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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 January 2018

Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

Pressure and stress can be overwhelming, photo Bhernandez (Creative Commons)

Pressure and stress can be overwhelming, photo Bhernandez (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

A disability benefits claimant

As an individual with mental health issues, it has been my misfortune to experience directly just how capitalist society, Britain 2017, treats such people. I can't imagine that my experience is particularly unique.

I was due to have my 'work capability assessment' for disability benefits in November. I was lucky enough to have the valued support of a comrade to accompany me. This cannot be understated. It is vital, wherever possible, that claimants enduring this process find someone to accompany them.

My first assessment was cancelled due to the correct healthcare professional being unable to see me. This is due to my having an eye condition that requires I be seen by a specific specialist.

Whether or not that is an optician is irrelevant. This is solely for purposes of liability. It has nothing to do with diagnostic knowledge; it's just that the Department for Work and Pensions doesn't want to be sued.

So, very apologetically of course, I am sent home, along with my companion. That's it. All the waiting is for nothing. All the stress is ignored. You are reduced to a clerical error with no thought for the consequences.

Once again I was able to call on the much-valued support of the same comrade. Unfortunately the second appointment got me no closer to an assessment.

Despite their having my contact details, I learned upon arrival that the appointment had been cancelled. This was because they were or are - who knows - going to offer me a home appointment instead.

So this will be at least three times of being put through the anxiety of anticipating an experience necessary for my continued financial security, where the consequences of failing are devastating.

There are thousands of people, many a lot worse off than I, having to endure this system. It will only get worse with Universal Credit - as if it hasn't already. For the sake of our society we must stop this government.

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In The Socialist 3 January 2018:


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Tory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

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Related links:

Work Capability Assessment:

triangleBenefit bullies

triangleWe are all Daniel Blake: no more deaths from benefit cuts

triangleSocialist Party members join disability rights week of action

triangleThem & Us

triangle'Welfare reform' - an avalanche of misery

Stress:

triangleGCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

triangleTeacher recruitment falls by a third - cut workload, not funding

triangleOne in four teenage girls depressed - crisis made worse by cuts

triangleThe stress and hardship faced by nurses

Bureaucracy:

triangleChina after the 1949 revolution: the benefits of the planned economy stifled by bureaucracy

triangleTV Review: Chernobyl - Workers' heroism vs sclerotic Stalinism

triangleLeon Trotsky's struggle against Stalinism

Benefits:

triangleFighting Universal Credit

triangleCancer stats reveal deep inequality

Disability:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Disability rights and socialism

Claimants:

triangleFraudsters thrive and claimants suffer in despicable Universal Credit scam

Healthcare:

triangleReverse the GP cuts

Health:

triangleLincolnshire health visitors strike

Pensions:

triangleGeneral secretary election: Marion Lloyd - standing for action on members' pay, jobs, pensions and more

Britain:

triangleThe Cameron Tory legacy

Mental health:

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

Universal Credit:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Universal Credit - Universal Misery

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