24 May, 2006
I dont know whether its because I am just plain and simply unlucky or its just me but yesterday was the most confusing day I have ever had with the benefits agency. For over a week I have been waiting to get paid and I went to the post office yesterday morning to find only twenty two pounds in my account. So off I went to the job centre to be told the twenty pounds was my income support top up and the rest would come from incapacity benefit and a cheque was sent out last week. Seeing as I am no longer on incapcity this was confusing but this was then sorted and it seems I don't get quite enough employment benefit and the rest is topped up with income support anyway I told them I had not received the cheque. So I reported it as not received and was told I couldn't get a replacement until they had that cheque back. I understood that but then I made a claim for a crisis loan as they advised and not so promptly got refused, after being in the job centre for three and a half hours. So basically I'm left with nothing for another week. How can anyone tell me that my past does not affect any decision that is made? When I keep getting refuse the basic things. I have to be honest and admit my history with the benefits department has not been the most lets say the most honest as I do have around nine incidents of fraud between the years 1986 and 1998. Since those days I have transformed my life. I am no longer a drug addict I am no longer homeless and I no longer try and cheat the system and just to add every time I cheated the system I paid back what I cheated the department out of or went to prison for a short while. Am I still a victim of my own past? Is it my own fault that the benefits agency still doesn't believe me when I tell them I haven't received a payment? Did they take into account that last year when they sent me two cheques for the same amount I didn't cash them I went to the agency and queried them. Also when they were told I was working I got them a letter to tell them I wasn't getting paid a penny it was voluntary. All this only makes me more determined to find work but that's not that easy with a past like mine. I do regret not being the model citizen but I love what I do now and the thing is would I know what I know now if I hadn't lived the life I have. It's funny but yesterday after swearing blue murder and nearly getting myself arrested, today I am calm and collected in the old days I would be sort of out for revenge and trying to figure out a way of cheating the system but today I'm thinking about what other people are going through who have had the same thing happen to them. I have had some strange days just lately. I guess there are more to come.