I have been unable to work for a few years now and am in receipt of ESA and PIP.
I am nervous about writing this because I may be targeted by the DWP and Jobcentre. This likely would result in my benefits being removed or at best suspended.
I have several chronic illnesses that make life difficult and at times more than challenging. I live with constant pain, and though occasionally people will see me about looking as if I am what is perceived as ‘normal’ and living my life, most of my days are simply existing with the pain, the exhaustion and sadly the soiling my illnesses cause.
I get very low and often so suicidal that I sit with several insulin pens in my hands fighting to find reason to stay alive. One day I may very well lose that battle.
I also become scared of answering the phone or worse the door. Keeping my curtains closed in order to hide from the postman or the rest of the world.
Anxiety and depression often develop alongside chronic illness, for me, the only person I can truly talk about, illness stripped me of my strength, dignity, purpose and worth. It isolated me from friends and strained my family relationships even beyond breaking point. It allowed my children’s mother to describe me as a useless cripple to my kids and others.
Britain judges me and hundreds of thousands of others as scroungers, living off their money. Not contributing to society. My journey was one of working, college, university, and developing my career. I started out working in a belt and brace factory in Manchester, driving buses in Manchester, Wales and Derbyshire, with youth work, residential care work and finally child protection Social Work to management level.
My career was my life, after my kids. When ill health stole it from me along with most of the other things I held dear I thought I could never be of any ‘use’ again.
My path was my own, others have similar or different ones, some may continue to undertake some work, some folk may have never been able to work. The point of national insurance (NI) and tax is to ensure all in society, whether they have been able to contribute or not should be able to live a safe, nurturing, happy and worthwhile life. At least for all those years I paid into the system it’s what I was led to believe.
I now realise I will never be able to work for anyone else, my health issues ensure that I cannot plan to work one day to the next. I can have two or three good days then spiral down for a month.
I can however possibly commit to complete a court report over a six or eight week period. That may give me the option of setting up as an independent social worker. There is a bit more to it but that’s the gist of my current thinking.
I needed more information about what support would be there and how my benefits (entitlements as its not a benefit) would be effected.
I called the Jobcentre on their 0800 number and was on hold for forty minutes. My call was then answered. I was despite the wait still in good spirits as finally there maybe some hope that I once again would be able to contribute towards the people of the UK and pay something back once more.
I explained the reason for my call and was promptly told by an officious nameless female voice that I need to go into the job centre. Well again I cannot yet make appointments, especially at this time of year, I therefore asked that after the forty minute wait upon the phone for her please not to just fob me off. Her answer was to snarl (only word to describe her demeanour) “I am not fobbing you off”. I asked her to change her attitude and suggested I may be recording the call and was sure the press would be interested in the manner she dealt with people. She said “if your recording this I will hang up” and she did so.
If I had been at my lowest ebb this would have destroyed me.
This was a civil servant employed to work with vulnerable people. There is no way to complain and if you do you become ridiculed.
A few months ago I had phoned the DWP and was again after a substantial wait explaining to a male worker how the additional PIP assessment process was making me want to kill myself, the line was quiet as if he had hung up but then came back to life with him laughing to an unknown collegue about a photo someone was sending around their office. It was only the intervention of a friend that stopped me ending my life there and then.
I am so far lucky that I a here to moan about the way I am being treated, over a hundred and fifty thousand others are not. They have died through the callous actions of these vile people.
It’s not only the Jobcentre staff that are horrific to the vulnerable, I have had abusive behaviour from the police, I have been attacked three times due to my disabilities and daring to use my crutches in public. The police accepted it was hate crime, but failed to act. I have been called names such as scrounger or cripple by members of the public and my ex wife.
Today’s society is truly abusive towards anyone seen as vulnerable. I saw it as a social worker in the communities of England and Wales, but never realised just how truly terrible it is.
We are singled out by programs such as Benefits Britain, Kyle and the like, which make out that folks with disabilities are scroungers, thieves and fraudsters. The press villifies the poor and who they see as weak easy targets. They create anger at those who cannot defend themselves, from the homeless, the mentally and physically ill, the poor, the refugees, the list goes on.
Why? Because whilst you are angry at us you no longer focus upon those who really steal from society. I won’t point fingers, work it out for yourselves, but if it’s not the sick, disabled, weak, poor then who is it? Who is forming your opinions? Who is allowing these modern day SS administrators to behave like they do? Who rewards their inhumanity?
This has been my experience to date after four years of illness. I cannot begin to imagine what it will be like for those who have always lived this life, that will continue to be dealt with as if we disabled are scum.
8 thoughts on “Disabled Scum”
An outstanding but heart breaking blog Jonesy,
Promise me you’ll never, vet let these cruel and inhumane ba**ards win!
You are so worth so much more than you think!
Even through all your pain, depression and disabilities you fight the corner for others!
Don’t forget, those calling you vile names are the ones with the problem not you!
And they don’t know what’s round the corner, be it bankruptcy, redundancy, sickness, disability, bereavement, break up from a partner or caring for a loved one!
As the saying goes, “what goes around, comes around”
With much Love and respect ❤️ ✊🏻 Xx
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You are not alone. You are someone’s son, friend possibly brother or father.
Your worth is not what measured by the profit others can make from you, as an employee.
In writing this courageous article you are voicing the the suffering of so many others like you. Yes our country is broken. The fact that we have allowed this to happen shames us all. We need to work together to end that shame. Please keep on writing to show others they are not alone in their suffering.
Keep up the fight, there are thousands of us going through the same mistreatment by the public and officials who seem to think they know what it’s like living with the conditions we deal with daily and therefore penalise us for being ill in the first place. I lost a promising nursing career that I loved, to bullies in HR and at ward level. So I do know how it feels to work hard while you can and then have somone take it away when things get difficult. Please do not give up. There are lots of forums and other help out there for people like us. Take care.
Keep your head up. We shall win in the end.
Im with you jonesy. A car accident took my whole life away and whilst i know have a new husband we are kep apart by tory policiesand i often feel this way. The door and postman are my enemy except to feliver my beads. Without my beading i wouldnt be here. Im so ashamed that this country leaves us to rot. Im so sorry you feel so worthless. I cant even speak right now through crying at this post.
Sorry for the bad spelling. I dropped my phone after my wrists are weak after a stroke so all the screen is cracked and often just writes whatever it pleases
Keep going, Jonesey. You are doing something really valuably by what you have written above. And more than that, you are fightign back for those who cannot do it for themselves. Fighting back is far more helpful at keeping depression in its place, than just accepting. Proud of you. Keep going!
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