63 year old lady in tears. Stories the government don’t like to tell you. 

Our Thursday demo last week fell on the day of voting for the referendum. Lots of bickering was happening on the streets, people saying I’m voting out, people saying I’m voting in, but it was just another ordinary day at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

To say Thursday overwhelmed me is a bit of an understatement. It completely overwhelmed me like it does sometimes. I’m not heartless, or have grown a rock in the place of my heart, nor have I become immune to the goings on inside that Jobcentre. Sometimes I feel it, and it hurts like nothing else because I cannot stand any kind of injustice, and I was reminded of injustice that day. And it hurt.

A lady who looked to be of around pensionable age was slowly walking into the Jobcentre. She was a small, slight lady and I could see that she was very worried, something wasn’t quite right with her at all. I asked her if she would like to talk, she muttered no and walked into the building. Less than ten minutes later she walked out. She looked visibly shaken. I stopped her again and asked her what was wrong, that she could talk to me. She looked up and said “I’ve got a problem, it’s a big problem” I reassured her and she went on to explain. ” I am 63 and I used to work 16 hours a week. I was looking after children and the government advised me to do that. I thought I could retire at 63, but only received my work pension which is hardly anything. It just covers the mortgage. I’ve not eaten and they won’t help me. I am full of arthritis but I failed my medical so I’ve put in an appeal. I’ve had no money except the small pension, but I’ve had to pay the mortgage because I don’t want to become homeless. She then explained that she had used food banks three times, but they were trussell trust ones and they wouldn’t let her access them again. She then said ” they are telling me that I’ve got to lie and say I’m fit for work. I can’t lift anything, my joints are really bad. I’ve never told a lie in my life. Who’s going to employ an old woman of 63 years old riddled with arthritis?”

It was then when she started crying. My heart broke. She’s someone’s grandmother, she’s a woman who should be enjoying her retirement but instead she’s cold, hungry and desperate. The whole team was shocked. I handed my leaflets to my comrade and took my purse out of my bag. I don’t have a lot, sometimes nothing myself but I will not let anyone suffer. Hunger is the worst feeling ever. I took her to the shop next door to the Jobcentre and bought her the basics that will last her until she attends the places that’s she’s been signposted to.

You might not understand why this upset me so much, but it touched my heart. Why? This government, not content with chasing the young, pregnant, middle aged are now chasing the elderly. By putting forward pensions for ladies they have made their futures become very unstable. It’s nit good enough saying that they will have to manage. All their working life’s they worked to aim to retire at a certain time but the government changed the goalposts. Very wrong.

As for the lovely lady, she has been signposted and looked after. She said she would return this week, and if she does I’ll be introducing her to a group that might help to give her a brighter outlook on life and help her with her everyday worries.

In my eyes it’s simple. You should look after the elderly, they took the time to look after us when they were younger. Making them suffer like this is deliberately cruel and I can never forgive the government for that.

Every week Charlotte sees desperation at first hand – outside the job centre | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jun/23/charlotte-sees-desperation-first-hand-job-centre-benefits-system?CMP=fb_cif

R

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27 thoughts on “63 year old lady in tears. Stories the government don’t like to tell you. 

  1. At 63 that lady currently becomes entitled to claim 100% Pension Guarantee Credit. Why did the Jobcentre not advise her to contact the Pension Service and claim? Is this another sign of Ashton-u-Lyne JC’s awful attitude?

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      1. Depends when you become 63
        6 January 1953 to 5 February 1953
        6 November 2015
        6 February 1953 to 5 March 1953
        6 January 2016
        6 March 1953 to 5 April 1953
        6 March 2016
        6 April 1953 to 5 May 1953
        6 July 2016
        6 May 1953 to 5 June 1953 6 November 2016
        6 June 1953 to 5 July 1953 6 March 2017

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      1. Looks like they’ve removed the five years that you can receive PGC before you reach your actual pension age. I became entitled to 100% PGC in 2010, I started drawing my state pension in 2015.

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  2. it just breaks my heart. This woman could be any of us, we don’t know the system & the job centre would certainly not tell us. You do a great job every week helping people.

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  3. There is a lot of support on the Tory right-wing for the idea that state pensioners are receiving a benefit and should be made to work for it.

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    1. Yes, the idea was mooted by the (un)Priti Patel. Patel should be reminded that the State pension is not a benefit, it’s our money paid for by four decades’ worth of N.I. contributions and taxes. Only Pension Guarantee Credit is a (means tested) benefit. In passing, check up on Patel’s claimed expenses. She does very well out of our taxes.

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  4. all part of their aktion t4 plans kill off those on benefits yet in the darkness a light shines on these small deeds of those that fight back against this evil evil men whose only thoughts are to take away the the crumbs off our tables yet bleak it seems is openned a bit by the kindness given by those who have very little untill that day were evil is outgunned by the good jeff3

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  5. I don’t have a lot either but would love to send you a little something to help this lady or another person in need. Please mail me and let me know how I can help someone who is suffering.
    I despise what is and has been happening these last 6 years and it also breaks my heart that so many are suffering.
    I know I’ll be in the firing line in the future as I need to move from this bungalow as I can’t bathe or get around it properly – I know when I move they will call me in to see if I can have PIP but until then, I have a little money that I could let you have to help with those who are struggling to eat 😦

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  6. I thank heavens that there are still decent, caring people like you and your fellow helpers around.
    Is there any way you can do a Crowdfunder, or something of that ilk, to help raise funds for anyone else you come across like that poor lady?

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    1. Thank you so much. It’s hard to gauge though because you never know when folk need help. I have sorted food parcels out to hand out for the next time this happens. I’m linked up to various local organisations. Money is always a problem though, because whilst campaigning I can’t work and comrades travel a distance to join us. I have sent out a letter to all local unite community members though to join us if they can. Everything crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve done more in your little neck of the wood than most people would have, so power to you for that 🙂
        If you ever set up a fund-raiser, do let me, and all of your readers, know please?
        I’m sure that, between us all, we’ll be able to advertise it as widely as possible, thus allowing more people to help you, even if it’s only the odd pound or two, so that you can help more people in that situation 🙂
        My Mum’s favourite expression is: ‘Every Little Helps’,
        and those pennies and pounds would soon mount up to an effective way of helping others in need 🙂

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      2. Course I will do! Thank you so much. I used to put a link to my PayPal but the amount of abuse that I got was unbelievable. People want us to do this but do not want us to get any help at all. They think we should live on nothing at all

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Am horrified by this! The WASPI women have really been screwed over by this government. 😦

    I may be repeating myself here, but another nasty thing Jobcentres do is not allow people to use toilets in them. I’m constantly amazed at how many people aren’t aware of this. For ladies over 60 (I’m 67) this can be a real problem – I know when I gotta go I gotta go FAST! 😉 Anyway, I made a petition on the government petition site asking for toilets to be available for claimants. I’m half way through the time it will run (all petitions on gov site run for 6 months) but haven’t even got a quarter of the signatures needed to get a response from the government yet. I wondered if I could be really cheeky and ask for some publicity from you? I do understand if you’d rather not get involved. Can send you some links if it would be useful.

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/126184

    My thanks to you for all you and your group do. Best wishes from Liverpool, Maggie

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