About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I'm co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Wednesday 9 March 2011

Arse, elbow ... elbow, arse. Try and work it out ...

Two hours before his tribunal to appeal against the decision not to grant my autistic/learning disabled son ESA it is cancelled because the ruling has been overturned already. This happened because apparently the appeals panel only looked at his case this morning. 

So good news, except that I, my son's careworker and, most importantly, my son have been put through huge amounts of unnecessary stress (and work, in the case of the careworker, the benefits officer at the local council, and me). I have rearranged working hours, cancelled appointments, 
called in favours, and driven miles to and from his supported accommodation for meetings for absolutely no reason. Good job I am just a parent of a young disabled adult and not a human being.

Not to mention the extra cost. Because how does outsourcing the process to decide who is entitled to ESA and who isn't to people who haven't got the first idea about the impact of that disability save money? They might get paid less than someone who knows their arse from their elbow, but this five-month long appeals process has cost far more than it would have done to employ someone with the requisite knowledge and intelligence in the first place.


  1. It's a travesty Debra. I'm glad it was overturned but what a process! The same thing has happened here in some realms. All to save money! The contract goes to the organisation that can provide the services cheaper...which to my mind is completely inapproriate when it comes to community care of human beings in need..this corporatisation can't work for so many reasons and I believe over time, decades maybe, our governments will take back the responsibility to provide quality care, directly.

  2. I wonder if they left it till the last moment in hopes that you'd lack the persistence to see it through; that certainly seems to be the SOP for so many people doing this sort of thing. Us people are the grit that stops the machinery of administration running smoothly. I remember reading Little Dorrit and thinking how little had changed since Dickens' evidently impassioned portrayal of the Department of Circumlocution.

    Well done, anyway.

  3. My son remarked that the experience had destroyed his dignity. This is not right.