Monday, 18 April 2011

The Brown Envelope

imageIt really wasn’t a very big thud as the brown envelope fell onto the mat. That sound was reserved for some part of my insides as they nervously rearranged themselves once I realised that the envelope was for me and that it was from the dreaded DWP.

At this juncture, I would point out that I know I have done no wrong: I haven’t exaggerated my claims – quite the contrary really, plus I’ve been diagnosed with yet another physically disabling and degenerative disease – with symptoms that are already severe - since I last made any claims.

My circumstances haven’t changed, I still can’t work, (I haven’t even broken the law against enjoying myself), but thoughts of dread still cross my mind, as I muttered, “Oh, no …” to myself, as I began to open the envelope.

A call had to be made to my DWP office to check my entitlement last week, in order for me to be reimbursed travelling expenses to a hospital visit. Had this sparked a review, I wondered. Had I been called up for the reassessment to be shifted from Income Support (on the basis of my incapacity), to ESA?

All manner of things raced through my mind, just as assuredly as, we are told, our whole lives play out in moments of danger or near-death.

Kaliya Franklin remarks hereI sobbed down the phone to a friend in impotence and sadness that a Britain, once so great was putting this kind of pressure on it's own citizens …”

And that is how we are being made to feel: just the sight of that envelope filled me with enough dread for it to be very unpleasant and stressful.

As it turned out, all it was telling me was that the rates of my Disability Living Allowance benefits have gone up from April 13th and I’ll be getting more money, so I can rest easy … that is, until the next brown envelope arrives.

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