Being on benefits is not a choice I would make. Before my pain started 9 years ago, I had my own business, a beauty salon that specialised in massage and holistic therapies. I have never been afraid of hard work and was very lucky in the fact that I loved my job, I loved making others feel better. The irony is not lost on me! I worked 10-12 hour days with few breaks and miss it greatly.
I was always very active, I went to the gym three times a week, went hillwalking with my dog etc. so not only the pain but the emotional side too, it hurts badly still to this day. It is almost like a mourning process you have to go through, your old life is dead and never coming back. In the five stages of grief – denial/isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, I am still in denial/anger mentally. It is so difficult to accept that your life can change so dramatically, so quickly and you have no control over it, but this is the same for everyone whether you realise it yet or not. I mowed the lawn, fell and have been on morphine ever since! I went from overly active to housebound within 24 short hours, mentally and physically that’s a lot to absorb!
I don’t like relying on others, but I am so grateful that here in Britain we have the benefits system and the NHS (no matter how much I complain about it!), as without both of these I would have been a lot worse off than I am now! Who knows where I would be….
The biggest problem with the disabled benefits system is that there are so many fraudulent claimants and genuine ones get knocked back. The people that do the medicals for benefits are not qualified, they get 2 days training, so why don’t they accept the doctors and specialists reports, they don’t give out wheelchairs and disability aids if you don’t need them! This really riles me, as look at a doctors/specialists salary! As a society, doctors are respected and well thought of, on the most part, and if they are employed by the NHS then their salary is paid by the government, who also supply the wages and training to these so called medical professionals, so why are the government paying two groups of people to do the same job? The only reason I can think of is to knock people off these benefits, as they are only allowed a certain number of accepted claims per day, so even if everyone they see that day is a genuine claimant, they won’t all get it! I think this is a huge slap on the face for the doctors treating these patients, like the government are disrespecting these qualified individuals that have years of training and taking the word of someone who has had a couple of days training, which makes NO sense to me.
It wouldn’t be the first time that I have sent money to a Facebook friend, so they can buy food, because they haven’t been paid. One person I sent dog food to, because she was going to have to give her dog up. She is disabled and homeless, living in her car, and really needs the comfort and companionship from her dog! I am happy that I was in a position to help these people but why should it be down to someone on benefits to help them? It wouldn’t, if only genuine claimants got accepted into these benefits. I knew of one man that got top disability benefits yet could hide from the police by jumping into an outside wheelie bin without knocking it over! I couldn’t of done that prior to my back problems never mind now, yet my friends aunt was declared fit to work even though she was in a coma at the time! I don’t believe doctors would jeopardise their jobs, to help people get disabled benefits that they don’t need or deserve, so the only way I can see that fraudulent claimants get the benefits they apply for, is through these medical professionals that the government pay to train. The very people meant to prevent frauds from getting the benefit.
Being disabled does cost extra money. Mobility scooters/wheelchairs are not cheap, plus all the other aids that you need, healthy food is more expensive as well, then you have the extra electricity to charge up mobility scooters, travel costs to hospital appointments and the list goes on. That is why we need the extra money that disability benefits provide, not so we can buy luxurious products and go on expensive holidays.
I was watching Benefits Britain programme last week and it was about large families on the dole, you know the ones with 26 kids and never worked a day in their lives. This man had 26 kids and goodness only knows how many grandchildren all living under the one council house, he got £800 per week, then the benefits got capped at £500 per week so he lost £300 per week, so to make up this shortfall he bought himself a walking stick and claimed for disability, saying he couldn’t go upstairs in his house, yet he was out playing football in his garden with his grandson. He got the disabled benefits which brought him back up to £800 per week that he was getting from the government and a mobility scooter! No doctors visits/letters nothing, just given to him! Yet for the genuine disabled claimants that are getting knocked off, they have to survive on around £100 per fortnight!! Benefits are a great and needed thing, but the system is being abused not just by the fraudulent claimants but by the medical professionals that give these people the benefit!
If you need help getting the benefits you are entitled to then you should check out this website, as they helped me figure out what was the most important things to write on the forms and what wasn’t. The website is – http://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk They are independent from the government so give you an honest view point. The members area costs around £15 annually but it honestly was worth every penny and more for all the stress it took away.