointment, I will be sanctioned plus fined £10.40 per day until I attend the rescheduled appointment. If I phone them to say I cannot make an appointment for whatever reason, even a hospital visit, they can choose to sanction me. Finally if I get a total of 3 sanctions all benefits will be stopped.
So the first 15 minutes were all about what they would do to me. What they could do for me was not even discussed, for the last five minutes of the meeting, he told me it would take around 10 days for a decision to be made, by somebody I’ve never met, on whether I get any money or not.
I will also have to go through a work capability assessment, but he couldn’t tell me when that would happen either.
So today comprised of travelling to and from Horsham by car 1hr 20mins.
Wheeling myself to and from the jobcentre in my wheel chair 50mins.
A 20min interview, not the 1hr to 1hr 20 mins I was told
30mins of waiting and resting.
So if as they say, a country is judged on how it looks after it’s most vulnerable citizens, the UK has failed on an epic scale. These are sad times that we live in.
Below is a picture of my daily journal entry from yesterday, what I wrote pretty much sums up how I feel after what happened today.