So I had my claiment commitment review at the job centre today. First time I’ve been in 5 years after being full time employed for the last 3 and a half year and caring for the last year and a half.
I have been caring 35 hours+ for my father who suffers with a rare mental condition called capgrass delusion along with diagnosed schizophrenia. Around about 10 months ago my mother who does not live with my father had a very severe stroke and has left her unable to use the left side of her body properly. This left me providing care for both but my father had his money reduced for me claiming the carers element off universal credit and it left him almost £70 a week shorter.
My mother lives with a partner (also severely disabled) so would not be entitled too SDP so I will be claiming the carers element from her when her pip claim finally comes threw (she applied well over 8 months ago for this and has received a letter telling her they have everything they need)
I also work self employed for Amazon flex (driver) deliveroo and Uber eats (cyclist delivery) which allows me to be very flexible to work around my caring. Most of the time jobs will come threw on the go I.E I will receive an offer to work an hour before hand. I have explained my current situation to UC work coach today who totally dismissed everything I had told her and said they would have to wait untill my earnings report comes in to see if I am earning enough to justify me not applying for any job they want me to apply for up to 90 minutes away and have to attend weekly interviews at the job centre even if it means I lose out on potential work I could be doing instead. I explained this is not currently viable for me in my current situation with my caring responsibilities and to attend weekly appointments will decrease my earnings potentially. To which I was simply told you can only be considered for caring if you get the caring element which I have read different on bennefit websites stating that a work coach should take into account anyone who has caring responsibilities for up to 20 hours and over if they are not receiving the element.
I am not asking the job centre and my work coach to tell me to stop looking for work and to never be called in. I am just asking them to show a little bit empathy and understanding to my current situation. To take into account that I do provide regular care and that I do work on a self employed basis. My current claiment commitment that has been drawn up on my UC journal has no mention off my self employment or my caring role and they are just treating me as someone who has been claiming bennefits for the last 5 years or something.
I am not being funny but I think the country would bennefit if there was no such place as a job centre and it went fully online/phone lnstead. The government would save millions on not having 100s of job centres all over the country which most of the time provide a useless service by untrained under pressure over worked work coaches who just see everyone as a checklist they need to check off their list no matter of there situation.
Anyways I have not accepted my claiment commitment and have writ the reasons why on my journal and asked for it to be ammended too my current situation. I understand not claiming the carers wlemt puts me in a work related group and they have to do their job but I know they also can if they chose to do so take your personal circumstances into consideration and stop silly things like weekly appointments and commuting 3 hours a day to work and back ect. I am just thinking about not claiming all together I would lose around £90 a month as after my earnings are declared and all this is all I get from them.