Sunday, 24 October 2010

Julia's Story

I am enraged by the cuts to our benefits and services.  Apart from what will happen to me and all disabled individuals my local organisation of disabled people is faced with possibly losing all its staff.  I want and hope that disabled people and our allies will fight back hard.  I think we wont be alone once tens of thousands start losing their jobs and women start realising that the government has stolen twice as much from them as from men.
This is my situation: I know I am not the hardest hit by any means, especially as I don't rely on council services for disabled people but pay for my help independently.  According to the government I am a relatively 'wealthy' disabled person as I inherited some money a few years back, and despite having been unable to earn for over 20 years and surviving on IB and DLA I still have enough of the money to disqualify me from means tested benefits.  This appears to now mean I'll lose my main source of income (currently IB) in a couple of years time - once we are all moved onto ESA (if we're deemed to qualify) and ESA becomes a means tested benefit.  The way things are going I will probably lose my DLA also, along I suspect with my Freedom Pass and Taxicard. 

I'll be faced with losing over 90% of my income at the same time as my cost of living goes up.  I don't see that sort of percentage mentioned in any of the statistics being paraded around at present.  At the moment I get little more than £10 per week from interest on my savings.  If I had to live solely on my savings the money would quite quickly run out  as the cost of living for me as a disabled person is already way higher than the benefits I receive.  My medical condition is hardly treated at all by the NHS and in order to have any quality of life I spend hundreds of pounds a month on herbal medicines, supplements and alternative treatments.  Without these I would be unable to leave my bed, if I remained alive at all.

So I am very scared about the future.  But I am determined to fight back against this appalling thieving government.



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