Sunday, 3 May 2015

Nothing Short of Barbaric - (2015 Update)

A Freedom of Information document (of nearly three years ago) from the DWP revealed that there is an average of seventy three deaths a week  a result of Welfare Reform. A lot of time has passed since then, and it is the suspicion of many, that the number has risen further, but the Department for Work and Pensions has not released the information. I wonder why?

 I  want this to stop, more than anything else in the world. I want people to wake up to the pain, suffering, misery and death, we're facing. I want this government, gone.

How many more vulnerable, sick and disabled people have to die before something is done?!

As a disabled person, I don't want to live in this country any more. We're frightened of losing our benefits and our independence. It is happening.

People are being left with nothing! Vulnerable, sick and disabled people are being left destitute after having their benefits wrongly cut, by a cruel and callous government!

As a person with Cerebral Palsy, who cannot walk or stand unaided, I know my turn for an assessment is coming soon...and I'm terrified! I know I will fail.

I'm luckier than some I know, because I have my wonderful husband (and his Pension Credit) to help us live, but there will be no more independence for me (what there is of it), because if I lose my Disability Living Allowance, I may as well close my bank account. There will be nothing going into it!

I'm going to be completely reliant on my husband, and feel even more of a burden than I already do. At the moment I can help pay household bills - just like any 'normal' wife does. I can get taxis to see friends, and attend appointments alone when I am able. It enables me to feel just like everyone else.

The government has already taken a lot of my self esteem, and my place in society. The constant, relentless lies about Disability Benefit Fraud has done that for me.

You see, the real fraud figures are very different to what the government would have you believe. In reality only 1 in every 200 claimants is committing fraud, but  the unceasing'scrounger' rhetoric has made me, and many others feel virtually worthless, and very unwanted - no matter how genuine we are.

I hate this country and I'm beginning to hate myself again. I thought I'd accepted my life, it's limitations and constant pain.

I know I will never be a mother and I know I won't work again. I did work once - for a year. I was dedicated, hard working, and always there when needed, but I was exhausted and in agony. I came home...and slept.

My boss knew I was struggling. I was pale and losing weight. When my contract came to an end, they didn't renew it.

I was heartbroken because I loved my job, but I was relieved at the same time. In reality I didn't know how much I could take.

I'm exhausted now, and my pain (through wear and tear on my body) is worse. It is always there, and some days I can barely move, never mind get myself out of bed and get to work!

Who is going to employ me? I'd have  to take regular days off because I am mind numbingly exhausted and in agony. Not to mention the frequent hospital and GP appointments...!

How many times will my employer put up with me saying "I'm sorry, I can't come in today"...before they sack me, in favour of somebody who CAN?!

This is not my fault. I didn't choose my life - none of us did. None of us would! To cut our benefits now, in this economic climate when there are no jobs even for the able bodied, is nothing short of barbaric!

It is inhumane, callous and cruel to treat a whole section of society in this way. The fact that we are some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in society just makes it worse!

How can they do it? How can they hurt people like this? How is it right that this government is able to drive people to suicide (regularly) and hardly anyone bats an eye lid?!

Why is this not a real Human Rights issue by now? Surely it counts as one! It is the oppression of people, and that should be covered somewhere...somehow.

It feels like the best we can hope for (in terms of Human Rights, other than a change of government), is the investigation by the United Nations into what it called ‘grave violations’ of Disabled People’s Human Rights, by the UK government, which was launched in 2014.

Disabled People’s Organisations, and individuals, were asked to submit evidence in order to help make a case. As far as I am aware, at the time of this update, the investigation, is still ongoing. You can find details, here:

It was also announced in recent months that the Department for Work and Pensions has investigated sixty benefit related deaths. Details below:

Campaigners feel that sixty is just the tip of the iceberg, and that a Cumulative Impact Assessment into the effects of Welfare Reform should have been done. It hasn't been, and I keep thinking, 'do we matter that little'?!

I wonder where has the compassion gone? That's what makes me saddest I think. People just don't seem to care like they used to. Have we become that selfish and blinkered as a society, that we can close our eyes to the suffering of others? If we have, it makes me more ashamed of what is happening here!

I no longer trust people like I did, and I will never forgive this government for that. When is it my turn to become a statistic in the 20% national rise in Disability Hate Crime? I'm terrified it will happen.

Will I be one of the people who gets my property vandalised? Will I be verbally abused or physically attacked when I go out in my wheelchair? That thought crosses my mind every time I go out. People should not have to live like this!

We suffer enough, and now we have to deal with victimisation, extra anxiety and pure fear for our futures as well.

It is easy to make judgements. In my case, my disability is visible, but there are so many illnesses and disabilities that aren't, and it is these people who are often victims of 'Scrounger' abuse, but just because you can't see it, it doesn't mean it isn't there.

It is these people too, who will suffer most as a result of the assessment process. The suffering caused by mental illness or invisible disability is not as easily quantifiable - but it can be just as debilitating as any physical visible condition.

As for me, I don't know what will happen to me on assessment day. I don't know if I'll be able to handle questions based on a 'tick box' computer programme, that doesn't allow for pain or variation and rarely takes a person's medical records in to account. I know that I'll be set up to fail.

I know that it could be a person who is not medically qualified and who, after meeting me for forty five minutes, will decide whether I get to keep my life, my independence, and my pride intact.

No wonder I wake up sweating, (that's if I actually get to sleep of course)! No wonder I am plagued by anxiety that buries itself in the pit of my stomach every night and refuses to budge. I am fighting for my life. We all are. I'm waiting for an envelope to drop on the mat and tell me that it's my turn.

Every time the letter box goes, I jump half a mile out of my skin! I am unable to open, or even look at official envelopes because I am so scared that it just might be it. It isn't just me. The panic and fear I feel every single day is widespread through the disabled people of this country.

My only consolation, is knowing that I am not alone.

Disabled and ill people like me, need your help at the election. I'd beg you if I could. This should not be happening to us. We need to vote this government out, and elect a party who will at least try to care.

Even if you feel that can't get involved do that, you'd be surprised how much difference a few kind words of support can make. It gives people hope when it can feel like there is none.

I'm asking you - one human being to another - to not let them take our lives. There is no difference between you and I. Anyone can be struck by illness or disability at any time. No one is immune. It only takes a second for lives to be changed forever, and I hope that if it does, there will be someone there who is willing to fight for you.

For full 'Freedom of Information' document - see link below:



  1. I've known a bunch of people people claiming DSA and classed as disabled, and unfortunately only a handful of them weren't able to get a job. The rest were lazy. Fathers who would drive a lot but walk around with a walking stick - yet refused to be a taxi driver. Friends who have mental health problems, but get to a point where they use it as an excuse to not get a job, and now receives more money than myself (who is working a zero hour contract on minimum wage and right now can't even afford to travel to work.)

    There's people who don't need it but get away with it, and then there's people who DO need it. But everyone who needs helps, whether they're unemployed, disabled, mentally ill or a migrant, is being screwed over by DWP big time.

    I've had depression over the past two years and becoming unemployed recently has really extremely tough. The way I see it, it's the state's fault that companies are getting away with giving such a low wage and contracts that are barely possible to live on, and the state's system of welfare to support people affected by this actually works against them and not for them. Which, in turn, generates more hardship.

    My point is,anyone who needs support it being screwed over, and your argyment about disabled people is just one tenant of a building full of problems.

  2. Joseph how long have you been a medical doctor & psycharist? I only ask as you seem to be able to make diagnosis of illness from a distance wow you must be sought after professional( please forgive my sarcasm) I say this because you have decided that the fathers who drive around lots but walk with a walking stick can be taxi drivers, the cars could be adapted with paddle controls or could be automatics. My Mum drives an automatic car & can drive further than she can walk & because of her arthritis & she broke her hip in 2013 she uses a 4 wheeled walker & can hardly carry things. Taxi drivers need to be able to help their paying passengers to their door or carry their passengers shopping.
    Sitting on a chair I look perfectly healthy but I have 2 genetic spine problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, tenosynovitis, tennis elbow, arthritis & underactive thyroid yet when I walk I need a walking frame or if it's a long distance or a very bad pain day I need my wheelchair & people like yourself look at me in my wheelchair wondering if I really need it as my legs look okay, I have both arms but my spine is so badly damaged I am in constant pain but thanks to Cameron's government all disabled, sick, people with mental health problems are now terrified of the brown DWP envelopes because society is of the mindset that that disability is only those visible anything else including depression is just to take money they don't deserve.

    Have you diagnosed yourself with depression or did you see a doctor? That's what we as genuine disabled people but with invisible illnesses have to go through everyday, proving we're sick to get us money many of us paid into when we were able to work & now face being looked at as scroungers, leg swingers, lazy people who don't want to work. Just getting out of bed or performing everyday tasks can be overwhelming & too painful to do but because we want to stay independent & try to not be a burden on our carers we push ourselves daily.
    Please Joesph stop buying into the Tory belief that disability is only valid if it's highly visible, please help make the lives of the many invisible disability sufferers lives easier by not assuming because we don't look ill or we can do some things better than others that we aren't disabled.

    1. Hi Debbite,

      There's no need to be so aggressive! The father of the family I mentioned was an avid driver, he would offer lifts everywhere - and the taxi firms in my town are *always* hiring. The guy was practically an unpaid taxi driver. The daughter in the family received DSA due to a disability in her legs, but she was seen roller-blading all the time.

      I'm aware of the paranoia and anxiety that surrounds welfare for those with mental health problems. My younger brother has borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia, and I've been by his side throughout his treatment - the way he is dealt with, both by medical practicioners and the DWP is disgusting. If you were to make a stand for reform within the DWP I would be behind you, buy I disagree that *everyone* is being screwed over. Some people, like yourself, truly deserve financial support whereas others simply do not.

      In response to your second question, both of which are awfully condescending, yes: I have been diagnosed with depression and social anxiety by my local GP. I don't know what your point in asking was, but I am perfectly aware that invisible illnesses are sometimes the hardest to manage. Although you have my sympathy for your condition, you're basically telling me "I have a real disability and you don't" - and isn't that what you're arguing against in the OP?

      It seems that your blog entry is a means to tell your own story rather than comment the issue as a whole.

  3. Helen, I really wish Ian Duncan Smith would read your blog. However, I fear he would not believe it anyway, since he has made up his mind and doesn't want to be confused with facts.

  4. I suspect that I am going to have to get a bigger piece of paper :(


  5. Helen , I wouldn't print or publish the crap Joseph Kelly blogs to you. Their are some very strange weirdo's on the Internet.

  6. I don't believe in censorship or removal of any comments (unless they are spam), but please take your arguments with each other elsewhere. Don't have them here. I rarely look at comments to be honest, so I've only just seen these.

  7. it is better no to feed the troll peeps.....