I assume that everyone has been watching the news and paying particular interest to the latest spending cuts that the government have proposing, and much to my expected horror I learnt yesterday of cuts that would undoubtedly affect many people with TS. Cuts to ESA (employment support allowance). Please read this article from The Guardian website for the low-down.
These harsh cuts are going to affect many of us who are currently unable to work due to our TS or any associated mental health problems that we may have. As an unemployed person who is currently in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) I am expected to look for any work that would be suitable (be able to pay the rent and a bit left over to eat and pay bills) I regularly apply for vacancies that I feel match the income that I need to live off and match my experience and skills. I could apply for that job as a part time Avon representative, but it’s hardly going to pay the rent, I need a job that is full time in order to earn a living wage. On my fortnightly visits to my local Job Centre Plus I’m asked about what I’ve been doing to get a job. Well there’s not many in the Job Centre Plus, an Avon rep and a HGV driver. There’s virtually none in the local papers, again HGV driver and a bricklayer (the closest experience I have of bricklaying is playing with my Lego as a kid)
Occasionally an admin role comes up and I apply but as my previous experience is of teaching and call centre work (close) I rarely reach the interview stage, then imagine the interview……!! When I sign on I’m also asked about any unpaid work that I may have done, and being the sort of person who likes to do something useful I do voluntary work for Tourettes Action so I’m also asked a whole load of questions about that also even though in the DWP green paper from last year the DWP were supposed to encourage voluntary work. “We’ll have to see what sanctions you face” (DWP response to Monday’s trip to London on TA business) I’m not happy about the prospect perhaps being sanctioned for doing something I’m supposed to do. I find being a job seeker at times very stressful having to face rejection after rejection coupled with the need to get a job and the strain of living on a very low income. With these cuts coming up there will be many people forced on to JSA who are just not ready to work or just not able to work, not now, not even after a year when their ESA has been cut, you can’t put a timescale on how TS or any related problems, TS is for life not just for Christmas.
I would love to hear your opinions about this as you know I could go on indefinitely on this subject but currently I’m on JSA and I have time on my hands, please, please message me or write some comments below.