Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor. - Thomas Jefferson

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor. - Thomas Jefferson

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.

8 Replies

  • Hi Catherine im currently appealing charlies DLA me Versus the Department of Work & Pensions. When i go to the tribunal i will go armed to the teeth with reports and medical diagnosis. You see people in the Carers unit dont even know what Tourette's is and they automatically refuse you but you can contact community legal advice they deal with DLA, ESA, and all of those type of welfare benefits on 0845 456 6841 they know the Law so dont be fobbed off by Jobcentre, and least of all dont feel intimidated by them. If your coprolalia makes it difficult to do a job explain this to your doctor get a report send it to them and they will prepare your case. Its important to ask your Doctor to write the report in detail about how the Neurological - Tourette's affects your movement .if you need any more help im here to assist you in any which way i can regards

  • You, are allowed to do a certain amount of charity work whilst ON JSA if they santion you can appeal and you will win it .They can only sanction you to 2 weeks money that is reduced, you will still get payed, but at a reduced rate, but trust me you will not be suspended/ santioned for voluntering for Tourette's Action

    Charlies Turveys Dad ,John Turvey.

  • I've applied for DLA, with regards to both my TS and depression, all I've heard so far is that they are contacting my consultant. With regards to employment I'm fit enough to work, although full-time will tire me out, I have a disabilty advisor at the job centre, so off to work I go if I find a job, which I'd be glad of because I'm totally fed up of being unemployed. I WANT TO WORK, it's just a matter of finding a job that's suitable. In fact I'm hoping to become self-employed if I can get the start-up grants...I hope they haven't been cut too!

  • I agree Catherine, but sometimes if your ocd and ticks control your life as with charlie, it would be impossible for him to work he as learning difficulties too.

  • The way I felt applying for DLA was that I had been defeated by my tics, I refuse to let them take over me as I'd like people to think that there was more to me than my TS and that I should be a useful member of society. It was hard enough submitting to the fact that I didn't have a job and had to claim JSA.

  • I understand what your saying Katherine and i agree with you all tourette's people have a great deal to contribute. I think charlies OCD can be quite debiltating you know compulsive checking behaviours atc.He would not be able to concentrate in the work place, plus he has a motor problem to do with the basal ganglia region of the brain thats where you charlie and all Touretter's problems lie. The neuro scientists are learning more and more they can even plant a probe deep inside the Brain that stimulates the Nuroreceptors in your brain "Deep Brain Stimulation" it completely calms down the Motor ticks so, i admire the fact you would like to work and contribute to society. But then again i would support you because like my charlie who is 16 years old. You are the same as him in that your a fellow Touretter we have to stick together as we understand each other regards John Turvey

  • Unbeknown to me untill a couple of days ago when I was watching the C4 news, I will now have to find an extra £41 towards my rent each month...housing benefit for people who've been on JSA for over a year will now have a 10% cut to their housing benefit. Yippee £10 less per week!

  • I'm fuming this evening, a friend of mine has just found out that his ESA has been stopped and has to now gone onto JSA, he's recently been in hospital (he has bi-polar disorder) his doctors don't think that he's ready to work but the DWP and ATOS do, it was only a couple of months ago he was in hospital - he's still recovering! I hope that his campaigning to the local newspaper, radio and his MP work and I fully support him.