Disabled Scounging Bastards

I live with epilepsy and a severe hearing loss. Neither disability means that I am incapable of any sort of work.

I have known about my hearing difficulties since the late 1960's and my epilepsy since the late 1970's neither were a job problem in my prime. I have had some fairly important jobs despite those disabilities. I have been a Senior Nursing Officer in the NHS; a Company Director in private health care and an education and training advisor in the University sector.

Until 1997, neither of my disabilities had stopped me from working. In 1997 I crashed a car that I was driving into a neighbour's car in the car park outside my house because I had an epileptic fit whilst driving. It was in a car park, I was reversing slowly into a parking space, but putting my foot on the gas during the fit wrote off both cars!

I had two baby children at the time, the thought that the fit could have happened on the A55 with the babies in the car was sickening, I haven't driven since and I never ever want to drive again.

Even if I wanted to drive again, once the DVLA discovered that I had a fit whilst driving they cancelled my driving licence anyway! Because I lost my driving licence I lost my job!

The Government decided that I could receive "incapacity benefit" as a result of losing my job.

I objected.

As a lip reader I thought that I could train to be a lip-reading teacher,(they are few and far between in Wales. At the time none of them could teach lip-reading in Welsh), but I was told NO – I would have to pay for my training and lose all benefits because training would prove that I am not "incapable" of working.

So I remain, a scrounger, a sponger, a ne'r do well, a person left on the scrap heap, because I was useful as one incapable by the last government to hide true job seeker numbers but one deserving of opprobrium by the current government as a scapegoat for the burden on the public purse.

But not considered by either as a person living with a disability who can make a positive contribution to society.


  1. This really stinks, but then this is the way it works.... I know a number of people with a range of disabilities, some work, some work some of the time and some are incapable of work. There is a whole spectrum of possibilities. What we need is a system that enable and empowers people to work when they can and support them when they can't. At the moment people are losing their benefits because of arbitrary tests. I have a mate with advanced HIV disease. He is incontinent, and they say wear a nappy, He has short term memory problems, they say stack shelves, he has days where he is incapable of getting out of bed, they say take a part time job at tesco until they fire you.... He wants to work but knows he would not be able to hold anything down for long and it would mess up his benefits, such as they are.

  2. The disability area is under sever strain because DLA has been withdrawn from 500,000 with hearing loss,and no funding is made available to support them to look for a job either. employers refuse to obey the access laws with impunity, Remploy has dumped supported work, tot hand over that work to able-bodied which put 100s on welfare for life after employers reneged on promises to give the jobs.. Cameron has responded by utilising the media to blacken anyone with a disability as 'Frauds/Scroungers/work shy". Disabled are being blamed for benefit abusing, when in fact their access to rightful benefits was the first to go. It is the 1930s fascist Germany approach,first spread disinformation then ostracise and persecute the needy.

  3. The scroungers have decided that it is their lifestyle choice, to scrounge and get everything for nothing, the sooner they are all investigated the better, and as for those who breed for benefits, well, tax their income like they tax the working man.

  4. I can see why you are anon, I wouldn't want it known I was a Daily Wail reader either. DISABLED people are NOT scroungers, why comment when you are obviously too stupid to know what you are writing about ?

  5. Of course some of them are scroungers! No, not all, but some.

    And it is time the work-shy were put to work to earn their benefits.

  6. Having numerous epileptic fits every day is not a lifestyle choice; if you had experienced just one such fit Anon, I can guarantee that you would not choose to live with epilepsy no matter how generous the benefits for doing so might be.

  7. The people who abuse the system, and we all know of someone who does, unfortunately make things difficult for the people with real disabilities. However, I think the main problem with the system is the lack of any co-ordinated system that could match people into work or alternatively place people with disability into some form of voluntary work that they are able to do. Most people with the exception of those with severe disabilities can do something worthwhile for their community, people need to get out of their homes into the work community if only for a few hours a week to meet people and for their own self esteem. I do read the Daily Mail and have a partner with a life changing disability who takes no benefits but continues to work part time. We can't all have executive jobs and many are glad of the money stacking shelves or care taking earns whether they have a disability or not.

    1. We can't all have executive jobs and many are glad of the money stacking shelves or care taking earns whether they have a disability or not

      This is probably the biggest mistake that even those who genuinely want to help people who live with disabilities into work make. The most disabling thing about disabilities is the inability to do the simple things. If you have to use two hands to guide your wheelchair you can not stack shelves in Tesco! For a person who lives with a disability to find employment s/he needs to be an expert in a niche market where the individual's expertise counteracts their disability. The classic example being the blind piano tuner.

      If we are serious about enabling people with people with disabilities to work, we have to train them to be able to work in expert areas where their disabilities are not a bar, but the reassessment criteria used by ATOS militates against retraining.

      If you tell an ATOS assessor that you could do something, if you had the training, – you have admitted that you are fit for work, so you lose your benefits, but you don't get any training and you don't get a job stacking shelves in Tesco, because stacking shelves is something you can't do! It's a system predicated towards cutting benefits for cutting benefits sake, not a system to enable people with disabilities to find work!

      To be crude, Professor Hawkin can't wipe his own arse, there is no way that he can stack shelves in Tesco, he has a job because he is an expert in the big bang theory and he has an expertise that few able bodied people have; giving people with disabilities access to the training to make them experts is the only answer.

      Hoping that they can compete with the able bodied for jobs that need no expertise other than physical dexterity is a non starter.

  8. The lack of understanding the issue is breathtaking in its ignorance. If only, such 'Anonymous' critics used their bile to attack the biggest scroungers/frauds and thieves in the UK, the bankers. I can quote one statistic re an disability allowance MOST attack i.e. DLA the DWP who investigated fraud of this benefit stated less than 4% are thought to claim it illegally, but why let fact get in the way of kicking the worse off ? Even Cameron's team have said "We have got it wrong, the disabled are not the real frauds, but are getting all the flak.." But a win-win for them all the same !

  9. There is wrong and their is wrong. A 'less wrong' than another 'wrong' does not make it right.

    It's this sort of attitude that perpetuates welfare of the wrong sort. We need to stamp it out now.

  10. This is simply playing into the fascist mind-set. Of COURSE a wrong is still a wrong, but you don't justify it, by saying then EVERYONE is wrong, but that is what is happening, the collateral damage is hitting the most vulnerable, NOT the most effective frauds whoare too savvy to get caught.

  11. If this is happening it needs to be corrected, agreed. The most vulnerable must be protected.

  12. And you would do this .... how ? The DWP has waged war on EVERYONE claiming an allowance. Ergo all claimants are frauds. The 'truth' according to Daily Mail clowns.

  13. "...the sooner they are all investigated the better."

    Well Anon 1, you are getting your wish. Absolutely everyone on disability/incapacity benefits is being investigated and the blunt, insensitive way it's being done is causing enormous stress. It's clear to me, from my work, that many people in real need are having their benefits cut. When it's all over, what I would like from people like you is an acknowledgement that every single person who has passed through this process and is still remaining on these benefits is entirely genuine.

  14. With no stated criteria on need, it is a complete lottery. There is then no way to determine who is genuine and who isn't. In America they have fewer of these issues, they lay down in black and White what criteria you have to meet to get an allowance. We had that here, but fraudsters starting creating more and more grey areas, so in the end no-one can 'prove' need effectively. Many used 'quality of life' as an start point, and there is no way to measure that. Hearing loss areas are the most grey, they suffered the most too, half a million immediately became non-eligible. Now its moved to people with strokes and bedridden, assessed as being able to do 'something'. technically anyone who isn't dead can do something, but who the hell is going to employ them ?

    1. Hearing loss areas are the most grey, they suffered the most too, half a million immediately became non-eligible.

      There is nothing gray about measuring hearing loss in this day and age. In order to provide individual prescription hearing aids audiologists measure "precisely" how much loss a patient has over a wide range of frequencies. ATOS the private company paid for saying that a person isn't disabled doesn't request audiology reports from any audiologist who has assessed a claimants hearing loss. They don't do their own audiology tests. They assess claimants in a backroom of a Jobcentre without any diagnostic equipment.

      The assessment technique that they use to measure hearing loss is the same one as use to be used by quacks selling hearing horns in the 1850; they stand behind a deaf claimant and say the same word over and over from whisper to scream, until the claimant either works out what they are saying or they decide that s/he is belligerently refusing to admit that s/he can understand them!

  15. This seems to follow the system whereby the old DSS assessed hearing loss by ignoring ENT reports, dismissed your GP reports as 'biased', and their own medical examiners if they found you were eligible. It's actually untrue you automatically get an disability allowance if you have severe or total hearing loss. A man in Gwent profoundly and totally deaf in both ears for 11 years before he actually 'qualified' for lower-rate DLA, He got no other allowances. That was given because an precedent was set by someone else, a born deaf woman went to high court and won her case. He still had to re-apply 6 times, he was refused 5 times because they said he lip-read fairly well. Apparently if someone with loss tries to do their best without help they penalise them for it. If you acquire a profound hearing loss the chances of getting financial support for that except if you were born that way, is negligible, certainly very difficult, I have no idea where people get the idea claimants are showered with benefits for doing nothing ! One could argue the point those that lose a sense (as averse to those that never had the use of it), are worse off. Either way both areas are now set to get most allowances taken away. God help them, no-one will employ them.

  16. I was asked by labour to do the survey which is being used to say 90% of disabled people want to work, no matter how I answered the questions the out come would have been 90% of disabled people want to work.

    I was then asked to sign onto the New Deal for the disabled, my first interview was ok you need training and the college has a place for you to have your EDCL which is a Microsoft qualification, they said for you it's only £1,900 when I refused saying it's you who want me to find work in computing, they told me if I refused my benefits would be at risk, down to my MP, they cut the cost to £1300, then to £900 then to £500 then to £90 in the end they said we will pay for it, but the college demanded the government pay the £1,900 so it was dropped. I was then sent to one of the numerous people setting up one room training centers being paid for out of the education budget, I was then asked to look after a shop while the owners went out to do what ever he did, after a week the job center called me to ask how my training was going, not forgetting you do not get paid for doing this, I asked them what was the training program and they said they did not know.

    Ten years of this finally the job center told me that 2000 job application, and that my disability which is paraplegia from a spinal injury was to severe.

    Tesco had told me they only employed disabled people who could do the same as non disabled, Asda said they not put me on the tills in case the public was turned off by using a wheelchair and any way they had a quota.

    This week I start my battle to go from IB to ESA through Labour WCA which is an obscured system to define disability and benefits.

    If you have an electric wheelchair your deemed disabled and get 15 points, if you have a manual wheelchair and somebody pushed you your deemed to have no joking legs.

    Pain which I have in abundance is not even taken into account, using a catheter which I have to is seen as being normal, sticking a finger up your back side to go to the toilet is seen as being acceptable.

    Then again Tony Blair is the one who knows about cheats and scroungers, it took the Tories to stop injured soldiers going through the WCA.

    But to be honest I would really love to work, and I did for a while in the jobs which were meaningless, my six weeks sitting in a room at the NHS, I was off for one week when I became ill with a bladder infection, and they did not know I was missing.

    Then planting tree using a wheelchair, they said you can count how many tree we plant, and they kept patting me on the head saying he's good he knows what he's doing patronising it's worse then being punched

  17. It does seem that the more things change, the more they stay the same.One problem is that, although the medical profession did not invent disablism, old fashioned doctors and other medical personnel are thoroughly permeated with it. They give parents negative expectations of disabled offspring from the off.

    As late as the seventies, I believe, a concerted attempt was made to eradicate sign language in favour of lip reading, because 'normal' people were more comfortable with the latter. Signing was ludicrously seen as a 'monkey' language. It was said that humans should communicate verbally, not visually. These experts had obviously never heard of writing!

    Parents were advised to slap children who signed. It was senseless. The so-called carers just oppressed these kids because they could.It was as much an act of cultural aggression as the Welsh Not.

    Even as a nineteen year old at Cardiff University I encounterd a Dr Sandra Jones, employed by the student medical cente, who sneered and jeered at me as a 'cripple' and touched me inapropriately. I have nightmares about her to this day. I heard later that she had a very bad reputation, but nothing was done about her.

    Apart from overt disablist name calling, I find that unaffected people are often jealous of disabled people. They seem to think they are doing it on purpose and have easy, privileged lives. But there is probably no other group so underprivileged. People will often refuse to believe you are disabled because you don't match up to their stereotypical idea of a disabled person.

    David Cameron is a bitter disappointment. I never wanted him to become prime minister but I did think he was better than he's turned out to be. He and his wife had had a son with multiple disabilities, whom they must have cared about judging from their faces when he died. We could hardly have expected the onslaught from his govenment that we have experienced.

    Just before the Paralymics started, it was announcd that disablist hate crime had reached a high level. Most probably, the govenment has some indirect responsibility for this. Impressionable people often pick on those targeted for unfavourable treatment by goverments.I've recently seen a comment on a blog dedicted to Cilla Black that - somewhat irrelevantly - advocated disablist murder.

    Perhaps in a hundred years' time we will have an enlightened and sane society where people are not judged on their appearance or blamed for their irrelevant misfortunes. I really think disablism is like an addiction. Even people who theoretically disapprove of it, can't stop dishing it out. Only part of the human mind is rational and it's not the dominant part.

    Progress must be possible. It would be necesary to catch children young, teach them civilized values and somehow shield them from their parents' bad ideas.

    Already, people are less snobbish, less racist and less sexist than they used to be. They're more tolerant altoghether and they're kinder to animals. Steven Pinker's book 'The Better Angels of Our Nature' is a very interesting account of how we have improved even over the last few decad

    Unfortunately, disability seems to be the one area where there has been no improvement.Unaffected people find it hard to relate to disabled people or even to see them as fully human. Peter Singer's odious books say we should be nice to rats and vivisect disabled babies instead. And they are taught on moral philosophy courses! It is enough to make one despair.

    Progress must be possible. But it may require a reveloution - the last revloution.

    Marianne Hancock, Abergavenny

  18. It can really be frustrating to just be considered as a statistic rather than a possible contributing individual. That people are willing to work and contribute should be viewed as a positive thing. I agree, the worst thing about having a disability is when people deem you incapable of doing even the simplest thing to survive. Also, having something to do helps with dealing with it. I just hope other people understand that.


  19. So they won’t allow you to work because it would nullify the benefits that you objected to in the first place? And being disabled does not automatically mean you’re incapacitated. There are plenty of jobs that someone who’s in a chair or has poor hearing can work in. It doesn’t mean that a part of the body stops working, everything else stops working as well.

    1. Before recent benefit changes losing a job because of illness resulted in being put on "incapacity benefit", I agree that an illness that stops me from doing a driving related job doesn't make be incapable of doing ANY job (especially those where driving isn't involved) but that was the system - perfectly capacitate people were forced onto incapacity benefits in order to massage the unemployment figures. Because I was deemed "incapable" by the state I have lost five professional registration certificates, including my status as a registered nurse.

      I have never, ever believed that "being disabled automatically means you’re incapacitated", that status was forced upon me by previous governments. Now that the present government has decided that I am capable of the work that I always claimed I was able to do, I am no longer qualified to do anything! Don't blame the disabled - blame the politicians who have fucked up disabled people's lives for their own political gain!