sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 I've written about IMPACT in several places.  I think in a very specific case it is unfair. I've been referred to such programs in the past. Usually my attitude towards work was the problem. I may not have the greatest work ethic, but this was not the case this time. Someone just saw that I had been checked into the able-bodied box and made a referral. So far my doctors have been uncooperative in signing the medical exemption paperwork.   I get that my ailments may not be that bad from a medical standpoint, but it doesn't mean that an employer wants to hire me because of them.

I went into the office today to drop off some paperwork. I made it very clear that I only had an hour before I had to go to a physical therapist appointment.  I have tried, many times, to contain my anger and resentment. I know it's not the fault of the staff and their just doing their job, but they ought to be a little more concerned about how unfair it all seems to people in my situation. I called the staff worker back trying to see what questions she has, and tried to get her to move on to questions that I thought were relevant.

I started yelling at her. I've tried for so long to keep my anger against these people contained, but it always comes out eventually. I always feel guilty for doing it.  I'll have to end up apologizing, but the anger is not going to go away as long as I must continue this. The job search makes me feel worse, and you can't put down that you were sick or in too much pain to search for a job that day.  

I'm only doing it because the benefits are needed in the house right now. Money is tight right now and even the housemate is having problems.

At least new shoes are on the way. That's something...




sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 I have learned that there is a word for the type of program I and others have been forced into. It’s called workfare, and the idea started, as many of these terrible ideas do, in the United States. It started the idea that people on welfare are caught in a cycle of dependency caused by moral deficiency, and the only way to correct this is to enforce ethical behavior upon them. Of course, no one in the United States is all that concerned about workfare programs or their effectiveness or lack thereof, but similar programs have been tried in the United Kingdom. The most recent example resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people.  The ministry responsible for administering these programs denied it at first, but since had to admit that some of their overreaching policies had caused these deaths.

If similar statistics occurred in the United States, no one has tracked them. I do know plenty of people who are as bas or worse than I am who have been force into these programs because it’s the client’s responsibility to report the changes to the state agency that administers these programs.   They are not forced into work assessment tests, unlike what seems to be happening in Great Britain. However, I did see one article that said that these programs count success by the number of people who go off of the welfare rolls, not by how many people who actually find work through these programs.  Many of the cities that tried these programs saw an increase in homelessness. The only exception to this rule was, oddly enough, Indianapolis. Indianapolis’s program had one key difference from the IMPACT program that later replaced it, the contract the workfare agencies had with the city paid the agency based on its successes, and success was defined by placing people into a job that met certain wage requirements.  When the state replaced Indy’s program with IMPACT, the statistics became comparable to other cities of its size.

No one in the United States seems to be concerned about people with disabilities who are forced into the program.  The Puritan work ethic, which continues to damage this country in so many ways continues. If a person cannot get out of the program, most people assume that they are faking a disability.   Sometimes even if a person can get out of the program, people assume they are still faking and just looking for a way to game the system.

I once subscribed to the attitudes held above. I might still resent being forced into a workfare program, but I would acknowledge that they are trying to help me and get me to the point where I want to be. If I’m honest, I will say that I’d still like to be there. My reality, however, is different. I know what my limits are.  Almost every single entry-level job requires me to stand for long periods of time. I cannot do that right now.   I’ve even been told to lay off driving, but I cannot do that as long as I have to stay in a workfare program, look for work and go to interviews. No one seems to think that the requirements of these programs make certain illnesses or conditions worse.  Even if the people who run them do realize this, they seldom care.

At this point, I cannot help but think that Workfare programs exist to give middle class people who could finish college government jobs and to give politicians something to point to and say, “Look at how many people this program got off of welfare.” The fact that the need for food pantries has gone up, that an increased number of people are homeless, and that -- at least in Great Britain – there are documented deaths caused by these programs has not caused any politician to rethink the idea of workfare.

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/24/nyregion/woman-s-death-prompts-concerns-over-workfare.html

Workfare Death List UK

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
 I am going through several emotions. First, I feel happy, although I'm not sure why. I’m  feeling a sense of relief know that I have a satisfactory answer about why I’ve had ankle problems since I was a child. The third bit comes from an annoyance with the job search program. Yet another part of me feels the need to ask what boundaries are in a social context so I can avoid crossing them.

As for the feeling good, I know to enjoy these moments why they last. They will be gone soon enough, especially with the start of fall only weeks away.  I’m not looking forward to it exactly, but I expect it will be slightly easier this time around.  The colder months of the year will not be pleasant, but this time I know what to expect from them. As for the obsession, I know it will pass eventually. It does make me wonder if other joints might be similarly affected, however.

Yesterday’s interview ended quickly when I said that I could not stand for an entire shift.  I expect if I’m just as honest about my health problems that today’s interview will go the same way. If I can’t get factory work because of my condition, I should not expect to get work in a restaurant, either.  Employers aren’t going to make accommodations for a new employee if they do not have to do so.

It’s going to be a long day, and I’m woefully unprepared for it.  I hope the paperwork from my doctor’s office that will exempt me from IMPACT has shown up today. I meet with the caseworker sometime after the interview for Fuddruckers. I do not know what has caused the delay, but it should have been received and processed by now.

sinisterporpoise: (Default)
I don't know if IMPACT considers this, but if these appointments are necessary to get me back to a point where I can accept a job, if such a thing is possible, I think they should count. I'll have two doctor's appointments, a therapist appointment, and an appointment with a a physical therapist this week, which will probably take up about 5 hours total if you include travel times, which in Terre Haute almost always include getting stuck behind a train once in a while.  This twenty hours a week thing is forcing me to spend spoons that could be better spent elsewhere.

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