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From: The Socialist issue 941, 22 March 2017: The Tories are rotten: kick them out!

Search site for keywords: Disabled - Socialist - Food - Benefits - Socialist Party

Reader's comment

'I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people'

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Debra Ergen, Warrington Socialist Party

First let me tell you why I joined the Socialist Party.

I got fed up with the main parties, mainly because they join forces against the working class, and I saw an alternative within the socialist movement. I'm an active member and find campaigning for a fairer society empowering.

I'm a single, disabled 50-year-old woman. I volunteer for the fire service, to keep my sanity and give something to the community.

So enough of this. Let me tell you the reason for me writing this.

As with most disabled people, I found my benefits under review. I received my form, filled it in, got a letter saying they hadn't received it.

So I filled in another, and took it into the job centre, hand delivering it and receiving a receipt. But still they claimed not to have received it.

On 11 November, my benefits were stopped. I was left with nothing.

Christmas was a nightmare. No money, no food... and for the most part no hope. I relied on family and friends for weeks.

Then I had no option but to resort to using the food bank. I have donated to the food bank for years through church, and was totally humiliated to get to this point in my life.

I phone the benefits agency every other day, and get the company line: there's nothing they can do. Bills have piled up. I sit worried about every knock on the door in case it's someone there to collect on a debt.

I've been so depressed, and often wondered why I should carry on at all. The pain of living was so great that ending it was an option.

But what would the point be in that? The bosses wouldn't care. The pain would pass to those closest to me.

So I'm still here, I'm still fighting for what I rightfully deserve. And I'm writing this to tell you about the plight of disabled people all over the country. We're not on the news separated from you, we're among you.

The fight goes on for us all.

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