Sunday 2 September 2012

What DLA has meant to me.

Just over a month ago, the DWP finally decided that they'd made a mistake and I DID qualify for DLA after all.

It had been 18 months since my original claim. It took 9 months to reject it initially, then a month or two for them to "reconsider" (they still rejected it) then another 6 or 7 months waiting for a tribunal.

As we waited, my family was poor. I mean really POOR. In fact, much like the UK, we were in deficit every month. There was not enough money to go around. We still had to pay our rent - everyone needs a roof over their heads, though we sold our home and lived off the profits for a while. Then we moved to a smaller flat from a house to save money, when our savings had all gone. It wasn't enough.

We still had to pay heating and lighting bills and we had to buy food. Because of my crohn's disease, we had to buy good food. No £50-for-a-fortnight Iceland runs for me. Nope, I had to somehow buy lots of fresh fruit and veg, good quality meat and supplements with no money. I always felt guilty.

Damn but I was resourceful! I went to good butchers and flirted them into saving me all the old bones from chickens and lamb. I made stews and ragouts and soups from the bits no-one else wanted. I made a chicken last three days. I only bought the slightly mushy veg going cheap at the end of the day. I could spot a yellow "reduced" sticker from 50 paces.

Every time I put the heating on I felt guilty.

We rationed loo-roll.

We only took the kids to do free things.

We couldn't afford presents when the other kids had birthday parties.

My Mum bailed us out at the end of most months.

Everything we owned had either broken or gotten too small or had holes in.

I had never bought new clothes for my kids. Every last item they possessed - including shoes - were hand-me-downs.

But you know, I don't list these very few things in an everyday life for pity, it doesn't work like that. You don't realise how poor you are. I mean, you know you're poor, but you stop realising how much of your day is taken up with just managing poverty.

So, last month, we had run out of options. We were in debt. We had no more credit. We'd borrowed money from family and couldn't pay it back. We'd missed a rent payment. In short, we were screwed.

Then, suddenly, out of the blue, the nice lady from the DWP phoned, and it had all been a "mistake".

But it didn't end there. Not only were we told that I would be getting the higher rates of both the care and mobility components of DLA, but everywhere I turned, money mushrooms sprang up in my bank account like the night after rain.

First, the people at the council wrote to tell me I was entitled to housing benefit. They too backdated it to the date of my original DLA claim.

Then the tax credit people wrote to say I was entitled to a disability element. That was backdated too.

The DVLA wrote and told me I could get free tax for my car - which was just as well as, unable to pay, we were just about to SORN it, leaving me even more isolated.

There are probably more things, but it all got a bit jumbled.

Ever since, cautiously, Dave and I have started to realise that life is a bit different. I can get the food I need. I bought a comfy, marshmallow bed - after all, I spend a lot of time in it! We went to London for a hospital appointment and paid for transport without feeling guilty. When I've been exhausted, we've got prepared food or take-away. We bought the kids school shoes. We fixed our curtains. We got a freezer (I only had an ice box before) we replaced the microwave that was condemned and rusty.

And here's the point, my life changed. I had been so worried all the time, there had seemed no way out. The constant pressure and fear had weighed me down without me even noticing. It was just life. But as soon as we got the help we needed, the help we had always qualified for, the pressure lifted. When people asked how I was, I said "fine" even though my symptoms were just the same. I did some "nice things" and started to get a bit of strength back. I felt less ill, just because I was less worried.

I had a life.

But it is that life that seems so begrudged today. On every comment thread, from the mouths of every minister, in every paper, it is that life that we are to be denied.

Stay at home, don't be seen having fun - there may be a Daily Mail lens trained on you. For goodness sake don't have a big TV or a nice car. How dare you go out for dinner or drinks? How dare you spend MY hard earned tax money on cake? A HOLIDAY??? You're kidding, right?

But this is what is so wrong! First ESA, and soon PIP are designed for the incapable. They are designed to MAKE you incapable. Stay in bed, give up fighting, become totally bedbound and you will qualify - fight, and struggle to live the best life you can and you won't. You mustn't just be incapable of walking, you must be incapable of mobilising at all. Don't get out and about with aids if you have limited vision! Don't bend or stretch when you can. Don't get any exercise to keep you going for longer.

It is an utter madness. It is so ridiculous, it's hard to put it into words if you've always been hale and hearty. We are being disabled by the very system supposed to enable us.

These cuts dressed up as reforms are based on envy. A belief that those who cannot fend for themselves,  must suffer. Live the life I was living until last month. But that life makes you sicker, it makes you MORE disabled. The money is not going to those most in need, it is going to those wealthy ministers judge to be most in need and the two are so different they cannot be reconciled.

It's a sorry, sorry mess.

All I can think is that the ghosts of disability past, present and future visit Mr Grayling and Mr Duncan-Smith and scare the pricey pants off them. A night of terror, where the scales fall from their eyes and they see clearly why they have got it so wrong.

What else but personal experience could get through to these idealogues?


  1. It's as if they don't imagine someone with such disabilities would even HAVE a family to support. I'm so glad their mistake has been corrected now, albeit after a lot of stress and worry.

  2. But for how long Nina? I fear PIP will make another decision yet again and my family will be back to square one. Assessments can surely never really deal fairly with conditions that fluctuate?

    1. No you are all wrong. If you have the strength to travel around (sometimes long distances), appear on television etc., Then some sort of work should be available for you. I don't see how your family depends on you alone for financial support - surely your husband could get some sort of employment???

    2. Hi Sue,
      Thanks for posting this. I went through exactly the same and it is soul destroying. I really felt like giving up sometimes. I too am terrified of PIP. If I lose my DLA I might as well give up. Bless you and I hope everything works out for you. Les. x

    3. Anonymous. I have paid full tax and national insurance contributions for 45 years. My disabilities are mainly due to the stresses of 13 years army service in both 16 Parachute Brigade and 3 Commando Brigade. Don't tell me I have not contributed. I am only getting back a meagre amount of what I have already paid in.

  3. "What else but personal experience could get through to these idealogues?"

    a nuclear bomb!!

  4. But why should other people pay for you to live? I really don't understand why some people feel that they are entitled to any particular standard of living. Live on what you earn yourself and if you don't earn as much as you would like think of a way to earn more.

    1. i think you are very brave staying anonymous - such sensible platitudes.... YOU STUPID BLUNDERING IDIOT!!!!! I HOPE YOU NEVER NEED HELP. PRAT.

    2. If you really must share your prejudice and bigotry, then at least be prepared to put your name to it!!

    3. 'Live on what you earn yourself and if you don'earn as much as you would like think of a way to earn more'.

      Genius. Why didn't we all think of this before? Just going to tell my disabled daughter. She is 25 and has learning difficulties and is desperate to be a princess , doctor or fairy. She obviously just needs to get her thinking cap on!

    4. Hey Anon! My brother was diagnosed with cancer age 15 and had to have a complete hip replacement and now relies on benefits because many of the jobs for young people today are not suitable for him to do due his disability. How is this his fault? He can't earn any income on his own. He does volunteer though for those who are mentally disabled. You don't know what people are doing with their time.

    5. Well duh because she's too ill to work!. Would you rather the sick & disabled were just left to die? Is that really the kind of society you would prefer to live in?

      What if you became too sick or disabled to work to keep yourself fed, housed & clothed? Would you not then hope that there was a safety net to care for you?

    6. Because we (still) live in a civilised society and we pay out tax and national insurance so that if things go badly wrong we will get some support from the state. We (most of us) don't demonise the sick and disabled much as the government and the media would like us to because we know that one day it could be us who are in that position.

    7. Oh dear there had to be one.
      The DLA of which we speak was introduced by that paragon of virtue the sainted Margaret it's aim was to try and level the playing field (or tone down the "Nasty Party" image)
      One way of doing that would be to make everyone disabled or allow those people who by good fortune have healthy bodies to contribute to those who do not have the advantages enjoyed by you.
      Consider it a tax on good fortune rather like the betting tax.

    8. you haven't got a clue mate. If it wasn't for my dla I wouldn't be able to go to work.If I don`t work then I would be claiming more benefits.I hope that you have to one day claim such benefits, then you will see how hard it is.There are people out there that play the system, same as people play the tax system. good and bad in all societies.

    9. "Live on what you earn yourself and if you don’t earn as much as you would like think of a way to earn more"

      Sue DID work for many years until she became too ill. Sue's husband still works. Both of them have paid national INSURANCE (clue in the name)which we were all told covered us for a State Retirement Pension AND help if we became too sick or disabled to work (Contributory ESA previously Incapacity benefit). We were ALL mis-sold National Insurance. Sue does not have a crystal ball, how was she supposed to know that an utterly corrupt Government would steal her NI contributions and plunge her and her family into dire poverty whilst simultaneously cutting tax for the most wealthy and HMRC allowing huge companies to evade billions in Tax?

      How exactly can she earn more? perhaps one of those nice MP jobs with several weeks off per year, lovely free lunches & £000s of expenses to fund a stylish 2nd home or Duck house?

    10. Most people on DLA do work - the point of DLA is to counterbalance the additional needs disabled people have.

      DLA payments often make it possible for people to return to work - because disabilities and serious illnesses are expensive things to live with, and if you have to bear the additional costs yourself, it's often far too prohibitive - it stops you doing things like working, because you can't afford the extra transport costs (or the wheelchair, or the extra food, or the carer).

      Most people on Housing Benefit are in work too. This probably shows either that wages are too low or rents are too high - but until that gets resolved, we need to do something to help these hard-working, tax-paying families keep a roof over their heads.

      And those claimants who are most easily dismissed? Those on JSA or ESA - the ones who don't work? They're also taxpayers - people aren't born benefit claimants. Most pay into a system which has a built-in safety net.

      Because not one of us can know if he or she will need to take advantage of that safety net, and claim benefits for a little while - until we're back on our feet again.

      That's why we pay our taxes so that 'some people' can claim benefits and 'enjoy' some basic quality of life. Because it's right. Because it's necessary.

      And because those 'some people' might one day be us.

    11. The hallmark of a civilised society is that it supports those not able to support themselves. Even rats lead their blind / injured to safety ffs. Nobody asks to be chronically sick and disabled - you can't imagine how much of a struggle it makes the simplest things. It reminds you every day of the things you've lost that aint coming back.

      Illness and disability should concern everyone BECAUSE IT COULD HAPPEN TO EVERYONE, at any time.

      I have MS - fortunately relatively mild at the moment, and I work full time. I don't get any benefits but I'm happy for my taxes to go to help people who, in all likelihood, worked when they could. Those who have never been able to work have my sympathy - it's hard to feel so disconnected from the world.

      One day, anonymous, you may find yourself with cancer, or having had a car accident, or a viral infection, or an number of things. Maybe you'll need help for a while, maybe it'll be forever. I guarantee you'd pay any amount of money to not be in that situation. You won't have the choice. The most you can hope for is help from the state you paid in to when you could.

      Think about this.

    12. I paid tax and N.I. FOR 40 YEARS while others drew benefits. Now I am disabled but people begrudge me my DLA. I wonder how many thousands I have paid in? I wonder how much "Anonymous" has paid in? If it bothers you just think of it as if I'm taking a little bit out of my 40 year account! I'll never be able to get it all back. Besides, perhaps I helped one of your relatives at some point way back when? An answer from you would be enlightening.

    13. The NHS unfortunately save my life as a child, even though they knew I would never be able to work. I don't have a choice to earn and never have had. Maybe they shouldn't keep people like me alive ?, we aren't economically productive and the life saving meds we have to take are really expensive, then there are the expensive hospital treatments and stays that keep me alive too, they can cost £1000s of pounds a day. When you add up the costs it wold have been so much cheaper for them to let me die, I blame the doctors really, without them I'd be dead, but maybe anonymous you could write to the BMA next and propose they get sensible and stop letting useless people breathe ???.

    14. In response to anonymous... Everybody who has paid NI & Tax is entitled - that is what National 'Insurance' is for - to insure us should we become sick and disabled and unable to work. (that includes you Mr Anonymous)

      From the figures I've found, our population paid £158 billion in income tax, £101 billion in National Insurance £100 billion in VAT £26 billion in council tax in 2011 We spent just 12.5 billion of that on the sick and disabled on benefits. We spent £50 billion on interest alone paying off the deficit. Who did we pay this £50 million interest? I'm not sure. I think I'd rather mine went to the sick and disabled as giving them ease of basic living without desperate poverty. Poverty both causes and traps people in illness (stress restricts t-cell production and immune function, good, healthy food provides the body with healing nutrients it needs to repair the body) while living without basic fear of survival (eating and shelter) is often healing and enables people to get better - aiding a quicker return to work. This year we spent £9.3 billion for just hosting the olympics for a few weeks and I saw a figure of £955 billion figure mentioned as the peak figure when we bailed out the banks. £955 billion to the people who got us into the double dip recession, who are seemingly now making profits and awarding themselves bonuses and your'e quibling about our tax payers money spending 12.5 billion on incapacity for the poorest, most vulnerable and most needy in our society - the sick and disabled. The double dip recession makes it harder to find suitable employment and cost of living has risen hugely. Food, heating, etc Most of these people had previously paid up their NI & tax contributions before they got sick or disabled. Only a few are born sick and disabled. I for one am happy for my tax NI to go to them and give them a life worth living and the feeling they are valued. Unlike you I value their lives and the contribution they make to our diverse society - notably to their loved ones and opening our minds to those that may differ from us and what they can contribute if given a chance by society that tends to write people off before finding out their value. I hope by realising their own value they are inspired to contribute positively to society in any way they can. Happy people are more likely to contribute than the stressed out downtrodden who are made to feel worthless. They are not scrounging, but getting a payout for the insurance they/we/us paid in. That is what National Insurance is for. Corporation tax only managed to raise £48 billion last year... not even enough to pay off the interest on our deficit. According to HMRC, aggressive tax avoidance costs the state £4.5bn a year. The war in Afganistan has cost us £18 billion so far (creating many disabled along with it). The total value of ATOS UK-wide contracts is £400m. That suggests that they will make a profit of between £55m and £82m on the whole contract so the government can wriggle out what they owe people who paid into the system. A private insurance company woud be taken to court for lying and cheating the assessments. They are the ones ripping you off. Compared to the wars, debt interest, PPI's, quangos, bailing out banks and expenses for rich MP's To be honest I'd rather make a sick and disabled person happy and feel valued and take away their worry and stress. For me it's better value and contributes more to society. :)

      Rant over. :)

  5. I am registered blind or severely sight impaired to give its new name and qualify for DLA higher rate as the rules were changed last year after a lot of campaigning by the RNIB and other organisations. I took up the mobility option which now means my wife can take me to work 12 miles away (yes, that means earning my own money and not living of benefits) and can get out and about with my 10 year old son. I went to a special school for visually impaired children between the age of 6 and 16, over 100 miles away from home and only went home at school holidays. This school taught me to be independent and taught me that although I did have a disability I could do anything I wanted to do and live a reasonably normal life. PIP will change that as when I come for the assessment I will pass every test as I have been taught to be independent. The car will go, I will back on the bus to work, if they have not been cut because no one uses that route. I will struggle to take my son out at weekends, public transport is just horrible, but people who sit at home (and claim every benefit they can) will sail through the assessments as they will be incapable of doing things for themselves because of laziness and being unwilling to be independent. I am aware that some disabled people that will not be able to work because of there disability but I fear it is the ones who play the system will still get PIP and people who genuinely can't work and people like me who doesn't let a disability stop me will suffer.

  6. Sue, please try yo make the best of it while you can; I know how you feel am in the same boat x

  7. Why did you have children when you can't work to support them and their father can't work either because he's looking after you? I agree with a system that supports people with disabilities but I don't think anyone should have children if they can't afford them, disability or not.

    1. Because clearly she couldn't possibly have got ill AFTER having her children, could she? Really the ignorance and stupidity of the bigoted never ceases to amaze and appall me!

    2. One day both me and my partner were earning £49-52.000 a year. We had a house that we were paying a mortgage on and ran 2 cars and a motorcycle, and were blessed with 3 children.
      The next day i was in hospital having had a RTA on my home from work. No it wasnt due to driver error but due to council road cleaning teams trying to save money.
      So i end up with head injuries and a few broken bones, my partner takes one day from work to be with me and organise family to watch over the children.
      Two weeks later the parents had both done a week and could not have more time off, the chilminder stepped in on a reduced rate for a while to help out.
      Six weeks after i was last at work i am coming home from hospital, unable to dress myself or remember how to make a cup of tea. I couldnt look after myself never mind my children, so he had to take time off work, which eventually became a permanat thing.
      Now he is a carer and i am a sick/disabled person. Insurances dont last for ever, court cases do. After 12 months the house was sold, the car and motorcycle were sold and the insurance money for my wrecked car bought a small family used car outright.
      After 18months, were were living in temporary housing due to being homeless, my partner had a job near to 'home' and i was re learning to live. We were on benefits, can you imagine the massive £80 a week on sickness (incapacity) benefit. That gave us tax credits of £300 a month and his wages of £750 a month. We did not get housing benefit free school meals or free prescriptions or coucil tax benefits. I still needed a carer and the children still needed childcare as i was not able to look after them. Note no DLA..that care about a year later after the refusal, reconsideration, refusal and tribunal.
      Point is you never know what is around the corner, your life style may change massively over night,you may have earned too much already that tax year to qualify for help in tax benefits, you may lose all your possessions and become homeless. Insurances do not last forever. Sickness benefits now only last for 12 months, without the saftey net of £80 a week i dont know how we would have managed to eat.
      I can never do the job i have done for 25 years due to the problems i have been left with from the brain injury, an injury you cant see.
      I am not a shirker nor scrounger or benfit cheat. I didnt expect to be in a accident and my partner didnt expect to have to give up his job to look after a wife who was more like our youngest child.
      There for the grace of God go i.
      Oh and for the record, people with disabilities do have relationships, marriages and even sex, which sometimes leads to children...shock horror. Just like some workless couple who live in thier council flat and check out the jobsite on the morning of the signing on, who know all the ways of the system having children.

    3. You write passionately about the importance of benefits and then fall for the oldest trick in the book, divide and rule, and attack other people(including stereotypes)on benefits...

    4. Yes we have 5 people with disabilities in our home, all are our children and they all get DLA
      We are now OAP's not well off but OKish. Without our children's DLA we would not survive
      We are not irresponsible parents we have adopted them all.Our 4th child (deafblind, cerebral palsy and epilepsy)was in residential care 9 years ago costing £5000/week,If you factor in the other 4 (downs X 3 with complex health needs and 1 with a rare syndrome}we have saved this country over 30 years millions of pounds.
      If we could just the £5000/wk our son was costing the taxpayer this government could stuff their benefits

    5. Have you noticed if you post a criticism and you are anonymous you get insulted. However if you post an accolade and you are anonymous then that is fine!

      One post says that Sue's husband is working. If that is true then they must be very bad managers. My mother did not work - she depended on my father's (general labourer's) wage. She brought up 5 children and fed, clothed us without depending on family for handouts. She also paid her rent without the help of housing benefit.

  8. No wonder you posted as anonymous. Others pay for her to live? What's the alternative? The state should exterminate her? Her illness & hospitalisation might make that extremely difficult. Plus not everyone with acute or chronic illness has the psychic ability to determine what kind of living standard they'll require & ensure the get the education level, university & training opportunities to provide an appropriate wage. Society pays because it has a duty to look after those who temporarily can't for themselves or those who never can.

  9. Why did I have children? By the way my husband does work.

    In the tiny chance that neither of the eugenicists who've posted comments are not simply trolls, they might spend just a minute or two reading this :

  10. Also, to other commenters, remember, these Anonymous comments are good. They show actual human people reading the comments the real attitudes we face.

    That there are those who believe we should not have families and be left to die if we cannot work.

    If it is never exposed, it is never believed.

    Thank you Anon and Anon.

  11. First time commenting here. I don't necessarily agree with everything you say, but I do understand a little of where you're coming from.

    When I was growing up in the 80s we lived for most of the time on unemployment benefits and later disability allowance . Hand-me-down clothes, rare holidays (paid for by grandparents) and a small sink estate council house.

    Benefits should provide a means of rising above your situation and helping people out of a hole.

    I did well at school, went to Cambridge, have a job I enjoy and (thankfully) am in good health. Our annual household income is 50k, well above average. However, we rarely eat out, holidays are spent at home with cheap occasional day-trips. We can't afford to run the car at the moment and our TV is a 10 year old CRT. Life is expensive. And you know what? You don't need those things to have fun and be happy.

    1. I have a fantastic job that pays great, but I'm disabled and am still therefore not allowed to have fun in the eyes of the public. They don't know that I have a job; they just see someone in a wheelchair out in an expensive place and shout abuse.

      I think that's her main point here. It's not that we all should get awesome holidays and have fun, it's that disabled people aren't seen to deserve it, EVER, even when they pay for it out of their own pockets and claim no benefits except DLA (Non-means tested, helps disabled people work). It's that automatic judgement that we don't deserve to enjoy ourselves and that we're all scrounging bastards that's the problem.

    2. What can I say? Some people are bigoted and ignorant and have a shocking tendency to make false assumptions in real life as much as online.

    3. The problem is those "false assumptions" often mean disabled people lose their income; over 97% of the calls to the benefit fraud hotline prove to be entirely malicious...but they still need to be investigated, and that means your benefits stop while they do. Sticks and stones and all that...until you can't pay bills or buy food, then it becomes a lot more sinister, and a lot more difficult to just "shrug and carry on". In some cases, it means disabled people get assaulted or even killed. Not fun.

  12. Sadly the attitudes of Anon and Anon are being cultivated by a government intent on 'divide and conquer' and using their supporters in the media to further encourage such opinions and feelings.

  13. So absolutely right - and this is what scares the shit out of me!! Even though I have a disablity I also have a life. I have to do the shopping, the cleaning, sweeep the garden path no one else to do it!!) and yes a few outdoor hobbies. I go swimming, tai chi, all recently recommended by my NHS physio - this cost me £14 per week - without my DLA i would not be able to afford this, I need the car to get there, my blue badge helps me park so I do not have to pay the exhorbitant parking fees the council charge. This exercise is to try to keep my disablity under control, help my balance, stetch my sore and painful limbs. It pays for my chiropody wvey 6 weeks. It seems the DWP, like you said want us to curl up in bed and wait for death to come.
    Just doing my ESA form now - feeling sick and frightened.
    If I am found fit for work and also lose my DLA I do not know what will become of me. Will prob be out on the street in a chair selling the big issue to help me fund my bills etc.
    One of the worst things for me and probably for everyone else in this predicament is the thought of IF and WHEN are they coming to take away the things that make my life liveable!! The stress is dreadful, the fear almost palpable. I never thought in my lifetime that I would be in this terrible predicament. I always thought through the many years that I worked that if things became too bad the state would help me. This is a believe I am trying to hold onto but it is becoming very very hard,

    1. Anna, i hope you can get some support for filling in the ESA, its not fit for purpose, full of tricks, ommissions, etc, they also frequently use it for cross referencing with DLA.Have you tried the 'Benefits and Work' site, you have to pay 19.45 to DL their guides, but they are the gold standard..

  14. Oh dear, there are trolls on the comments page. So, let me explain about insurance. We have a system of National Insurance. This (largely) replaced private insurance and things like friendly societies and the wonderful thing is that it includes everybody and acts as a safety net. Private insurance providers don't like it because they could make more profit if they were the sole providers of insurance - so they have conspired with politicians to undermine universal provision and part of that is this Gradgrind demeaning of the poor. It demeans the Gradgrinds more than anyone else, but they seem oblivious to this.

    Let's put it into some sort of context. Suppose the government introduced regulations to means test car insurance pay outs. After all there are a lot of abuses and false claims which put up premiums for everyone. So, if you earn more than, say, £25,000 a year, if you claim on your motor insurance you don't get a payout or you get a reduced payment - after all, you could afford to contribute and why have a car if you can't afford to fix it?. However, you do have to pay in to be insured. Would that be fair? You can be sure there are skilled PR people employed by the Government who could make a good case for it!! It's no different in essence from what they're doing with our Social Security insurance.

    Good to hear your news, Sue.


  15. MarkH - Thanks for commenting. Of course you don't need those things to be happy - but you do need to pay the rent, buy food and light your home.

    I too grew up in a council house, I fought my way to uni too against all the odds.

    But I was just too sick to work. Our household income went from 50k ish to 19k.

    Read it again - I was just too sick to work,

    I know some of you find that impossible to believe, but that's why you don't assess sickness benefits. If your household is limited to just one income, it is extremely difficult to survive these days.

    It's not a lifestyle choice! I didn't choose to give up all I fought so hard to achieve.

    Please, do read the link I posted above.

    1. Hi Sue, I read the link you posted above. My parents, who are both still of working age, are too sick to work too. It's quite clear to me that when this happens, you absolutely don't need the additional stress of worrying about whether you can afford to eat or keep the heating and lights on.

      There are direct financial incentives for the likes of ATOS to declare sick people fit for work, right? That's a genuine, naive question....

    2. Hi Sue - my house is limited to just one income and I'm the one providing it!

      I'm terrified of what will happen to me if/when my illness gets worse. My only income will be what the state might grant me - I only earn 12K and can't afford to save ANYTHING. But I still pay tax.

      Nobody should have to live in the fear that the sick, elderly and the poor are currently facing.

  16. I'm having these problems now. Worked all my life then at 50 get bowel and lung cancer. I got a letter yesterday to say I didn't have enough points from my ATOS so called medical, so my money has been stopped. So now with no money I have to find a job but who is going to employ me?

    1. That's terrible. Can you appeal? I am just finding my way into this minefield.

  17. Mr Grayling has no idea. He is my local mp and i wrote to him a number of times, the replies you get are unbelievable.He told me I wasn't entitled to help with my housing because of my disability as I was single guy working guy.But the council thought different and I got my ground floor flat. I also had to fight for my dla, my health is getting worse and I am worried that I will lose my dla when it is due for renewal. I may only be able to do my job for another few years, how will I cope if the government are trying there hardest to destroy the disabled?

  18. Fantastic measured blog. Those most in need should be given support by those who can afford it. The cuts to the benerfits system are focusing on cutting DLA and not helping people get of long term JSA. Your artical give first hand empirical waight against the governments current policy, and for this reason is very powerful. Thanks for writing this, and all the best to you and your family.

    Jon Scarth

  19. Hello, interesting story, I would say you are one of the deserving and in my view the system should help people like yourself so that you can have a dignified and worthwhile life (Not sat at home becoming a shut in!!)

    However, I'd like to know your views on how we can crack down on the big problem of DLA fraud, in Liverpool I overheard a customer of mine day ing her son had done well because he was able to "get on the disability"

    Now clearly no one wants this, but from a genuine claimant it would be fascinating to hear what your opinion would be to deal with this! :)

    1. Let's break it down then...the DWP's own official figures of disability fraud is .5%. However, the goal for the new implementations is to get 20% of people currently claiming off DLA. So, 19.5% who are legitimately claiming for DLA will lose it. And DLA is not an out-of-work benefit. For many people it's the only way they work at all.

      My son is also doing well because he has "got on disability" - understand it took me four years to even apply for it because the process is a nightmare - then I had to appeal the mobility award, which then went to appeal (it took 18 months, and the decision was reached in all of five minutes after looking at my paperwork). So this was a very long battle, but was a huge relief when we finally got it as the backpay managed to pay for a lot of things we had up to that point had to do without. Don't judge people's language they use about DLA; it's a huge relief.

      The way to deal with benefit fraud is quite honestly the way it's always been dealt with - cases are reviewed on a regular basis (the "lifetime awards" haven't existed for years, by the way, and the reason people WERE on DLA indefinitely was because, shock, cerebral palsy and MS don't have cures, they just tend to get worse over time). This was what was happening before, and why the fraud rate was so low. But right now, we're all just really good targets...and that's how it's being sold.

      There is no "big problem" with DLA fraud. That's the bottom line here. It happens, of course, but it's one of the lowest fraud rates because it's so bloody hard to get in the first place. A fraud rate of .5% is not an excuse to kick 500,000 people off the one benefit which actually gets them out and about but that is exactly what the government is trying to do.

    2. Of course, there are lots of people being doing benefit fraud but it is much much less than the Govt and its tame media propagandise, it pales in comparison with tax fraud/avoidance, etc. Can i ask an 'abled bodied' person, (you) what you think of that?

    3. Perhaps I could put it like this :

      1 in 200 people are found to make fraudulent claims for DLA - and believe me successive governments have put very considerable resources into trying to find more - they always failed.

      Would you rather that 199 people get the help and support that they need, free from stigma or abuse and one person gets away with cheating?

      Or would you rather all 200 suffer for the crimes of just one?

      Perhaps also (as I'm almost certain you won't believe how low the levels of fraud are - most put it at a ludicrous 70% thanks to media inaccuracies) you might read this

      Which tries to explain why you may think there are more cheats than there are.

    4. Did they ever find Enoch Powell's woman in Wolverhampton?

      The demonisation from single anecdotal evidence doesn't pass muster when compared to the raft of unsanitised perpetual evidence of the horrors people are being put through. I would suggest that the issue in your case isn't that the son is worthy, but that his mother has been caught up either in the demonising language of the naysayers, be they the government-tamed media of the BBC or the redtops seeking that long shot of someone bending to pick up their post.

      I've spent my entire life in Liverpool barring brief absences for education and I've seen DLA from the front end. I am fortunate enough to not currently qualify and I will accept this status (as it indicates my relative wellness) but as Sue says above, you apply with a fluctuating condition WHEN the need is.

      That woman's son doing well to "get on the disability" has all the hallmarks of a statement of a lack of understanding of the issue. No doctor will sign off a well person to threaten his/her career as a soft touch for disability claims - GPs are if anything more diligent in disability related cases because (i) that's why they're GPs, or in the very much rarer cases (ii) poor treatment leading to ethical issues are flagged and complaint rise against them.

      It is 44 years since Powell addressed that group of men in the back room of a Birmingham pub. Why has disability still not come any closer to equalised treatment when there have atleast been stuttering advances in age, gender, race and other equal opportunities factors?

  20. Hello Peter,
    You hear these stories all the time and I really don't know how they do it. I cannot get any help even though my bowel specialist and GP were saying they do not think I'm fit enough to work. They only take what the ATOS doctor says. So I think however they 'get on the disability' - it would be hard to pick out the fraudsters but this is why so many of us genuine cases are suffering. The stress of this is killing both myself and my wife.

  21. Excuse my ignorance but what's an ATOS doctor? Are they GPs or employed by the civil service? :)

    1. Not sure myself Peter although i hear they have amazing healing powers

    2. They are "health care professionals" - Doctors, nurses or physiotherapists. They do not necessarily know anything about your medical condition as universal knowledge is not possible. This is why people see consultants at the hospital.

      I don't see why a physiotherapist with a week's crash course in mental health should be allowed to assess schizophrenics, or any other variation thereof.

      Evidence should come from a person's own Consultants, doctors or care team. It should be noted that the GMC is considering striking off doctors of ATOS as the assessment process is not compatible with the hippocratic oath.

    3. They are employed by ATOS, I should add.

      ATOS are a commercial entity (French IT company) implementing the DWP policies.

      ATOS-sponsored "experts" sat on the DWP working group that compiled the fifteen questions that make up the entirety of the Work Capability Assessment. In essence, one of two private companies making massive financial gains after engineering government policy (the other are Unum, a provider of Critical Illness cover, who also sat on government panels and as such manufactured a market for their Critical Illness Cover. Their own website says how important their insurance is because benefits are inadequate to live on. Go check it out). Massive corporate corruption.

      Seriously, there are fifteen questions to assess an individuals entire health / capacity to do anything.

      They are also trained to "anticipate" answers based on visual observation i.e. are you visibly shaking? No? Then you clearly don't have mental health problems.

      I wish I was making this stuff up, but I'm not.

  22. It actually scares me that I'd you are unwell and cannot work ouare expected to rot!! I work up until March. Am on sick pay as had a nervous breakdown. I am getting better slowly but I'm terrified of claiming ESA next month. I have been told by an occupational therapist it could take six months for me to feel more normal, whatever normal is. At least for me I will get better.

    Why should you have to worry about what others think?

  23. An ATOS assessor or health professional is an employee of ATOS - the company the government pays to assess all welfare claiments with a disability.
    The health professional could be a nurse, physio, occ therapist, sometimes a doctor who has had a few weeks occupational health training and then is deemed fit to assess a client. This health professional knows nothing about this client except for the form filled in by them (ESA50). From this assessment the HP will decided whether the patient is fit/not fit for work.

  24. I'm so so pleased you were awarded DLA and other benefits, sadly as well know it may be a temporary state of affairs as the ridiculous and corrupt criteria of PIP will see many hundreds of thousands lose their awards. However, last week saw that people won't give in without a fight and of course there has been the online and otherwise campaigns organised by yourself and many other Spartaki. We must put the political parties on notice(especially the LP) that come the election we will punish those who support such barbaric welfare parties and on the streets will hound the agencies that do its work...

    btw, you're writing gets better and better..

  25. 'support such barbaric welfare policies and on the streets will hound the agencies that do its work...'

    sorry, cognitive issues..

  26. Anonymous of the "earn more" comment, I'm afraid I disagree. I'm very fortunate to be healthy and have no serious medical worries, but my husband and I have been out of work for two years now, unable to find work, and living in poverty - experiencing much the same as Sue and her family describe above. Everyone should be entitled to decent food, a roof over their head and a sense of security. This isn't the way the world works, however - but surely you must agree that this is the minimum that people need to have some quality of life.

    Money is a human invention, and the misery that comes from poverty is human misery. That misery is real - "money" (especially in our digital age) is not. It's zeros. Having an extra zero or two in your bank account literally means the difference between life or death; people should not be driven to poverty and suicide for want of digital zeros.

    It is short-sighted indeed to assume that people who cannot "earn" are worthless, that we are undeserving of "any particular standard of living". It's also a mistake to assume any one of us is immune to the misfortunes that easily make us penniless, desperate, or homeless. And if we find ourselves in that dark, lonely place, it's often the kindness of other that is our only light.

    This isn't about who's morally right and wrong. If you lost your job and couldn't find another, no matter how hard you look - how many you apply for... if you had to decide between feeding someone you loved and feeding yourself, or between heating the house for a night or two and doing a decent food shop, you'd know how broken the system is right now. And how precious those people who do still have means are - when they offer help to someone who needs it.

    And you'd also know that it stays with you, the memory of those gestures; you'll make the same ones yourself, when you see someone who you can help.

    We do it because we're only human.

  27. Hi,

    When you were denied DLA you must have lived on the Job Seekers Allowance.

    Your description of life in poverty on JSA is accurate.

  28. I really do think that they are trying to get rid of the welfare state and they are not telling the public. Some people may fall for their propaganda such as painting benefit claiments as scroungers. But these people are not going to be very happy when they are forced to take out insurance against being sick.

    1. I do believe you could be right about them trying to get rid of the welfare state.
      I never thought I would be out of work living off benefits (which I cannot claim anymore anyway). I worked all my life and then at 50 got bowel and lung cancer - that could happen to anyone. Anyone could find themselves in this situation at anytime.

    2. I believe you are correct too. Don't they have to ask us first - given it's OUR National Insurance (tax) and OUR taxes they they are misappropriating AGAIN

  29. I made the comment at 08.59. I make no comment about how others live their lives and I certainly don't wish anyone ill. However, I am asking why certain members of society should be OBLIGED to support others. I realise the consequence of this is that some people would be worse off but I have no problem with that. Everyone should stand on their own and if they can't, well, tough.

    By all means if people want to help others they can, but why force people? For those outraged net recipients I just say that you should consider this concern of net contributors and not assume that the argument is won. I am certainly far from convinced.

    1. You live in Britain. We have a welfare state. We pay our joint taxes to help everyone. If you don't like it, move to somewhere which doesn't have a welfare state. You sound as if you'd be much happier there.

    2. yes, the US may be more up your street, or if you don't like big govt, or any gov't rw libertarian right? There is always Somalia...

    3. I've seen this argument before so...right then. We all put money into a pot because this is what society is. The people who package your food and check it out at the supermarket are paid a wage to help you. The police and fire brigade are on call as well in case you need them. The public services that collect your rubbish and fix your roads are part of the council tax. Unless you are literally living in the middle of the wilds somewhere (mind you, you'd have to find land that isn't owned by anyone else), hunting your own food, making your own clothes, treating your own ailments, and 100% self-sufficient without relying on ANYONE else...then you're part of society, like it or not. The wages you get are paid by a company which makes a profit collectively in order to pay you - that's not just under your power, that's other people's money which filters down to YOU. Regardless of what the typical "libertarian" thinks, nothing, but NOTHING, in our society hasn't come from someone else, in some way, at some time. It's a fallacy to think that it could happen, that is what "society" means.

      So unless you're willing to live as a hermit in a cave one says, "tough".

    4. Either you earn a lot and have saved for a rainy day. Most normal people have not. Anyone can become ill or have an accident that can leave them disabled. The point is we pay into the pot while we are working, so if the worst happens we are looked after. Most people become ill towards the end of their working lives. They would willingly swap places with a healthy person anyday.

    5. I paid tax and N.I. FOR 40 YEARS while others drew benefits. Now I am disabled but people begrudge me my DLA. I wonder how many thousands I have paid in? I wonder how much "Anonymous" has paid in? If it bothers you just think of it as if I'm taking a little bit out of my 40 year account! I'll never be able to get it all back. Besides, perhaps I helped one of your relatives at some point way back when? An answer from you would be enlightening.

    6. 'what the earth climbing 2 stairs means in relation to being fit for work'.
      Just means you can get a job teaching step aerobics, up down, up, turn.... keep up at the back!!!
      Climbing a flight of stairs used to be the old IB test. How does being able to climb 2 stairs help when you have to use public transport to get anywhere? I sat and cried on the bottom step at Kings Cross a while back when the lift was out of order and I had to go and visit my Mum who was at deaths door. I can't drive anymore as it sets off my shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, fibro and various other hypermobile joints. It took me 6 weeks of mainly being in bed not using energy to stay upright to recover from that trip.
      My neice had to have one of those 'virtual babies' that cry, need feeding etc as part of her childcare course. she ended up taking it to her Granmother for the weekend so she could get some sleep.
      WHEN CAN WE HAVE A DISABILITY BODY for IDS, Grayling and Millar..... One that sucks out all their energy, wakes them up every 1/2 during the night in pain so they can't string a sentence together the next day? Talk about walk a mile in my shoes.. EAT MY SPOONS!

    7. But you ARE obliged. Unless the rules of Society change, and no one has to pay tax whatsoever. You are completely obliged to give your Parliament money so they can use it to run the Country.

      They use it for Defence, Education, Housing, The Royal Family, International Programs, The Environment, Foreign Aid, The Police, Healthcare, Welfare, and of course themselves.

      I'm sure many people would be delighted to live in a Country where they don't have to pay tax, in fact I am almost certain most of the Tory cabinet use tax avoidance schemes, because they really don't feel very obliged about giving money to anything but themselves. Maybe you need a career move, have you thought about Government?

      Many Disabled people are very unhappy about the way in which their hard earned tax is spent, so I am afraid you don't hold the monopoly on disgruntled tax payers. And unfortunately we are all obliged. Every time you buy a loaf of bread or a litre of milk you are obliged.

      I'm not sure where I read this, but there are three certainties in life, Death, taxes and arseholes. I'm obliged to call you the latter.

    8. Don't forget that Incap was a taxable benfit. We still pay taxes from our benefit payments as does everyone else, VAT, road tax - if you are not on high rate disability, council tax - if you are not on income related benefit and of course income tax for those who are lucky enough to have a job, which the DLA helps to get them there. So we pay taxes too. No one gets to chose to support certain members of society, its supposed to be a central pot that is accessiable by all those who need it, ie hospitals fire police and armed forces, schools etc. You must have used these services in your lifetime at some point.

  30. Hi Sue
    My first post here but... Just wanted to say how relieved I am you got your DLA awarded and backdated. It's such a massive difference to the lives of us disabled folk- without it, I would be housebound and unable to live a normal life. I am pleased the DWP have finally recognised how debilitating your illness is and awarded you what you are entitled to.

    For the anons posting and telling us to earn... I had a job with a fantastic and understanding employer, and contributed my tax and NI before my job was cut by this government. I tried unsuccessfully to go back too soon after an MS relapse and made myself more ill by forcing myself to go back (working at home because I couldn't walk and trying to ignore other related issues which aggravated my condition and sent me relapsing again). So I ended up off sick for almost a full year, followed by redundancy. My partner was also made redundant within a month of me being so.

    So now on benefits, from our combined 50K+ income down to ESA and carers. I am still not well enough to be working due to the complex and fluctuating nature of my disease and believe me, I would give anything to be healthy and living a normal life again. But it's just not possible for me, and many others like me out there. Every single day is a struggle and it's difficult to plan or do anything because I never know how I will feel from one day to the next.

    I have heard many a critic say such things as you posted, Anon(s) and I am sick of the same rhetoric. Put yourselves in the shoes of someone who is really ill and imagine how you would feel upon hearing the endless "lazy" and "scrounger" comments and forced onto work programmes, after you've worked and paid your dues while you were capable. That on top of dealing with the physical and mental effects of chronic illness.

    There are far too many folks just waiting to jump on the tabloid bandwagon instead of asking questions or thinking for themselves. Ask yourselves what sort of world you want for yourselves and your kids- for what we do and say now will impact on generations to come. Ask yourself what the benefits are really for, and how disabled people might use them to make the small changes which have a big impact on their lives. Put yourself in that position. Think about how your attitude affects the people around you. If DLA was awarded based on stupidity and ignorance, you'd certainly be getting it!

    Congrats again Sue- one less battle to contend with for now. Onwards and upwards I hope!


  31. I am Anon but not that one - I am Sue

    When i was diagnosed, i was pregnant at that time - I had never heard of DLA - Why should i have? I had no need for any of that before - I had 2 kids, one on the way and a life.

    Something happened (MS) and in my pregnancy my whole life fell apart - broke up with partner, body fell to bits very suddenly. It was harsh but - when they tol dme abotu DLA, i did nothign for a while, then the nurse told me about it and I was helped to fill out the forms and I got it after a medical. I felt at that time ''My life is in tatters but at least the govt cares, and are helping''
    No more....

    Now i fear every day thatthe letter of doom will arrive. Life is not always easy but it is easy to hide behind a computer and upset people, and the shame is that the general public believe the rubbish that is told. When it is so not true!

    Walk a mile in a disabled persons shoes (so to speak) before you deem them a faker!

    This is a very sad 'great' britain that we now reside in with hatred all around us and people being horrid on the streets.

    I live in fear - ever - single - day. Just because it seems that I am no longer a human with any rights at all.

    I WAS a human. I had a future. But no more do I deserve one it feels.

    1. I am anonymous Edward and I agree with you, I had a good career, one that would have given me a good pension had I remained on duty. For my sins, I was a Policeman. Well no sin really, I did what I was there to do, I was proud to lock up villains, arrest child and wife beaters, bring peace and order to disorder, look after the vulnerable and boy did I come across them in my time. Each Christmas Eve we would sweep are area of city for what were tramps, rough sleepers now, many were ex servicemen who were mentally ill. No other system cared for them at this cold time of year, so we would lock them up, bring them to the nick so they could have a warm bed, hot food and a drink or two. The next day we would release them without anyone knowing they had spent the night and if Boxing Day was a cold one we would lock them up for that night as well, just to keep them safe.
      I was disabled in a 20 seconds incident and it turned my life around. One second I was a fit man the next I was in hospital for ages, having to undergo treatments and operations until I was dumped onto the useless shelf by our authorities. Since then I have existed on IB and an industrial injuries benefits and eat pain killers in large amounts each day, lie on the floor and do nothing as the pain is often too bad to move. My heart, yes Policemen do have hearts, was destroyed at having to leave the Police but also at having to jump through loops to get my IB some years ago. Now ATOS, that awful French firm has called my number up and I am due to go through the wringer of assessments again. I know they will find me fit (they always seem to deem people fit even when dying) but will my condition suddenly improve because they deem me fit for work? Will the pills and soon to be morphine tablets become unnecessary because they see me as fit or will be classed as a scrounger to all of GB public and newspapers?
      What happens when I cannot work, because I and my GP and specialists know I can’t. Will they just put me on the shelf to gather dust as the Police did and what do I do when I have no money, beg, or do I become one of those lonely homeless men running round the winter streets on Christmas Eve in the vain hope that some kind Policeman will lock me up for the night to give me a meal and a warm bed. ATOS, DWP and HM Government have a lot to answer for and none of it is good. They are care for us as a shark does for a fish it eats; we are only prey to them. I’ve been though and seen some awful sights as a Policeman which I bore with a stoic manner, never fearing a thing, from dead burnt children to picking up pieces of people and armed with only a truncheon in hand disarming armed gunmen and machete wielding man who attempted but failed due to me and one other Bobby from hacking his wife to bits, but never have I felt as nervous as now.
      Sorry, but I needed to get this off my chest.

    2. I am truly sorry to hear it. It's rather distressing to know and read all this, but I'll tell you something...police officers who were protesting privatisation were in slack-jawed disbelief that their protest went entirely ignored by the press during the summer. I remember tweeting to one "Now you know how the disabled feel, mate." And the response was "Yes, now I do...and I'm really angry about it." It was eye-opening and was rather good to see because even some of the police force are seeing it too, and they're not at all happy. Strangely enough (and I hope it's still happening) there was solidarity even in the police force, and it may not be happening much with the Met, but the tide is turning elsewhere, and that's good.

    3. I am Anonymous Edward again.The Police men and women who are paralysed, lost parts of their brain, eyes, ears, arms, legs and parts of organs as a result of their work, some dying a few years after their injuries are not out of touch, they are disabled and on the whole come from what we can call working class stock in touch with the realities of life, before, during and after their service as many of them have families members going through the same odious system as we are going through but they are not allowed to express an opinion on duty doing the job of Policing. They should not be targets to be maimed for life as I was.

    4. Hi Edwards (Ann Sue again) It is so horrid when one moment you are fine - The next life is so different that you are left a shell of your former self. Your previous life being something you can no longer grasp.... It is a nightmare. I am sorry you are going through this. I feel like I have jumped back into the 1700s or something. In this century disabled people should have more respect - I mean it's not like you got up one morjning and said 'yes I knwo what I'll do I'll get myself disabled and live such a wondrous life' Its NOT wonderful, It's NOT really life.

      Being scared to go out, being scared parts of your body will fail while you are out, being scard of being targeted by those who hate you just because of you holding a walking stick etc. Why do they hate me? They don't even know me!

      I hate this continual living in fear of the brown envelope... (I also fear the white ones in case they trick me) Its inhumane to say someone canwork if they can press one computer key. If they wanna live in my body - I'll trade! Let them be ruled by the bladder for a while see how they get on!

      I have never really been a political person, but thanks to 'Dave' I now know alot more than I ever did. And the way these MPs for the people act - NONE of them should be in any power at all. Why are the rich people running this country? Why do they get more say that the poor or the broken? Something is so wrong wth this society when it should be people of our peers, not people who live on their own pedestals of riches given to them by Mummy or Daddy who were also given it by their Mummy and Daddy. What did they do to learn about REAL LIFE sitting up there above us all who don't have riches?

      MPs should be made of the NORMAL people. And then - With an amalgamation of our TRUE Peers - We might be a real perspective on how TRUE life is!

      I hate living in fear. Sending warm thoughts and Hugs to you Anon-Edward

    5. I am sure the policeman who posted also gets a good police pension so why is he so poor? If he was so ill that he was medically retired then he would get an enhanced police pension as well as all his benefits. Does not sound true to me.

    6. Anon Edward again. It certainly sounds strange but I was a young man when I was injured, had taken and passed the Sergeants and Inspectors exams so my future looked bright but because of my lack of years in the job I received next to naff all in pensions when career ended. Today I receive £400 a month, £100 a week for my being maimed. If you think that is a good deal for the life I have lead since then, or that I am lying, then I’ll trade you my life, my pain, my disability for all that you have. I’d swop you in an instant to be fit and able again, and not have to justify my years of disability all over again to this French firm of button pressing nay sayers.

  32. How much training do MPs get?

    They don't - that's why they mess up all of the time!

    Sounds like Atos to me

  33. Certain members of society? Disability can strike anyone at any time, and out of the blue. It could be you. You don't, or perhaps can't, suggest an alternative. How about those born with a disability? What would you have them do?

    I'm fine with the idea - which I suggest you are getting at - that given more money in your pocket, you could volunteer to contribute to your chosen cause. But you can do that anyway. No one is stopping you.

    But do really believe that given less taxation that you would be able to pick and choose those services you prefer to support? To be honest unless you can come up with a valid alternative system that balances social and personal responsibility, I won't be voting for you, because otherwise you are just indulging in intellectual masturbation.

  34. I am glad to have found this simply because it gives me hope that I might one day get the DLA I need. Currently I am living with my ex-boyfriend (who also has to be my carer - including showering me) as I am unable to claim any money (other than joint housing benefit). I cannot claim JSA because I am unable to physically look for jobs. I cannot claim for ESA as my ex has a part-time job. I am currently in the appeal stage of my DLA claim. I would literally do anything to be able to work. I would give anything to be able to go outside or cook my own food or wash my own hair (and I have to believe that one day my disability will ease off so I am able to do some of those things) but for now I need help so that I can get better. I am not getting any help and the result is I am deteriorating due to having to manage and so it will now take me longer to recover and become able to support myself. I don't understand why this is happening to me but it is the life I have been dealt and there's literally nothing I can do about it.

    I would not wish this disability on my worst enemy but sometimes I do wish that those who have always been healthy had to live as I do for one month so they can reconsider what they are doing to me and so many others who don't have a voice because we are unable to leave the house. I have to rely on my friends and family just to get through each day. If anyone here is religious I will ask to be prayed for or just kept in your thoughts as that's how much I'm struggling right now.

  35. (King Frog)
    I paid tax and N.I. FOR 40 YEARS while others drew benefits. Now I am disabled but people begrudge me my DLA. I wonder how many thousands I have paid in? I wonder how much "Anonymous" has paid in? If it bothers you just think of it as if I'm taking a little bit out of my 40 year account! I'll never be able to get it all back. Besides, perhaps I helped one of your relatives at some point way back when? An answer from you would be enlightening.

    1. I am the same. Paid in all my life and now I cannot claim - recovering from bowel and lung cancer is not serious enough apparently. And of course, there are people even worse than me who cannot claim.
      What's happened to this country?

  36. Hi Anonymous- Yes joined Benefits & Work a few days ago. My hubby is seriously poorly, breathing COPD and heart disease. He is in the middle of transfer, wore me out getting the form and all the evidence together - then low and behold my ESA50 came through the door. Been in support group for a while but they must think I have got rid of my genetic disease in 2 years or have been miraculously cured. So it starts again, have spent all weekend going through B&W guides again to see what the earth climbing 2 stairs means in relation to being fit for work.

  37. I am so glad that you are at last in a less precarious position and that "they" have seen sense...though as you say earlier, how long will it last? Making sick and disabled people live in a constant state of gut-gnawing uncertainty is just so cruel.
    Most of the comments here are sensible and supportive, but I am shocked to read the trolly ones - people who,as you describe in the blog, believe that: "those who cannot fend for themselves, must suffer", do not deserve to be called human beings.

  38. 'Politics and the Paralympics: Voters are against cuts to disability benefits

    Coalition praises athletes but overlooks others, says survey

    'Three-quarters of people think that people with disabilities often experience prejudice or discrimination in society, wihile almost the same proportion think disabled people are invisible in the media outside the Paralympics.

    But it is the suggestion, by 41 per cent of people, that the Government could do more to help that will reverberate in Westminster at a time when the public has been gripped by the spectacle of the Paralympics.'

    Surprised no one has posted the excellent article in today's Independent: the public mood does seem to be shifting somewhat on disability benefits, though i'm not sure the poll figures bear out the headline...

    meanwhile, hardship payments are to become a loan and Smith is hinting as US style vouchers, etc instead of money...


    update, found the poll, it is so different from the Govt/DWP/Tabloid spin...

  40. What an excellent post. I'm so pleased that life is a little less stressful for you. You have the support you were entitled to, but had to fight so hard to get, at last! Yay!

    I completely agree that benefits are designed to make you incapable. They victimise you, and offer no incentive to do anything but shut yourself away and slowly rot. I suffer with a long term mental health condition. It is unlikely to get better. There is no cure, no magic pill, no therapy known that will miraculously make me better again. I want to be well and be the person I was once. Self-help therapy they say, might help. To overcome agoraphobia you have to 'put yourself out there' they say. Repeatedly, often, over and over and it could take months if not years. If you're absolutely wetting yourself with terror, you should face your fear and do it anyway. How can I even make that attempt if to do so could mean I'll be contradicting what I said on the work capability assessment? I'm terrified of trying in case it's seen as being too capable. The small thing I might learn to be comfortable doing will make me 'fit to work' in their eyes? I'll still have the same difficulties, fears, symptoms, bad days and meltdowns, and everyday things other people don't thing twice about will be a struggle.

    The leap from where I am now to where I need to be in order to work is too large, but I'm scared to take the baby steps in case they use it against me. THIS government is keeping us trapped. We can't volunteer or do something we CAN cope with without fear of losing the benefit life line. I can't go out and earn this money. I'd be destitute without the little I can claim. DLA is currently given at the lowest rate for people with my sort of problem (and after a 12 month fight) even though it's impossible to venture out alone and only very locally.

    And it's not enough! Not by a long way. Benefits should not just be a safety net for those who will recover fairly quickly. For some of us benefits are not a temporary fix. They a LIFE LINE and the future without them looks terrifying. So what choice do we have? A miserable existence unable to ever afford anything other than the most basic and often we just go without, unable to do a damn thing to make it better for ourselves. I worked too. I will say this to anyone who thinks they are supporting ME, that I paid taxes and NI too and I never begrudged or thought twice about anyone scrounging my earnings. We're born into this society where money and property and owning is everything. There is no opt out. Either we do away with capitalism and all go back to a pastoral existence or we help each other out and stop grumbling about it.

    1. Such a well-written comment that embodies so much of how I feel. I too am scared to try and do anything as if I do so, I will be 'well' enough to do things that will actually make me worse.

      We need to come together as a country and stop worrying that people are stealing your money. If you don't need it and someone else does, you should share - you don't know when the tables will turn and it will be the other way around.

  41. The British need to take back the PRIDE they once had in creating the Welfare State. It has been degraded and abused by those with an agenda of political ideology which the current economic crisis has shown to be literally bankrupt, not financially, but morally. There is $30 trillion sitting untaxed in offshore bank accounts,- enough to end the economic crisis. Yet still the rich want to take more, more to squirrel away, while society suffers. This is not the Big Society, this is the small, selfish, greedy, I'm alright Jack so you can go to hell society.

    We were proud that we didn't leave those made redundant to starve and beg on the streets. We were proud that their children were kept fed and clothed and went to school.
    We were proud that we made it possible for the physically and mentally disabled to leave huge, often horrific institutions in which they were incarcerated and often abused , for life.
    The disabled have been ennabled to achieve their goals in life and be productive members of society in all sorts of ways. But for those who were TOO sick, TOO disabled to work, we were proud we offered them as reasonable a quality of life and some freedom to enjoy the things, the not-yet disabled took for granted.
    We were proud and felt safe in the knowledge that should the misfortune of unemployment, illness, accident or disability overtook us, there was a safety net.
    A safety net that all contributed to, according to their means. A national INSURANCE scheme. One that costs pennies when compared with private insurance policies. One that pritects EVERYONE, rich or poor. One that does not, like private insurance companies deny that the condition even exists.

    This government has made "benefit" and the "welfare state" dirty words and aroused the public to attack each other. This only to deflect from those who are so greedy, they want more. More of everything so there is not enough to go around. We used to call it social SECURITY - because that is what it offered.
    There is plenty to go around, it is simply a choice where the money is spent. Bailing out the already obscenely rich few or assuring safety and care for the many.
    This Orwellian Newspeak about the sick and disabled being scroungers, cheats, fakes is a propaganda campaign of epic proportions. We know IB/ESA fraud is 0.3%. We know DLA fraud is 0.5%. We know this because these are the governments own case examination figures. If they could make the figures worse, the most certainly would. But they never tell people the REAL figures because it would destroy their ideology. They issue propaganda to make people hate the very thing that keeps them safe in a civilised society.
    That one of the richest countries in the world can well afford if it so chooses. The ideology is to make people vote for a system based on America, where the rich can pay even less tax while the poor live in tent cities and children are homeless and hungry and the sick die for want of drugs costing pennies.
    We need to take back our pride in what the people created for the people and end this domination of the select few who control the strings of every politician, for their own ends.
    The welfare state saved my life. Without it, I would already be dead. A car accident, caused by someone else. Something that can and does happen to anyone, every day of the week. We all think such things will never happen to me - but they do. Hospitals are full up and down the land with people for whom the day of reckoning arrived. Some will recover and return to their normal life. Some, never will.
    As a civilised society, we now must choose what we do. Continue down the path of narow self interest for the few, or pursue the good and the potential of the many.

    Without the welfare state in the future, I will die. No great loss, many might think. But such a system will be an incalcuable loss to a once proud nation - the loss of its very soul.

    1. You are so well spoken - Totally agree! I dont wanna die - But these evil people make it feel like the only way out.

      What do they think they will ever do with all this money - why cant we ALL play nice?

  42. It's divide and conquer. During the Thatcher government, it was the miners who were the enemy. Now it's us, the sick and disabled who are the scapegoats. I find it heartening when the sick and disabled fight back and protest. They don't expect that. I no longer buy newspapers that portray sick and disabled people as scroungers.

  43. Watch IDS as Hitler. So funny. Had to be done.

    No, before some troll says it, Godwin's law does not apply, as the analogy is clearly relevant to current times.

    1. that is one of the best i have seen, very well edited and incisive, all should share...

    2. and here
      with former cabinet ministers saying how bad IDS is he's to far right wing and like Mrs thatcher hates the EU

      The EU is very difficult for the conservatives being to right wing so they take their hatred out on the sick and disabled that is not TRUE conservatism selfish yes but not hatred that's just a few like IDS/MILLER/GRAYLING

      But you only need a few mp's like them to not only inflict serous damage on the sick and disabled they destabilize the whole country by their rhetoric and need to be brought down in the next general election

      IDS is very thick skinned miller less so if IDS wins this battle with his reforms then that's the finish for the sick and disableds future so we need to get IDS out of office ASAP as the longer he stays in power he will be able to influence his way of thinking to a much more wider audience and where will it all end that's the question we need to ask ourselves

      like in any battle their is only one winner Saddam and Muamar Gaddafi’s regime looked safe at the start of the war but as we all know things in the end game were to be their downfall so we must live in hope that history can repeat itself so that the sick and disabled come out on top

    3. Brilliant. please share and tweet link.Everyone needs to see what were up against.

    4. Nick, great link. I never knew Portillo said he saw no future for himself in the Tory party after IDS was elected because he was too right wing.
      Chris Patten says with IDS the party was too right wing to win an election and Mellor says he resigned over it.

      Cameron's election campaign was a complete lie from start to finish to sell a product.

      Nice packaging, labelled as a refreshing, healthy drink. Actual ingredients cyanide.

      Well, now we all know just how right wing Gruppenfuhrer IDS actually is. And this man actually thinks he talks to God! (a la Blair and Bush)Yee Gods, the maniacs are takng over the world.

    5. thanks
      I'm a conservative but have never been able to vote because of the extreme right in the party
      good conservatives are rare these days but the old ones are still around
      Macmillan was good as was John major all for fairness across the board

      john's downfall was he was seen as weak he was more liberal truth be known hence the 1922 conservative committee got rid of him

      IDS/miller and co are way to far on the right and shouldn't in all honesty never be allowed in to politics as they are more BNP and you know how bad they would be for immigrants

      the public need to wake up when voting you should only be voting for someone who talks friendship the guy next door type of person the person who when finishes work helps out others at a local level often without anyone knowing but they are there none the less helping out in all weathers going that extra mile for people to make their lives better

    6. You say the public need to wake up when voting. But to be honest most MPs seem to be coming from the same pot - ALL of them seem happy to attack the disabled targets and it seems that they will say anythign to get IN to No10 - and yet once in there - They do the total opposite...

      So - What is the difference? Miliband? He woudnt change anythign woudl he - So its blues or reds who sing from the ssame hymn sheet
      That fills me with utter dread for any future i might be allowed to have

    7. OMG that is so funny and sadly true, I have shared it via facebook, I really hope it goes 'viral' (listen to me, my kids would say!)I do hope that there are more where this came from :-) It is great that people are using less obvious skills to spread the message. Can we see if we can get as many hits as the MOJ Appeal video they tried to ban??????? also can someone with good IT skills save it so it can be re-loaded to u-tube if it is 'lost'.. cough.

  44. Isn't there a parliamentary debate in September on the WCA initiated by Tom Greatex MP?, and I believe 65 MP's have signed John McDonnells EDM on the test. Though i suspect the Labour Party will just argue on technicalities and not morality/ unjust, etc as we know from the reply to Sonia Poulton's open letter, Milliband still endorses it.

    However, are there things we can do leading up to the debate?

    1. Yes, the debate is tomorrow.4th September. I THINK in Westminster Hall though not sure. Don't know details if will be broadcast on parliament channel. Standby.

      What to do now?

      Mass Tweeting taking place NOW at #LabourListen about what you would like to hear from Labour in the debate.

      How about comply with the BMA demand to end the WCA immediately. And a Judicial Review.

      Or No to PIP - waste of taxpayers moeny. DLA already does the job just fine.

  45. You have an amazing blog! More power to you!

  46. Another anonymous. Love the blog.

    Issue of fear of losing benefits being a dsincentive to do what is needed to improve is a huge one. The current philosophy in mental health services is 'recovery' ie serious mental illness isnt a life sentence, people can and do recover. However, if all the future holds is JSA and workfare, why would you 'recover'.

    I am not talking about fraud, there is something about how people define themselves, fear of doing something different, being realistic about the chance of getting a job ( most employers still wouldnt consider employing people with a history of serious mental illness ), possibility of getting better housing and hey , you would be mad not to stay mad.

    And I say this as someone who has experienced this, found it very scary to let go of the label, especially as often with mental illness the stigma means it is all or nothing, either hold it together to appear normal or stay mad, very hard to do inbetween.

  47. The ConDems have really lost the plot, I mean really. This beggars belief, even from them. Sickening:

    "A leaked draft of a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) template letter warns sick and disabled claimants they will lose 70% of their weekly employment support allowance (ESA) if they refuse to take part in work-related activities, more than doubling the current fine."

    1. This is unbelievable,when are the LP going to get a backbone and oppose all this? This will leave people destitute and seeing as very sick people are being put in the WRAG and care is being cut across the Uk, some will die .....

  48. If you're a politician or a celebrity not only can you hold down your job but you can advise others how to live - it's so very easy for these people - must be the breeding - true olypian spirit or complete denial?

  49. Just saw this on CAG site. It actually made me feel sick and I wanted to cry. I just don't understand how someone who is actually signed off sick by a GP can be put onto one of these work programmes. Even if the JCP think you will be ready to return to work in 3 months surely you need to be signed off by your doctor so as to validated your fitness. It just gets worse and worse. How can anyone live on £30 per week?? This has made me feel even more frightened and scared.

    1. Don't get scared, get ANGRY. Use what you have - a computer. Comment on newspaper sites, facebook, use twitter, whatever you can do. Let the world know what is happening.

      Psychologists sometimes say depression is repressed anger. Well, this government has caused a lot of serious depression, so now its time to let them see the anger.

  50. I've just had my £30 stopped. Got the letter on Saturday and that's it - stopped dead. I'm recovering from bowel and lung cancer and was only awarded 6 points (you need 15). No idea what I'll do now.

  51. You haven't Stew - its the bloody government. I just do not understand how they can ride rough shod over everything this country built years to build up - the same way you can have 5 consultants looking after 5 different parts of your body and someone with 2 weeks training can say you are fit for work.

  52. Yes, my GP and the consultants may say I'm not fit enough but some guy from ATOS says I am.
    I hope your ok.

    1. So sorry Stew. Do you have anyone to ask for help? Have you put in an appeal? Is your MP any good? Usually the DWP gets scared when people fight back. Is there any way we could all send you a few quid? Open a PO Box?

      This is obscene.

      The government only gets away with this because people retreat and friends and families usually try baling people out for a bit with what little spare cash they may have.

      But there are far too many people who have No one to turn to and are left to deal with this on their own.

      Any company or charity that gets involved in this, had better watch out. They will SO be boycotted, like Tesco's.

    2. Appeal, appeal, appeal. This is happening a lot, and the whole system is buckling under the pressure. So keep buckling it by continuing to appeal. It is draining and exhausting and you don't need that...and I'm sorry. But appeal. Continue to appeal. Let your Gp know. Let your MP know, and take what strength you can and fight it.

    3. The Condems are considering removing the right to appeal from Universal Credit and possibly other benefits, these will be the first benefits completely created by those monsters, Freud and Smith, they will be draconian..

    4. Anonymous,
      Thank you for your concern - you have no idea how much it helps just to know some people care. I wish I had your e-mail address so I could thank you properly - you can find my e-mail address by clicking on my name.
      >>Is there any way we could all send you a few quid?
      I don't want to take anyone's money. Come to think of it, I think we are all in the same boat (zero income).

    5. This is probably way too late, but Actually Stew, this is what we do. When you get Support Group and HRs of DLA things are a lot better and we CAN help each other - if things are worse than when you posted, please consider letting us help? People helped me when I was desperate - fixed my care, bought me a new laptop so I could keep campaigning, fed me when I was in the thick of campaigning against PIP. I'll email this to you too.

  53. George Osbourne got booed by the 60,000 crowd when he went to present medals at the Paralympics.
    The tide is turning and this government will so feel the backlash:

  54. I crossed the line into 'terrorism' over this issue the other day - see my comment at

    Thoroughly expecting anti-terrorist special branch types to turn up here. No longer care if they do. At least I would be assured of something to eat in that unit in Belmarsh!

    While personally I'm not cut out for real life violence, I think the government have underestimated the fury that this has caused in people with very little to lose. And I think assasination attempts by the disabled will follow the suicide wave.

  55. So sick and disabled people are to enjoy the fruits of this tawdry government's romance with the paralympics - didn't take long

    fines for not working whilst on ESA up to £71 leaving claimant with £30 a week to live on!!!


  56. Some of these people claim to be disabled but they are not too disabled to have children, which the rest of us have to support, so there's something wrong somewhere.
    If you have a computer you have access to employment - why not try it?

    1. Never ceases to amaze me that after about a week of a post being up, the usual snarks show up and start leaving crappy comments toward the bottom of the page. But let's give it a go...

      First of all, being able to sit at a computer for an hour does not mean one is capable of a job. When I was freelancing as a typist I was still putting in eight hour days. For me, sitting was painful. Typing is painful. Sometimes I had to get up and vomit due to pain. Sometimes I was feverish. Sometimes I couldn't concentrate and didn't even understand what I was seeing. So "sitting at a computer" or "able to press a button" does not mean "employable". And many employers recognise this and won't hire people in this state. If working from home was a more viable option for many, it may indeed be possible...but again, that's employers who don't want to go through the expense or the inconvenience when they could just get someone to work in the office instead.

      Having children "other people have to support" is rich...when my son reaches employment age, he's going to be putting money into the pot for your pension and care when you're older. What goes around, comes around, sunshine. We take care of everyone's children by having primary schools and children's programs and funding, whether you have children or not. It may seem a huge stretch but not every disabled parent needs to immediately go on the dole. More to the point, it may seem weird but some disabled people weren't disabled when they had children - I certainly didn't find out I had this form of arthritis till after I had my son. And the money that goes into helping me care for my son here pales in comparison to amount it would cost to put him into a home somewhere.

      Do not assume none of us have tried - I actually do have a job, thanks, though how long I can keep it with all the cuts and the loss of support happening, I don't know. If I don't manage to make at least a small profit next year I will probably have to give up entirely because the way the cuts are going, it will be too difficult to continue. And THAT is the real crime here; that people are willing to work. May even be able to work a little bit...but the system is slashing any support to make this possible in the name of "saving money"...which in the end will just cost more money. It's a complete catch-22 and that is what you should be outraged about, not aiming your ire at what you feel are "scroungers"

    2. I doubt that your son will be putting any money into the pot. From your other posts I understand that you son is receiving numerous benefits as he is quite severely autistic. You say in thispost how much "you save" us the taxpayer by looking after your son yourself and not putting him into care. How kind of you!! He is your responsibility for goodness sake! Yet suddenly this damaged child is going to be welcomed with open arms by employers when he is older and has, by some miracle, completely recovered.

      I have no doubt that some years on you will be claiming every benefit possible for you and your son.

      Your whole outlook is, for some reason, that the world owes you and your son. Incidentally, I understand that your son "has to" go into a residential school. Isn't that the same as "putting him into care"? Think how much that is going to cost the state!!!!!!

      It is your whole attitude of "You owe us, you owe us" that is so galling

    3. Then you haven't read my posts very son has been watching biology videos since he was four. He understands physics, the various genus differentiations, he can calculate the ingoing and outgoing angles of light and refraction. He can tell what dinosaur he's looking at by just looking at a partial skeleton, and can probably tell you from which period it hails from.

      He will never "completely recover" - but then what he needs to do is reach his full potential. My son is going to a residential school which is about 23,000 a year. If he was in care, it would cost approximately 120,000 per year. So, yes, and thank you, I do believe he's doing a lot better now - and now he'll be going to a school willing to recognise this, I suspect he will be earning as much as his ASD father when the time comes...and that's about £75,000 a year, before the age of 30.

      Not bad, eh?

      Since you feel so very independent, then I tell you now - stop working. After all those wages were given to you by other people investing in your company. Don't shop a supermarket - after all, other people are growing your food for you, and by your own logic you are not entitled to it. Turn off your power, hand in your car, unplug your phone, remove your clothes...I'm sure somewhere out there is a cave (hopefully on land which is owned by no one) where you can be utterly and completely self-sufficient.

      I find your inability to walk your own libertarian talk equally galling...but actually, more amusing than galling. Bless you.

    4. My grandson is autistic. His father, my son-in law, is a Cambridge graduate. He was given a scholarship to an independent school because he was brilliant at math. He is also a member of mensa. He now works in the city and earns a £100.000 plus. He pays a lot of tax but never complains, as he feels he has a moral obligation to pay his share.

      I don't where these people get off with the pifling amounts of tax they pay on their less than average wages, in thinking that they keep sick and disabled people in luxury while they have to work. They think that they will live for three score years and more, die in their sleep, and not cost the state a penny. Few people go that way.

  57. WCA debate, on live now 11am on parliament player:

    1. Debate can still be seen on link above by clicking on the "Watch from Start button".

      Unfortunately the session started at 9.30am for other business and the atos debate did not start till 11 a.m. There does not appear (at present anyway) of fast forwarding.Just have to let it run for an hour and half till it gets to it.

      Maybe that will change later.

    2. The player to watch the debate can now be fast forwarded to 1 hour 28 mins in to see the start of the debate.

  58. What a ridiculous thing to say. I would imagine many sick and disabled people work on computers. Some sick and disabled people can't sit at a computer for very long. Writing a short message on a computer is a bit different to actually spending hours working on one.

    As for having children, most people have a had their children before they become sick or disabled. And even if they haven't nature determines whether or not someone has children. Not you, or anyone else come to that. Being sick or disabled doesn't suddenly make you a bad parent.

    1. We shouldn't engage these sociopaths, the general public may have wanted some welfare reform(though of course they have been subject to many years of 'scrounger' propaganda) but they are a million miles away from the callousness and misanthropy of these creatures..

      just ban em Sue...

  59. listen to Stephen Timms (lab) selling disabled peole down the river

  60. Maria Killer rewarded with Culture, Grayling off to Justice, no problem stopping those annoying helpfull MOJ videos now then!


    Timms and Greatex basically defending the WCA and its principles, the disablity movement should be wary of 'allies' like this. The charities, the LP, and in some ways the unions and churches have all abandoned us, we need to come together like never before, no demarcation between sick and disabled, etc, we are under attack..

    1. yes, read this piece (of excrement)

      they really are appalling

      Timms just wants to be known as a nice guy - he's not - we pay his wages - he is our employee - he's not and hasn't been doing his job for a long time

  62. To Oya - If your son is so brilliant why does he need all this help, come to that why do you?

    If, and it is a very very big if, he can get well paid employment,(and I doubt it very much) the taxes he will pay will not cover all the costs of benefits paid to both him and you over the years.

    So he is a genius - congratulations! Perhaps you and his, oh so clever father,(who by the way should be paying a lot of maintenance on £75000 per year) could pay for his specialized education!! The rest of us have to!! But no you constanty harp about poverty on the one hand and boast about the earning capacity of your son's father on the other.

    Add up what has been paid to the system and add up what has been taken out (especially to you and yours)and it does not take a maths genius to calculate the difference.

    But again the "You owe us, you owe us" theme.

    1. You didn't answer're not making attacks. Since you don't feel you should be giving any of your hard earned funds to anyone, then take yourself out of society - as you don't like society and don't wish to support it. Then you won't have to worry about it.

      Either walk the talk, or you're just...well, being an anonymous goad on the internet.

    2. Hey Anonymous 14.52
      If we take it that the government are trying to help disabled people back to work - given that many are working or have worked - why is it that Cameron has made it possible for anybody disabled in the armed forces not to have to go through the WCA - surely he's not helping them by doing this?

  63. GP survey out today, shows the WCA is pushing "vulnerable people to the brink".

    Among other statstics, the most awful is that 6% of GPs say they have patients who have either attmpted or commited suicide as a direct result of the WCA. Even at only one person per GP who states this, out of 35,000 GPs this equates to 2,100 people. Many GPs will have more than one patient who attempts suicide since unsuccesful attempts are far more common, so the numbers involved could be far higher.

    This is the reality in Britain today. A shame on the whole nation.

  64. Mark Hoban MP new at the DWP to replace Grayling
    details of expenses here:

  65. Tanni Grey-Thompson was given a remarkable privilege when she was appointed to the house of lords
    for those that dont know is that to be a cross bencher in the lords you must have been seen to be an expert in your field in the understanding and for improving the lives like yourself in tannis case that meant the disabled

    My own views on this appointment is that she did not merit a Lordship as she has not been effective and far to many sick and disabled people have struggled and continue to struggle with getting their benefit entitlement

    for her and for her wonderful achievement's as a disabled athlete she should have been made a Dame the female equivalent of the honour of knighthood as that is befitting ones great personal achievements over a lifetime

    A Lordship is a much higher award and should only be given to a cross bencher who understands and will fight the corner of those they are supposed to be representing as i say tanni a lovely woman has failed to get her message across and her fellow peers in the lords take what she says with a pinch of salt and dismiss it and she is unable to make any headway hence the position with regards the sick and disabled remaining very black and bleak with another ATOS death just being on the news

    sue marsh however has continually fought very hard for the well being of the sick and disabled and in reality she should be in the lords as baroness marsh a cross bencher speaking on behalf of those like herself in that the sick and disabled do have rights in international law and that they be given the full support that they deserve in leading the fullest life as is possible and not the lives that they lead at this time as one of fear and death

    i recommend that all readers to this blog put forward sues name here
    so that the lords select committee can get a chance to see the vital contribution that sue has made to the sick and disabled on line communities in where she will have saved many lives by the wonderful support that she offers along with many of her followers

    sadly many have died despite this blogs best efforts in offering words of comfort to those at the end of their mental tether

    1. this is not going to happen Nick

      tories are already making Paul Deighton of LOCOG and former Banker a Peer so he can help rebuild the economy - probably selling tickets to the early death of the country:

      Paul Deighton, Locog chief executive, will also be appointed as a minister in the Treasury.

      The former banker will be made a peer and become minister for infrastructure and economic delivery.

    2. it's called the olympic legacy - jobs for the boys - unelected and unaccountable

    3. it is a long shot granted in getting sue into the house of lords

      i have known many lords in my time being from the establishment myself but regret to say the standard over the past 30 years is at an all time low with the vast majority of the lords well past their prime and do more damage then good in all areas hence many of them never turn up as the garbage being sprouted out turns many of them off from even turning up

      As i said above i would like to meet in person sue as she has shown me to be of an exceptional talent and after the governor of the bank of england died who i served years ago lord Richardson i never thought i would come across anyone like sue so i hold her in the very highest esteem and the country sure does need her kind of talent in fact the whole world needs her kind of talent

      had she been fit and able who knows on what grand scale she would have excelled in

      being a good communicator is one of the finest talents possible which is so sadly lacking by all politicians worldwide hence why so many overseas charitable projects fail to deliver and just lip service paid

  66. Oya - Actually you did not answer my question,cuts why isn't this high earning ex-husband supporting his child?.. Why should I (who earns less than £75000 per year) support you and yours. In earlier posts you have stated that when your son goes to residential school you can, at a drop of a hat, travel anywhere to protest against benefit cuts. So to summarise - Your ex-husband earns £75000 per year, you work, your son is going into a residential school (free), however you stil expect every benefit you can get.

    It is freeloaders like you who spoil it for genuine people. Let us hope that your "oh so clever son" can support you when he is older - Dream On..... At least let us hope that the State does not have to!!!

    1. I did answer a member of society (and in the higher tax bracket) he pays taxes. These taxes pay for residential school not only for my son, but for other children as well...just as the taxes which paid for his education eventually got him to university and into work. Incredible how that works, yes? He also encouraged me to get DLA as I refused for years as that "is what my taxes are for". On top of this - even though it's none of your bloody business - maintenance. Thankfully this just about covers everything my son needs to be able to live a life that isn't just staring at walls, eating crusts.

      Of course, I'm well aware this answer will not satisfy you...nothing will, really. But I'll leave the comments here as testament that if there is any "me, me, me" it isn't coming from people who have paid into the's from people who resent doing so. And that's all I have to say on't.

  67. I dont begrudge the genuinely in need but I have worked in healthcare for 10 years and frankly the number of scammers and pretenders to be ill is totally out of control. If they stopped their benefits they would get a job simple as that.

    This country has 2 million eastern europeans doing jobs lazy brits on benefits wont do. The welfare system is very lucrative here, which other country provides better housing and spending money to those on benefits than those that bother to work??! Nuts!

    I dont single those in need but there are far too many that just bang kids out then go straight to the benefits office. Do people realise that a single parent with 2 kids gets benefits equivalent to a salary of £45k a year!! Yes 45k! Why bother working when you can live it up on the stupidity of others who pay tax?

    Anyway I am leaving the UK next year for the US as at least there you are rewarded for your efforts. If you work hard you keep what you earn. You dont end up paying for lazy shysters to sit at home watching jeremy kyle and smoking and boozing all day.

    This country is a joke. The 150 billion welfare gravy train is a joke. Anything with some drive and will to work hard get out of the UK asap because all that happens here is all your income goes to shore up the laziness of others and that includes those people who dream up all kinds of bs like social anxiety disorder, back pain but can play sunday league football etc etc

    In the US its simple work hard and prosper. If you dont want to or want to dream up some bs ailment then you are on your own and noone will care. Thats how it should be.

    1. the usa is full of bull and always has been and that's my usa friends telling me that
      i went once and can quite clearly see what they mean they have an answer and cure for everything which is a complete nonsense hence there murder rate being so high

      you can be a victim all to easy in the USA of crime and violence and in reality it offers no quality of life to the average person

      so good luck to you you'll need it

    2. what exactly do you do in "Healthcare"? I hope with your attitude you don't work with any actual patients. You are just the sort of HCP that would work for atos. Sell your soul for a few extra quid and free perks.

      Did you know, in the US, there are lots of middle class people living under bridges?Hope you find a nice one with lots of angry neighbours.

    3. Anonymous4 September 2012 19:43

      I have the feeling you'll fit right in over in the USA. You might get even luckier, and Romney could get elected.

      Then you can pay your hard earned taxes straight through Syria and into Iran for some serious carpet bombing. You'll make another 20 people multi-billionaires overnight with building contracts, and you can pump your fist and chant "USA USA USA"

      You'll not have to worry about racism, rape, burglaries or murder, because the USA is the land of Hope and Glory. And that stuff only happens in the movies.

      You'll even find great websites blaming the blacks, the addicts, the alcoholics, and the unemployed on stealing your taxes, so you'll be able to have a good rant about them there.

      And you'll be delighted at their Healthcare, they won't spend your taxes on poor children with cancer or poor people in need of surgery, there won't be free prescriptions or spectacles for the nasty scroungers.

      But do be careful. One day I was driving through a town in Long Island, and the traffic was bumper to bumper, and some guy touched the rear of the car in front of him, and the driver got out, walked calmly over to him and shot him. I don't know if he died, but this was quite a normal occurrence. I think I was the only person who was shocked that day.

      Anyway, I hope you get the things you are looking for in the USA.

  68. Good riddance, just hope you don't become disabled or sick there in the Land of the Free,where people with three jobs still have to sléep in their car and where millions are on foodstamps..

    actually I do...

  69. Reports coming in Teresa May booed at Para-Olympics...

  70. To Anonymous - 19.43. Unfortunately the USA export all their freeloaders over here to jump on the gravy train. Oya is one example, she has been given everything but is never satisfied! Although she has an "Oh so clever husband" earning £75000 per year and who, I hope, pays a lot of maintenance. She accesses every freebie she can, has every benefit known, free housing, free medical care, free specialist schooling for her "oh so clever" - "autistic" son etc., She still complains! Perhaps she too, should try the "lan of the free" I'll be she still has American citizenship.

  71. Why don't you do one,you are not welcome on here, there are plenty of right wing blogs you can spill your bile. There are people on the edge reading this blog, your venom and sub Ayn Rand fantasies could tip them over the edge.

    Meanwhile, the Telegraph is reporting Save the Children are to respond to child poverty in the U.k for the first time ever as it reaches unprecedented levels..

    what an achievement for the Condems...

    1. Ayn Rand felt that people should have their own moral compass. Unforunately many claimants have no moral compass!

  72. Massive New ESA Fines Plus DWP and Tribunals in Secret Project

    this news is available from those who sign up with Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd

  73. Its no wonder this country is going down the toilet. I recall a spoof ad recently which showed Salary: 45k Job description : Single parent with 2 kids

    Which country is going to progress when benefits are more lucrative than getting a job?

    Fact 1. There are 2 million eastern europeans doing jobs here lazy brits wont do. Face up to that rather than saying no jobs. Yes you are probably right there are no jobs that pay better than your lucrative benefits so you aint gonna bother when staying in bed is easier.

    in the US you dont have people on welfare living in the best housing like here. you dont have a health service that allows the whole world to screw left right and centre. Also it doesnt have a benefits system that encourages laziness, feckless and irresponsibility especially with regards to family size as this one does. Simple ethos there: you work hard you rewarded. if you dont want to work then you are on your own. As it should be.

    Have a job in private practice there. Tax is far lower there simply because you arent paying for millions of layabouts to drink and smoke their way through the day.

    The NYC welfare reform cut welfare bills by 75% by simply telling people no free money get a job! Is it that hard??

    More working decent people will also leave this country soon as they are fed up of seeing most of their income support the idleness of others who know every trick in the book to maximise their state handout.


    gotta ask yourself like many of the comments on the bottom if you cant afford children why keep having them??!!

    Prioritize money for the genuinely disabled rather than these people who have got themselves into trouble through sheer irresponsibility with regards to family size and prioritizing money on fags rather than food.

  75. Sue, you are paying the price of becoming a famous blog, its becoming a target for all the right wing misanthropes..

    off you go, to the Mail, etc...

  76. At last people are beginning to see the truth! Of course there are genuine claimants, and they should be given help and support. Unforunately there are others who want taxpayers to pay for them to have the most up to date electronic equipment (large screen TV's, i-pods, latest mobile phones etc.,) My employment means I have to visit a number of homes (suffice it to say I am employed by local government) and it is usually the homes where no-one works that have the most up-to-date appliances.

    1. Ah, local government. That would be the bloated public sector that mouth frothers like you want to see abolished then. Soon you may get your P45 and find out for yourself how many of the latest appliances you get on £71 a week. Hope they have what you want at the foodbank. How's the abolition of your pension going?

    2. I was getting £30. We are just struggling to eat never mind the latest appliances.
      I do understand some people may not want to work but I had cancer. I'm not fit enough to work but have been told I am by ATOS. I've worked all my life and never thought I would be in a situation where I was not sure how I was going to get something to eat. One day everything's ok - the next you have cancer or some other illness or maybe someone drives into you.
      Being ill does not make you a scrounger. It really could be you tomorrow.

    3. Save it. We've heard it all before. (We know people who get free cars, a luxury lifestyle and there's nothing wrong with them). I don't know anyone like that, but it isn't those people the government are targeting. It's the people who are too ill to work and are never likely to work, who they are going after.


    due to start in 3rd december 2012 - no need for a vote as it will go through parliament without debate by statutory instrument.

    Why bother booing at the paralympics - its not enough any longer - we need action to bring this nazi government down

  78. Hey everyone. The new minister for disabled people is Esther Mcvey-the clown off the telly
    When esther left school she went to university. Once she got qualified (goodness knows how) she went back to the familt business - DEMOLITION!!! not making this up. Im a Scoser and unfortunately so is she - we are not going to get on

    McVey has worked in the family business which specialises in demolition and site clearance,[2] land reclamation and regeneration.

    She returned to the family business after University, while undertaking a post graduate course in radio journalism at City University, London before embarking on a career in the media, both as a presenter and producer. McVey was a co-presenter of the summer holiday Children's BBC strand But First This in 1991, and has subsequently presented and produced a wide range of programmes, co-hosting GMTV, BBC1's science entertainment series How Do They Do That?, 5's Company, The Heaven and Earth Show, Shopping City, BBC2's youth current affairs programme Reportage, and Channel 4's legal series Nothing But The Truth with Ann Widdecombe. McVey has debated at the Oxford Union and took part in Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.

    McVey returned to Liverpool and set up her own business, Making It (UK) Ltd, which provides training for SME's as well as providing office space for new start up businesses and through which she founded Winning Women.[3] McVey was nominated for Merseyside Woman of the Year and Cheshire Woman of the Year 2004/05.

  79. she and IDS dont have anything in common IDS is in reality a BNP type of figurehead where as McVey is more conservative central

    The reshuffle is more to the right and grayling now at justice is a pincer movement to take justice away for those that cant afford it

    all that is happening is that the uk is going the same way as the usa in order to cut down on the size of the population as that ultimately is the governments end game

    The uk can only be strong with a smaller full working population and anyone not in that ball park and way of thinking will be at risk in a whole manor of ways which will be detrimental to your health leading to your premature death

    IDS is the main problem he is so strong without any feeling for anyone else we may not be able to do anything about it we will end up as his slaves and those to ill will have to take his iron fist

  80. 10,000 people are on DLA due to acne!! You telling me the system is working??

    Watch the Newsnight report, you can see the obese chav who has spent all her benefit money on fags and carling then goes down to the foodbank when she realises she aint got enough money for food!

    Close your legs love then you wouldnt be in the position you are in? If you aint got money you dont pump kids out then go straight to the dole office from the labour ward. People who get off their backside and work shouldnt support shysters like you.

    RIP GB

    1. I know for a fact, that the DWP does not give benefits for skin diseases, even quite serious ones which require chemo type medications.

  81. Rich where is your evidence that 10,000 people are in receipt of DLA as a result of being afflicted with acne? Could you please share the official report you are citing with us? Oddly, proved that no one receives sickness benefit for acne...

    ..though in reality acne can be a serious condition leading to low self esteem, social anxiety, clinical depression and suicide, so maybe you're right? I'd be really intersted to see where you got your information from. Facts are important as opposed to misinformed views dreamed up out of ignorance you understand.

    It must have been hard to stop your knees from shaking violently when you wrote that comment? Did it make you salivate too?

  82. A Suggestion for Stew Crowther

    I am not sure if this has not been suggested already as I have not read all the messages.

    You should contact your MP and explain your situation. My son got help from his MP who personally had a word with someone at the job centre when he had trouble having failed to get enough points. This was a few years ago now when Labour were still in government and the new benefit had only recently replaced Incapacity Benefit. Worth a try. It is just shocking that someone with the severe medical conditions that you have does not qualify for benefits and told he is fit for work. I hope you get the help you need to sort this out.


  83. Hello Christine,
    Last year I failed the medical with zero points and decided to appeal which we won. But the stress that caused myself and my wife really took its toll. I went downhill and my wife ended up at the doctors with depression. Even though I won the full 15 points I was put into the work related group. So now it is phone calls, letters and appointments at the Job Center all the time. It is hard to get out but if I don't go to the appointments they stop my money. At the medical this year I was awarded 6 points - still not enough. At CAB they said I should appeal like last year and I should win. But really, we are both at the end of our tether. The stress and anxiety this is causing is just too much - it's killing us. If I win my case I still have the stress of the job center. Plus the fact we would have to go without money until the case came up which last time was about six months.
    I sometimes wonder if it was worth going through all the operations and all the chemo.

    1. Hi Stew

      Sounds like a nightmare. I can’t understand why as your situation is much worse than that of my son’s. Your money should not be stopped while waiting for a tribunal, this sounds very odd. Also my son does not have to keep going to the job centre.

      In a just system any one with cancer or other serious condition should be exempt from having to apply for benefits and should receive them automatically, and most certainly from having to go to the job centre. I think things have got much worse since our MP helped my son. I would still write to your MP and explain the situation, no one who is sick should have to go through this misery. I can only imagine how you must feel, I would find a tribunal stressful to say the least though they are not as intimidating as they sound.

      Some solicitors sometimes give free one off consultations maybe this is something you might consider, though of course they would charge for further consultations, but who knows you might get lucky and find someone willing to help. Just an idea.

      I wish I could think of something more helpful, it is awful what we are all going through hopefully soon something will be done to change this serious social injustice.

      I wish you all the best and hope that soon you can get some help and advice.


  84. Sue, i hope you don't mind me saying this but you will have to consider what to do about the haters who are now piling in on this blog. They know what they are doing, they want to destroy it as a resource: the bile they pour out here is frightening posters, many seem to be justifying their situation to these creatures which must be distressing and I fear it will weaken its efficacy as a resource and a forum for developing new ideas and strategies for our movement..

    most are US style libertarians who have no contributions to make, they are not interested in real debate, just abuse and slander, I wouldn't worry about free speech, they have enough sites around the world to post their views on..

  85. Some(Quite a lot)of the rhetoric and hateful comments from Anons are similar to some I have had recently on my own blog.

    As here I don't censor comments and usually either ignore or try to reply in a measured respectful manner as everyone on here have but you know no matter what you say they'll just come back with more of the same.

    I don't know if they do it to get people going and it's game or they really feel what they say. The main trouble is that we tell what our lives are like and often give quite personal information about ourselves and bare our souls.

    We do it to ask for advice, show support for others, share experiences and so on but often these anons give nothing away about their own situation.

    We are easy pray but we have no idea why or how they came to their conclusions...

    Do they have anecdotal evidence that makes them feel as they do? Do they believe the spin the politicians put out? Do they take the few examples of scroungers the media like to find(and they are few)as has often been stated on here regarding the official statistics showing how small fraud is regarding DLA and believe there are many more?

    Have they any disabled or ill people in their own lives, genuine or otherwise that give them their opinions or do they not have anyone to give them a rounded view of life so a lot of assumptions are made?

    We have stations like LBC in London available across much of the UK via DAB who are supposed to be news based but depend on presenters who don't present the news straight.

    They often don't hide their own opinions so if they talk about the kind of things discussed here they often class "All" people who get help from the State in a negative way and then you get callers with similar views to the Anons on here but they never seem to be challenged. Perhaps it's done to get a reaction and encourage people to phone in.

    You get the drip, drip, drip effect that if it's said often enough others believe what they hear and think it is fact.

    A lot of the very important changes or ideas that are coming or planned are ignored by the media so many have no idea what is coming until it's too late.

    But you see I don't just feel the stress/worry for those of us who have to depend on the state because of illness/disabilities...

    I feel it for those working in low paid jobs, many pensioners who struggle, the unemployed and anyone who is disadvantaged and vulnerable.

    This government is working its way through what seems like a long list of targets and attacking them and doing it in a way that ends up with parts of society attacking another, instead of working together, divided we are not as strong which is what they want.

    If we divide and splinter into different groups we are less of a force to make our point.

    If you work you are worried that your job will be there next week. You worry if you can pay the utility bills, put food on the table, keep a roof over your head, the same for everyone and now we have the changes coming with Housing Benefit, Council Tax and the new Bedroom Tax on top of everything else. So many more will be hurting.

    And those in receipt of DLA/PIP/ESA/JSA will be trying do so much more with less and divert benefits meant for one purpose towards something else.

    And now I hear who has replaced's no better but in a different way. And not good that IDS is still there but if the policies aren't changing no amount of moving people sadly is going to make any difference.

    The latest estimate for people needing help from food banks next year(for the main network)is 200,000 and no they are not all claiming benefits.

    This does not take into account the less well known charities and drop in centres that do similar work nor the help family and relatives are giving if you are fortunate to have any in the first place.

    Our problems are much greater and wider than it seems at first glance. It really worries me...

  86. I'm belatedly picking up on the acne thing.

    Acne is a generic term and there are different sorts of acne.

    One, acne vulgaris, is the sort we are all familiar with.

    Another, acne inversa, more often called hidrenatis suppuritiva, causes blisters, sores and abscesses in the areas with sweat glands, and typically requires repeated surgery. It is not a few pimples on the face.

    There are also necrotising forms of acne.

    It is therefore quite possible that there are quite a few people on ESA for acne, but not the sort that we usually recognise on teenagers' faces. I have a friend with the suppurating sort. It is thoroughly nasty but people's comments about how acne is just a few pimples which nobody else makes a fuss about is the last thing he needs to hear every time he comes back from further surgery to his groin.

    Finally, I'd like to point out that the statistics for what people claim ESA for only list the main/first reason and a person may have a collection of conditions which together may add up to being unfit for work.

    Indeed, the notion that one would only ever have one reason for claiming can be very frustrating for anyone with a collection of problems that people write off by seeing them individually. For example, problems with a wrist may seem to be no big deal unless you've got legs that don't work and need that wrist to push your wheelchair. Problems being hard of hearing or visually impaired are both manageable much of the time with modern technology, but combine the two and it's a whole different ballgame. Arthritis bugging you? Lots of people have arthritis. What if you're Deaf as well and need to sign, but can't sign properly because you can't move your fingers properly? Or what if that arthritis isn't a bit of everyday wear and tear but absolutely crippling arthritis that stops you walking or turning a tap on?

    I expect I'll return to rant again at more stupid assumptions about disabled people and benefits claimants.


    Independent has a scoop about Royal Mail opening much of the DWP/Atos ESA correspondence including ESA medicals, forms, etc. This has been covert with no scrutiny, given how leaky RM is, letters going missing, opened, etc, this is
    so wrong, a disgrace...

  88. Not a scoop Anonymous

    Awfully close to plagiarism. The author followed me on twitter two days before it appeared but made no other effort to contact me.

    Either way though, I'm always delighted to see stories we've raised in the mainstream media whatever the circumstances


    this is the most coherant report on the welfare scandal i have ever read.

  90. I had a major mental breakdown at the beginning of this year so severe that I am left with short term memory problems and have lost the ability to do something as simple as make a cup of coffee most days, on top of that I now suffer from severe anxiety at leaving the house and as such my doctor has deemed me unfit for work. I was a self employed, single mother before this happened to me and supported my family through hard work. Now I've lost my business, and my home and my kids have been given to my Mum via court order. I was bringing in between £900-1200 pcm to my family home and still struggled to feed and clothe my family after paying the household bills. Now I live on £100 a week E.S.A and that's supposed to cover my basics such as food, clothing, rent top up, enough electric to heat my flat with night storage heaters which run at about £6 a day. I get DLA as well but I'm given the lowest possible amount of £40 a week which doesn't cover the costs of the community care nurse that I need daily all day to help me during the day and the mental health system in the South West of England SUCKS. My so called mental health team have been useless. My support worker is ALWAYS on holiday, the cpn never comes out like she's meant to and I have seen the psychiatrist all of twice, my GP is fuming because he's left dealing with something he only has limited knowledge of, that's why he refered me to the 'experts' who don't do their jobs. What makes me so angry at the system is that I KNOW there are people out there who much worse off than I am. There are Kids who are AS YOUNG AS 8 maybe younger who miss school to look after sick parents, WHERE IS THEIR HELP? Social services say they can't help because they don't have they no longer have the authority, staff or funding to do so. This country needs to change but if we don't stand as a nation and say enough is enough the government are supposed work FOR the people not the other way round then things won't change for the better. The government can't put us down if we stand shoulder to shoulder and fight for our basic right to live.

  91. Don't pay too much attention to all the crap about benefit scroungers, yes there are some but most are not.

    The whole system is set up that way to keep the working class and those that have been forced onto benefits fighting with each other causing class warfare (done to make sure your not paying attention to what government is actually doing which is taxing us more and more each term).

    The rich, who basically run the government, continue to raise taxes for everyone but themselves and get the media to hype up anything they can use to their advantage to keep the working class and the benefit victims of the system fighting with each other.

    Remove government and there is no such thing as benefits (no more class warfare), no more taxes (no more paying up to 70-75% of your house hold income just to live which means you wouldn't even need benefits in the first place).

    People would actually live better lives if there was no government, people could work when they want and earn a real living instead of being forced into what we currently live in.

    Remember, BIG GOVERNMENT caused the way we live today.
    Hope everybody is getting ready to pay up to 20% extra on their energy bills as of April 2013, gotta love that carbon tax eh! All to save the planet from ourselves.....

    We are witnessing the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of man kind (THE RICH STEALING FROM THE POOR) and everyone is more concerned with whats on TV or the latest celebrity crap.

  92. I have to live on ailments and persecution by the regime in Scotland.

  93. Save money when times are good, so you do not have to rely on government when times are bad

    1. what if there are no good times? or the bad times are a lot longer?

  94. Many people seem to think that everyone on benefits is a scrounger, fraudulently living off other peoples money. And yet, according to wikipedia:
    'official UK Government figures have stated that the proportion of fraud stands at 0.7% of the total welfare budget in 2011/12' (
    and in the guardian:
    'The DWP's own estimates put fraud at 0.5%' (
    The government and media are exaggerating the figures for their own ends. People (Anon) should do their research before forming (and posting) opinions.

  95. My Daughter is disabled, she is 11months old. every hospital trip to london costs 60 odd quid which has to be done every 6 weeks. dla just covers that. plus any emergancy hospital visits to the medway (weve had nine so far-that ive had to call a ambulance out for and a couple that weve gone up by car) -some of these visits can last a couple of weeks- and appointments at the medway maritime (which are every couple of months) and the sittingbourne memorial hospital (every four months) all these are covered by my child tax credits. then ive got bills covered by my income support and my child benefit (£80 quid a month) covers every thing else (food, clothes etc) i could claim dla for my epilepsy but i dont, just as i dont claim carers allowence. i privately rent my house which yes the housing benefit cover (but its cheaper then a lot of council places) and im a bit of a freak in the sense that i miss work, but i cant go back- childcare isnt a option that i can take, tiffany has so many complex illness' to the point even the medway have trouble. i've paid tax and national insurence when i was able to. does the fact that i dont work now make me, or my daughter scounger(s)? as elizabeth states the dwp put fraud at 0.5% so we cant be -that- bad

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