Your friend visits, he is visiting to tell you his mother died. This is after 4 years, in which he was full time carer for his parents, his father died a year and a half ago.

He tells you, and you listen, and you cannot grasp how your friend is going to redefine his life after such monumental loss. And then he explains why else he came, he is embarrassed. You helped him with an ESA appeal no more than a year ago, after his father died. And he presents you with forms and letters, because he cannot grasp why they need to do this again. His disability, resulting from industrial injury that came long before his entitlement to benefit was necessary, it is never going to disappear really and he worked longer than he ever should have, and kept trying to. His money did disappear for quite a while before that too, while he was trying to pay to drive to his fathers ward daily, and he doesn’t understand why after all that upheaval it is probably going to disappear or be reduced again.

He thinks the DWP are there to help, and you have to explain to him that when he receives a letter from the DWP he has to treat it like he is being tricked, and act on it straightaway, making sure there is a record of his action. He cannot grasp why he needs to treat them this way, he knows the women who work at the Jobcentre and they are lovely. You explain it isn’t them and they are also very unhappy. What do they think people will do he says. They don’t care I say.

You realise your friend has been allowed to reach his age in a world where the government don’t do that.