Wretched Government cuts: I'm about to be out of work... - NRAS


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Wretched Government cuts

Andrea_Shapiro profile image
17 Replies

I'm about to be out of work (redundancy day 1st July), effectively ousted out of work because of bullying & inaccessibility, but that's another story. I have no idea of what to do jobwise, as I am physically incapable of doing what I'm qualified to do, and I'm a bit long in the tooth to become a footballer's wife (as I believe it's fashionable to have just that ambition, rather than work for a living!?!). I thought that I'd start by visiting the Shaw Trust, as they facilitate work placements for disabled people. I found that the local Shaw Trust has shut down, as it has had funding cuts. The ethos behind the Shaw Trust is, "Ability To Work", and I referred service users to them in the past when I was able bodied & thought I could conquer the world, with my fancy pants joints & liquid mobility! Opportunities are lessening because of severe cuts. I believe that the hardest hit are people with GENUINE disabilities. I say genuine, because about 90% of people I've filled out forms for are folk that take the pee. The Government are saying they want us to work, but are robbing us of services that enable us to do so.

17 Replies

What Job have you been doing Andrea?


Andrea_Shapiro profile image

Welfare Benefits specialist, visiting bogus claimants on their own homes, wall to wall plasma tellies. I had to take their word for it that they were telling me the truth. Always on DWP forms, "this is in the applicant's own words".

SO sorry about your job.

Is ties nothing you would like to retrain to do while you have the chance. I don't know how you stuck sane in your job with you struggling to work and helping these bums get more then you will probably ever get x good luck in whatever you choose to do x

RichC profile image

Sorry to hear all this Andrea , especially about the redundancy reasons and selection , as you are probably aware that can be challenged.

By the sounds of things you are better off out of that organisation if you are doing , in effect fraudulent claims for people.

In my experience , the percentages are the other way round , ie 90% are totally genuine and the benefit of doubt is given to the other 10%..

All of the ESA appeals i have done have been genuine , with massive errors made by the DWP subjecting people to months of hardship .and worry.

Yes there are cuts, and they are deep , but in both our cases , (as i am looking for work in this sector when i am fit ) there could be opportunities on the back of the new work Programme , and it could even be shaw trust in your area that has won one of the contracts.

For example the providers will need people in the background doing benefits calculations to show their clients that it is financially in their interest to start work .

If you want to stay in welfare benefits then check out Rights. net .for jobs . They have a few jobs every week but worth a check.There are still a lot of jobs i could have gone for but for my condition at the moment.

With regard to cuts .. the is still worse to come , both for Third Sector organisations and individuals.

All the best


in reply to RichC

Out of interest has the gov commissioned anybody to objectively assess the number of so called fraudulent claims? In my experience in it is very hard to get benefits and most people are refused first time. I only know one person who I feel has manipulated the system . I know of many more who have been refused help when they genuinely need it. What are the numbers of prosecutions I wonder? How much money is now being put into employing DSS staff to witch hunt so called fraudsters? HOw much of this is being shaved off the Welfare benefits public budget? Lots of question for me.

Andrea_Shapiro profile image
Andrea_Shapiro in reply to RichC

Hi Rich, thank you for your reply x This is in no sense meant to be criticising, but where do you live? For the last 8 years of my life, I have been doing outreach around the most rough a**ed areas of Liverpool, mostly around the Boot Estate, Norris Green & Croxteth, where there is 85% unemployment and the highest single parent rate in the whole of Merseyside. It's grim, and I really have experienced the vast majority making claims, then woopee-ing it up when they get an award. I have many a grim experience of representing people at Tribunal, them pulling the wool over everyone's eyes, then £4000 of back payment DLA going on coke, vodka & designer stuff for the kids. The last Community Care Grant I put in in work: he'd just left HMP Walton, and was being awarded £950 to furnish a flat. Although that would never be enough in the real world to furnish a place, he went on holiday to Greece. Marvellous!

RichC profile image
RichC in reply to Andrea_Shapiro

Hi Andrea , sorry for the delay .. yes you are right ..i am in the affluent south east town of Gravesend haha.

Compared to the area you work in there is nothing like the social problems the areas you talk about are experiencing.

I also volunteered 2 years ago at a drug and alcohol drop in and must admit people who didn't want treatment and wanted as many state benefits seemed to know all the tricks in getting benefits .I must admit i did ask myself what they were contributing to society , but these are people who would take take take even if they didn't have a substance abuse issue.

It is a culture issue created over the last 15/20 years , going back to the days of Supplementary Benefit etc , when unemployment wasn't, in hind sight, that bad and in effect you could walk into a job if you wanted to.

If i was in the same situation as you , i would begin to hate the job. However there must be on occasion those people , especially with those around Pension Credit age who hate claiming state benefits , even though they are entitled .

This infact was/is such a problem that Council Tax Benefit was renamed council Tax rebate .. although this is still not in use .

To the same extent , i would hate a County Council Social Services Finance job , where you maximise income for a client so you can use the excess to pay for their care .

I had a client today who was extremely vulnerable and was not getting the care, finances , or compassion to enable her to live a good a life as she could.

It is that one case where you know you have set things in motion to really make a difference to someone's daily living that offsets everything else.

Good luck with it all

Rich X

Bullying is unfortunately commom with RA. Im experincing bullying too.. got to "share" my chair.. endless list im not going into all detail..

Angela truly know what is like to bullied.

I also. had un pleasant letter from personal over sick leave.. had two medical procedures during time of 6 weeks certified all due it badly controlled ra./ medication side effects and no access to the medication that would benifit me most,. my employer the kindly NHS... they bully and fail patients too "mail newspaper" article re c~~~~~le hospital saturday june 11th !!Disclaimer on my opinion and press article..!!.. my mum says show my letter to the union and dda body... it would wipe the floor. with it! , but with 250 jobs going cant.. im not well enough for hassle, my Ra symptons spiral upwards with stress

truly sorry


cathie profile image

I used to teach sociology and remember looking up some research that showed that unclaimed benefits vastly exceeded fraudulent claims. But I couldnt tell you how I got there. Could root around if anyone was interested.

I didnt experience bullying so much as exclusion. I had an office on the first floor. People could see me struggling with stairs, it was embarassing to be seen as so unable when there were groups of students around but they were very nice - nicer than my colleagues. When we moved, I was again given a first floor office, this time there was a lift. But it was actually a lift intended for people with wheelchairs, the kind you have to press the button and hold it while it moved up and down SO SLOWLY. That made me feel great too!

So if I felt bad in a better economic climate, with the option to take retirement on a small but adequate pension, I really dont know how you feel now. All I can really say is that being out of stress will be really good for you, and I hope you'll be able to afford to do what you want to do.

These cuts are devastating arent they. Am just very very tired today.

in reply to cathie

These cuts are so devastating. This is only the beginning. Hope you feel less tired tmos

Fiona xx

Hi Andrea, I'm so sorry it's come to this for you it's so unfair. Like Richie said your probably best of out of there, I know that doesn't help to pay the bills though!

Benefit cheats, don't get me started on that one, I have one living just two doors away from me, makes me sick to my stomach seeing them everyday.

We don't speak now, after I found out that what started with this person was a back problem went on to them saying they to had RA after they started mimicking my symptoms to their doctor! I thought they were genuinely concerned when I was ill but discovered he was just after my symptoms to tell his doctor!!

Take care and hope everything goes well for you,good luck

Mandy xx

OMG thats outrageous ! Well what goes around comes around. Thats what I have to think regarding People like that. Dont blame you keeping a wide berth from that knid of individual.

Fiona xxx

I really feel for anyone trying to get anything out off the benifits system, for starters if your genuine and you have to fill all the forms in for dla extra how on earth I you supposed to do it when your so ill and struggle to even hold a pen!

Ive tried and failed and now Ive left it with welfare rights to fight for me.

Good luck to all who need it going down this horid path.

Andrea_Shapiro profile image

Maybe I should have said that I was originally trained as an RMN, and this is physically impossible for me now. I trained in the days when there was restraint, and took extensive training in C&R and breakaway technique. I can still do welfare & debt, it's just that my handwriting is very shabby now. To be absolutely honest, I have lost interest in working with people. I have experienced too many chancers, opportunists & downright dishonest folk. I think I've become very disillusioned & disappointed in people, particularly since becoming only recently disabled - although 3 years is enough to get MY head around it, I feel so very sorry that perceptions & attitudes are pretty grim and negative. My family & friends do not understand, and I hope that they never will. However, I always endeavour to stress to them how much I enjoy my experiences here, as we are a huge family/ community of like-minded people, and I commonly say to my family, "I'll go on NRAS and see what someone else is saying.... I'll post a question on NRAS health unlocked to ask about feet & shoes, meds, blood tests, centre of the universe etc". Methinks they're secretly jealous of my RA! I also think I've gone off on a tangent!

Its sounds to me that you are experiencing burn out re people Andrea- I have been through that in my role as a social worker. I wouldnt choose to work in child protection anymore had just about a guts full of working in that field. It was so difficult to see genuine positive outcomes for children and families.

Interestingly my local paper has just done a big article on a young person aged 21 who has a blue badge and was verbally abused by the public. This poor kid has an invisible disability .She has muscular dystrophy and was trying to walk her dog a few yards on the seafront. For once the article and it was big spread was saying how appalling it was that the public behaved like this and that the general public cannot always know each persons individual circumstances. I really think the current hatred towards claimants perpetuated by the gov is fueling these hate filled campaigns against people who are genuinely sick and disabled. I thought the kid whop went to the paper was v brave and I will write a letter of support I think.

Of course I dont think dishonest claims are right.

fiona xx

Andrea_Shapiro profile image
Andrea_Shapiro in reply to

Hi Fiona. You may be absolutely right about burn out, and I also experienced it as an RMN, as I was acutely aware of people who exercised their experiences when I was nursing. Every Christmas, same faces, many of whom were infamous for beds and fake psychosis. Staff got to to be unempathethic; I couldn't hack it, and left. I left nursing then, and did welfare rights instead. I wish I'd stayed in nursing.

When I had my worst I hate humanity feelings I started to think God was right for

when he mythologically !? flooded the Earth cos there was no righteous Human beings except for one- Noah. Started thinking we deserve it again- if I was him I`d do it again !! I sound like a bit of a nut case I know.

I am bit better at the moment think instead and think that there a few good folk around who are not manipulative and selfish who try to make the world a better place . You might have liked nursing older people with Dementia and mental illness etc?

At least they are not faking!

I guess when you are looking for what to do next it will be important to work with people who you feel are genuine. What about learning disabilities /dementia Care?

I think there are alot of genuine options if you still wanted to work in the caring field?

Good luck


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