Friday, 18 October 2013

Ever asked "Am I wrong?"

Last blog i did was about realising people lose stuff. Real Lives. Affected by sickness and disability.

There are a few of us in this nation that can see quite clearly that we need to stand, suggest, do. Its tough when All the people doing it themselves are doing it at person cost, and cost to health.

i do.

I have had four emails recently saying "Are you okay" like that meeting you were there but looked very tired, not well, affected by what you are doing.

I just had a chat with another campaigner who said dont just hear your body, listen to it.

I suppose I really should.

Its hard to do.

And when I blogged what people have lost, it was hard to write. I cried. Ive lost stuff too.

And as I type this, I have an open tab, and read another plaintive plea for a wake up within a sanitised non responsive pressure driven system.

If people can think enough, then we can change things.
If they dont engage what can people like myself and others do of any worth?

I would like you to read this and comment here. THIS needs reading > AM I WRONG?

Comments here are open. feel free.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Sickness and Disability is not a Lifestyle Choice.

When your world changes....

You know that a stones throw, a coin toss, can put you in need of support and help? a need for Social Security?
When your life changes beyond recognition, because of a sickness or disability... it takes stuff AWAY.
You dont Volunteer for removal of vocation, job, business, lifestyle.


SIckness and disability isnt something "Over there" that happens to other people.

This is a list of real people, what they did before they could no longer work.

Just think, all of it, taken away. And this govt wants to remove as much support as it can from these people. Real people.

And so we begin...

"What did you do before you could no longer work? "

"We both worked in engineering, last project 2006-07 abu dhabi port project. had a brilliant life now life is shit."

"IT manager. Prior to IT work I was a mobile phone salesman"

"taxi driver for 10 years self employed in diff things b4 that and joined army at 16 "

"senior features co-ordinator for a magazine"

"international retail consultant "

"Lecturer for the Unemployed and CAB Volunteer. They were the days when I could go out/do whatever I wanted...."

"Police officer for almost 10yrs, always employed since leaving school at 16"

"Chief Financial Officer"

"Volunteer Coordinator / Project Management in voluntary sector."

"I was a baroque viola player and violin, viola and music theory teacher. Also worked as an usher at concert hall."

"I was a Property Valuer & Manager for the high end rental market. I had a portfolio of properties over 2 million quid. Good sal, bonus, car"

"Fundraiser, yoga teacher, youth worker. Working full-time since 15."

"Housing Officer. Gave up to become a carer"

"I was a checkout manager with 130 staff working 37 hrs a week. Now bedbound /housebound."

"I was a Community MH Nurse with specialist training to help people with severe/enduring MH Problems"

"Brought up my kids, once an acceptable thing, so now long-term unemployed & seemingly unemployable."

"Engineer, quality, process"

"Ward receptionist in neuro disability hospital"

Has that made you think enough yet? THESE ARE REAL PEOPLE .

And in my belief these people are being treated as scroungers, less than human, even bordering on implication that they are Shirkers, not trying hard enough. Shouts of Fraudster, Scrounger, Waster, Feckless all abound quite virulently through the media and society. Sickness/ Illness/ Disability has hit these people. ITS NOT A LIFESTYLE CHOICE.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Its not as simple as one or the other...

When speaking about broken WCA, i was thinking of my own situation when a lot of the mental stuff is caused by the physical stuff.

The insomnia by the tablets. The naturally resultant anxiety of illness, etc etc. The displacement, the fears, a whole raft of mental health issues exist directly resultant of physical ill.

For the DWP / ATOS to separate these in the WCA and say either or with no link, as it APPEARS to do is a complete fallacy.

Its well documented and thought widely that mental health issues are dealt with appallingly in the WCA.

So I decided to think on how people cope with a diagnosis of chronic illness. What it does, what it means to their life, things that those without might understand the way it weaves a different pattern to your life, changes things, transmutes into places you have never been. And how difficult yet often invisible that side of things are.

I know. Because its changed me radically. Some of you reading this will identify and have a cloud of understanding from these basic words.

To highlight it from an individidual's own perspective , a lady called Penny has given permission to share HER story of this life changing impact.

Without more words, here it is:

Coming to terms with this disease has been and continues to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
My life has changed beyond recognition from the self assured, independent, professional woman I was up to a few years ago. I studied, qualified and worked as a Dr of Psychology for many years, firstly within organisations and then when I could no longer work out of the home I ran my own private practice from home. My work was a very big part of my life but since this condition has progressed these last few years my concentration has been affected and I am no longer able to be reliable for clients, I also find it impossible to sit for the hourly sessions that are required.
I have had to adapt each time another part of my independence has been eroded, I can no longer drive, I am no longer capable or safe to go out of the home alone. This has caused isolation and depression recently and I have had many discussions with my GP about my emotional well being.
As well as socially my life has changed beyond recognition personally, I am no longer able to cook or prepare food for myself or even a simple cup of tea when I want one, I can not bathe or keep myself clean and need physical help to do this and so my dignity has suffered.
I can not simply decide I wish to do something and be able to do it so have had to come to terms with my daily limitations.
Stress is one thing that aggravates the Psoriasis and the arthritis but life as me is very stressful much of the time as asking for and accepting the constant help of another person/people is very hard, also the constant forms and need to continually prove to yourselves and others that I have actually got what is a recognised medical condition brings the whole sorry process to the front of my mind again and again.
I get very upset very easily, partly due to frustration with myself I suspect and wanted to write this statement to show you that a physical condition also impacts on a persons mental health.

Now that shows a personal impact in such a lucid way, and I hope reading that, you can see if someone says they have a chronic illness, its so much more than the physical. 

I stated earlier that the WCA seeks to separate, or mitigate these effects as irrelevant. The BMA state the WCA is broken. They voted for its cessation. 

Theres something you can to to help this happen. Sign Wowpetition.  Many thanks. 


Facts on claimants with mental health conditions Cross posted from

Did you know?

(1) Of 1,609,430 claimants coming off Employment & Support Allowance between March 2010 and February 2013, 566,250 (35%) had a mental health condition. 

(2) Of 2,699,780 claimants taking up a claim for Employment & Support Allowance between March 2010 and February 2013 (including those converted from pre-existing incapacity benefits), 1,0930,330 (40.5 %) had a mental health condition.

(3) Out of a total of 1,591,040 claimants on Employment & Support Allowance in the February 2013 quarter:

724,150 (45.5%) had a mental health condition, of which (percentages relating to the 724,150 figure)

24,890 (3.4 %) were of 'unknown' claim status 

214,090 (29.6 %) were in the Assessment Phase

252,250 (34.9 %) were in the Work Related Activity Group

232,910 (32.3 %) were in the Support Group

(4) Of the 724,150 ESA claimants with a mental health problem in February 2013, 401,390 were new claims and 322,760 were claims which had been 'converted' from pre-existing incapacity benefits claims.

(5) Of 918,560 claimants still on the older incapacity benefits (not all have been transferred or assessed for ESA conversion) in the February 2013 quarter:

389,580 (42.5%) had a mental health condition. Of the 389,580 claimants, 29,750 have been claiming between 2 and 5 years and 355,520 have been claiming over 5 years. Claimants who claim on mental health grounds constitute by far the largest percentage of the total claimants followed by 143,560 claiming with diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective Tissue and 75,120 claimants affected by diseases of the nervous system.

(6) Geographical breakdown of the 389,580 claimants with a mental health condition on pre-existing incapacity benefits by region (this does not include ESA claimants but the longer term breakdown is likely to be similar when the reassessment programme is completed in 2014):

Region                                                 Number of claimants 
North West
South East
West Midlands
South West
Yorkshire & the Humber
East of England
East Midlands
North East
Living abroad

(7) Taking just one quarterly set of figures covering the period between December 2012 and February 2013, out of a total number of 155,180 ESA claimants coming off the benefit, 57,670 (37%) had a mental health condition.  

Of the 57,670 coming off ESA in the February 2013 quarter:

14,110 were of 'unknown' claim status  

34,010 were in the Assessment Phase 

6,340 in the Work Related Activity Group  

3,190 in the Support Group

(8) Of the 724,150 ESA claimants with a mental health condition in the February 2013 quarter, the age breakdown is as follows:

Age group                                     Claimants   
Under 18
18 - 24
25 - 34
35 - 44
45 - 49
50 - 54
55 - 59
60 + 


205,380 is the total number of ESA claimants aged 50+ (but not exceeding 65) affected by a mental health condition.  

Monday, 7 October 2013

JSA , lambasted by this govt......


Theres a massive focus on tiny sections of expenditure by this govt.

And then this happens......

A fella on JSA goes to Jobcentre
Is put on a course.
The course says "Research a subject, and do a presentation to the people on the course"
Now this sounds all fair. However the presentation chosen by Benjamin here was RESEARCH on JSA and Jobcentres. Ironic. No. Brilliant? Yes.

The following I got from Benjamin:
(Dear Jules, Via email ) 
In June I was forced to go on a course by the Jobcentre as I'd been unemployed for six months. I say forced because if I hadn't gone on the course, they would have sanctioned my benefits. The course wasn't as painful, embarrassing, and demeaning as I expected it to be.. A constituent part of the course was that I had to do a presentation. I decided, given the resources and audience that I'd research the true impact of Job Seekers allowance on society. It busted myths and made people feel a lot better about their situation. When questions pop up, ask yourself those questions. Share it, and ask and show others. The presentation makes a compelling case.

I was happy to keep the presentation to myself and put it away having only shown it to the group. That changed though. The myths need busting, and I'll tell you why. Every time I hear about a bedroom tax suicide, I realise as many people as possible need to see this, to debunk myths. Every time I hear about yet another person dying after being found "fit for work" I realise it needs to be seen. We need to be heard, that's why I need people to see it.

Did I tell you also he showed me MSM emails not wanting to particularly extract info from slides 40ish onward? No? Ah. Thats what they did.they didnt wanna show anyone.

The presentation is in powerpoint.I've hyperlinked it to microsoft on line. There should be no compatibility / viewing problems.

                                          < Click here to see the presentation >

A bit of myth busting eh?

Nice one Benjamin.