So after being placed in WRAG (work related activity group) I duly struggled to attend my appointment with my personal advisor on Friday.
I arrived on time thanks to my wonderful partner and daughter (both my carers) cajoling and transporting me to one of the most inaccessible places in Leicester!
My daughter came in with me and we were told by the two security guards managing the reception desk to go and sit down, the furniture is soft cube style chairs with no arms so sitting and standing is horrendous!
We didn’t have to long to wait, it was the first appointment of the day, and my personal advisor arrived in the guise of a young man named Jonny; within seconds it was quite clear he did not know why I was there and he said so. He then said he must go through the process of updating me files, I asked if the information from my WCA was on the computer and he shook his head saying Job Centre staff have no knowledge of our conditions etc (other than information given at any previous attendances).
I asked why and said surely it would be useful to personal advisor’s to be aware of ATOS stated we were capable of doing; Jonny was in full agreement and added he believed the DWP didn’t allow that as they wanted to make things as difficult and confusing as possible!
He went on to say it was clear I was not well enough to work, I agreed and said I was asking for a reconsideration of the decision; he immediately replied he was going to put a hold on my case and that he would ring me in 6-8 weeks to see what the outcome was.
Jonny then asked if could look at my ATOS report, so I passed it over; a few seconds later, after he’d read the recommendations of UNFIT & UNLIKELY to work and viewed the points scored; he shook his head, returned my papers and said he expected when we next spoke it would be because I’d been placed in the support group where I should be.
We left after the whole exercise had taken 15 minutes.
I have no idea what the cost of this was to DWP but I could not help but find myself humming the classic song by Ian Dury – What a Waste.
So I now wait for the decision makers to ‘catch up after the summer holidays’, the reason given to me by the DWP for a 6-8 week delay, when I asked for my reconsideration; and as I wait and ponder the options I get colder and more afraid.