Press release come guest blog by Aida Aleksia who’s new book will be out soon and here gives you the opportunity to read it in ebook format… Dxxx

Why We’re Not Benefit Scroungers 

Life with chronic illness or disability in modern Britain

 

New book on what the welfare system is really like for people with disability or chronic illness.

Available for £1 as e-version from 24th September on www.aidaaleksia.com

Available as print version from 15th December

 

“General saving is really important to us,” he says. “We are a nation that doesn’t save … We drifted into a culture where consumption was all, and you borrowed to spend … So we change the culture so that you save, you invest and you prepare for the worst. Like we insure our cars, this is basically insuring our lives.”[1]

But what happens to the people who haven’t insured, or can’t afford to insure, their lives?

How well does the safety net that is the welfare system catch people whose health is no longer good enough to support work?

 

This book seeks to answer these questions, by complementing the stories of nine disabled people with an analysis of the welfare system.

The stories reveal a country that continues to present multiple barriers for people with chronic illness or impairment.  From lack of access to education, work or society to a lack of support from the benefits system, Britain still routinely fails some of the people who most need her help, who are least able to help themselves when required by circumstances to cope with sub-standard health.

Some of the figures given in this book include:

  • 67% of benefit expenditure goes to pensioners
  • More money is spent on health and on education than on benefits for people of working age
  • For health-related benefits, more money is spent on errors made by officials than on fraud
  • Reports of claimants’ health made by government-contracted medical professionals routinely contain inaccuracies and/or bear little resemblance to the individual concerned
  • Only 28% of people judged fit for work by the Government are in employment 12-18 months later
  • Up to 60% of disabled people live in poverty

The stories include:

  • Alan was doing well as a truck driver before a rare illness almost left him paralysed
  • Danni has struggled to complete education with repeated operations and complications from spina bifida
  • Fin couldn’t complete a degree as blindness coupled with hard-to-use computer software made the work almost impossible
  • Henny lives in a residential care home but has struggled to cope with autism as funding cuts meant staff no longer gave the same quality of care

 

Why We’re Not Benefit Scroungers was written by Stef Benstead, known as Aida Aleksia on Twitter and Facebook.  More information can be found on her website, http://www.aidaaleksia.com.


[1] Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Wooding Green, and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.  In The Telegraph, Iain Duncan Smith: I’m not afraid to light the fuse on disability reform, 13th May 2012, Robert Winnett

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