Fit to work assessments take money away from people who need it. Read Potent Whisper's story, and send us your own
My mum devoted her life to working with people with mental health problems, advocating and championing their human rights. She worked as both a front line mental health nurse and within a management capacity, in all sectors of the community especially at grass roots level. One day she had a near fatal car accident and was left suffering a disability. Due to her injuries she was unable to work and was forced to claim disability and other benefits, which she had never claimed before.
Being a single parent whose salary alone supported us all, this money was what allowed us to continue to have food on the table and a roof over our head. One day we got a letter from the DWP saying that they were going to do a "Fit for Work" assessment on my mum. Despite not being able to move properly and living with chronic pain, she was told that she was fit to work and they stopped her benefits. This affected her and our family in ways that words will never be able to explain.
The system betrayed us. The pain and trauma my mum experienced still affects her today, preventing her from even telling this story. When she is ready, she will. For now she has given me permission to share this with you all, in the hope that you will take some comfort from knowing that you aren't the only one and that it's not your fault.
More articles from this author
- Unfinished business: The Battle of Seattle twenty years on
- Why we will not be silent on Palestine
- Staff-student solidarity is being built in the UCU strike
- Mental health: a very political crisis
- Another reason to protest Trump's visit: recognition of illegal Israeli settlements
- On the canvassing trail in Lancashire
- The lecturers are fighting back: reports from UCU strike day 1