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long term unemployed through illness

zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
well this year up to yet as been my anno horribilis,

the amount of things that changed, so a brief history of myself and background.

left school in 1982 and worked full time until xmas 1999, so not a long working history, cut short by a back issue that went on to give more more side issues what now the back bone problem is no longer there, i'm left with long term muscle weakness which should be fixed by physio in the next 2 to 3 years and all the side effects of long term tablet taking, plus some complex anxiety issues.

so while i've only ever worked in the building trade, today it's a totally different world, the job market seems to be wanting a card now to prove you can do anything, even if you have done it for years in the past, so anything that was open to you, is now closed without first paying to get a card, then having no experience either which is relevant or in the last 3 to 5 years etc, so the door closes again on, if you have the card or not.

catch 22 it seems and your stuck in a loop, without the relevant card, you won't get a interview, and if you do get a interview as you have no previous work experience in the last 3 to 5 years, you fall at the 2nd hurdle, which make me wonder how those who go inside for a crime even ever get a job or chance.

so a change of job role, so i switched to apply for the caring role, and failed in 20 odd tries, as no relevant experience, even though they ask for none or NVQ's etc, as while they say there desirable there not a must, but seems again those with them and experience get them first, no matter if your suitable or not, so again falling at the 1st of 2nd hurdle, so then try building maintenance, and yes you guess it, with no experience in the last few years, no one will willing to give you a try.

so not only is my age against me, the lack of experience and suitable qualification, but this is a merry go round, as most have already almost said, if you gain the qualification, your age and lack of experience won't help.

so unskilled jobs, seems they want the younger school leavers as cheaper, plain and simple.

so while i'm waiting for tribunal, i've got my self a work coach and going to try for everything i can, and see where that takes me, but don't hold out any luck, as it seems the deck is stacked well against the long term unemployed, unless you want to work voluntary to gain the experience which is about the only option left open, then still you have to pay to get the qualification, and still have no idea if that will lead to a job in the end, so tread carefully and chose wisely.

and in the end, don't give up, as it's not how many times you fail that matters, like in life, it's how many times you keep trying that matters in the end.   

Replies

  • AilsAils Posts: 774Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @zakblood,
    Thanks for sharing your work experiences with us.  Sorry to hear so many things have gone against you in getting employment, but that is great that you have a work coach now.  I hope they help and wish you well with it.  I know how you feel as up to 2015 I was working in admin in various temping jobs after leaving a job I was in for 8 years (long story that I will leave for another time) and then I went into hospital for an hip replacement which has changed my life for the worse!  I have even more pain than I did before the op and have less mobility as can't drive, have to use my wheelchair outside, etc.  This gets me very down at times as I have to rely more on my husband to help me and I do miss working.  I did manage to get a job in 2017 working as a Support Worker in an After School Club which I loved.  It was a part-time post and was costing a fortune in petrol to get to as I lived a distance away!  Eventually I had to leave as we had another house move even further away!  We live in a rural area now where there is not much employment and my pain/mobility, etc, doesn't help my thoughts about getting another job.  However, you are right when you say "don't give up" as you shouldn't as there is always something positive waiting around the corner for you.  I hope you manage to get employment soon @zakblood.  I will keep on trying too.  Upwards and onwards!  :wink:
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    thanks Ails love the cat btw :smile: and no i'll never give up, waiting for the tribunal date, but looking and applying for jobs like a man possessed atm
  • AilsAils Posts: 774Community champion Pioneering
    You are welcome, @zakblood and thanks by the way.  Good luck with your tribunal date, I hope all goes well and all the best with the job applications.  Let us know how you get on.  :smile:
  • GeoarkGeoark Posts: 1,142Community champion Pioneering
    Hi @zakblood love your attitude.

    I was always told it is a numbers game, the more you apply the better the chance you have of finding a job. For ten years at least twice a year I had to send out fishing letters to a hundred or so employers in the hope that one would hit the right desk at the right time with the employer in the right mood. Generic nonsense that a few thousand other unemployed people are having to do, so no surprise I only ever received one reply for a temporary role. After the third year stopped sending them to people I actually wanted to work for, preferring to tailor individual letters to these people. Or being told to apply for jobs I was not physically able to do, Only to follow this up when I did get an interview apologising for wasting their time but was told by DWP or their agents to apply or face sanctions.

    I have to believe that the scatter gun approach does work for some, and it is not so they can tick a box and say we got x to apply for y number of jobs. 

    Most organisations/companies who use volunteers will pay for any training and certificates that are required. It has become one of the selling points for attracting volunteers. The organisation I volunteer have access to a wide range of training opportunities which include certificates or qualifications. One of the biggest selling points is we will also pay for volunteers to have access to the internet, which now means a fairly cheap fibre broadband and loan of a laptop. Though the opportunities are with being on the board.

    How you go about your job hunting is of course for you to decide, but having between 1 and 3 preferred options on the type of work you would like to do will help you focus on what skills or experience you have missing and working out how you can go about reducing them. 

    Age, disability and long term unemployment can be difficult  issues to overcome, but not impossible. My current career course began five years ago and when I was 51, trainee, assistant and now officer. I may or may not make it to a senior (team leader role) but unlikely to get any higher, which to be honest suits me. This was after 10 years being unemployed and no relevant work experience, though plenty in a voluntary role.

    I hope you find something soon and it is something you enjoy doing.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,874Member Disability Gamechanger
    I'm currently on jsa but do permitted work part time which I enjoy. I feel I'm in a catch 22 situation myself as I would like to increase my hours to 16 per week and try for wtc. However, I get the odd offer of an hour extra here or there nothing permanent which I turn down as it's not worth it for me. Whatever I earn is deducted from jsa. So I'm holding out for a set number of permanent hours before I jump the jsa ship. I don't want to go on to u c I'm not better off.. 

    Anyway the point of my response was to say I was long term unemployed and found it very hard to get taken seriously for jobs. With help from the local council who had various departments helping people like me I tried a few things to boost my confidence and my c v. 
    1. Taking part in the training programmes relevant to me that I could manage.
    2. Looking at ongoing and online learning which was either free or funded by government schemes.
    3. Getting involved in voluntary work appropriate to my future job.

    I also utilised services provided by local charitable organisations around employment and training. This took place over a few years and eventually led me to applying and obtaining my current job. I believe having a current c v with full up to date history and my renewed self confidence was the key.

    I wish you good luck. 



    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    Hello @zakblood and thank you for sharing. We do have some employment services here at Scope that might be of use to you - https://www.scope.org.uk/employment-services/

    I hope your tribunal pans out okay. Make sure to let us know you get on!

    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    well 50 odd applications sent, 3 telephone interviews had and 4 placed ones, feedback so far is about what i'd expected tbh, the right qualifications but with no work history for 20 years and a long term back problem now almost sorted with only 2 to 3 years left of physio, there's far fitter and more able people around, so being honest at least gets a honest reply, which is a fair point, why would anyone take on someone with a previous long term illness when there's fitter people more able to do the job, with resent working history, unlike me with none, so changing tact, as now applying for the lowest and most basic of jobs, where no qualification or experience is needed and will see how that goes, nothing so far i've tried has been more than the minimum wage btw, but all local almost on my doorstep, so now throwing the net to a wider catchment and will see how another month of trying goes, no date as yet for the Tribunal, been told in Notts it's around a year wait, so have plenty of time to look for work, at least now i'm getting something off them, well not yet but soon, as i've had a letter stating that from April they will now pay me £73.10, not the £115.00 i was getting, but any amount helps and better than the £0 i've been getting since April the 14th this year, so only 3 or 4 more weeks to wait for it to come, then i can start to pay back the council tax i owe, so in one hand and out the other, seems my partners tax credits and my income i've not even got back yet means council tax has more than doubled from last year, while we are both getting far less, so yes work that out, and on top of that, still can't get any help with the NHS, fought them last year and provided all the information they requested and they stated we was over the limit for help, while everyone who had the same information like the council and local bodies all said we were £3k under, but as you can't argue with them either, not HC1 forms came back with a HC3 letter only.

    as the goal posts keep getting wider apart, i'm not surprised many fall through the gaps, i'm lucky my partner works, not enough for us to be anything other than just keeping our heads above water, but as we haven't drowned yet, what doesn't kill us can only make us stronger, i feel i have average intelligence, worked hard enough in the 25 years i did work and paid off my mortgage, but now it seems not only have i been penalized for many years for having savings, which now have all gone, i'm now penalized again for being ill in the past and now found myself in a loop of every door closing before i get to the handle, it makes me laugh, i find life quite funny at times, had a interview at one place where they had just taken on Ex cons with no experience as no one was willing to do the job in a concrete factory, but none stayed more than a month, i got a interview, but never got a job, so seems i'm of less worth than someone who's even been inside, so double punished i feel, does make me wonder what i will need to do, maybe i'll try crime?

    as being honest sure isn't working, or lye on my forms and don't state my back issue?

    either way, chin up everyone, it's warm, we are alive, with a new PM, which tbh can't see will change anything other than for the rich, but we keep waking up, so another day, so on wards and upwards,...
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Good morning @zakblood, how are you doing with the heat?

    I'm so sorry to hear you keep getting turned down for jobs and that you are still waiting for the tribunal. Things must be really tough at the moment. I really hope you're not waiting too long to be paid and that your look for work improves. Did you look at the support to work that Adrian suggested?
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    yes thanks, like everything atm, i'm being told the same thing

    go on training coarse's, been there, done that and wore the many tea shirts, tbh that's just keeping others in work, those that provide the training, other than turn up, 90% of the time you learn nothing and yes i've been when others turn up for the last day and get the same certificate that you were given for being there for a week or a month or more, been on some longer one and had the same so know how useful they are, not!!!!

    volunteer (done 20 years so far in that direction) already , which got me know where...

    retrain at college, again spent 10 years in further education, more than a waste of time, then you have the paper work, but not the experience, so catch 22, seems not only my 52 years age is against me, but no past 20 years working, seems some employers would prefer someone from jail with no illness more than someone who has been ill also with no experience.

    of you know more than the person who's teaching you, and some of the class come to you for guidance at the end of the day or break time, or the college uses you as free IT support and send you to other colleges as you know more than there own IT staff, who have the paper work but no idea on how to do almost anything, so yes could write a book on how useless many things are in the modern world i'm living in.

    college to me, was 10 years wasted, having X number of IT qualifications mostly out of date the same year you take them, as there always updating them, means little in real terms, when in the end, it's who you know that means more than what you have, wouldn't be the first time i was interviewed and have some spotty faced just out of teens with a degree going for the same job on minimum wage, just because there degree in lego was next to useless in the real world.

    or only last week, sat at the side of a young lady who just left uni with a 1st in marine biology and could only find work in Ikea, stack and till work.

    so in the end i know how hard the job market is, and also how unfair it is, most jobs if your shown what to do, a trained monkey could do it to a reasonable standard after a few days,

    I've done forensic data recovery for the police while working at a local computer shop, but to get a job in it, you need a degree plus so many other qualifications, all i want is work, don't mind if it's a cleaning job, but atm seem unable to even get that, seems i'm over qualified for most, or haven't enough working background for care work, or not fit enough for most to even give me a chance, there lost as i see it, but will keep trying just to prove a point, as i never have ever given up in anything so far in life, and in the end if no one wants me, it's not from the lack of trying on my part, maybe i am to honest and given just a tad too much of my medical history, but how do you get around without not telling the truth of no work history for the last 20 years? being idle maybe does sound better than being ill, and being locked up may get someone else a job, but being honest i can only be me
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,084Member - under moderation Disability Gamechanger
    zakblood said:
    yes thanks, like everything atm, i'm being told the same thing

    go on training coarse's, been there, done that and wore the many tea shirts, tbh that's just keeping others in work, those that provide the training, other than turn up, 90% of the time you learn nothing and yes i've been when others turn up for the last day and get the same certificate that you were given for being there for a week or a month or more, been on some longer one and had the same so know how useful they are, not!!!!

    volunteer (done 20 years so far in that direction) already , which got me know where...

    retrain at college, again spent 10 years in further education, more than a waste of time, then you have the paper work, but not the experience, so catch 22, seems not only my 52 years age is against me, but no past 20 years working, seems some employers would prefer someone from jail with no illness more than someone who has been ill also with no experience.

    of you know more than the person who's teaching you, and some of the class come to you for guidance at the end of the day or break time, or the college uses you as free IT support and send you to other colleges as you know more than there own IT staff, who have the paper work but no idea on how to do almost anything, so yes could write a book on how useless many things are in the modern world i'm living in.

    college to me, was 10 years wasted, having X number of IT qualifications mostly out of date the same year you take them, as there always updating them, means little in real terms, when in the end, it's who you know that means more than what you have, wouldn't be the first time i was interviewed and have some spotty faced just out of teens with a degree going for the same job on minimum wage, just because there degree in lego was next to useless in the real world.

    or only last week, sat at the side of a young lady who just left uni with a 1st in marine biology and could only find work in Ikea, stack and till work.

    so in the end i know how hard the job market is, and also how unfair it is, most jobs if your shown what to do, a trained monkey could do it to a reasonable standard after a few days,

    I've done forensic data recovery for the police while working at a local computer shop, but to get a job in it, you need a degree plus so many other qualifications, all i want is work, don't mind if it's a cleaning job, but atm seem unable to even get that, seems i'm over qualified for most, or haven't enough working background for care work, or not fit enough for most to even give me a chance, there lost as i see it, but will keep trying just to prove a point, as i never have ever given up in anything so far in life, and in the end if no one wants me, it's not from the lack of trying on my part, maybe i am to honest and given just a tad too much of my medical history, but how do you get around without not telling the truth of no work history for the last 20 years? being idle maybe does sound better than being ill, and being locked up may get someone else a job, but being honest i can only be me
    What about freelance work? My friend repairs household objects like clocks and fans for a living. If you like I can suggest he calls you. Have you looked at training courses yet? Or you could be a childcare provider. 
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    thanks, coming off benefits is a one way process, my GP and physio still says i'm not well enough yet, so may take 2 to 3 years of work, as while my bones are better, my muscles have wasted somewhat, so that needs some long term work, aged 52 this month, and being told this month also i was better in 2014 but no one bothered to tell me, now i'm finding it hard to come to terms with, as in the one hand im waiting for a tribunal date, and in the other, i'm on the road now to recovery, so maybe no longer need the generosity of the DWP with it's vast hand outs etc, so are actively seeking some form of work.

    childcare, hard to get into being a man at my age, worked in schools for the last 20 years voluntary, and tbh the hurdles they make you now go through, as everyone is treated like a criminal just because some men are, everyone else's gets punished, this is one reasons why there are less now given up there free time, as a man, it's hard, when i first started in school i went for the whole 6 weeks holiday with the primary school each week with a different class camping, i cooked, cleaned and drove the mini bus, and loved it and then became a school governor for the next 20 odd years, teaching IT and doing the schools health and safety plus was there first aid'er etc, lifeguard, swimming teacher you name it, pot washer come spare class room teacher at times, good and happy days.

    but never got a degree or wanted to do it for a living.

    have enough IT qualifications over 10 years at college, but seems no amount of them helps if you haven't the got the experience in a real work place.

    was a wet plasterer from leaving school for 25 years, now that's a dying art, and tbh not sure either my back or body could take the work now either.

    which leaves me my other qualifications, life guard teacher, swimming teacher level 3, club coach level 3 swimming, have coached for the county swim squad for 20 years voluntary and at club level, so not short of much, other than paid work experience in the last 20 years, as all my time over the last 20 years have been on one coarse or another, either at school, at a club or for myself, took that many while i was a governor that i was going to take it to national level, but the only thing which held me back was the lack of funding, as everything i've ever done has been funded by someone else, and they gained for it, and had me as free labor for the years i was there, now most of the coarse's are meaning less, as dated and old, so i'm i prepared to do more?

    well no, as if i spend any more time in class un paid, i'll be at retirement age and then really won't need it either i'm sorry to say, but really say thanks for the reply and answer all the same, over the many years i've started to understand many things and see thing more clearly,

    with coarse's being a job on there own, seems now days you need a card and certificate to wear a hard hat and a high vis jacket on building site and boots, wow someone thought that up and made a killing a job doing nothing and charging others to go, now that's some brains, wish i'd thought of it.

    or driving a fork lift, in my day you learnt on the first week and they was qualified for life same as driving your car, now you need to take it every few years, but you don't have to, to drive? so seems a fork lift is more hazards than a car? nope.

    ah well i'll leave it at that, or it may sound like a rant, and wasn't meant to be
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,084Member - under moderation Disability Gamechanger
    What about making up booklets on a laptop? Or editing newsletters? 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Thank you for sharing all of this with us @zakblood. I can understand why you'd feel frustrated. You have worked in so many fields, and clearly was very good at it!

    I'm sorry work has been such a barrier. Are you wanting to go back into work at the moment? Or is this more something for the future?
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    i'd like to have a choice if i can before the tribunal, so a year of searching and asking and getting some more experience, as tbh i don't ever want to be under the DWP again if i can help it, they have been fine for almost most of my time with them, but the last few years have been so hard, it's as if they wish everyone either off or dead, and Amber Rudd has a lot to answer for, with the next PM seeming no better, then again i don't vote so really shouldn't complain either.

    so yes i'd like a job now and for until i retire, and come away from the benefits trap once and for all
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 875Member Pioneering
    @zakblood Could you apply to volunteer at a school or day camp for a bit?
  • WaylayWaylay Posts: 875Member Pioneering
    @Geoark I hear that. I have chronic back pain w/ sciatica and back spasms which are triggered/worsened by sitting/walking/standing/bending, etc. for 5-15 mins), and MH problems including severe anxiety.

    Before I applied for ESA I was on JSA, and in my first appointment with my Work Coach I described my limitations, told her about my degrees and experience as a scientific researcher, and said that I basically needed a job that had flexible hours, was mostly from home, and involved computer work of some kind. She suggested:
    - a job in a shoe store (I can't sit/stand/walk for long, bending is a serious no-no, and my last experience in retail was 20 years before - oh yeah, and ANXIETY)
    - working in a library (did this for a few years in uni 15y ago, but can't sit/stand/walk for long and can't lift heavy things like books - Oh yeah, & ANXIETY), and
    - caring work (uh, hello? I couldn't even support someone else to stand much of the time, and I'm on opioids almost all the time - not safe! + ANXIETY).

    After a few appointments I was sent to a charity (can't remember name) that was supposed to help disabled/sick people find work. He suggested a CV-writing class right off, so I handed him my CV. "Hmmm. This is very good. What about interview skills?" I thought that could be useful, although my anxiety spiked at the idea of being in a class... Screw it. I figured I could give it a try with some diazepam and see what happened. Except... it was a 1-hr bus ride away, with a 10 min walk at the end. My back wouldn't have dealt with that - I'd end up in spasm/with sciatica most days, drugged stupid and lying on the floor. With a spasm I'd have to taxi back some days, which I couldn't afford. He asked about my scientific background and looked blank for a bit, then said, "We honestly don't work with people with degrees, and most of our jobs are physical in nature. I'll just sign you in every week so you don't have to come in. I'll call you if a job shows up for you." Sigh.

    Applied for ESA the next week.

  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    Waylay said:
    @zakblood Could you apply to volunteer at a school or day camp for a bit?
    i've done 20 years at primary school at one thing or another, done more than my fair share of volunteering in my mind, now i wish to be paid and look after myself and my partner, seems all the doors which were open when free, soon close when money is asked for
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    good luck Waylay, it's a hard jobs market atm and being over qualified is as hard as being out of work for so long, like a doubled edged sword that cuts only one way, ours
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    well 3 more interviews and 3 more failed, seems one, the job to me had already gone, internal etc from what i can understand, 2nd well no recent experience was met with others with more recent etc, and 3rd, i couldn't meet the one day date offered for the interview but gave them any day and time before or afterwards as not working so are free to do any other before or after, as was going to girlfriends son wedding, so was told

    "Thank you for your message regarding our invite to interview. I have spoken to the hiring manager and unfortunately he is unavailable for the dates that you mentioned, due to annual leave and a previously arranged engagement. He has asked me to let you know that you are of interest, however they are now committed to other interviews now on the 14th. If those interviews are unsuccessful, then he will make arrangements to see you at a later date."

    so for me, another internal one, jobs already gone, and was maybe never on offer, but have gone through the motions as per law.

    so far 12 interviews attended and maybe around 60 forms sent, so not a bad total so far,

     

    "Favouring disabled candidates

    When a disabled person and a non-disabled person both meet the job requirements, you can treat the disabled person more favorably."


    while this maybe why i get more interviews than maybe i should, with 20 years of no work history, i do have 25 years of past experience and more than enough out of date qualifications, so all in all, i'm quite happy how it's going so far, even if i haven't still got a job or been even offered one, so i cast the net wider and go for 25 miles range from home, and try again, already filtered out most words in work that i'm not suitable for, so what's left i read and see if i meet the min requirements, then fill in and send, and see what happens, so far more than half have replied so not a bad percentage i'd guess, more than i thought, but yes harder than i'd expected, for the minimum wage, some do seem to want there cake and eat it.


    latest buzzwords bank's contract, meaning zero hour in everything but words, sit at home and wait for the phone to ring each and every day and hope you get enough hours to survive seems the ones more on offer than anything, we have 60 hours on offer, then next week you may have none, how you live or budget on this is anyone's guess, seems like a UC nightmare to me.

    but as i'm only after replacing £72 a week, something come Christmas time, i may have to at least explore, as in anyways, if i get less, at least unlike now i'll not be paying council tax or NHS health costs, as atm, i get 25% council tax help and just got my yearly NHS HS3 certificate, which tbh isn't worth the paper or time to get tbh either as so far in 20 years, never had a bill over the amount which i stopped at, so as everything so far has been under, i've already always paid, so unlike incapacity benefit which i was on and then changed to ESA, which removed the income support element, always made me and everyone else worse off, doing the maths and trying to understand how they get to a figure with the data i give them, is like understanding rocket science, as job center with the same data says yes you should get HS2, but NHS says no, and gives HS3, like it or lump it, you can't argue the fact, as once in the system and complain, either you get sent back to the end of the que, or taken off it altogether or they make a mistake on the reply and the form can't be used by use as they spell your name wrong etc, and by the time you get it corrected, another year goes by and you apply again.


    so not down, not fed up and still quite cheerful and there's a lot worse off than me, so will keep trying, i'm not too proud to wipe a bum, or sweep the streets, or work 3 jobs to get things to work out that i'm better off, can do attitude has helped me most of my life so far, so do or die, one way or another, something will come, one day, so will carry on sending off for anything and see what i end up with all so far less than £16k per year and none which anyone hear couldn't do with one eye closes, on my worse day, i'd be at least as good as the useless ones i see lurking in Tesco's, falling asleep standing up, drugged out of there box monday after a skinful or what ever they now do over the weekend, just need someone to give me a chance, or know someone inside, which is always a help, as who you know is as good as a pat on the back and a wink to a blind man, or so the saying goes and gets changed depending on where you live and your age etc


    https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/nod-is-as-good-as-a-wink.html

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    It must be really demoralising @zakblood, but I'm glad you're still managing to remain optimistic.
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    it's life, if we were all meant to be fit and able and millionaires then so be it, but would life be any better?

    life's about struggle, sometimes you float and the next time you sink, it's what makes life somewhat interesting in my older age, while i laugh about it some days, yes you could cry the next, but always in the back of my mind, i read someone worse off, so again i pick myself up and keep trying as it could be a lot worse, i'm alive, yes maybe poorer than i was before when i was getting some help, but i'm alive, i'm breathing and won't go down and sink to the DWP levels either, i'm honest and always have been, they have been in the past, and now are at times, somewhat dishonest, if they can live with that and sleep well like the nurse who i've taken out a private prosecution with the NMC, i'm fine, in the end i'll survive, one way or another, but i'll never sink to there levels or alter being myself.

    just because the world stinks at times, doesn't mean i'll be down and in the end will come out of smelling of roses either with a job or something else, either way it's life and in the end what goes around comes around, karma, has a way of sorting out the good from the bad in the end,. no matter how long it takes, if you stick at it, something always turns around 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    That's a really great attitude to have @zakblood! Have you got any other interviews lined up?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    i'm sending off jobs atm at around 1 to 3 a day, have my main summer holidays after girlfriends sons wedding so will be awol for 2 weeks, still sending off while away, but atm nothing has a end date of before the end of the month, so not atm, which is good for my hols, but not so good if i want to reach my xmas target of getting a job before the tribunal date comes, which should be around June to July maybe next year lol
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    Well it sounds like you're doing great. Something will come up eventually!
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    It sounds like you're being really productive. We'll keep our fingers crossed for you @zakblood, you're doing great! :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    edited August 10
    thanks both of you, was at my girlfriends sons wedding yesterday and got a phone call, and yes it was on mute and to emails, all saying the 3 i had gone for i hadn't been successful in,

    "Many thanks for your recent application for Head of Maintenance - Care Home within Barchester Healthcare.

    After careful consideration, we regret to advise you that you have not been selected for interview on this occasion. It has been a difficult decision however, we have had a number of applicants who more closely match our requirements for this position.

    Due to the number of applications received, we are not able to give feedback.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interest that you have shown in Barchester Healthcare and wish you every success in your future career.

    Kind Regards"

    "Thank you for your application for the above position.

    We have given your application careful consideration and on this occasion you have not been successful.

    We hope you will not be deterred from applying for any other vacancies in the future.

    We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the interest you have shown.

    Yours sincerely,"

    so 2 emails and a phone call, it's all feedback all the same, generally imo the jobs already gone, or someone with more resent and better experience has already applied or been offered the job, which is good for them, not so for me, but that's life, it's never what you know, it's who you know, so again i pick myself up and carry on regardless, in the end i'll up being useful for somebody, as somebody will say i'm worth the chance, but with so many out of work on in work and wishing for a change already trying, it's somewhat harder for those like me with no work experience from the last 20 years and also a resent back injury, so don't blame them either, i always knew it was going to be hard, how hard is something i'll find out once i've done a 100 tries, then a 1000 and then will maybe look at it another way, but for now, it's all positive as tbh there's no other options, to go down the training route again at my age is for me rather pointless and tbh if i get another qualification and no experience, what would it matter in the end, the world is full of those with degree's with no life experience already working on the tills at supper markets, fat lot it did them, if you get lucky your fine, if you don't, pick yourself up and try again, lower your expectations and keep on regardless, as i go for the lowest and easiest with the least expectations i'm not so sure i can try any lower, but will try in a few more months if keep getting rejected, but won't alter the honest approach of first mentioning my past illness or the length of time i had it, and then be positive and also comment on what i had done and achieved, honest to a fault, but 52 years and that's not going to change, no matter how much or how often the DWP wants it, then can lie and change the goal posts as much as they wish, won't alter the fact that i'm a tree who bends in the wind, but doesn't break.

  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    Thanks for keeping us updated @zakblood. How was the wedding?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    wedding was great, grooms mum will ill all day and didn't know if she was going to be there and missed the sit down meal part, but did the morning and evening, so all in all, went well, just back off hols ourselves same as the new bride and groom, different places mind you lol, and thanks for asking
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    Did you go anywhere nice @zakblood?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    my family own a van on the east coast, so go there as many time as we can, it's in the middle of nowhere and is really quite and peaceful and loved it thanks, just phoned up the physio people and made my first appointment, so now have that ongoing for the next 2 to 3 years, so hopefully by the time i find a job, should be fit and able to do it, as so far everything been a fail, but had more than a few interviews, but as always there's either younger and fitter people or with more recent experience, so may take a while longer.

    still can't understand why it's taken so long to be told there's not a bone issue any more, from scan to be told personally it's taken 5 years, seems someone wasn't on the ball, if i'd started physio back after i had it, 2014, i would or should have been perfectly fit and well now, seems no one bothered to tell me, or my Doctor / GP

    seems still in the NHS the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing, kind of like the DWP tbh, useless at times, or over worked, depending on how you feel and how it affects you etc.

    still gathering evidence for my ongoing Tribunal, with replies so far on stage 2 / Tier 2 investigation into procedural errors by the Center for Health and Disability Assessment and by the Nurse from ongoing by the NMC Nursing and Midwifery Council & also the DWP Ombudsman as followed up by my Local MP.


  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    That sounds lovely @zakblood, such a peaceful place!

    I hope the physio helps, have you had some before? I can completely see why you'd be frustrated if this has been going on for so long.

    Do you have any plans for the weekend? It sounds like it's been pretty full on recently. :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    i've just had a stage 2 tier 2 reply from the Center for Health and Disability Assessment, so paper work it seems over the bank holiday weekend, which is fine, as never do much when everyone else is off anyway and plan to work around everyone else, so it's empty when i go out etc, just had my 2 weeks hols, so now plan on doing some draft Tribunal work, then job hunting as per normal for me atm, trying to apply for 4 or 5 jobs a week, and as anything goes, as anything is better than nothing or the £72 PW the government says i can afford to live on, anything will or should be better, so may end up cleaning or caring, either way it's a job and suitable for someone like me, who hasn't done a thing in 20 odd years other than voluntary work, so looking forward to what ever happens, been to Physio before, although 12 to 15 years ago, was rather useless at the time, and did little to help, so hoping for some progress but not holding my breath either, as while no one told me for 5 years i needed it, and also they assess you one week, then never phone or write for 2 months, then all of a sudden contact you, seems either a place has come up, or i'd rolled the dice and got lucky.

    my letter today from the Center for Health and Disability Assessment was interesting, they say they have found the 3 letters / notes on my 3 previous forms where i asked for it to be recorded, my interview for assessment, and while they can only say sorry for the 3 letters, notes posted on the official forms and 2 verbal requests on the day, like everything so far, they have no notes from either the assessor or the test center on the day so can do nothing now about it, which is par for the coarse, so being told it would effect or could affect my claim and not going on with it, and having no one write it done on the actual and factual lol none factual report means little, so a whitewash in everything other than plain speak.

    seems they can call me a women on one page, a man on the next, complain in writing i gave them no medical table data then go on and copy the list i did give wrongly and still say errors on the factual report mean nothing.

    so after i know have been told all 9 errors are proven and there sorry for, they won't over turn still the nurses findings, even those she made up, as she confused me with someone else while doing the report and wrote about family issue, while i had none and never had lol.

    seems Tribunal will have a laugh if nothing else, seems i was a end of day, long day type of assessment when the examiner had already had enough and i paid and still do pay the price.

    and yes no where better anywhere along the east coast, would love the money to be able to move and live there, as always feel better, the air's cleaner, the weathers better, not so damp etc and tbh the sea air does you good, but can't see the DWP letting anyone go anywhere which improves you without taking something else away, mind you now, i get nothing, so careless either, but look forward to waving them goodbye any time soon, as planning on finding and being in work before the Tribunal and may just attend for a laugh, as done one before many years ago, and always found them enjoyable, as they can read, listen and write notes without altering the facts, plain and simple 
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    got another interview next week, and this one is sounding a lot more promising, my questions are?

    i'm in Tribunal waiting for a date  atm and also my money to be returned since April from the DWP, had the letter stating it will take X number of weeks, but same as everyone, there back dating it to the day i was kicked off, eg failed a faulty Medical.

    so my question is, if i get offered a job in the next couple of weeks, as this one in September seems really like i'm first in the Que from the emails and telephone exchanges i've had with the company owners etc,

    do i have to payback any money back dated to me, not that i've had any of yet either?

    and second if i get the job. i've done the math's,

    me and my partner will loose tax credits, my £72 a week and her £64 a week and it also seems like we will loose out council tax help, as i maybe earning more than the minimum, don't get help with health costs, lost that years ago but as we already pay £80 a month, the total amount extra is not massive, but doing the math's after tax we will be lucky if were £ better off.

    so in the end, is it worth it?

    well the answer is rather a mute point, as not having to deal with the DWP again, or the medicals which so far in 5 times done, 3 have been very good and honest people and twice now i've had someone lie, alter data and also make false claims on a so called factual report and then put there names and reputation on the line, which must be really low as it seems when there found to be wrong, nothing happens what so ever so is a rather pointless exercise in proven them wrong and guilty, all been proven now and had the letters from the test center to prove it, the previous tribunal results all saying the same thing.

    so in the end, if i get the job and end up working full time, being no better off, being away from all this in the end will be for me, well worth it, so will also go to the tribunal and make my case, have my pound of flesh and say what's on my mind then see how that goes.

    so fingers cross i get the job, as i never ever wish to be put through what everyone here gets done to them each and every 4 years, jumping through hoops and all they do is move the goal posts each year a bit wider so more and more fall through the cracks, making it harder and harder, just to be mean, tight and say there putting more back into work, never mind those going to a early grave, thank god i'm not one of them, and hopefully won't be doing a 6th test,...
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @zakblood, I hope the interview goes well next week!

    I'm unsure about your question, but I will go find out for you.

    How have you been this week? :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @zakblood. It's really difficult to know whether you'd be better or worse off financially without knowing a lot more about your current situation. You could try a few scenarios out on a benefits calculator and see what comes up?

    With regards to any backdated money, if you win your ESA appeal, you shouldn't have to pay any of this back. Theoretically it would only be awarded for the period in which you were eligible, e.g. up until you started work.

    I wonder if @poppy123456 might be able to clarify?

    All the best with the interview next week. Fingers crossed and let us know how you get on. :smile:
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    thanks for the reply, tbh i'm sick of tired of all these, just had a letter from the Independent case examiner as i've also wrote to them as well on my case, seems i've over turned 6 error's so far on my flawed medical, without even having anything but the most basic of knowledge and without any help either, so more than prepared to go to Tribunal again, but when i see the news https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-49524259 of a sick man with only months to live die without a penny, assessed by a paramedic, who "gave him zero points on everything" like myself, i do wonder why i bother, i'm not that ill, hope to never be, and won't give the DWP the benefit of the smug faced lie's they tell the time and space and will do everything in my power to get away from the system which i was put in, in the first place, never wanted it, or cared for it either, being made to feel worthless for a handout which most can barely survive on while others on PIP and more get cars and whole house altered and adapted to suit and have amassed saving of over £16 while on benefit, the system is wrong, there's still too many disabled playing golf every day and also far too many in work who are too sick to be there, with the state atm not given a dam.

    so thanks for the fingers crossed, i'll post the reply, also had a telephone one which they mentioned i was too honest in my CV and some of the data added wasn't really in my benefit to include but thanked me for my honesty and said most now days aren't like me, as most jobs ask for references from the last 5 years of work, which can't be done by users like me who haven't worked for 20 years so added it into my opening statement on the reasons for not working and the reasons now for coming back into the work force, while i could put down my volunteering as references tbh as i have amassed more than a few of them over the same period, i chose not to, as one school governor and swimming coach and teacher at local and county swim squads plus volunteering at a local computer store to keep my qualifications in date don't really apply for the jobs i've applied for, but seems if i don't get this one next week, then i'll change track and amend my CV to suit the feedback.

    as so far me being honest has got me more than a few interviews and more than i'd ever hope for, so can't complain but as none as lead in an offer, apart from 2 early on which i declined, as care worker using my car and " can you start tomorrow?" didn't inspire me to on the job training hopes as i'd be working on my home from a list of care clients lol, yes i couldn't make it up, so yes declined and thanked them for the offer.

    not that desperate as yet, but maybe by Xmas that will change :)
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Posts: 13,549Community champion Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry i've only just seen this. If you do get the job then you will need to report the changes to DWP and then your ESA will stop.

    If you continue with the Tribunal and the decision goes in your favour then you'll be backdate the difference between assessment rate and the group you're place into from the time you were found fit for work up until the date you started work.

    As the Tribunal are making a decision based on your conditions at the time the decision was made then starting working now will have no affect on the decision they make.

    Good luck with the interview! and do let us know how you get on!
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @zakblood, I'm glad this was able to be clarified and the best of luck for this week. :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    thanks, interview went well better than i could have ever hoped, 2.30 hours in total plus traveling time of 15 mins each way, so on my door step, was honest and told them everything of my lack of working 20 years history and the 23 years of work experience and then 20 years of life experience since, most of which they already said they didn't need to know etc, but thanked my for my honesty and will let me know by the end of the week, had a math and English test and then a guided tour around the place, my god it was huge, medical biotechnology site, white suits and all, hopefully it seems you can teach an old dog new tricks, as the younger ones, mostly don't either want to learn, or prefer easy jobs, so fingers crossed, and never had such a long interview and been so well received and looked after, felt more like a royal tour than a work placement visit, disabled friendly and will alter anything and all to suit, so my dream job if i'm offered it, will post asap either way, but may'ed my week just going either way,...
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @zakblood, I'm so glad that it went well, and that they were so welcoming! I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    thanks, waiting now for the check in the post from the DWP has had no money off them since April and a letter offering my a job, would except both on the same day, or either tbh, money's nice, but telling the DWP to get stuffed will be so much better, being forced back into work, when one side says your not ready for it atm and telling you it will be 2 to 3 years of physio to get the muscles back to normal, strong enough to hold the spine correctly, and the DWP who say's other wise, but hoping to leave the DWP once and for good and will do my best in the market place and work, holding my head up high and also 2 fingers every time i pay my way in future 
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    today had some good to great news, no not the check, back dated to April, so still poor in money but smug in the ways of the DWP now is starting to unravel before my ever eyes, and no letter offer me the job as yet lol.

    the Independent case examiner is willing to take on my case, as now with the stage 2 tier 2 reply from the assessment center done.

    stage 2 tier 2 reply from the Center for Health and Disability Assessment has agreed there is enough proof on my submitted report to over turn and say sorry for 4 findings, but yes they still are agreeing to the 0 score, which isn't my point of going ahead, it's the clear and simple 6 points which now have been proven are false and wrong she the nurse made in a so called factual report, making her the nurse somewhat of a well, can't sat a fiction writer as yet, but enough to cast more than a dark shadow on her ability to understand well anything tbh.

    but best news was the letter from the Nursing and Midwifery council who have stated now in writing there is more than enough evidence to take the nurse to the next level of investigation regarding her lack of well fitness to practise, which if found against her will mean either retraining at best, or restricting the right to practise from there governing body at worse.

    a freedom of information request on a given person brings up all kinds of information, most useful and most helpful.

    this isn't about the points scored or lack of any tbh, i'm well beyond the point of even caring to still be in the system any longer, this is now about truth and the ability of so called professionals to lie and get away with it, without anything happening, sorry young lady you met and lied about the wrong man, iv'e not only now proven beyond any fact 4 of my points, which brings into question my other 2 points and enough now to hopefully end your right to practice hopefully, i never wanted this, and never meant it to happen, but if you lie often enough and put out a report full or lies and error's and in the end call it factual, one day you will meet someone like me, who will take you and bring you down or make it so hard, you will be proven in a court of law to be not so professional that you have made out to be or think so smugly you are,...


  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    edited October 17
    update, well now 6 months of job hunting behind me,
    well so far,

    nothing, 20 odd phone interviews, 20 plus face to face interviews, been advised to alter my CV, far too honest, so done it, still no luck, was advised not to dwell too much on the past, eg not working etc, so done that, then fell over on the reference part and or the fact most now ask for reasons for the gap in your work history, so in the end, put back in the same stuff, was told to take out, lol, now that didn't make any sense to me, don't be honest, and when asked to be honest, you are, and then still penalized for it.

    plenty of interviews, but no offers of a job,

    seems the last missing 20 years of work history and references being out of date, doesn't help, add into the fact that i my age, nearly all of my qualifications don't equate to diddly squat as none transfer as too old, seems my driving licence is fine and apart from that, nothing else,....

    so again stuck in a time warp, job center don't want to know, seems unfit to work, but found fit to work but not well enough in there eyes either to spend the time or effort helping, means again i'm on my own.

    so the roundabout, keeps going round, the days track into months, and still even with a tribunal taking on the case, i still haven't had a penny since April, and as the tribunal took on the case on the 26th of June, seems i may get something when i'm dead and buried and snowed up in debt, not that they care less either, as last time i did the tribunal, quick to take away, and slow to give back, and never say sorry for the loss, or stress or anything that a normal human being would do and say.

    so i keep plugging away, next interview is on the 31st, and will imo go the same way as all the rest, thanks, but no thanks, taking the lowest skilled jobs and still failing at even getting one, is starting to even wear me down, either i'm too old, been out of work too long, the wrong sex or colour or don't speak the correct language even, yes i've had it all.

    the work forces is mainly younger, so you may not fit in, or find it hard to adjust.

    the work force is all female, so you may not fit in, we're not saying caring is mostly a female job, but we don't have a male on staff atm, so you may find it hard, or to find a partner to learn with being the only male on staff.

    the work force is mainly african or asian females, again you may find it hard to fit in,...

    the work force is all polish and spanish / italian speaking, so you may not fit in or have the ability to communicate with your colleges, "never mind all the clients your looking after are English speaking" so yes my mind bogles!

    so having a gap in your work history goes against you.
    having no work references either alive or still even knowing you, goes against you.
    being ill but now found to be fit, goes against you.

    so being a white male, aged 52 who's been out of work for 20 years isn't going to be easy finding a job, never in a million years thought it was tbh, but this is beyond a joke, nobody seems to even want to give me a try, well when i say none, there was one, but my alarm bells rang so much, i turned them down right after they said i can start this afternoon and when i explained i've never done the work before and learning on the job on my own, wasn't what i'd hoped for as training etc, i quickly put the phone down and ran,...
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    i'm i put off, or bothered?

    nope, i have more skills to offer with age and experience than any 16 to 20 years old, but as there cheaper, i can't compete.

    been told your age is a bonus, as it means most of the time you will be reliable, sadly something i'm told the younger ones now days on the whole aren't, and still didn't get the job.

    been on interviews that lasted 2 and a half hours ,when others i've spoke to were in their less than 30 mins, and yes, still didn't get a offer.

    i'm not daft, i know 99% of all jobs go before the interview stage, as either internal,. or a friend of a friend recommends them, and most of the time without even a interview they walk straight in, again i'm ok with that.

    been told to get more experience, odd that, they don't want to pay me, but don't me doing 6 months volunteer for free.

    been there done that, and while i got the tshirt, in the end it didn't lead either to a job, just looks good on someone's CV.

    well mind looks great, or so i'm told, so why no job offers?

    age and lack of the last 20 years, plain and simple and why would anyone wish to hire my age, when there's how many younger out of work?

    i rest my case for the defence my lords and ladies,....

    lol
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    phoned the DWP today and asked why it is taken so long to get some money, any money, and was told they txted and sent a letter in June stating they can't pay me anything until they receive a sick note, since i haven't had the txt, or a letter, i told them the same, as wondered why it's taken me to phone them as ask why, to be told again, isn't there a system in place to flag items up that aren't replied to? the answer you know already, NO!

    so again and again the owness is on you, the claimant to do the running around and the work for them, only to be told, it's lost in the post, or txt not received isn't our fault, well it's sure isn't mine either, just sent them a copy of the 14 txts they have sent, timed and dated, so while i have a copy of all received, they can't prove it either way, they have even sent me one lol, or letter, funny how the ones you don't want you get, but the ones you're waiting for get lost, yes very funny ha ha.

    so a quick run down to the doctors, and 30 mins later, a fit note backdated, well after a appointment next monday as my docs away on hols, so a new one will see me, so will update monday
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    questions asked, why not at least send me the default min £72 that's mentioned in the letter i did receive? 

    no answer, what about a 2nd or 3rd attempt at contact me by other means?

    again no answer,

    the person on the phone only reads off a screen and doesn't react like a person, only a robot, i can't answer that, i'm just a call center, bla bla bla, but your the eyes and ears of the DWP, your on there phone line, but you know nothing?

    again answered by noise in the background, but no comments, so again you see how helpful the DWP own help lines are,

    not at all.

    so again, nothing, no money and more waiting while i get what they need, which i haven't been informed about, i have a letter stating one thing, which they can't or won't answer, it's dated? but a long pause and no answer, so seems they want information from a letter i didn't get and a txt that was never sent, and will wait for a reply that never comes, for ever and a day, great

    really helpful, thanks Amber Crudd

    added a C as that's what you were while you last had a job, lets hope you don't also get another!
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Posts: 3,487Administrator Scope community team
    @zakblood, have you thought about doing some volunteer work at least to get you back into the swing of things?
    Obviously you're not having any luck on the job front at the moment and you mention that your recent work history might be one of the issues. I'm just curious as to whether that would appeal or if you think it would help you in any way?
    Senior Online Community Officer
    Scope
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    i've been a volunteer for the last 20 years, swimming clubs, swimming teach, coach etc in my spare time, then school swimming, school governor etc etc, you name it, i've done it, and as of yet, none of it has improved or made better my chances into paid work, looks good and free labour for someone is all well and good, but at my age, it hasn't so far improved my chances one bit, yes still going down the appeal front, just to put a nail in that coffin tbh.

    but atm if nothing happens at all before christmas, as that's when my saving will be all gone, hopefully my sick note will have kicked in and then some backdated benefits will be claimed and arrived and then hopefully that will at least keep my head above water for another 6 months or so, so will them be more able to make some more choices on what direction to then go in, with at least no threat of being in debt hopefully, so will be open then to anything on offer almost anywhere.

    atm not gone for any driving jobs or shop work, but if it gets me into work, after xmas it's anything goes and will apply for anything tbh, thanks for the reply btw : it's always nice to know someone's listening and at least cares or means well,...
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 4,668Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @zakblood, I just wanted to check in to see how you were doing? :)
    Chloe
    Online Community Officer
  • zakbloodzakblood Posts: 338Member Pioneering
    fine thanks for asking, still alive and kicking, more to the DWP tries to keep me down, atm, they send a letter saying there paying me, then after 2 months delay when i phone and ask where is it, they say they are awaiting a 2nd letter reply, which still i haven't received for a sick / fit note, my first one asked for in 20 years, yes i can't make it up, one letter received saying i'll be paid back pay in the next 12 to 13 weeks, then 2 months later when nothing arrives, and no letter or txt, which they say they have sent, funny how everything else i received but those 2, but that's another story, so back to the doctor for one, which will be tomorrow, so fine thanks and hope you are all ok as well, and thanks for asking.

    i'll be happier when this is all over, either at tribunal or when or if i ever get a job i keep applying for etc, as never wish to go through so many hoops again ever in my life, for so little and tbh for what everyone is entitled to, won't be sad to see the back of the DWP that's for sure, over 20 odd years, i've seen it go from a very helpful and caring service to what we have left now, pss me on and careless and phone helplines that states we are only reading off a list, we don't know, so ask only to be told, we don't know either and pass you on and on, seems the system is now made so hard, only the hardest of people wish to go the full distance when anything goes wrong, and nobody hardly there to help and support other than yourselves, such a shame as it did used to work and work well for the vast majority of it's users, but now the systems not at breaking point, it's broken
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