Thursday 28 April 2011

Who is the Most Deserving?

Nadeem is a dental nurse. She works full time and has two small children. She's had MS for 8 years and slowly, it has got progressively worse. Her speech is now affected, her hands don't always do what she needs them to do and the daily exhaustion of a long term, degenerative condition has become impossible to bear. She can no longer do her job. Her employer no longer wishes her to do her job. She can't manage the housework or look after her children properly. Her condition will only get worse.

Pete was a line manager at a local factory. He'd worked there for 32 years. His spine is crumbling and he can no longer stand for any length of time. Despite several operations to reverse the damage, he suffers terrible pain, all day every day and can no longer do his job. His employer no longer wishes him to do his job. He's become a Health & Safety risk. His surgeon says there is nothing more he can do and he will need to use a wheelchair within the next year or two. His condition will only get worse.

Mary is an HR manager. She has breast cancer. This is the third time the cancer has returned and she's exhausted. Her employer has been very supportive, but it's a small company and he just can't afford to support her through another round of chemo and radiotherapy and surgery. Her grandchildren do her shopping and clean the house when they can, but they have no idea if she will survive yet again. Mary's job is her life. The thought of losing it fills her with despair.

Dan was a soldier. He served in Afghanistan. After just three months in Kabul, he stepped on a landmine and his left leg was blown off. He lost part of his left hand too. He is extraordinarily depressed. A young, fit man who feels his life is over. He may not always feel this way, but he needs intensive physio and counselling to get over the terrible trauma he's been through. It could take months or it could take years, no-one can say. His parents are heartbroken and desperately want to give him all the support they can to recover and live an independent life again.


Yesterday and today, the Telegraph and the BBC carry yet another DWP story trumpeting the great "success" of Employment Support Allowance. They are delighted to announce that of 1,175,700 new claims since 2008 a massive 887,300 failed to qualify for assistance. That's 75%. Isn't that wonderful? Hardly anyone was sick or disabled after all!

So which one will you choose? Nadeem? Pete? Mary? Dan? Which one should we help? You see we can't afford to support them all. MS, "Back problems" Cancer and amputation are all conditions up for debate under Employment Support Allowance. All have been found "Fit for Work" amongst these wonderful figures.  We are told that our 4th richest economy in the world just can't afford to help them all any more , so which one do you think ought to qualify?

Remember, you can only pick one. Only one in four are really in need of our help, after all. 

Behind these headlines are real lives. Real suffering. Real despair. Most of all they disguise real need. What happened to the 36% of claims that were "abandoned?" No-one knows. The DWP don't keep statistics. How many of those considered perfectly able to work got jobs? No-one knows. 

These headlines actually tell us that ESA marks the end of sickness benefits. Make no mistake, of the paltry 25% who were considered sick or disabled, a large proportion around a further 18%) were then put into the Work Related Activity Group. They were considered capable of doing some work with the right support. After a year, they will lose all of their ESA too unless they've found a job. Just 7% were considered deserving of unconditional support. 7%!!

If you ever find yourself in the same position as Nadeem or Pete or Mary or Dan there simply won't be state support any more to catch you when you fall. That's the story behind these headlines. One day, statistics show that it will be you or your Gran or your Mum or Dad or son and there just won't be any help available any more. At the moment, you probably find it impossible to believe that it could happen to you. OR that you could be as ill as the people above and be found "Fit for Work". I hope you believe me before the Welfare Reform Bill goes through and it's too late to stop it. 


  1. I wish I could get more people to read this Sue. The people I know will read it but its not them who needs to read this, they already know. Its the Telegraph, Mail, Sun and Star readers who need to read this. Unfortunately what they will read is the viscous propaganda against us propaganda even the BBC are peddling. It really is the same propaganda the Nazi's used.

  2. We're in the Mirror today Peter. Also on Fals Econ, LibCon and others. We have to win public opinion and slowly we are.

  3. What's really disgusting is the BBC keeps reporting these things without comment, just parroting the government. They seem to be turning into the worst sort of 'state broadcaster' we hear about overseas.

  4. I've noticed a change in some of the comments on the Mail articles, more people are now questioning the Mail and speaking up for us

  5. But the BBC filter comments and are only showing one's in support of the sick and disabled today.

    Nearly 1000 people have read this post in 2 hours. Let's make it 10,000 by the end of today.

    The Mirror
    The Guardian
    The Inde

    We've won these so far and many more.

  6. Another great article well done, I do think few people are starting to ask the questions about how this is such good news, and where all these miracles are coming from.
    Wait a year go and visit your local jobcentre and watch those fit for working having to sign on and just see how employable they look

  7. This could well turn out to be the biggest strategic mistake the Tories et al have ever made. They're forcing people like us to fight for ourselves instead of relying on the usual suspects.

    Sun Tzu himself knew the value of what he called "dead ground". In one key battle he placed his forces in such a way they had nowhere to run against a superior force. The superior force had more to lose and eventually routed.

    My incapacity benefit is worth a lot more to me than the single glass of wine it would buy some high Tory in one of their clubs. Is it really worth taking us on for that? Is it worth gambling the entire electability of the Tory party on a bunch of under armed and weak skirmishers?

    Who dares wins. We dare. We win!

  8. @Anonymous Indeed. Those with nothing have nothing to lose.

  9. We say this a lot amongst ourselves at Broken of Britain. We were squeezed and squeezed for so long, most of us literally have nothing left to lose. Call us cheats? Whatever. Stop our Benefits? Can't live on them any more anyway. Cut our NHS care and social care? It barely got us out of bed and back in.

  10. I'm sounding a bit bloodthirsty. It's not for everyone but I recommend the Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi. It is available free on the internet.

    I'm reading The Art of the Deal by Donald Trump right now. It's a potboiler but interesting in its own way. Salient also.

    It may not be immediately obvious but beauty and love matter to me. More so, perhaps, than the deficit. People will fight for a dream.

  11. This appears to have gone viral - and the BBC article also seems to have once again disappeared from the front page. I do rather think it's becoming clear that they can try to bash at us by order of their masters, but we're gaining strength. I imagine that's starting to worry someone.


  12. I look to many philosophies for guidance including Bushido. Many people associate this with violence and cruelty due to the right wing takeover of the philosophy but the original teachings were noble and humane.

    This lesson of chance and history may help throw some understanding on today's politics and the consequences of the cruel ideology the Tories and likeminded chums are following.

    I'm a bit crazy and nowhere near as sensible as Sue but maybe this will provoke some interest, creativity, or something to help energise people. We are like Samurai, no?

    Huzzah, indeed.

  13. Lesley Campbell28 April 2011 at 12:07

    Brilliant article and one that makes the problems with the WCA so clear.

    I still find it hard to believe that I was granted passage into that special 7%. I feel like I was incredibly lucky and although the experience of the WCA is one I'd not want to go through again, at least the ATOS doctor I saw was sympathetic to my condition and recognised how unwell I was at the time. Since then my treatment has changed a number of times and I've finally found something that helped me and have returned to work on a part-time basis and stopped receiving ESA. Being in the Support Group meant I did not have to worry about trying to force myself back too soon and I felt relieved that it was recognised how acutely unwell I was at the time. It gave me the space to recover and go back to work when I felt able to manage.

    However I need to point out something to the Tory bashers in the comments. It was Labour that brought in ESA and designed an incapacity scheme that deems disabled people fit for work. It was not the coalition who designed the WCA or decreed that claimants on the old IB system be moved across to ESA. It was Labour and they were just as keen, if not more keen, to get disabled people off ESA/IB as fast as possible. They had targetted getting 100,000 people off IB within a few years (I can't remember the date sorry). I don't believe the Tories have such a policy.

    People need to take off their party-politics blinkers and actually think for once instead of blindly criticising the Conservatives for something they didn't even do.

    The changes to contributory entitlement after a year is something the Tories have brought in, but it was probably in the pipeline with a Labour govt too and it actually wouldn't be unreasonable IF (and only if) the WCA was fair in the first place and put the right people into the Support Group. I think if the Work-Related Activity Group did actually include the people who were capable of "some" work or who could potentially return to work with the right support, treatment and adjustments, then assuming that support was put in place (instead of the awful pathways to work scheme), a year would seem reasonable enough.

  14. I have no illusions about the leadership in any of the political parties. It's pretty obvious to me that the Tories (and Liberal quislings) have it in for us and Labour take us for granted. We're just a political football.

    This is why I support Sue Marsh's efforts (and the efforts of others) on behalf of the Broken of Britain to fight for ourselves like Samurai. We are alone so must turn ourselves into a fighting force - a lobby group that cannot be ignored or swept under the carpet.

    We are the captains of our own destiny. Why give up control to the bankers, Tories, the media, poverty pimps, politicians who would use us as a passport to power, and so on? This is our fight. Our choice. And the beginning of power, real power to determine our destiny, to write our story on the fabric of the universe is realising we have that choice.

  15. Oh well, as we're on the subject, The Warrior of Light by Paulo Coehlo is my handbook!

  16. What am fantastic and frank article. It really puts it into presepctive for those who would believe that 99% of people claming sickness and disability benefits are work shy lazy scroungers.

    I have shared this on Facebook and tweeted it and will contiue to do so until as many people have read it as possible.

  17. join the fightback against atos beginning 9th may

  18. Whilst I understand your desire to protect those in need of benefits your one-sided article is no better than the way in which the government present their figures.

    You forgot to include any form of malingerer claiming ESA/IB and in doing so suggest that they don't exist. No matter how small the numbers are you should have included them in your example.

    With regard to the numbers removed from the list you've not included the numbers that have voluntarily removed themselves from ESA/IB in order that thay don't have to be re-assessed and face the ignominy of being caught out.

    Good luck with trying to protect the vulnerable but don't do it in a way that makes you as bad as the establishment (regardless of which party is heading the establishment at the time).

  19. This is possibly the stupidest argument I've ever read. You've presented 4 anecdotes and told us we need to cut 3 of them, but just assumed that these anecdotes are somehow representative of the people who are being cut in reality.

    Not only that, but you seem to have completely missed the point in the second phase. It's not a choice of cutting cancer claimants or soldier injuries. It is being suggested that we look at people individually. So people in your stories who are likely to be in the worst situation may well keep their benefits, whereas people capable of working perhaps not. They're not suggesting we just stop funding benefits for people with specific diseases.

  20. Apparently we have the 4th largest defense budget in the world. As a result we are involved in conflicts all over the globe, some reported upon and many which are not.
    We also have 16% of the population living below the poverty line and now the benefits system is being "reformed" and the benefit system that the UK population has paid in to for years is being cut because of the financial mismanagement of successive governments and the greedy banking sector.
    I am a Hepatitis C sufferer who had a Liver Transplant a year ago and am now about to start a 48 week treatment regimen that is invasive and debilitating however yesterday, I received a letter from the DLA informing me that I do not qualify for this benefit.
    I am appalled.

  21. Well, i'm off down to Cowdenbeath Market to help another group i'm proud to be a member of. Fife Campaign against charges and cuts. We are a group of disabled people who are campaigning against the Charges and Cuts the Lib Dems and Scottish National Party have instigated. The fight is well and truly on, in Fife disabled people have been fighting cuts and increased charges for the 4 years since the Lib Dems and SNP took power.

  22. Ahhh, I'm guessing that my article has just been posted somewhere a bit Tory! Good.

    Simon - the point I'm making is that 93% of people will no longer qualify for unconditional support if they are sick or disabled. Far from looking at people individually, the Assessment does just the opposite. It has just 15 questions and if you don't fit into these stupidly narrow criteria, you will be found "fit for work"

    In fact they ARE suggesting we cut benefits for specific diseases - any long term variable conditions are very unlikely to qualify. Those considered "psychiatric" in nature, ie ME, those with mental health or behavioural problems.

    I wish with all my heart that my article was stupid, I wish I could wake up tomorrow and find it has all been a bad dream. ALL the people I mention are at risk of being found fit for work.

    Believe me, I know every fact, every figure, every statistic about ESA. If you want to know more, try teading other articles on this blog "Nowhere to turn for the Vulnerable" "Welfare Reform that MUST not go ahead" or "To the mainstream UK media"

    Sickness benefits are to become a thing of the past. We must all wake up to this before it's too late.

    TNB - If, say, 20 or 30% of people were being found "fit for Work" I might agree with your points, but 93% says all you need to know. I will leave the Daily Mail and Express and Chris Grayling to discuss "malingerers" they do it so well. The important point is that they (and Labour before them) are wilfully conflating the amount of "scrounger" in the system - surely no-one wants that to happen?

  23. @Simon

    But these are exactly the kinds of people and levels of incapacity that are being turned down for ESA already; their stories are all over the net. The examples make clear the severity of the condition in each case. I'm confused as to what your argument is.

  24. Just so you know, we're the worlds 6th richest economy. Good article just that fact leads me to question your "facts" in the rest of the piece.

  25. I won't bore you (too much) with my story or situation.... but I'm one of the 93%.

    Not able to walk never mind work... refused every benefit, but still unable to wash, dress or cook for myself.

    No one cares... except for my husband. If anything ever happens to him - I'm literally finished.

  26. That's a bit weak Can't get Worse. It depends which measurement you use. But OK, let's say 6th richest - does that change a single point I made.

    You're welcome to challenge my "facts" but they all come from the DWP own figures.

    Read a few more articles on my site - try the ones down the side on the right "most read" The links are to the CAB, the government's own advisory board, Compass, the prof who designed ESA - they all say ESA is unfit for purpose.

  27. Cases of all the abov have been found fit for work - rates of fraud for IB are 0.4% ESA will be even less than this as the new harsher rules were brought in after that. Many people do not continue to appeal due to being put on less money than JSA whilst awaiting appeal so they drop out as they cannot afford to continue living on this amount of money for upto 18th months whilst waiting for their appeal to be heard. other people drop out because they recover or die. Other people drop out due to stress of the whole thing - or because they cant actually get too the assessment centre on the prescribed day as they are too ill. Also some people cant actually get to the centres because they are inaccessible to wheelchair users etc. I know someone personally whose Dr told ATOS that they needed a home visit for assessment - ATOS refused their Dr's recommendations thus putting their life at risk. Appeals with representation success rate rises to 70% hence why the govt is cutting legal aid and funding for the CAB etc. So the sick and disabled are being attacked from all sides - via the NHS cuts, cuts to care services locally, cuts to numbers in receipt of ESA and DLA and cuts to legal aid.

  28. trolls are actually from Tory central,little shits that they are.

  29. @Sue, ME/CFS is categorized by the World Health Organization as a neurological condition. The DWP class it as a physical (not mental/psychological) condition/disability too.

  30. These arnt made up cases of people being found to work everyday there are more and more, people who think these are exsagerated need not try to hard to find real people. Sooner or later it will be your relative your ex work mate, your friend who you know is GENUINE but they can touch their head and pick up a pound coin off the table so tick tick and away they go on JSA.
    Count yourself luckly your not sick or disabled yet.

  31. Min - You're absolutely right. Long gone are the days where ME/CFS was considered a psychiatric condition. Sadly, in DWP terms, it is considered "psycho-social" because it has no clear pathology.

    It's ignorant assumptions like that I'm trying to fight. Sorry if the article didn't make it clear.

    I can send you a link to these DWP "assumptions" if you like?

  32. i like the one who said it's not just the tories that this concerned but the labour weell if you think back who started it all in the first place gordon brown/tony the war criminal blair between them they robbed this country took all our gold reserves and destabliesed us mind you i haven't found any politician worth his weight in gold or anyother they are all in for one person only wether backbenchers or ministers they are all the same i'm lucky so far i've been out of the country for six months so haven't seen it at first hand but what other country puts up prices and does nothing to help it's people just the really poor the politicians but this article is about the disabled well i'm lucky i've retired i only worked for 45years i don't know if this would qualify me to be elligible for work i think the biggest skivers are the aforsaid politicians but i have for years suffered from several listed deasease but i've been fotunate and been able to work and i feel being disabled is demeaning the ownly the real honest claimants are the scroungers at westminister

  33. "there simply won't be state support any more to catch you when you fall"

    this is why we should stop relying on the state

  34. also. i see that the time period for the rejection of the claims is almost 2 years. and only 3 or 4 of those months were under the coalition government.

    20 months under the previous labour administration but everyone on here (except lesley, above)seems to be bashing the current administration.

    neither 'side' care. the whole lot of them need scrapping.

  35. @Sue: "Long gone are the days where ME/CFS was considered a psychiatric condition." - I only wish that was true. The NHS and DWP alike are rife with ignorance about this condition & others like it. I've been denied treatment unless I agreed to a psychiatric assessment (I refused).

    I'm currently on IB and dreading the day the brown envelope drops on the mat to tell me my time has come. I'm housebound & fairly severely disabled, assessed as in substantial need of social care, but I don't fancy my chances on the ESA merry-go-round. Thanks as ever for posting this and doing all you do to promote awareness of what it's like living on the other side of the coin.

  36. Unfortunately too many took the mickey and have enjoyed a good lifestyle, without genuine illness - depression anyone - at the tax payers expense for the past 10 years and this is the backlash.
    We all know most people on benefits aren't living the dream but plenty do as well as people who work full time on minimum wage, that's not fair either is it ?

  37. Isn't the point that we should be helping all four of these people, rather than hundreds of thousands of people who are making false claims. Yes, someone has to make the terribly difficult decision of where the cut-off comes: what is a genuine claim and what doesn't qualify. I don't envy that person their job. Would you give benefits to everybody who claimed? If not, where would you draw the line? What would you say to the person who fell just the wrong side of this line? How would you balance the country's budget? Would you divert more funds to benefits? From where? How would you distribute the total benefit fund to more people? Would you give less to each deserving claimant?

    This is a ridiculously impractical and one-sided view of a terribly complex issue. I'm sure that we'd all like to be able to help everybody who is in the least amount of need, but your view doesn't consider the practicalities needed to implement the benefits system. I'm not saying that the right decisions are being made, but I am saying that there's a lot more thinking behind the decisions than you are crediting.

  38. Anonymous: but you are making the assumption that "hundreds of thousands" of people are lying.

  39. To the previous commenter, for a more practical and balanced view, read any of the "most read" articles down the side of my page.

    It's impossible to fit everything into one article. Sometimes I'm factual and forensic. Other times it is vital to show that the system
    isn't working and people such as those above are being found fit for work every day. Why do none of you who criticise address that fact?

    Why is it OK that the assessments used have been found unfit for purpose by every major study including the governments own advisers?

    If there needs to be a "cut off point" is there seriously anyone on the planet that a fair level for that to be set is 93% of all claimants? Is 7 Billion a year really our biggest concern when it supports many people who are desperately unwell? Even the government only plan to save 1 billion of it (Goodness knows how those figures stack up mind, with 75% not even getting past the first stage.

    It IS a tremendously complex issue - I could write 100 pages on all the "small" insidious changes that are affecting sick and disabled people. If you put them all together, they make this article look like an advert for fair government.

    Read a little more before you judge, then just do the simple sum. Does 93% sound in any way "fair" or "reasonable" to you? It's not just one cancer sufferer, or one war vet - it's thousands.

    We are wandering blindly into a terrible mistake - those that criticise need to make sure they are very clear on the figures and evidence before they claim to have all the answers.

  40. So you take 4 apocryphal, deserving, cases and make that out to be typical of the system as a whole.

    This is more than a little dishonest.

  41. Whenever I see the phrase 'not fit for purpose' used in association with the ATOS tests I always smile - in my view they're entirely fit for purpose! They do what they were always intended to do, make it socially acceptible for hundreds of millions of pounds to pass from the public purse into private coffers as profit. That's the game plan, always has been, and it's working a treat. Why else would they have gone into it at such breakneck speed? Why else are they pressing ahead with it despite the increasing evidence of how wrong it is? I reckon they're making as much as they can before they get rumbled. The welfare of any individuals in the benefits system was never a concern. You guys are missing the bigger picture - I think criminal charges should be being brought against Grayling, Miller et al myself.


  42. RIGHT. FOR THE LAST TIME. "Depression" is not only a label given to one [very serious] condition, unipolar organic depression, but is also a first line of diagnosis, catch-all term given as shorthand to anyone suffering depressive symptoms. They may in truth be suffering from PTSD (min. 1/3 of war veterans, 2/3 of rape victims affected etc etc), bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, even a psychosis can manifest itself that way initially. Getting a diagnosis can take YEARS. GET THAT? YEARS. And MHTs don't like giving them out because then they usually have to be declared to employers. In the meantime that person will be signed off with a catch-all, usually "depression" or "anxiety".

    Next time you think someone is faking because they've been signed of with depression, consider that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE they don't feel like explaining that they can't concentrate for memories of their best friend being blown to bits in front of them, or their Dad raping them when they were 4 years old; perhaps they don't want you to know that the toaster's been talking to them. Mind your own god damn business and leave it to the professionals. And I don't mean Atos.

  43. To anonymous who claimed that Depression wasn't a real illness. I defy you to try and get out of bed when the world looks black from which ever angle you look at it. The days when you can't see a reason for carrying on trying to live a life that has no point.
    please take your head from the sand and see that The Daily Fail has you blinded by it's rhetoric and blatant lies about so called Scroungers who are having a bad day. It's so much more than that

  44. Bill Kruse - You are entirely right. There is very much evidence to prove it. Trouble is, if I write about it, the very same self-sure people here who disagree with my post call it "paranoia" or "scaremongering"

    I could post links, numerous studies "academic" research dressed up, but they wouldn't read them would they?

    In fact there are several court cases going through at the moment that might help.

    To the person who called the article dishonest, how is it dishonest when people like the four above are being found fit for work every day? That's not an opinion, it's a fact - the DWP figures show it clearly. Also if 93% of claims are found "fit for work" how could people with the problems I wrote about NOT be found fit for work? Seriously, tell me? The only possible explanation would be that only around 200,000 people are actually seriously ill or disabled in the UK. Do you honestly believe that's true? Honestly? Over 10 Million people live with a serious illness or disability in the UK, yet around 200,000 will be eligible for help. Now does my article seem dishonest or might that just be the politicians and media who are lying to you daily?

  45. I see the problem but have to ask what about all the people who do claim beneift who are not deserving, the ones who work and claim, the ones who are fit and claim. And I know many people who do this
    I know this situation is horrific that all the people should be allowed but if some were more honest wouldnt that help?
    You cannot address the issue without address ALL the issue.

    And you yourselves are losing peoples interest the more you talk in jargon the further away you are from the average person.

    I worked for 7 years within the benefits system, granted it was not in the sickness system but there were many many people whos claims were genuine however just as many who wernt.
    I hated that job with a vengence, i was abused and threatened but had to carry on as i had to pay my morgage, no one else was gonna pay for it.
    I also know people who genuinely have NOTHING wrong with them and they claim and recieved benefits.
    I am 45 and no longer work, I cant, I too suffer from depression and have been diagnosed with ME, I have broken my ankles so many times i cannot stand or walk for long, I get nothing, I claim nothing, my husband supports me. I am fortunate but I am ordinary.

    Stop driveling on with your high handed posh words and jargon and start writing so ordinary people can understand.

  46. A really good post, Sue. This whole thing is disgusting.

    I'm interested particularly in the notion of entitlement. I understood that incapacity benefit was only available to people who had paid national insurance contributions - so in fact, people who received IB were fully entitled because they had 'paid in' via NI contributions in order to draw back those contributions if the time ever came.

    Obviously, for some people, the time does come because they get ill. They were entitled to IB, though, because they'd made NI contributions.

    Even rightwingers see that point. I talked to two people earlier in the year, and they were furious that this idea of entitlement to benefits you'd actually paid for through national insurance contributions was being trashed by the government (and remember, these two were largely on side with the government):

    I'm wondering who gets those national insurance contributions now?

  47. Jargon? Do you mean me? What jargon? I'm probably the least "jargony" blogger on this issue of all! In fact, more often I get criticised for talking down to people. Ahhh well, you can't win.

    The issues are all addressed right here on this blog. Take a few minutes to read some of it.

    Yet AGAIN I ask someone : If you know so many apparent scroungers why don't you report them? You'd be doing people like me a massive service. Or do you just "know" them through the gutter press?

    Fraud is 0.5% (DWP own figures) 0.5%.
    People losing ESA = 93%

    Even allowing a little room for accepting that some could work, do those figures not make you wonder? Even a little bit???

  48. "Remember, you can only pick one. Only one in four are really in need of our help, after all."

    This is flawed logic, because that is not a representative sample. You have taken four valid cases, or potentially valid cases. The DWP are saying that for these four valid cases, there are 12 people taking the piss.

    Now you can argue the toss about the 75%, but you are implying that absolutely no-one who is in receipt of taxpayer largesse is taking the piss, something I find even harder to believe than the DWP's claim that 75% of people are taking the piss.

    It's all just emotive hand-wringing.

  49. It's all just denial actually. And not on the part of us crips.

  50. "MS, "Back problems" Cancer and amputation are all conditions up for debate under Employment Support Allowance All have been found "Fit for Work" amongst these wonderful figures."

    Certainly that may be true but that does not mean that any of those found to be fit to work are anywhere close to the symptoms and circumstances in the 4 made up illustrations in this article.

  51. But clowny, I'm not arguing that. (You know it really)

    The DWP aren't saying that at all. All of these cases are standard - for instance did you know that they are thinking of (thinking mind) excluding people on chemo? BUT only if they have it by infusion. If they take it by tablet, that's fine.

    The only people being supported (7% remember) are those who have less than 6 months to live and those who are so severely physically or mentally disabled that they cannot communicate or function.

    I have ALWAYS said that some sick or disabled people would love to work. Just not 75% of them.

    DWP figures for fraud are 0.5% Clowny. 0.5%!!! If those figures were so terribly wrong why hasn't the welfare reform programme of the last 17 years managed to change them?

    Lets assume, just for the benefit of right wingers, that what? 10%? 20%? could actually do some work with support. Again I say, how on EARTH does that add up to 75%???? (93% if you include those who will lose ESA after a year) Why aren't you more worried about that? Why? Tell me?

  52. But they are!!! What is so difficult to understand? I'll try again.

    The ONLY people going into the support group are those who are terminally ill or so severely physically or mentally disabled that they cannot function.

    18% will go into the Work Related Activity Group, but they must attend work related interviews and workshops and find a job within one year or their ESA will stop. These aren't my figures!! They are the very figures in the BBC article.

    All of the examples in the article above will be very unlikely to go into the support group. They may go into the WRAG but their benefits will stop after a year. No matter how degenerative or unpleasant their condition.

    You are told constantly that the "truly vulnerable" will be protected and you believe that, yet are unable to see that 7% cannot possibly cover all the conditions like the ones above - not even some of them.


    Have a google guys, it's easy!! When you start to scratch the surface you'll find 1000s.....

  54. A good friend of mine is quadraplegic as a result of a neurological condition. She can move her hands but has no strength in them, she uses an electric wheelchair. But she isn't lazy - she's involved with CAB, with community groups, local charities etc. She does what she can.

    Recently, the DWP in its wisdom declared that she should could be made "work capable". So they set up an interview for her. Get this - as a cashier in Primark!

    There was no nearby parking and what there was was only for 3 hours. Only the central aisle was wheelchair accessible. The counters were far too high and my friend could not reach the tills or pack the clothes. She couldn't get in the stock room and couldn't reach up to hang up clothes. She was unable to tidy up or operate a broom or vacuum cleaner.

    Needless to say, she didn't get the job. But if this is an example of the government trying to get someone back to work, it was a major fail.

    IMHO it would be far better for my friend, and for the community, for her to be allowed to continue doing her voluntary advice work and benefiting the town, rather than sent on wild goose chases to prove she is making herself "fit for work". But the government wants to save money and persuade us that disabled people are lazy scroungers.

  55. Hi. I have 'depression' and 'anxiety'. 'Depression' and 'anxiety' are made up illnesses. My doctors and therapists have been writing it in my notes for the last 6 years as a joke. They also prescribed me various drugs just for the hell of it. My doctor also signed me off work for no reason. It's been a pretty fun ride. To intensify the joke, I also can often hardly leave my house, sleep badly and during the day, suffer from headaches and migraines, and stomach problems. My mum has recently had a cancerous cyst from her ovary removed but I cannot go to visit her because I am scared to use public transport. I did actually go to university and did have some aspirations. But hey, I thought it would be more fun to stay at home in bed most of the time, constantly worrying that I'm going to lose all financial support, in the knowledge that the establishment and the wider public think I'm scum.

    I was found fit to work. I'm appealing, but who knows what will happen. This on top of everything else [lack of social interaction, the illness itself, inability to look after myself] almost pushed me over the edge a couple of weeks ago when I found out I'd been turned down.

  56. this is very worrying, im currently unemployed but actively looking for work anywhere i can get and even plan to relocate if employment came along, but i have a condition that is progressivly getting worse which could render me partially sighted or even blind and to think that i maynot have the support that i may come to need is extremely scary.

  57. Which human activity exists that where there is no cheating? Answer? None.

    Many businessmen evade paying all the taxes they should. Do we say doing business should be abolished because of the existence of cheats? OF COURSE NOT!

    Some repairmen get caught charging customers for work not done, do we say repairmen should be abolished because of the existence of cheats? OF COURSE NOT!

    Some people running charities, fraudulently siphon of the money for themselves. Do we say all charities should be abloished because of the exisistence of cheats? OF COURSE NOT!

    Many MPs were caught fidling their expenses. Do we then say MPS should be abolished because of the existence of cheats? OF COURSE NOT! Why? Because it would be illogical, counterproductive and fucking stupid that's why!

    Yet this ridiculous impossible standard is routinely applied to sickness benefits by the empathy challenged right-wing.

    The existence of fraud is no excuse to torment all sickness benefit claiments.


    2009. who was in power then?

    March 2010. who was in power then?

    when will some of you stop using other peoples' (and your own!) misfortune and suffering as a political weapon to beat the party that you don't like and who just happen to be in power?

    1. Wow- this is not a political battle it is humanitarian- What our "governments" are doing is harmful to ANYONE who can't pay, be it care/housing/education/health) regardless of whether they have paid into the system that is supposedly our support. We ALL pay tax, and a lot of it-

      I came to the same conclusions as the blogger when I looked at various policies dressed up "empowering" in language but when you follow through the messages that "encourage" us to view each other in terms of "value"? "productivity"- these words ring a bell? The same old crap that "enabled" routine "legalised" murder of so called "vulnerable"(pick a label)its not a reflection of a persons abilities but is easy to code. - Nazi propaganda started by "encouraging" its citizens to "value" each other in terms of "productivity", it spelled out how much these citizens cost to "support" notably YOUR MONEY.

      I don't care what the governments motives are, I care that we've practically lost democracy, that the poor/wealthy gap is massive and it seems to me we are heading towards fascism. People are being pushed out of society safety net because they don't fit the "most vulnerable" criteria...The government is allowing exploitation on a grand scale,at the same time reducing OUR ability to get justice.. what is happening defies reason. who is going to suffer the most? shall we just watch and see what happens because these issues do not apply to us?.... who's next?

  59. They will bash all sign's of weakness and kill off those that are to weak to fight back
    I myself am very weak but if ever found fit for work would go on hunger strike i wouldn't last long just probably a week or two but if it helped everyone else it would be worth it in my eyes and i died for a good cause yes i can live with that

  60. Sorry not to join the praise for the original article, but I'm not really sure what it is saying, and I don't think it is actually much good!

    Are the four case studies real people with real conditions? Is the author saying that after going through the WCA process only one of them was deemed to be entitled to receive ESA? If that is the case then the article could truly expose the WCA to be an appalling travesty, but it needs to say so more clearly!

    As it currently reads the implication is that the author has made these four people up, just to show us what terribly difficult decisions would have to be made if 75% of this small group had to be shown the door. In this light it comes across as merely an emotive melodrama which doesn't tell us anything about how the test does work in reality.

  61. Can I just say, Sue & others, you're doing a fine job of dealing with those on this thread who refuse to understand the implications of the post (and the outright trolls...)

    but for those who don't "get it" (due to lack of experience of the system or whatever), here's a BBC Scotland documentary from last year about the failings of ESA. It was broadcast pre-election, during the period covered by this "new" data, so it's relevant to what we've been talking about today. Watch it and hopefully you'll realise the issue is NOTHING to do with "fakers" - the issue of fraud (which Sue correctly points out is less than 1%) is a straw man to distract people from the real motives of profit and disability denial.

    Part 1:
    Part 2:
    Part 3:

    If you *want* to understand, you'll listen to us and stop assuming we don't know what we're talking about. We know it all too well, I just hope you lot who are doubting us don't ever get sick or become disabled.

  62. Sue, where in The Mirror? They wrote a nasty piece on page 2 entitled "sickie cheats" OK the letters are quite positive, but that article is horrible.

  63. "DWP figures for fraud are 0.5%" you have quoted many times. But what is a fraudulent claim? One with a forged doctor's letter perhaps? Do you *really* believe that 99.5% of people in receipt of disability benefits are genuinely in need of them?

  64. btw, I've also posted this on Facebook. Well done for highlighting what's been happening. To those that point out that this happened under Labour, WE KNOW! People were campaigning then too. Did you think they just hid under their beds and hoped that they wouldn't lose everything?

    Meanwhile last year a general election brought the ConDems in and removed Danny Alexander's spine at the same time. (See YouTube videos above)So should we be campaigning about what happened 3 years ago or against what's happenning now?

    What do you think?

  65. They all need support, but as the article says only one will get it, i thought the man upstairs was only allowed to play himself. This should be given to the mail, sun telegraph and also printed on the front page. Its an endless battle against the media even MSN ran the grayling story today and the comments were ruthless as usual. Its time to take it to the commons, lords and tell them of our plight

  66. God Sue, *catch* - you need some spoons to deal with those so blinded by their own prejudices that they simply refuse to see whats all around them & those so deaf as to hear whats being said by us & disabled charities throughout the country.

    I posted a response to the article in the Guardian today & it currently has nearly 200 recommends. I'm hoping that it was recommended by those not directly affected by sickness & disability but by those who are finally acknowledging the systematic abuse of the sick & disabled that is going on under the guise of "weeding out the scroungers"

    There's no such thing as being more deserving than another - there is simply deserving or not and if a GP can sign a legal document saying that in their opinion, someone is not fit to work then they should get sickness benefits, end of.

    If GP's cannot be trusted to give an honest assessment, please can anyone tell me why they are to be handed 80billion pounds of NHS money & told to run it? Anyone???

    ATOS is the story - they are the ones that need investigating. A private company that are paid millions to find people fit for work & then paid millions of pounds again to find jobs for this same group of people.
    Its corrupt & the people suffering are the sick & disabled and those that cant see it must be blind.

  67. Just in case anyone missed how cross I was at Labour over this too, this makes it pretty clear!!

    ATOS is a private company. No more. First Labour and now the Conservatives are paying them to do a job. The government are so happy with job they're doing, they've given them 1100 new "customers" a WEEK. A contract worth over £650 million to ATOS.

    It is the politicians paying them to do this job though. They have all the facts, they have the Harrington report, they have the CAB, they have Prof Paul Gregg who designed ESA, they have the government's own advisory board, the social security committee all telling them it is causing "chaos" "distress" it is a "shambles" it is "unfit for purpose"

    They know and their doing it anyway. They are even extending it.

  68. Some good comment from Bill and Kathy. I agree that the assessments are designed to save money and that ATOS et al should be investigated.

    Some of the other Anon statements do look like your average Tory/BNP/forlock tugging Daily Mail troll.

    Sickness benefits aside it's just a fact that the white heat of capitalism has failed to generate jobs and working and welfare incomes have been *stolen* to inflate higher earners lifestyles even *before* Cameron got into office. There is no fat left to cut.

    The Tories and Liberals (and soft peddling Labour) trying to "save" people on welfare and sickness benefits looks suspiciously like the same people merrily bombing the crap out of Libya for electoral reasons to "protect" people.

    I get so fed up with the unions, Fawcett society, and minority pressure groups, and Liberty et al because they all act like power crazed out of touch fools who can't see the big picture. They all have a one track mind and can't see beyond their own vested interest groups.

    Where is the parliamentary challenge? Where is the legal challenge? Where are these po faced heroes and OBE winners when it matters? If anything it's their wrong headedness and procrastination that's the real sickness, and it's *their* sickness they're projecting onto everyone else. None of these people or the Tories and their well practiced image of authority are up to it. They're more sick than we are.

    I can't get my head around it but as a serious point made in an amusing way what would a work capability test look like for these people? Could they even pass a straight test without going through Kafkaesque hoops?

  69. Anon @ 21.11 - do you really believe 99.5% of us *aren't* genuinely deserving? Are you aware how much scrutiny goes into an ESA or IB claim, how much medical evidence we are required to provide? How many hoops we get made to jump through for our £60-odd a week?

    A fraudulent claim is one made by someone who has nothing wrong with them. That could involve forged medical evidence, but that seems like a hell of a lot of effort to go through (and continually go through) for an income that amounts to peanuts. If I was a fraudster I'd be looking elsewhere for my "cushy lifestyle"; claiming sickness benefit wouldn't be worth the hassle! So yes, we do believe the vast majority of claimants are genuine. We live this every day of our lives, we share our stories with each other. Some of the stories I've heard, and the experiences of friends & family that I've witnessed first hand, would reduce you to tears. I'm happy for you that you don't have to live this life, I really am. But one day you might, and I can assure you you'd change your tune.

  70. Jan, good comment on depression. I've got post-traumatic stress, depression, and probably an undiagnosed personality disorder if anyone wants to push it. Does that mean I'm stupid or liable to go off like a grenade? No. Doesn't it mean I can't work? Technically, no. But like a lot of things in life it boils down to "it depends".

    If people want a business analogy let's say things are a bit screwed up. Social isolation has shrunk my opportunity market and personal energy reserves are in negative numbers. Just like your average basket case business teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. One push and it's all over.

    Ot's trivial and petty but why is a business treated like a hero when we're treated like zeroes? Power, status, and wealth. Image. Allegiance. Greed. It's just a sad sick game and the reality is we're no different to them. Deep down I think they know it. This hate campaign by politicians against the sick isn't against us. It's just the bogeyman in their own minds. Their sickness. Their fear. We're just the scapegoat being handed the bill.

    Sue, missed your comment on The Warrior of Light by Paulo Coehlo. I keep meaning to check his books out but it will probably never happen but I reckon we all know what we're saying here.

  71. The point of this article is that the WCA is completely flawed and people who are unable to work due to illness/disability are being declared "fit for work".
    If people want to weed out the minority of workshy, then good, but not at the expense of the genuine claimants who can't work. It truly disgusts me how in the last few years, this country has started to treat the sick/disabled so appallingly. Successive governments should hang their heads in shame and so should those who support this awful unfair system.
    S a taxpayer.

  72. Oh Dear! Society is judged on the way it cares for it's most vulnerable. This Green and Pleasant Land cares not a jot for it's less capable citizens. I've been through the DWP wringer; the ATOS assessment, the so-called DLA appeals panel (who not only called me a liar in terms but also my GP and my consultants for the various illnesses and conditions that beseige me). Scrounger moi? Well I guess I must be if you consider the fact that after 45 years of full-time work my GP recommends ill health retirement three years short of my state pension retirement age of 63 and three months. It was almost as difficult to come to terms with the fact that I was knackered and not fit for purpose anymore as it was to acknoweldge the debilitating conditions that I have. Ho hum maybe I can make it easy for society and take up that post which will be forced upon me despite the fact that I work a few hours per week when I can. With a bit of luck my back will finally give out and I will collapse thereby saving 'them' a fortune by dying. In the meantime, mind how you go!!! Don't get sick, don't get feeble. After all there are the deserving rich who must be supported in these difficult fiscal times eh?

  73. Whilst the blog is now getting a lot of attention, I'd be tempted to shamelessly plug my own for the seventh time but I don't want the Tory trolls descending. I'll just say this.

    There is something very misleading about the way the DWP press release, Chris Grayling and the media outlets that repeat it claim 'X percent dropped their claim before assessment'. To my mind, this state *is not accurate*. I think that what this statement really means is 'X percent of those who dropped their claim were in the assessment phase'.

    Why is this important? Because according to the DWP tabulation tool, even after two and a half years most ESA claimants are still in the assessment phase, even if they have been claiming for longer than a year. It seems that people who have failed the WCA and then won an appeal have been stuck back in the assessment phase perpetually on a loop until they eventually give up their claim out of despair.

    This says nothing about those who's claim stopped either because they died, retired or got better; which is indicated in the Incapacity Benefit figures excluding ESA and SDA that show IB claims began dropping dramatically just by new IB claims being closed in August 2008. Almost a third of IB claims disappeared simply because new claims were stopped, so that is roughly how many were generally short-term anyway.

    The graph showing this is available at The Files of Mason Dixon, Autistic. Trolls are not welcome and it is a fact and jargon-intensive zone, enter at your own risk.

  74. The last two videos I did are called
    Who Deserves Happiness?
    Who Deserves Dignity.

    Being ill and debilitated in varying manners and varying intensity has made me look at ways we could support each other rather than attack and hurt each other. I also wrote earlier before my spoons ran out...

    Do I have depression?
    No but I guess it plays a part chicken and egg, I pretty much lost my immune system when I was busy nearly dying in 2004. I wasn't careless it was by following doctors orders after an allergic reaction to bleach in a charity hair cut incident. Medication killed my fragile immune system and did it's best to break me with bad skin and ugliness, especially in the first couple of years, this was along side many other I became the saga of my story titled ~ wounded healer...something the really inquisitive and stubborn go on...oh as in journey things...or phases or as I like to call them extreme research times...I've quite thoroughly personally researched many health conditions and post traumatic issues, therapy mainly administered by self as no-one knows how to deal with emotions in rational ways these days, it takes a bit of irrationality to work out how to best avoid doctors and their medications and keep as healthy as I can, or at least keep my mental well-being tended to.

    Before that I was a single parent who did an art degree, working part time through out. I had a life and a social personality, far more autonomy over my life. I went back to college after a divorce and a rape and finally had access to counselling, which I talked about and inspired many of the youngsters to go while they had the opportunity. After my degree I went on to do counselling skills courses, which I would have topped up with the diploma had I not been too ill to attend the place I secured.

    I was self employed as an artist/craftsperson/Reiki master/budding writer...aspiring counsellor.

    I also know that it has been a needed process, which I don't resent, even though it has been really quite vile at times. I have faced so many of my fears...and I am still here, laughing and joking and enjoying the best things of life, which is the ability to love and be love...and throw huge pity parties when it all gets too much, cry, laugh and get through it again and again, which is why it gets a tad tedious when I am considered to be lazy and fit for work, cos if I was I would be out there, earning in the many ways I know how to. I am glad it has changed to tedious, I didn't enjoy the time it felt like a personal attack on not only me but illness and human needs when we find ourselves in times like these. The safety net is very fragile and not necessarily going to catch you without injuring you more.

    I recently said....

    I don't want to fight for the right to be ill.
    I want to be supported towards my well being.
    Which means being treated with compassion rather than suspicion.
    Encouraged and rewarded, not bullied and punished.

    I keep my passion burning bright and with lessening fear it will bring me back to life. I have faith in life, even against all odds. I believe I have a right to live.

    And breathe!

  75. The OP will have to learn that if she is going to make allegations they will be challenged.

    Throwing around "troll" labels simply shows the weakness of her own position.

    Simply put there is no evidence that three of the four people in the illustration above would be denied anything.

    "MS, "Back problems" Cancer and amputation are all conditions up for debate under Employment Support Allowance All have been found "Fit for Work" amongst these wonderful figures."

    That certainly may be the case and there is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone with those has the conditions you describe above. You are simply taking a wildly exaggerated example, presenting it as fact, presenting it as being representative of everyone who goes through the process and dismissing everyone who disagrees with you as a Tory Troll.

    You really should seek a position on the Daily Mail as a journalist.

  76. Oh but if the assessor decides to ignore things and lies on the report then it is very likely they could be denied as people such as this have. As soon as you become dependant on the state through ill health and circumstances you lose all autonomy in your right to decide when you are fit for work. You are treated as a child trying to get away with no existent tummy ache to avoid a lesson they don't want to face and again held to shame when you throw up all over the teacher.

    One of my aunts friends had a stroke and was off work recovering, her job was being held open for her...they declared her fit for work at an ESA medical, so she went back to work and on her first day passed out and fractured her skull...

  77. These are not medicals with any concern for the health of the 'claimant' and as it is causing more ill health it needs to be changed immediately.

  78. The biggest danger as I see it is that the disabled are no longer personalised. They have become a faceless, generic 'they'. And once you depersonalise someone it's easy to deny them fairness, kindness, common decency. By all means retest people and if they are fit, help them get jobs. But when you start by saying HOW MANY you will find fit, then clearly the goalposts are being shifted. What makes this so worrying is that they are being shifted solely on the grounds of saving money.

    Don't forget too, in this shortsighted rush to get people off benefits, that these people are part of the economy. They spend money locally,which goes back into the economy and helps it thrive (unlike for example, wealthy tax dodging businessmen, who take their money right out of the British economy to spend abroad).

    And don't tell me there is no alternative - there is always an alternative. And there is plenty of money for politician's generous expenses, and of course for bombing Libya....

    And once you

  79. I've been wondering if these assessments and the BS from Lansley et al is even legal.

    If a government department has a duty of care doesn't that conflict with the experts who say the assessments are broken? Doesn't the very deliberate campaign of intimidation by these politicians and their Daily Mail cronies constitute harassment?

    Where, oh, were is the ever so politically correct and never knowingly undersold Liberty? Are the Broken of Britain not sexy enough? Don't we attract the right sort of claret stained compliments at all the right dinner parties?

    Here's another idea. Why don't we approach Carter-Ruck and ask them to bring a class action against the right wing newspapers for Libel? Why can't we take a leaf out of the celebrities book over phone taps and request a police investigation into the hate crime being conducted by the media?

    Are these things possible? Do we have power to hit back that we haven't realised? Labour kiss the ass of the unions because of the money. The Tories kiss the ass of big business for the money. Hey, aren't we worth money? Surely, the potential earnings of a settlement is leverage to us?

  80. Ahhh, bless the poor little patronised OP.

    She will do her best to learn to ignore all evidence, ignore all facts and figures, believe everything she reads and live her life judging others with no knowledge of their lives or conditions.

    93% of applicants are found capable of work. Only those with less than 6 months to live or those so physically or mentally disabled that they cannot function will qualify for ESA.

    This is not supposition, it is not propaganda or scaremongering - it is the government's own figures and own aims. I have no idea why some find this so hard to grasp. Check with the tables on ESA and who is found fit for work and who isn't.

    Taking that into account, all of the above examples are routinely found capable of work. I have no idea what is so difficult to grasp. A lucky one in 4 might get lucky - hence the option to choose the "most vulnerable"

    Is it shock? Can you not believe that what I'm saying is true? Well that's how we feel and why we're fighting so hard to explain it to people.

  81. Yes. I think it is that people don't want to believe that it would be such a poor treatment of genuinely ill people. You can't always spot genuine as a lay person and the assessors are looking for ways to fit the rules to say 'fit for work' not to best take care of people when they most need to be taken care of. Mine had such a cruel smile as he prepared lies and absurd assumptions for my report.

    'Was not rocking.' ~ served as proof I do not suffer with anxieties. 'Meets with mother every day.' ~ a blatant lie, I can't leave the house every day. It was such an insult. My trembling was denied and my problems concentrating to follow his movements for the exercise part, which made me cry out in pain more than once, which was not reported. The fact I had not slept due to anxiety of the appointment was ignored. I had a normal complexion made me laugh. I was a very odd mixture of pale through pain and exhaustion and the acne was flaring so red and maybe a nice shade of purple as it can so often be.

    Oh before you ask no I am not off work with acne!

  82. I think the 'troll' label is entirely appropriate for those who wade into this making unsubstantiated claims whilst accusing others who have actually bothered to read the data tables and DWP ad hoc analysis reports of the same.

    Those who do not bother to take the five minutes required to even look at the evidence can not simply say "there is no evidence". The DWP press release on their website links to the data tables.

  83. These are only words but the assessor who was so cruel to Lainey and the trolls are just showing up their own powerlessness and misery. The masochistic wielding of a pen and fevered tapping of keyboards is just a displacement activity. No need for it to dictate our actions or relationships.

    The realisation that we have the ability to chose, to act, and can sway people to our cause is something they can't take away from us. It's too late for that.

    We are awake.

  84. Hangbitch - what you've said about National Insurance is wrong, I'm afraid. People don't "pay in" to National Insurance so they can "draw out" those payments when they become ill or retire. National Insurance is a tax which pays for the benefits and pensions of those CURRENTLY ill and retired. If you become ill or retire, it is those still working who pay for your benefits or pension. You have no claim on anything you have "paid in" to this mythical "scheme". Paying National Insurance doesn't automatically entitle you to any benefits - whether you qualify for benefits depends on the criteria in place at the time fo your claim, as with any other tax-based benefit.

    I would also like to point out that the same demographic problems that will affect our ability to pay decent pensions will also affect our ability to support those unable to work due to sickness or disability. There are at present proposals for people to work longer before retiring, as well as attempts to reduce the number of people claiming benefits. Both should be considered together as they arise from the same issue - not enough people working to support the number of people not working. There definitely are cases of individual hardship arising from wrong decisions, and it may be that the ESA criteria are currently too harsh. Please, those suffering because of this, keep telling your stories - it is the only way the criteria will be changed. But I do think it is necessary somehow to increase the proportion of the UK population working and reduce the proportion dependant on benefits and pensions.

  85. I say by properly supporting people when they are ill. If counselling were available my mental health may not have suffered quite so badly. If maintenance work was available on my home which they pay under £20 a week towards. I can't get a big enough grant to make it safe and not a health hazard. If I was allowed to get better without pressure from outside sources as well as myself. It is neglected as much as I am. If practical help were available right away for shopping and cooking and cleaning I would have had a fighting chance to get better far quicker.

    This is something I have seen so much since finding out more of the plight of so many people. Some get fantastic care and support, some get so little. When we support each other general well being increases and stress is reduced. When we treat each other with suspicion and jealousy more people keep getting ill.

    Supported we have more of a chance to participate in society, it isn't only taxpayers who are worthwhile human beings.

  86. If we here fail to all pull together we will all end up like me in the long term being told in private that you cant go out unattended and if you do go out will be monitored and can only be for a very short time

    Also your on line activities are cut short and of course you wont be able to complain as your not fit for work remember so you will be housebound

    So we here all need to pull together with sue and her blog otherwise you'll all end up like me virtually housebound forced upon you and feeling like dirt which i still find difficult but have to live with it or give up my benefits the choice is yours at the end of the day

    Benefits or liberty one or the other David Cameron is making it very clear so even a fool could understand

    David i hear you

  87. I wake up some days and think, "Maybe I could work!"

    Then I realise that my bed is full of shit and my incontinence pad is wringing wet, as is most of the bed.

    My carer helps me in to my adapted bathroom and cleans up the mess, throwing everything in the washing machine to use up more electricity and water. I sit and cry in the shower, slowly scrubbing at the mess and disgusting smells, watching it all go down the drain.

    I'm tired after so much exertion upon waking and will have forgotten to take my heart medication, so my carer reminds me. He'll help me to the sofa where I'll sit propped up with pillows and a hot drink, and get me my elephant strength painkillers to stop me from writhing around in agony for a few hours if I'm lucky.

    I spend the rest of the day wondering if I should eat anything, fighting back tears of frustration at this body I'm stuck in, and all the while thinking, "Am I disabled enough?"

    I'll find out soon enough I guess.

  88. The theme that kept cropping up at the Royal Wedding today was how many people saying it made them "proud to be British."

    I wondered how many of these ordinary, decent,average folk would be truly appalled and outraged if they really knew what was being pepetrated in their name on the sick, injured and disabled in this country? That would not make them proud to be British, it would make them angry and ashamed at what this country had descended into.

    I hope today's event reminds people of what it means to be British - a sense of fair play, compassion and the desire to help those less fortunate. A desire not to see large multinational companies profit out of the misery of those unable to fight back. An abhorrence of the media being used as a propaganda tool to brainwash them into thinking the unthinkable and incite hatred against the weakest.

    I was touched by the words composed by Prince William and Kate for their own prayer in the service:

    "In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

    Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer."

    An antidote to the Government rhetoric encouraging people to say "I'm alright Jack, I will take care of and think only of myself and I will deny the right of the sick and disabled to live, if it means a penny off my income tax" (which it won't)

    I watched it alone,isolated from normal interaction with society, in pain, exhausted and deathly pale from nights of only a few hours sleep,waiting with gratitude for the volunteers who had given up their chance to watch this historic occasion to bring me a hot meal. I watched it weeping for the loss of my own chances in life to be happy, active, get married and bear children. A serious accident,not of my causing, and all its subsequent sequelae have robbed me of all this, not just my ability to follow my career, be economically active and useful to society.

    I watched it, like so many sick and disabled peole today, terrified of the State Inquisition to come, which will undoubtedly take away any means for me to survive. I will not be able to jump through all their hoops. And in the certain knowledge that there are many people, including those who have come on here to spread their bile, who will see that as no great loss. Until of course, the day comes when fate hands them a similar blow and they look around for help, to see it has all evaporated and the dawning realisation that they stood by and let it happen or even encouraged it.

    I only hope the British people reflect on the words in the beautiful and hopeful ceremony of today to remind themselves of what it really means to be British.

  89. The earlier comment on falling populations and the cost of welfare is an almost exact carbon copy of the American diplomatic message to the EU made behind closed doors.

    A small note: when Alan Greenspan was over-selling the US economy the majority of investment capital that kept the US afloat was coming from Europe.

    Isn't it odd that all these academics are now questioning themselves over Gadaffi's donations. It's a convenient distraction from US healthcare business lobbying isn't it?

  90. A Royal wedding to make the idiotic British sheep feel patriotic and nationalistic so they accept their austerity like good little children, and pay back off the bankers debts without complaining.

    Nice of the Prince to time his wedding to take of the heat of his relative David Cameron’s anti-social crusade. They really are all in it together.

    Meanwhile the sick and disabled are tormented by the media and the government. What a wonderful country.

  91. ATOS is the story - they are the ones that need investigating. A private company that are paid millions to find people fit for work & then paid millions of pounds again to find jobs for this same group of people.
    Its corrupt & the people suffering are the sick & disabled and those that cant see it must be blind.

    I couldn't agree more. I am not disabled nor do I know anyone who is, but I can see there is much more to this than the government would have us believe.

    It all seems very laudable at first doesn't it? Let's help all these people get work they can do. Focus on ability rather than disability, etc. So why the public smear campaign? If you want employers to take these people on, why on earth would you paint them all as lazy, greedy and dishonest? It seems to me that would make people even less inclined to give them a job. Then it hit me, WORKFARE!

    All those wonderful schemes run by private companies to force the unemployed to work for a mere £65 a week in benefit. Could it be that they want to move all the sick and disabled onto JSA so that private businesses have a never ending supply of free labour to fill low end jobs? Will this not keep wages down for all of us in the end as available positions become even more scarce?

    Mark my words; this has nothing to do with saving the taxpayer money and everything to do with creating more profit for large corporations. The rich are waging war on the working class and they are using prejudice to blind us to the truth.

    If we continue to ignore this, it WILL affect us all in the end.

  92. Labour were gutless but it was big business who effectively killed off the New Deal. This is the same big business who claim they can't create jobs without tax cuts? Hmmm. That's what they said last time.

    The dead end low wage economy and constant negative propoganda that ruins our life chances is also what's killed the economy. They are waging war on us and can't see or won't admitt that they're destroying themselves in the process.

    So, yes. This is why it is beneficial to empower ourselves and value ourselves: to stand up and make ourselves heard not be brushed under the carpet like an inconvenient truth or slink away like a thief in the night.

    If I can put it in a way that the arrogant and selfish can understand we are a £30 billion GDP economy waiting to be developed. That's the equivalent of an oil bonanza and they're too mean to prime the pumps with chump change. How stupid is that?

  93. There are so many more brilliant posts here, I can't reply to them all. The person who contrasts how "proud people were to be British" with our situation, woodlandfae's devastating picture of the farce of some of us working, the EU/ US and welfare but mostly I wanted to repost this :

    "Mark my words; this has nothing to do with saving the taxpayer money and everything to do with creating more profit for large corporations."

    99.9% of people reading that will sniff a little paranoia. BUT, a few of us are starting to get a much clearer picture of the fight we face. The person who made that comment is looking at things the right way.

  94. in fact, I don't have time to check, but I think I'd like to use the "proud to be British" line in my post this morning.

  95. You haven't mentioned the mentally ill either, they are saying people with anxiety based depression, as well as a host of other metal illness's are fit to work too. We're going to end up like America with all the mentally ill living on the streets and the lucky ones stepping over us without even seeing.
    I fail to see how I could get a job in this current climate having not worked for over 6 years, even if I was fit to. Public sector jobs are being cut left right and center, there are people out of work who have only been unemployed for a few weeks. If you had to choose between two people to get a job and one hadn't worked for 5 years because of illness and one who had only been unemployed a few weeks who would you pick? It's not prejudice either it's risk management on the part of the employer. But you try to tell that to someone at the job center and they'd threaten to sanction your benefits as you're "putting obstacles in the way of finding work".

  96. When I had my medical assessment for my Depression the doctor I saw concentrated mainly on my physical problems (which in the main do not prevent me from working) and did not assess my mental health at all. The form I had to fill in, hardly mentions mental health and seems to concentrate more on physical ability. The mentally ill are left out on the sideline.

  97. Thank you for all your time and effort on this blog.

    I have suffered with ME for 9 years and am terrified about this whole ESA thing. I'm dreading the envelope dropping through the door as I know it may be the start of a very long fight to get what I am entitled to.

    I have just had a tribunal for my claim for the care componant of DLA, which i lost completely at the last renewal, despite being on Mid rate care for years before.
    It was a scary and stressful thing to go through and even though they gave me Lower rate care, my citizens advice advisor says I am entitled to at least medium rate.

    So after a year long fight, worry and stress, I still haven't quite won all that I should. I suppose I should feel lucky that I was given any at all.

    I wish there wasn't the very black and white 15 point system with these re assessments, as they just are not relevant to such illnesses as ME.

    MY IB and DLA are the difference between life and death really and the fear I have with having them taken away just adds to the worry and stress I already have trying to cope with a long term illness.

    Thank you again for the posts you make! xx

  98. To all the doubters out there I know from experience the system is flawed.
    I have cancer a brain tumour and was left disabled because I had the left side of my cerabellum amputated, because of this my balance and co'ordination to my left side is shot coupled with the fact that all the cancer could not be removed I am also terminally ill, I DID NOT MAKE IT INTO THE SUPPORT GROUP, I was told I should be working in a set period of time funny as it was the same as my lifespan, I contacted my MP who was luckily an x GP and gave him permission to look at my medical notes he was disgusted and got my decision reversd I am now in the support group the letter from the DWP stated that I was not terminally ill for the purposes of benefit entitlement.

  99. Hi, I’m not able to take part in BADD by writing a blog this year but I’m planning on posting a list of the blogs on my tumblr and I was wondering if I could include yours.
    Please let me know if this is okay.

  100. What about those with mental health problems? If you happened to be assessed on a 'Good day', you're done for.

  101. Peter and Sue I have stumbled across this site and I am absolutely shocked at your ignorant one sided argument that offensively attacks,belittles and conveniently categorizes anyone with a different view to yourselves as mindless moron's as they read the Telegraph, Mail, Sun and Star.What a simple patronising view you have of people, that it's not possible to read any of these papers and not have your own opinion. Unbelievable! I work very hard with 2 jobs to support MY family and pay a monthly premium to protect MY family if god forbid the worse should happen. It's called income payment protection or critical illness.I believe in the NHS and I accept that a portion of all the tax I pay contributes to this and the education system. Where is the line drawn in tax payers funding people who are not responsible enough to take care of their own. Oh of course these are the helpless people who get mindfucked by 'tabloids' Why did you choose not to include someone is genuinely work shy and a diagnosis that they are fit for work. Your are peddling your own propaganda which discriminates against hard working tax payers who keep this country afloat. Where do you think the money comes from to support these unfortunate people? I think 1 in 4 is generous enough. Your argument is childlike and pathetic, and suits somebody who takes more from the economy than gives.

  102. Elton - I'm glad you read the article, and I'm sorry you find it so shocking.

    This particular article is "one sided" - who else will put our side? You have the papers you mention, the government, and on the whole, public opinion.

    The point I was making was that ALL the people in the article are ROUTINELY being found fit for work.

    MY husband works very hard too. MY husband works around 14 hours a day in a job AND as an unpaid carer, SAVING more pressure on "hard working taxpayers that keep this country afloat"

    We pay tax. In fact we pay a much larger percentage of our income in tax than I imagine you do. We could not possibly afford payment protection insurance and as I've been disabled since I was 10, we wouldn't qualify.

    Perhaps if you read some other articles on my blog, you might get a more balanced view? We don't want MORE, we just want to survive. We just want a little dignity.

    If, God forbid, you were to be diagnosed with a terrible illness tomorrow and become totally unable to work, you could well find that in fact, your PPI would not cover you. All I'm fighting for is that should that happen, you would still have a way of buying a wheelchair or getting a meal or being clean. No holidays, no nice new car, no luxuries, just the right to dignity.

    Please, if you think my article was unbalanced, then please try to understand that this is what's happening. I don't want it to happen to you any more than I wanted it to happen to me.

  103. I fully agree that nearly everybody is employable in theory and that encouraging people to consider employment despite their limitations is the way to go. What I don't agree with is cutting their benefits outright without providing decent jobs. For instance, even just blogging shows that an individual can at least write and do some computer work, but where are the jobs to match those skills? Even if a job is available, things like being able to get there or to follow a full-time schedule and meet deadlines even when feelink ill could be problematic. So I would say, yes, cut benefits, yes, advise everyone to try and become employable if at all possible, but also offer realistic job opportunities that take into account those people's needs and limitations, otherwise their ability to work won't actually help them. And despite my opinion that most people should work, I agree that some really can't.

  104. Miss Benefit put me on to this post. She was right. 7% are ill and the rest alledgly scroungers. No compassion.... Greed and wickedness rule

  105. I completely agreed with your article Sue and am quite frankly disgusted by some of the ignorant comments people have posted! Thank god for the good comments or I wouldn't have made it to the end because I was so angry.

    I'm only 23, but have autism, severe anxiety, self harm and have a personality disorder (which is a horrible label). I have had 6 jobs, 5 of which were caring for children with disabilities for minimum wage.

    My mental health has deteriorated so much in the past couple of years that I've had the misfortune of being unable to cope with work and had to apply for ESA. If it wasn't for my cpn applying on my behalf I wouldn't have even been able to apply. Did you know you can only apply via the phone? I can't speak on the phone so that was a nightmare. Next was the dreaded WCA. My date was changed twice (bearing in mind I can't cope with change), they were running an hour and a half late so I'd gotten so anxious I'd literally scratched the back of my hands until they were bleeding and then the woman assessing me made me so anxious I sat and rocked in my chair. After an hour of questioning I was so hysterical I had to sit in my cpn's car unable to speak for 30 mins while I calmed down.

    When I finally got my letter somehow they'd put me in the support group. While you might be thinking, well the system works then.... nope. I read my assessment and the sole reason I was awarded ESA was that I am a 'risk to myself'. The woman wrote that I have no social/communication or language difficulties (which is unbelievable if you know what AUTISM is!) and that the only reason I couldn't work was I might harm myself! I am practically mute due to my autism and anxiety but apparently that wasn't relevant. It beggars believe really.

    That was only 6 months ago and I've now got another dreaded letter which says I'll probably have to go to another assessment next month. Trust me, I am terrified.

  106. I normally don't comment, but I had to today after reading some of the comments.

    Why do people seem to think we live in a country where if you pay more tax you have more of a right to an opinion? That isn't the way a democracy worked, last time I checked. Now, I pay NI (but not much tax as I'm a student), and VAT, and you know what - I would LOVE to think that the tax I do pay goes towards those that need it. I want it to go towards treating people on the NHS. I want it to go into supporting disabled people to help them get around (and work, if they can, and if they can find an employer which can take them on with their needs, and not make them feel like shit). I want it to go towards rehabilitating drug addicts. Hell, I want it to go on helping as many human beings less fortunate than me as possible.

    Now, I can't afford any sort of critical illness insurance, or PP, because I can barely pay my rent and eat (I hope, in the future, this isn't the case, but I might be looking at 5years + till I can get a job that I can support myself). So if I get chronically ill, or disabled then I'll be pretty damn screwed (and, lets point out, I have had NO opportunity or money to put into any scheme to help me). Sure, I would LOVE to work, love to continue my life. But if people would prefer their taxes didn't go on helping me, maybe retraining me? supporting me (both in the workplace and out), then I suppose I just curl up and die really. Some people have no choice but to depend on others, and if we won't help them, then they don't just disappear, they don't just become better and get jobs. No, instead they suffer, maybe they die, maybe they kill themselves, maybe they never see another living soul and are locked in a flat.

    No ones life is perfect, but when the well start picking on the vulnerable because of any 'support' they get, we know the worlds gone backwards. I myself am very grateful for the health I have, and I don't envy any disabled person for the minimal amount of finical support they get.

  107. In answer to your question it is Dan.

    Dan made the decision to potentially selflessly sacrifice his life for his country. He probably got paid a sub-par wage and his equipment wasn't up to standard. He went off to fight for his country to protect us from evil in this world and lost his leg and part of his hand. It is DAN who deserves help above all the others. He might have had better equipment to save his limbs if the military was better funded to protect the country rather than the government spending £150billion on welfare.

  108. 'In answer to your question it is Dan.

    Dan made the decision to potentially selflessly sacrifice his life for his country.'

    And that is where your arguement is flawed. I agree that Dan is a deserving case, but Dan also made the descision to potentially put himself in that situation.

    None of the other examples had a say in the matter. Does that make them lesser people to you? They were all hard working tax payers after all.

    God forbid you or any of your family should end up in a similar position.

  109. ToxieDogg and Anonymous:
    I think you're missing the point somewhat.

    The question of who is the most deserving is a rhetorical one to make the point that people should be supported according to their needs, not because they've somehow earned support by being more deserving than others.

    This article is supposed to be an eye opener - it isn't an 'X-factor' style vote-off!

    The whole point of opposition to this bill is that people and their needs should be treated individually, rather than have fixed conditions they should conform to in order to earn what they need.

  110. Congratulations. Assuming the people you've featured are real rather than just personas, all you've proved is that you know 4 people deserving of disability benefits. I've met more than 12 benefit scroungers who most emphatically ARE able to work, and that's all it takes to justify the 75% figure. What's that you say? Neither of us are in posession of all the figures? You're quite right.

    The point of benefit reform is not to target those genuinely incapable of working. It's not a witch-hunt, and nobody is trying to persecute the genuinely ill. The people you should be railing against are the scroungers and malingerers (and they do exist in their droves; they're not a fantasy invented by the Daily Fail) who are stealing money intended for folks like the 4 you mentioned.

  111. Chris if you know "12 benefit scroungers" report them the number for reporting people you believe to be fraudulently claiming, is found on the DWP website.
    OR could it be that you see them on good days??
    Could it be you see them going to the chemist for their high strength drugs that can't be given out like a normal strength prescription??
    Could it be that YOU don't have an ex-ray machine for eyes, and therefore cannot pass judgement on someone with mental illness or one of the many many hidden illnesses or conditions??

    How about you come with me in the next few weeks to my second WCA and see if when I hand over (again) my 3 pages of repeat prescription sheets see it ignored (again), see all the side effects of my medications(and that ignored again), see how often I need my dressings changed (guess what that was ignored as well), see how often I have to rely on my husband or my children (who btw were conceived and born when we worked full time) how about you see the tears running down my face with shame and pain when again the so called doctor stands behind me and pretends to see the damage done during surgery to "cure" my problem, which would actually involve her standing to the front of me and actually looking at the skin tethering and scarring caused by the surgery and the condition I have???
    How about you put your self in my (or anyone like me) place??

    How about if you have to tell a completely disinterested person about your day when you have to get your partner to carry you to the bathroom and lift you in and out of the bath, wash you, dry you, dress and undress you and your skin, I KNOW this will happen again because I have been through it already, and I was told via the report by ATOS that within 18 months I will be fit for work. I am almost at the 18 month mark and you know what?? I'm worse not better.
    I also know for a fact I will have to appeal again and it is less than 8 months since I won my appeal.
    How about you use a search engine to see if Sue and others like her are the only people saying the system doesn't work?? A recent (this year) C.A.B report into the WCA says it is "unfit for purpose", the very people often called on by the disabled and ill to help them get a tiny little bit of help through their time of need, and they say it doesn't work. That says so much I couldn't. It is available online in its entirety, it makes for interesting reading, if you have the stomach to read it.

    Sadly I was one of the "it will never happen to me" brigade but guess what it DID.
    I got something anyone can get, and its left me disabled as a result. I am sorry for not seeing what was happening before, but then most people don't and that's my one saving grace I have had my blinkers removed.

    I truly hope you wake up every morning for the rest of your life healthy and happy with no need to claim as me and others like me have had to. It's not a nice place to be when you have to fear losing your health, medical care, family and home not to mention what's left of your mental health based on a tick box computer system, filled in by someone with at best dubious credentials. Ohh and I can say dubious credentials simply because the people who have already done my WCAs either lied about their names or experience or have fantastic genes making them look 40 years younger than they claim to be on the GMC register.
    However I look forward to seeing if the changes supposedly brought about by the Harrington Review will actually make any difference, although I doubt it.

  112. @Dave Bartlett I didn't miss the point at all my friend, I was simply pointing out that 'Dan' wasn't a more deserving case than the others...that doesn't automatically make him a less deserving case though, that's not what I said at all.

    I too view them all as individuals who deserve to have their needs met, although like the the rest of use they're stuck in an all too often unfair system.

  113. This post is ridiculous. The people that the general public get irritated by are the ones that don't work never have worked and have no intention of working! Now let me give you another example! Sharon is paralysed from the waist down. But as she wants to support herself, she find work in a call centre. John has depression. Not wanting to be a benefit scrounger, he finds work as a pizza delivery bloke! get a grip!

  114. No, you are ridiculous. The examples you give are of course already happening - 60% of people with an illness or disability are already working as you say.

    ~Those MOST SEVERELY AFFECTED need help and the examples I give are examples of people being found fit for work every day. Close your eyes if you will, but none of these 4 people can rely on the state any more for support. If that doesn't shame you, you have faulty genes.

  115. I am not ill or disabled myself. I am a student and have a similar outlook to that in the previous post made by a student. I want to be able to support those more vulnerable than myself to have fulfilling lives even if I am lucky enough not to need the support myself, though I may do one day. It's a mark of society how it treats it's most vulnerable members and one that supports the most vulnerable and allows them dignity is the kind of society I want to be a part of.

    I am appalled by some of the replies from those who are deliberately missing the point. What are you scared of?

    That someone actually thinks it is reasonable to select from examples of four people of great need, who is allowed to receive basic sustenance pours light on the holocaust tbh. The point being made is that it is not reasonable, it will never be reasonable but unfortunately it is already happening.

    The lack of empathy is astounding. I just hope that the attacks on here are from a small group of trolls because otherwise all of us have some serious worries!

    Keep fighting, Sue and co.

  116. Dan's a write-off.

    Give it to Pete.

  117. i have been informed today in a letter that my ESA contributions based will be stopped immediate affect in april if this goes through, i have severe ME, Conversion Disorder which leave me paralysed and also unable to move at times and also fibromyalgia.... i need care and if this happens me and my husband will not be able to afford this, my hubbie is a serving soldier and we "manage" for now but if this is taken away we will struggle, altho not as much as many, i have done nothing but cry today with the worry of it all as i will have to stop the care package being put in place when i am bad.... this is terrible, they should be pulling the money in from something else or from those that can work and are just to god damn lazy. i have worked since i was 16 years old in cases having 5 jobs to keep "house" finishing 2008 as i could no longer work, i am in the "work related" group which makes me laugh as who on earth is going to employ someone who is in thier bed about two weeks a month and the other half can hardly walk.... get a grip government you really are taking the piss !!!!

  118. having just read a comment by chris.... i am one of those who have an "invisible" illness, the only time someone sees me outside is when i am on a "better" day, what goes on behind closed doors noone knows i am in my bed having to use a commode because i cannot walk to my toilet which is en suite at the bottom of my bed, i cannot get downstairs to get anything to eat or drink and rely on it being put beside my bed, i know there is some out there that are defrauding the system but there is a way of doing this and doing it this way is not the answer, i had to fight for two years to get my mobility two bloody years and a year to get my care..... yet someone i know can walk about no problem and gets it straight away,there is a problem in the way it is dealt with but taking away esa from those that need it whether it be what i have, cancer, limbs missing ms anything is not the answer and i can see a hell of a lot of problems arising with this...

  119. i was given hep c through a blood tranfussion by the NHS in 1984 due to cutbacks in blood doners and it was cheeper importing blood from american prisons, form hep c, HIV and mad cow disease.
    Anyway head and body never felt wtite for years doctors put ir down to stress, then 10 years ago found out about my illness, decided to try treatment 5 yrs ago. i was bringing up 3 children, went to uni, worked had a okish life bit stressed. Went on treatment similer cemo it failed i lost the plot physically and mentally whilst on treatment really terrable.I have now been diagnosed with ME but even though some symtoms are similer i think something else is happening. I think i have been pushed under the ME heading because a ME proffeser has declaried that ME is mental prob with pysical disabilitys ( america and canada do not agree with this). i now understand why because if its mentally it can be cured with counselling and pain management then apparentallt you are ok for work . So which 1 or 2 hours 2 or 3 days would that be on my own in a safe enviorment eg no unknown people, smells, toxins, light, a place a know no stress no pain the list is endless so go on try because in my dreams i am not ill i can walk even run i can think it is fantastic, give all this back to me make me better and i will work again. Have my reselts from MRI brain scan next month if they find nothing then all what i am is due to my illness getting worse, the side effects of drugs and the goverment harresing me.

  120. mike.. in sunny rochdale20 December 2011 at 23:20

    i have herdity motor sensery neuropthy,(cmt) a Progressive muscle and nerve wasteing desise.. i worked till i couldnt cope, 8 years ago, i live in a specaly adapted bunglow, (social landlord).. i have just survied the ordeal off EAS.. i have been placed in the surport group..
    i will be re assesed in 2 years time, .becuase, i might get better..i thought the clue was in progressive...

  121. I hope everyone who reads this also reads this:

    ... and realises that these 'case studies' are probably total sensationalist bullshit.

  122. This comment has been removed by the author.

  123. What most people don't grasp is the fact that all these cutbacks are designed as an opportunity for the corrupt minority to enrich themselves at the poor majorities expense.
    The money "saved" by impoverishing the already impoverished is simply to take from the poor to give to the rich, it's that simple.
    The real question is, do the dispossessed unite to take back what has been stolen from them or do they do nothing ?
    We are defined by our humanity, not by our greed.

  124. If you want to make ALL your voices heard in a very POWERFUL way, all you need to do is BOYCOTT a very specific company on a very specific day in a very specific way.
    Since most of us get our prescriptions through BOOTS the chemists we should SWITCH to INDEPENDENT chemists for ONE WEEK from 1/2/12 until 7/2/12.
    This ACTION will do MORE to MAKE the government THINK again than any amount of petitions or appeals to their better natures.
    MAKE your POWER work, there are others getting rich on your ill health, MAKE your NEEDS known!
    We are defined by our humanity, not by our greed.

  125. SWITCH to INDEPENDENT chemists from 1/2/12 to 7/2/12.
    MAKE your voice SHOUT LOUD and CLEAR!
    We are defined by our humanity, not by our greed.

  126. SWITCH your SCRIPT from 1/2/12 to 7/2/12, YOU know it MAKES SENSE!
    We are defined by our humanity, not our greed.

  127. SPREAD the word, SWITCH your SCRIPT from 1/2/12 to 7/2/12.
    YOU have the POWER! USE IT!

  128. MAKE a DIFFERENCE for the BETTER, WORK in a UNIFIED way, SWITCH your SCRIPT for one week from 1/2/12 to 7/2/12.
    This is ALL your voices SHOUTING as ONE in the only language the government understands. MAKE your POWER known and use it for the greater GOOD.
    We are defined by our humanity, not by our greed.

  129. I have bipolar disorder, ive been in and out of work for ten years, sometimes ive lost jobs due to my symptoms. its hard to find work when you see and hear things, when you have no impulse control and do and say inappropriate things, or when you think your best friend is god.
    and thats the highs
    and then after that, when everything comes crashing down and youve got your kids making you breakfast cause you literally cant get out of bed, when the idea of leaving the house makes you so scared you want to throw up.
    add into that the daily mix of mood stabilisers, anti depressants and anti phsycotics. all with their own side effects, headaches, migrane, sickness, inability to wake, hallucinations. i worked through it for five years, then i got made redundant, my relationship ended and i obtained custody of my teenage sister, i have no support, ive moved to a new area where i know none so i could have a house big enough for my sister as well as myself and my son. the government have put me on a training program, the course is easy, but i have to leave the house, and that is hell for me. i do the course at home and go into the centre every so often when i have someone who can take me. if the government found out i was doing it at home they would cut my benefit. i was told i wouldnt be considered for support due to my illness so they put me on jobseekers.
    the pressure to find a job on top of the pressure of my illness and being a single mother and bringing up my sister is horrific. i already have to fight my own mind telling me im useless and worthless and that i'd be better off dead, now the government seems to agree.

  130. Where did the figure 0.5% fraud come from? If 93% are found fit for work, then the gov must assume they were fraudulently claiming ESA. Which would make the figure 93.5%
    But seriously, where did 0.5% come from? was it people who were caught swinging a walking stick like Fred Astaire? Did people own up in a survey?
    It was probably mentioned that the figure was too small to justify Nazi style reform. Then it was probably mentioned that if the figure was higher it would look like a target to be lowered, and the public would see a gov motive. look closer and you will see the gov are distancing themselves from the solution. A french corp, in the name of Atos to do the dirty work. Atos will implode eventually.

  131. This is a wonderful article. Written from the heart and in a way that is accessible, even to people with no prior knowledge of the situation. I've shared it on my FB wall. Hopefully some will read it who still need to.

  132. hi , I am an ex dental nurse with fibromyalgia and M.E (and many other issues including hip issues that prevent me walking )
    I believe that I got those illnesses from the hep b jabs that I had to have as a dental nurse
    I read a book by a woman who is a doctor and has M.E
    she mentioned "the Royal Free disease" which was the original name for M.E because a lot of nurses at that hospital came down with it after having their hep b jabs,
    if that is the case ( and I also think that mercury that I worked with is also another reason) then I think it is abysmal that the NHS who I used to work for think it is OK to not give me proper treatment and the government to treat me like rubbish, wonder if I should sue them ( I joke of course because I know that I would not have a hope in hell) I have no quality of life, I wrote a list of my symptoms and various illnesses and it comes to a list of 74, I have no quality of life, I used to be a photographer and run a succesful paranormal group, all that has been taken away from me, as has being a dental nurse which I did three years of college for,
    I now face poverty due to the bedroom tax because the stress of moving to a smaller place is likely to put me in my wheelchair full time
    the reason I mention this is because I wonder if the dental nurse you mention knows about the link between hep b and fibro/M.E and possibly M.S ?
    it seems that even though we spent years helping the public and working for the NHS that we do not deserve a little something back now we need it
    I wrote a huge article about the fact that doctors in this country really need to catch up with the rest of the world and realise that fibro and M.E are NEUROLOGICAL
    do we get ignored because it is a cover up due to the hep b situation, or because it is mainly women who suffer these illnesses and we are seen as hysterical, I was actually labelled mentally ill for 9 years and given serious drugs like lithium that messed with my brain even further because the doctors insisted on ignoring my physical issues, because of that by the time I got the label removed my health issues were too far gone,
    what I hate is that my husband had to quit his job to be my full time carer, he gets paid £52 a week for his 24 hour a day carers job, he has had no training and ended up with a hernia and a tumor from the stress, how come minimum wage does not apply to carers ! the government would rather pay £52 a week to an unqualified carer than about £300 per week to send in a professional one,
    we are entitled to TWO days emergency care if my husband gets sick but guess what, it cannot be for anything pre arranged ! so if he needs to go in for an op that is not their problem and I would have to struggle myself
    I dread if they try and force me back to work, they would not understand that I cannot do a standing on my feet job and if they said I could work in an office I could not do that either, my hip , spine and neck issues mean I cannot sit in an office chair for longer than 15 minutes, due to having ocular strokes a computer screen would set them off and due to my severe sleep issues I would never get to work on time, an employer would sack me after a week
    I do not feel that ANY sick people get enough help, it is like a game of roulette,it seems to depend where you live too as to how much help you get
    I am not a scrounger but I know some people who are and they seem to get much more help than me or friends of mine who are in the same boat
    sorry for ranting on, I could say so much more
    I just wanted the dental nurse to consider the hep b angle
    thanks for reading