Carly came forward about sexual abuse – then she lost her benefits

Benefit tales

Carly lives with terrible pain, but when her benefits were taken away the appeals tribunal was at the same court handling the sexual abuse case

The thought of going to court makes Carly feel sick. In her 30s, she has been building up to it for years. When she was a child, she was sexually abused, and – after three decades and a breakdown – she finally went to the police last year. “I hid it from everyone until then,” she says when we first speak, a day before she goes to court.

She doesn’t regret her decision – but it has taken its toll. Flashbacks and nightmares from the abuse are vivid and the thought of going through it all in court is “traumatic”.

“It takes everything I have just to get through the days,” she says. However, it’s another “court case”, of sorts – at the hands…

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Disability And Description: Disabled People Or People With Disabilities?

Same Difference

Last night, at the launch of this year’s UK Disability History Month, disability campaigner Richard Rieser spoke about the importance of the words used to describe disabled people, and the words we use to describe ourselves.

He explained his own preference for the phrase ‘disabled people’ over the phrase ‘people with disabilities.’ My instant reaction to this was surprise. I have lived with Cerebral Palsy all my life, and I have personally always preferred to be described as a person with a disability. Why? Because that has always been how I have wanted the world to see me, as a person, as more than just my disability.

However, the more I heard, the more I started thinking. The description ‘disabled people’ is preferred by people who follow the social model of disability, which prefers the term ‘impairment’ to describe our conditions and argues that ‘disability’ is caused by barriers put…

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‘Devastating’, ‘unethical’, ‘cruel’… disabled people react to green paper

Benefit tales

Disabled people and other campaigners have reacted with shock, anger and concern to government proposals to consider forcing all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity.

Disability News Service (DNS) revealed last week that the new work, health and disability green paper suggests that all claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) with the highest support needs could be told to stay in regular touch with their local jobcentre, or risk having their benefits sanctioned.

The green paper, Improving Lives, says ministers “could consider implementing a ‘keep-in-touch’ discussion with work coaches” for all people in the ESA support group, which “could provide an opportunity for work coaches to offer appropriate support tailored to the individual’s current circumstances” and “could be explored as a voluntary or mandatory requirement”.

Paragraph 114 of the green paper goes on to say that such contact could use…

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Labour Shadow, Debbie Abrahams, urges the government to end its “shirker, scrounger rhetoric” but post-Brexit new Benefit shake up Looms.

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Image result for shirkers and scroungers

Hate Speech in Millionaires’ far-Right Press. 

Parliament today (BBC):

Shadow work and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams urges the government to end its “shirker, scrounger rhetoric”.

She calls for cuts to the Employment Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group to be reversed, arguing that they target sick and disabled people.

She tells the House that the country is becoming “more and more unequal” and attacks the government for giving tax breaks to the “highest earners”.

 Followed by:

Work and Pensions Minister Penny Mordaunt tells MPs that government is helping people to get out of their jobless situation “not just to endure it”.

She says that new money from the Treasury will be used to extend a hardship fund and adds that the government will help jobseekers with “work related costs”.

The debate comes to an end and MPs vote on Labour’s motion.

The result is expected at approximately 4.20pm.

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Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre staff intimidating claimants yet again. A statement.

The poor side of life

Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre have  yet again been questioning a claimant today as to why they stand and talk to us outside the Jobcentre on Thursday mornings.
Not only is this a total infringement of a claimants privacy, it is yet another way that they like to intimidate vulnerable claimants.

It also infringes on many basic human rights issues, including that of being able to peacefully gather in a public space.
For Ashton Under Lyne JCP staff reading this, I would like to remind you of a statement made by your superiors at a meeting that we had with yourselves a while ago. In this meeting you agreed that no claimant would ever get threatened with a sanction for standing with us. This agreement was put in the official meeting minutes by both ourselves and Greater Manchester Police whom attended this meeting.
If you threaten any claimant with a sanction…

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