Housing benefit scrapped for 18-21 year olds 

At 21 I was mentally ill, couldn’t work, had a dead alcoholic dad and my mum on benefits across the sea.  I would have been homeless without housing benefit. It’s not just a room or a roof, it’s a base, a safe space. Without that I never would have recovered enough to be able to work or have a child, I don’t think I’d still be alive. Stopping work and being able to claim benefits was a positive turning point in my life. That’s just me, one person. 

This will badly impact on LBGTQ people, people who have been abused and can’t “prove it” (how do you prove emotional abuse? Physical and sexual abuse which shames you into silence, gives you a mistrust of anyone with authority over you, as well as the fact that some people rightfully fear the police?) Since the single room rate is for over 35s now anyway what’s even to be saved? Just more needless pointless cruelty.

18 Responses

  1. I’m certain you will not like what I have to say, but I’m not a believer in public assistance. I was an abused housewife for many years and coming out of my situation I was a complete mess. At 32 or so I started working for the first time. Emotionally I was a train wreck. I still have suicidal thoughts on a regular basis at 53. But still I work. You have probably hear this but most people are broken in some way. Some more than others of course, but life is a bitch. It’s hard. I was hit by a car and visually impaired at 5 (one eye and all face bones wired together) but still I work even though my eyesight stinks. I’m sorry that you have rather uncommon sexual orientation and suffered abuse like you have. It is absolutely horrible, but you must get on your feet and take care of yourself. It is required to be human. I hope you can. Trust me I hate working, but it is required.

    • I do work (I’ve worked full time for years) and I don’t have an “uncommon” sexual orientation. I didn’t work when I was 21 because I was ill. Fair enough if you’re not a believer in public assistance but I am. Without it I wouldn’t be working and I’m not sure I’d be alive. My mental health problems at that age meant I behaved in ways that weren’t acceptable in the workplace, I was manic and disinhibited. You cannot work safely like that or hold down a job. If I hadn’t had the time and space, and enough money, to live, I wouldn’t be here.

    • “Required to be human”? So anyone too severely disabled to work for a living isn’t human? Children aren’t human until they’re able to fully support themselves? I really hope that was an unfortunate rhetorical flourish and you don’t actually believe that.

  2. The world is so out of touch with humanity at the moment. We need stories like these, to make people think twice.

  3. I agree that there needs to be compassion and a level of assistance but the trick is to make it so that rehabilitation is the goal and the assistance is temporary. Too many become reliant.

    • Are you in the UK because you don’t sound like it. Who are the too many? The statistics on “reliant” on benefits are sketchy at best – poor economic conditions, no jobs etc mean people may be on benefits longer. Likewise is someone who is so disabled they’re unable to work “reliant” on benefits? What incentive does making someone homeless have for them in getting a job? Ie a job that you need to search for where you might need a computer, a fixed address, clothes and food in your belly so you’re not distracted by hunger.

    • Some of us can’t be rehabilitated. How do you rehabilitate somebody with a progressive or terminal illness? How do you rehabilitate missing limbs back, or lost sight and hearing? How does someone with an intractable neurological conditions, or devastating cognitive disabilities?

      Do you know of many employers who’d happily hire someone with an IQ of sixty, or who has seizures constantly, or who’s completely non-verbal?

      You have the reasoning that you do because of privilege. It must be nice to be in a position to look down on benefit recipients, but some of us have no choice. If, as i suspect, you are an American, then the war on the poor that started with Reagan will not have escaped your notice.

      What may have escaped your notice is the legions of homeless people, of multiple families crammed into one dwelling, or people living in deathtraps. There are families in the US surviving on $5 a day, does it look like the system is working?

      Nobody ever wants to be on benefits, but some of us have no choice.

      • Correction, I missed off the end of this sentence:

        “How does someone with an intractable neurological conditions, or devastating cognitive disabilities compete in the job market?”

        • There are certainly disabilities that must be supported but we do need to work on getting folks back to some type of work where they are able.

          • There are some people that will never be able to work. What should happen to those people? Are they “Leben unswertes Leben”?

            Like i said, look up Aktion T4, because you’re treading dangerous ground. I can almost hear the shouts of “Arbeit macht Frei”.

  4. I am 42 old and has served and loyal to government asking to support my mission.


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