E. Katie Holm, “Nanny of the Maroons: Jamaica, c. 1680 — c. 1750,” part of the series Women Warriors, 2011
Nanny of the Maroons was a Jamaican spiritual leader who fought against British slave trading during the eighteenth century. An expert strategist, Nanny implemented the use of camouflage and guerilla warfare to protect her people…
landfill harmonic movie (by Antonio Palma)
I’ve decided to write some entries for the Guardian Benefits Diaries project. This is my first one by way of an introduction to myself and to a couple of the issues I will be talking about.
I will be hit by the abolition of DLA and it’s replacement by Personal Independence Payments (PIP). DLA has been my lifeline, being awarded it changed my life for the better. When I first became disabled I had no idea just how expensive it would prove to be. It was 18 months before I had a NHS manual wheelchair. For those first 18 months I spent a lot of my time trapped not just in my house, but upstairs in my house. I lived in my bedroom and bathroom because more often than not I couldn’t manage the stairs, let alone travel out of my house. When my partner came back late from work and was too tired to cook then we simply didn’t eat. We suddenly couldn’t cover our bills or rent but, because I was disabled we couldn’t find a privately rented flat that came even close to being both affordable and accessible. Without money and therefore without the ability to “buy” help to get me out of the house or into a more accessible home or to buy care services our lives crumbled. We both feel into deep depression. Then, over two years after becoming disabled I was granted DLA, higher rate care & mobility and backpaid. I could suddenly buy a electric wheelchair so I could go out on my own. I could afford basic adaptations so I could leave the house. I could afford to get a taxi so that I could visit places when a bus wasn’t an option. I could pay for personal assistants to come and support me so my other half could live his own life and actually work or train. When we were both too exhausted to cook then we could have pre-prepared food in the house. It was amazing. Now they are getting rid of that and I’ll be part of the wave of people being reassessed in 2015. I won’t know my fate until 2015, but there are others with shorter term awards and some new claimants who will be being moved onto this new system as I type.
Latest entry in our series of posts on the welfare reforms from a benefit claimant. Follow the blog for more.