Monday, 21 December 2009

I feel a potential disaster coming on

I had my thirteen week review today.

I feel sick.

It started off like the usual interview.

How are you doing?

What are you doing to find work?

What proof do you have of your search for work?

And so on.

Then I asked about the Mortgage Interest Payments "thing" that kicks in after thirteen weeks.

My advisor looked it up.

It's not automatic.

What? I went very quiet and pale at that point.

It's not automatic. There's a form to fill in, it has to be given to the mortgage lender to fill in their part, it gets returned, the payments are calculated and then the payments are made to the mortgage lender.

So, can I have a form please?

You have to apply for the form.

What? I asked, getting even quieter and paler.

You have to ring up and ask for the form to be sent to you.

Panic started to grip me.

Whywasn'tItoldaboutthisbeforeIwastoldthatIwouldbepaidthebenefitafterthirteenweeksmymortgageinterestpaymentisdueintheNewYearandthere'snowaythatthepaymentwillbemadeintimeit'lltakeweekstoprocessthatformand....

Well, we can't help you here. You'll have to ring up and ask for the form.

I left making rapid, panicky calculations about how much money I had and how much I needed to meet the bills, mortgage payment, loan repayment and get to London for Christmas.

Each calculation, whether mental, with the calculator on my mobile 'phone, on the back of an envelope or sitting down as calmly as I could with a calculator and access to both mini statements giving up to date information about both my accounts said the same thing.

There won't be enough money.

When I rang the JSA Helpline, I was not reassured.

The form will arrive by first class post but there were the usual provisos about it being the run up to Christmas and how the post is delayed.

Oh shit.