Dear readers, I hope that you are all safe and as well as you can be. Many of us are trying to self isolate which is hard when you don’t have enough money to do an online shop and even if you can afford to do this there’s no open delivery slots.
Nearly a million people have applied for universal credit in the past fortnight as a result of people loosing their jobs or having to give up their self employment as a because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
However thousands of people have had trouble obtaining the correct ID needed to apply for Universal Credit. As a result they were told to telephone the hotline and make an appointment with a Universal Credit advisor.
Thousands of people tried to follow their advice but were unable to contact an advisor because the telephone lines were too busy and thousands have given up trying to apply.
DWP Officials have said that they’re working “flat out” to help people get support, however what they say and do are often two different stories.
The reality is that new claimants are not feeling supported and have been left with little or no help.
The government have refused to scrap the five week wait for universal credit telling new claimants that they have to apply for a loan from the DWP to help them. It sounds good however these loans have to be paid back often dragging people into more hardship.
There was a warning on Wednesday that 20% of small businesses could fold in the next month due to the collapse in consumer demand, despite unprecedented government intervention to support jobs.
Yet the truth is that there is no support for self employed people having had to give up their self employment or put it on hold.
The governments response that they might be able to get a payment in June is inadequate and it hasn’t given them any security at all.
Having no income until June will have a devastating effect upon them, most will be hungry, many will be at risk of loosing their homes.
Being quarantined at home is awful for those of us unable to buy food and living in
fuel poverty. Every day is a struggle and more help needs to be given unconditionally.
Loans given by the government that have to be paid back to the DWP are unjust and cruel, most have paid into the system so that they could get help if they needed it. That’s how it used to work, it isn’t called social security for no reason. It used to provide security for those in need. Instead people are being made to pay back money that was rightfully theirs in the first place.
And its even worse for disabled people.
Many disabled people have been given very little information on the risks that they face or how they should mitigate those.
They can’t practice social distancing when you have care workers coming in and out of their houses.
Those living independently on direct payments haven’t been allocated any personal protective equipment or the funding to purchase it so are forced to go without, putting themselves and their carers at risk.
Most have no funding to offer sick pay, this results in a lack of income for their PAs
Which also puts themselves and their carers in an awful situation.
Within the new Coronavirus bill lies legislation that keeps disabled people living safely at home has now been removed.
The government has made changes to the Care Act 2014 which remove the legal duty on local authorities to provide care, except where not providing it would breach people’s human rights.
This could wipe out most of adult social care – with no guarantee it will ever be replaced.
Whilst people are saying that the Covid 19 outbreak has brought people together this isn’t happening for many disabled people. They’re being abandoned by the government with no care at all.
We all need to be talking about this and holding the government to account for their actions towards disabled people and the self employed.
Yesterday I took a walk around Ashton and spoke to some of the people that I’ve helped and are still helping.
Most are struggling, all of them are worried about catching Covid 19. I did what I could do to help, but I feel completely useless at the moment.
Little trips to the shops is our only option whilst trying to keep to the social distancing rules which are still being ignored by so many.
I understand that its hard to judge the distance correctly and supermarkets and shops have been really good at ensuring that people keep to the social distancing rules.
Please keep to the rules folks, whilst some people think that they’re invincible many of us aren’t. And don’t get me started on the conspiracy theorists posts. They can cause so much damage.
Above all else keep safe, feel free to email me if you want someone to talk to, because I am thinking of you all.
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