Thursday, 8 November 2012

Disabilities and Benefits



I have been listening to reports in the press again about all of the money spent on those who have disabilities, and it’s starting to drive me mad.

 

There are many in England who have never worked in their lives, some of who would not work if they were given the chance, yet it seems that those who have to leave work through a disability, are being penalised time and time again.

 

I was and engineer for thirty years when I was diagnosed with early onset Lewy Body Dementia, and lost my job because I was classed as unsafe to do it.

 

However like many when this illness is diagnosed I was not given the chance to do a reasonable job but was offered either a cleaning job or retirement. After all of my time working I felt a little insulted by this offer.

 

But looking back I do feel that many employers would do exactly the same, and whether we like it or not there are not many jobs that we could do on a regular basis and do it properly every time.

 

We may turn up and not remember what we are supposed to be doing or where we are supposed to be going, and not many if any employers would allow that to happen.

 

I may have forgotten much of my job, but occasionally some of it comes back, and although I have tried to do some jobs at home one time or another, I tend to steer clear of anything that could be classed as dangerous.

 

However many of these small jobs fail and I am left feeling distressed.

 

So why someone, with dementia or any other long time illness should, be penalised by the government agencies, or anyone else for that matter.

 

Yes I occasionally do speaking events where I talk about dementia for about quarter of an hour, but the notes are always written out in very large letters so I don't forget what I am trying to say.

 

Half of the time I may get lost unless my finger follows each letter, and sometimes I lose track, but I could not do that all day and every day as it is very tiring.

 

There are many other Neurological illness like dementia where people are being penalised, and I do feel that to the government departments and the press we are easy targets, because they think we may not fight back, but I am not frightened of some over paid civil servant or reporter who thinks that we should not be on benefits.

 

Unlike these people we don't get out of bed knowing that everything is going to be cosy all day, and at the end of our working life we will be on a fat pension.

 

Many of us had to retire early and therefore lost many years on our pensions.

When I look at the governments these days and all of those who hang around Whitehall etc., I don't think that they have any idea what this illness is and many don't really care.

 

We hear the occasional speech about the illness and nothing much happens after that, and I say that because it’s a few years since the launch of the National Dementia Strategy, and I don't think that much has changed because the government did not force the doctors and hospitals to do anything, so many sat back took the money and let the government carry on talking.

 

These people have the power to acknowledge our problem and make a case for us yet they simply don't listen.

 

The other day some idiot was talking about those in the Paralympics and the benefits they receive, saying that if they were fit enough to do sport, they should not have benefits, I confess that this really hurt and could not understand how anyone could ever think about saying these things .

 

Yes there are many people out there in this country taking benefits, even though there is nothing wrong with them, but when they are caught are they penalised. NO

 

It’s my firm view that if someone is caught cheating the system they should by law be made to repay everything, and not just give them a slapped wrist, because as we all know these people did this on their own and knew what they were doing.

 

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