Why We're Not Benefit Scroungers: 'Life with Chronic Illness or Disability in Modern Britain'

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9780957459700: Why We're Not Benefit Scroungers: 'Life with Chronic Illness or Disability in Modern Britain'
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Why We're Not Benefit Scroungers explores the facts about the benefits system for chronically ill or disabled people. It looks at how often the system fails the people it is supposed to be helping, and how proposed changes to the system risk making this worse. It also brings together stories from people with a range of disabilities and chronic illnesses to show some of the difficulties that these people continue to face in society. The policy analysis section focuses on the benefits system as it relates to disabled and chronically ill people, looking in particular at the assessment process for Employment and Support Allowance and the forthcoming change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments. Data and reports from the DWP, Citizen's Advice Bureau and Joseph Rowntree Foundation amongst others are used to build up a review of the benefits system. The accumulation of evidence shows a system that is routinely failing to provide the safety net that many people expect to have ready to catch them when disability or chronic illness blocks their ability to earn an income. Failures in both the current system and in the proposed reformed system leave the community filled with fear and the government exposed to breaching human rights. The section containing individual stories presents a small selection of the challenges of living with various chronic illnesses or disabilities. With difficulties including poor education, problems accessing public places in wheelchairs, and loss of physical or mental aptitude, these stories give an insight into what disabled and chronically ill people have to overcome, and what still needs to be done, before everyone can access society and societal provisions in an equal manner.

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About the Author:

Aida Aleksia graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a 1st in Natural Sciences. From this she went straight into a PhD at the University but developed ME/CFS after less than a year. This necessitated a withdrawal from the PhD. As a consequence of her illness, Aida started researching the adequacy of provision for disabled and chronically ill people in Great Britain. Her findings suggested that there is a mismatch between the general representation of the benefits system and reality. Because of this, she decided to devote what little energy she had to collating a book that combines a policy analysis of the benefits system with real-life stories from people with a variety of chronic illnesses and disabilities.

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