To Helen Back: ‘Nothing Short of Barbaric’

To Helen Back

Posted by To Helen Back at 05:40 2 comments

A Freedom of Information document from the DWP has revealed that rather than an average of 32 deaths per week as a result of Welfare Reform that figure has now risen to an average of 73 deaths per week!

When is this going to stop?! When are people going to wake up and help us fight against this government?!  We need help!

How many more vulnerable, sick and disabled people have to die before something is done?!

As a disabled person, I don’t want to live in this country any more. We’re frightened of losing our benefits and our independence. It is happening.

People are being left with nothing! Vulnerable, sick and disabled people are being left destitute after having their benefits wrongly cut, by a cruel and callous government!


As a person with Cerebral Palsy, who cannot walk or stand unaided, I know my turn for an assessment is coming soon…and I’m terrified! I know I will fail.

I’m luckier than some I know, because I have my wonderful husband (and his Pension Credit) to help us live, but there will be no more independence for me (what there is of it), because if I lose my Disability Living Allowance, I may as well close my bank account. There will be nothing going into it!

I’m going to be completely reliant on my husband, and feel even more of a burden than I already do. At the moment I can help pay household bills – just like any ‘normal’ wife does. I can get taxis to see friends, and attend appointments alone when I am able. It enables me to feel just like everyone else.

The government has already taken a lot of my self esteem, and my place in society. The constant, relentless lies about Disability Benefit Fraud has done that for me.

You see, the real fraud figures are very different to what the government would have you believe. In reality only 1 in every 200 claimants is committing fraud, but  the unceasing’scrounger’ rhetoric has made me, and many others feel virtually worthless, and very unwanted – no matter how genuine we are.

I hate this country and I’m beginning to hate myself again. I thought I’d accepted my life, it’s limitations and constant pain.

I know I will never be a mother and I know I won’t work again. I did work once – for a year. I was dedicated, hard working, and always there when needed, but I was exhausted and in agony. I came home…and slept.

My boss knew I was struggling. I was pale and losing weight. When my contract came to an end, they didn’t renew it.

I was heartbroken because I loved my job, but I was relieved at the same time. In reality I didn’t know how much I could take.

I’m exhausted now, and my pain (through wear and tear on my body) is worse. It is always there, and some days I can barely move, never mind get myself out of bed and get to work!

Who is going to employ me? I’d have  to take regular days off because I am mind numbingly exhausted and in agony. Not to mention the frequent hospital and GP appointments…!

How many times will my employer put up with me saying “I’m sorry, I can’t come in today”…before they sack me, in favour of somebody who CAN?!

This is not my fault. I didn’t choose my life – none of us did. None of us would! To cut our benefits now, in this economic climate when there are no jobs even for the able bodied, is nothing short of barbaric!

It is inhumane, callous and cruel to treat a whole section of society in this way. The fact that we are some of the poorest, most vulnerable people in society just makes it worse!

How can they do it? How can they hurt people like this? How is it right that this government is able to drive people to suicide (regularly) and hardly anyone bats an eye lid?!

Why is this not a real Human Rights issue by now? Surely it counts as one! It is the oppression of people, and that should be covered somewhere…somehow.

Where has the compassion gone? That’s what makes me saddest I think. People just don’t seem to care like they used to. Have we become that selfish and blinkered as a society, that we can close our eyes to the suffering of others? If we have, it makes me more ashamed of what is happening here!

I no longer trust people like I did, and I will never forgive this government for that. When is it my turn to become a statistic in the 20% national rise in Disability Hate Crime? I’m terrified it will happen.

Will I be one of the people who gets my property vandalised? Will I be verbally abused or physically attacked when I go out in my wheelchair? That thought crosses my mind every time I go out. People should not have to live like this!

We suffer enough, and now we have to deal with victimisation, extra anxiety and pure fear for our futures as well.

It is easy to make judgements. In my case, my disability is visible, but there are so many illnesses and disabilities that aren’t, and it is these people who are often victims of ‘Scrounger’ abuse, but just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

It is these people too, who will suffer most as a result of the assessment process. The suffering caused by mental illness or invisible disability is not as easily quantifiable – but it can be just as debilitating as any physical visible condition.

As for me, I don’t know what will happen to me on assessment day. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle questions based on a ‘tick box’ computer programme, that doesn’t allow for pain or variation and rarely takes a person’s medical records in to account. I know that I’ll be set up to fail.

I know that it could be a person who is not medically qualified and who, after meeting me for forty five minutes, will decide whether I get to keep my life, my independence, and my pride intact.

No wonder I wake up sweating, (that’s if I actually get to sleep of course)! No wonder I am plagued by anxiety that buries itself in the pit of my stomach every night and refuses to budge. I am fighting for my life. We all are. I’m waiting for an envelope to drop on the mat and tell me that it’s my turn.

Every time the letter box goes, I jump half a mile out of my skin! I am unable to open, or even look at official envelopes because I am so scared that it just might be it. It isn’t just me. The panic and fear I feel every single day is widespread through the disabled people of this country.

My only consolation, is knowing that I am not alone.

Disabled and ill people like me need your help now, We need the help of our Councillors, MP’s and society at large. This should not be happening to us.

Even if you feel that can’t get involved in our fight, you’d be surprised how much difference a few kind words of support can make. It gives people hope when it can feel like there is none.

I’m asking you – one human being to another – to not let them take our lives. There is no difference between you and I. Anyone can be struck by illness or disability at any time. No one is immune. It only takes a second for lives to be changed forever, and I hope that if it does, there will be someone there who is willing to fight for you.

Helen Back To

23 thoughts on “To Helen Back: ‘Nothing Short of Barbaric’

  1. Nicholas lake says:

    I have broken my arm in 3 places and can no longer lift anyone or anything that is heavy . I allso have had bladder cancer . I do recive a small nhs work related pention . So dont get any benefits . So dont have to be subjected to atos interigation . Its a strugle but at least i dont have to be subjected to goverment sponcered interveiws .

  2. jed goodright says:

    I was watching the sport channel this morning. Up comes an ad with one of those tv comedian/ majician blokes swiping clothes off a table. He’s advertising health insurance …. for UNUM. The next ad is for WONGA a company owned by UNUM.

    I have to say that unless some bloody revolution happens soon all disabled people are doomed to the gas chambers of government ideology

  3. clarebelz says:

    I totally identify with how you describe your life.

    I’m battling with the sense of fear that’s always lurking in the back of my mind. It took 9 years after becoming chronically ill to finally obtain the support I needed, both financially and in the home; the fear of being thrown back onto benefit levels, JSA, that results in having to go without food regularly, lights, heating, personal hygiene items. When you’re reasonably well it’s hard enough, but when you’re not it is an absolute misery.

    On top of that, it’s the fear that you’ll be expected to engage in workfare; I can’t even use public transport and just one or two brief trips out of the home results in complete exhaustion and much pain. So like others I could end up being sanctioned for being ill.

    I have let these feelings of despair take over my life the last few years, but I agree that we must not allow this despicable government to force us into suicide: we must stay alive as proof. This week, although it’s very painful for me, I started painting again; I had stopped doing anything creative due to depression and anxiety, but being engaged in something like this has really helped. To think that I allowed this government to take away my will to do such things for myself makes me very angry.

    No, we mustn’t give up. I wish you all of the best and hope that your assessment goes well for you.

  4. Terry Craven says:

    I have a meeting with Michael Meacher MP Labour next week. He has asked me to get as much information as possible together so that he can raise the issues in parliament and with his own front benches. If you want me to raise any of your cases or ones you know, please email me at Please let me know if you want your details to be kept confidential.

  5. Sue Brock says:

    I am only at the beginning of claiming ESA for my son. We are awaiting the WCA at the moment. However. I am already experiencing problems. My sons benefit was due to start 3/9/12. I received a letter from the DWP after completing the 56 page forms confirming he would get £71.05 a week until the WCA done. So far no money at all! At last yesterday I got through to the DWP call centre (apparently it is impossible to speak to the actual people dealing with it) and was told they are waiting for a medical certificate?! No one had written to me to let me know they needed this and apparently probably were not going to?! So I am down to £100 in the bank with some large bills looming and will have to wait even longer for my sons money. And as I say I havent even really started the process yet. My “claiment journey” so far is totally stressful.

  6. Wendy P says:

    You are definately not alone . I am going thro this barbaric system now & the pressure is awful . I suffer with mental health problems & have been retired on ill health grounds for 25 years . I am set to lose all my benefit .

  7. Humanity2012 says:

    The State of the UK is a Living Cloud Cuckoo Land

    Murder by Poverty is Still Murder

    When People Wake Up is when Cease to be Selfish Slavery Collaborating Zombie

    I am So Angry at People that live in a Trance of Blindness Oblivious to Poverty
    Oppression and Suffering

    We certainly Need Revolution Political and Economic but when all I See is People
    in their Little Tiny Worlds Despair is Not the Word

    They will Congregate for Fireworks Displays and other Sheepfests but Not For
    to Demand Decent Government and Policies

    The Salary of a Member of Parliament in their Privilege Chamber of the House of
    Commons is Currently £65,738 Per Year plus EXPENSES

    Whilst IPSA Announced in February 2012 that the Huge Salaries of Politicians
    would remain Frozen for 2012/2013 who is to Say that with People as Slavish
    Supine and Zombielike as they are that MP’s Salary will not INCREASE in 2014

    Whilst Politicians in the Palace of Westminster give Rubbish about Austerity and
    ” We’re All in this Together ” they Certainly are Not Experiencing Austerity

    We Need a Better Government and Not another Clique of Capitalist Roadsters

    1. ODIN says:

      I absolutely agree with all that you have said, as long as people have their nice cars on finance, their nice holidays and shopping sprees on their credit cards they will not care about others.

  8. Alan Hilliar says:

    Although I’m not disabled, I have a lot of sympathy with what you’re feeling. I don’t have a problem with a government facing a massive defecit trying to make savings, but the current approach lacks humanity. Like you, I don’t like the idea of the Government implying that most disabled people are benefit scroungers. We have built a benefits system because we have compassion for those who suffer disability. Maybe we need to fine tune disability benefits to better match the additional costs associated with different sorts of disabilities, but again it’s a question of how you do it. However, if we’re in a hole with government finances, I’d much rather ask the wealthy to pay a bit more before I start targetting benefits for the disabled.

  9. tanith says:

    im with yu helen and really feel for us all in this country i know how yu must be feeling believe me i do. and its so true as yu say yurs can be seen others cannot be seen . so its not there according to these evil monsters also some of the public. but it is there take it from me and most hidden disabilities are just as debilitating as those that can be seen im with yu guys all the way on this i absolutely HATE this sadistic. cruel. barbaric government with a vengeance. and just cant understand how or why they have and still are being allowed to get away with all of this. when in gods name is someone going to stand up for these poor innocent and very vunerable people this just cannot go on suicides like this. all because of 1 wicked wicked monster something has got to be done people have suffered enough its bad enough them being ill and disabled without being tortured daily on top of it left without funds no food no heating no nothing its shocking its outrageous and its downright CRUEL when will this country wake up to the fact that this shower of monsters need to go and NOW.

  10. Harold Hansen says:

    I could sympathise with your position on reading your piece, been there, now thankfully in the support group after asking for reconsideration . Do take heart these swine can’t remain in power forever.While with Ted Heath and John Major most of us could not agree with their policy it was not personal with Thatcher and the present crop of swine IT IS. Lets give them all a state funeral NOW

  11. jeffery davies says:

    wendy you not along fighten this system of abuse for sick and disabled nearly 4yrs and its getting worse .they seem to want us gone quietly so that they can give whot they save by not giving to us by giving to their mates its just unbeleavible that the general public have not said much on this subject of abuse to those who cant afford to lose not a penny from their income but do it they do and dont care whot they do to us we only flossam they want rid of mps are just a few but the marjority do nothing allowing this to happen whilst still having their hands in the public till ,and its about time they stood up for us but greed does funny things to them like the bankers we pay so that they can look down at us when will it be that the sick disabled get to be looked affer and not this abuse of the firm tony blair made up in the 90 to make it harder to get benefits but now used by the torys to beat us harder, jeff3 wendy come on over to a very good site for free help with this lot aand new freinds

  12. DaisyJane says:

    My heart goes out to you. As even tho I live in the U.S. I have many similar fears and struggles as you describe. If the republicans win here and Mitt Romney becomes President I not only will lose my disability benefit, but that in turn will cost me my housing as I will no longer have any income to pay rent for me and my disabled daughter. As it is we already struggle with trying to make ends meet, and go to bed without eating more often then I care to admit.He will also cut the much needed medical coverage we have, and my daughter and I will no longer be able to see our doctors. I too didn’t ask for this rare disease both me and my daughter were born with. And I would gladly work two jobs if my health would allow. But sadly this disease is progressive and incurable. I live in constant fear and anxiety over our future. In this consumer driven, money greed society some people have forgotten their compassion towards those less fortunate. Some folks chose to wait in line for hours to buy the new iphone, but won’t volunteer to help at a homeless shelter, food bank, children’s hospital, or elderly home. Neighbors no longer look out for each other as it used to be in my parents day. While all the new technological advances are great, somewhere along the line we as a people have lost our spirituality, compassion, and integrity. And that saddens me most of all. It saddens me that I have watched my country that I love, lose sight of it’s principals, and has changed from the land of the free and the brave, the land of “give us your tired, your weak, your poor”, now instead become the land of Corporate greed, and a consumer driven society. It saddens me that this is not only happening here, but in other countries as well. I had hoped that the human race would’ve become wiser by now. So my heart goes out to you, know that you are not alone in your struggles and fears, and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. God bless.

  13. Jay says:

    I’m autistic…I CAN work and work better than most as my disability also gives me a set of abilities neurotypical people do not posess. I can work…or at least I would if employers were to give me a chance, but why hire me when they can hire someone ‘normal’ who they don’t have to worry about being a problem, someone who hasn’t been a “scrounger” for the last four and a half years.

    It’s not just about a government who punishes us and takes away our money (along with our health, independence and lives in the process), but about a government who turns our society against us and breeds a culture of hate – one third is how high disability hate crime has rose, we’re seen by society as less than human and so we cannot have human rights or hope to be given fair treatment. I can work, I want to work, but no one wants me and government blames me for that…

    1. jefflph says:

      well Jay i am not the only aspie that feels like this we are seen as lazy but they retire there friends in the army at 55 and they can afford that so why cant they let the ill retire at 55 who most need it .. jeff ..

  14. kasbah says:

    I do understand your terror- I have been there myself and failed the ESA test which ironically was also used to “assess” me for DLA too. I am totally dependent on my family, which made me feel suicidal as I was the main earner and loved my work when I was well enough to do it. I have severe fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis and have to sleep at least 12 hours a night and a further 2-3 hours a day on good days, if I take it easy. Anything more and I am floored for days if not weeks on end.

    Luckily my family are standing by me and we are awaiting the 2 Appeals with help from an Advocacy worker from a local charity and support from my GP.

    Hang on in there. Don’t underplay your difficulties. Go dressed rather unkempt, with your hair less than clean (honestly, they take appearance seriously). Don’t make good eye contact- making this sort of effort will go against you. Take a witness and get them to take notes. Insist on having your assessment recorded. They watch you from the moment you arrive to how you leave so don’t make an effort to impress them. I know it’s horrible, but honestly, it’s more horrible to be denied what you need and then have to appeal. Good luck. we are all far more worthwhile than the rats that work for ATOS and the laughingly so-called “Government” who I now think of as “The Butchers of Downing St”.

    NEVER GIVE UP. We SHALL prevail. Take good care and know that thousands of us are with you in spirit.

    Love Kasbah xx

  15. Krystle says:

    I said exactly this on my Facebook status this morning- then my Dad shared this link with me. There are many willing to fight for this cause- not nearly enough yet- but I have overwhelmed by the kindness and courage of many who have supported my family in recent months. We’re fighting with you

  16. Thomas says:

    I have Asperger’s Syndrome, the only people who want me for a job just want me to money launder for them,which would get me in trouble. If I lose my benifits I’d lose my flat.

  17. Jane Russell says:


    1. Findlow says:

      Jane – I’m sorry I don’t know this link either, but someone elsewhere on this site (can’t find where just now) said that they could no longer access calumslist. So for anyone trying to get onto that site, this should work: (apparently putting an apostrophe in is what
      causes problems)

  18. Jane Russell says:

    Oh Helen you are a true star! Thank you so much!! Now I will have total delight running rings around my local Conservative MP. He’ll have a nice little letter asking him why he is telling me it’s getting better when it’s now twice as bad as before.
    Hmmm let’s see how he tries to squirm his way out of this one ; ) Thanks again Helen – stay strong, I know it’s easier said than done, but we will defeat these evil beasts. X

  19. Jane Russell says:

    Findlow, I got in fine to Calums List
    They have this note up on the site – perhaps this is why some people aren’t getting in?
    Google Problems – Please OMIT The Apostrophe
    Please OMIT the apostrophe when searching for Calums List on Google. For some reason if the apostrophe is included and you search for Calum’s List, access to the site is FORBIDDEN. When the apostrophe is OMITTED and the two search words are spelt as Calums List this allows free and unhindered access to this website. Our IT Oracle is on the case. Strange though !!

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