Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/879/21775
From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2015
My struggle for an income I can live on
"Please Sir, can I have a job?"
Photo Dan Moyle (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
Steven Green, London
I have multiple disabilities that include mobility post-traumatic stress disorder and dyslexia. After a long period of mental illness, I reflected on what I would like to do with my remaining 21 years in the workplace.
After much deliberation I decided to re-enter full time education to train as a teacher in the post-16 sector. Anybody who has completed teacher training or a PGCE will tell you it's a long, hard slog.
Throughout my training I kept my incapacity benefit for my disabilities. I need a very complicated operation on my spine - and even that may fail to take away the pain I experience.
Upon completion of my PGCE, I entered the minefield that is the job market - the reams of paperwork and compliance checks, all of them necessary so that I can go out into a classroom and teach.
I wasn't confident that I would find work, being middle aged and disabled. I applied to work through agencies but I became jaded with their promises.
It made me realise how it must have felt for the stevedores and others who queued up to be chosen to work for a day in the 1920s.
Time passes by - days turn into weeks. But before they can turn into months, I receive a call - there is a job for me, with hours to suit. It was like winning the lottery I was so pleased.
I knew I would have to contact the DWP as I had found a job - I did, and told them of my part time hours. I was told it would have to go to the 'decision maker'. I waited and waited. In the meantime I had to miss the dreaded medical because I was scheduled to teach at that time.
One day I came home from work and there was a letter explaining that my incapacity benefit would be stopped from November. The issue is whether I was carrying out 'permitted work' - but this had never been mentioned to me.
They sent me a form to fill in - more fun for a dyslexic! I'm broke - physically, mentally and financially. I have had to reclaim housing benefit.
I find myself on one hand a highly valued teacher, but on the other marginalised and under scrutiny. Not for the first time in my life, I'm in a position where I could find myself homeless.
I'm still available for work, should any arise that I can do with my disability. Please Sir, can I have a job?
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In The Socialist 18 November 2015:
Socialist Party news and analysis
How to defend Corbyn and defeat austerity
We can defeat the Tory cuts!
Tories flog bank assets to hellhound US profiteers
Athletics doping scandal: big business profits behind global sports corruption
Councils won't spend a penny
Them & Us
Socialist Party features
The end of social housing? How can we solve the housing crisis?
How can young people organise to support Jeremy Corbyn?
International socialist news and analysis
Paris terror attacks
Workplace news and analysis
Junior doctors: first strikes in 40 years
Trade union action needed to fight for steel jobs
Historic London bus drivers' agreement
Reinstate sacked CWU reps
Pro-Corbyn mood among Usdaw members
Support for Roger Bannister in Unison election
Workplace news in brief
Readers' comments and reviews
All NHS unions should join junior doctors' strike
A day in the life of a Game retail worker
Why I joined: "I already feel as if I am finally home"
Robert Tressell's characters are all too real to me
My struggle for an income I can live on
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Labour bans union activist
Thousands march against India premier's bloody sectarianism
Strike to save Lambeth libraries
Gaining momentum in Lewisham
Anger at care home closure
The Socialist 18 November 2015 |
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