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Employable Me episode two

I watched the second episode of Employable Me last night, eager to see whether it continued to be a positive portrayal of employment issues for people with disabilities. As I wrote in my entry about the first episode, it struck me as quite fair and balanced. Yet this time I couldn't escape the feeling that I was being addressed personally: was this program, at least in part, intended specifically to be watched by disabled people to try to encourage us to get jobs? Frankly, it felt like I was being lectured.

That is not to say that I wouldn't love a job, or that I would turn one down if I was offered one. Yet what the program did not explore is the big catch at the centre of this issue for many people like me. If I - somehow - got a job and started earning over a certain amount, I would lose all rights todisability benefits. That means that I would lose the safety net, so if the job ended or fell through - and, let's face it, there's quite a good chance of that happening - I would be left with nothing. No wage, no benefits. This issue puts a major barrier up for me even trying to get a job, as I'm sure it does for many people like me, even though I know I'm more than capable of having one. It's why I only volunteer at school. This is the elephant in the room last night's program did not address, but until this catch is ironed out, all the tv lectures the beeb can throw at me won't help me find payed employment.

Comments

Rubbish! Disability benefits are not means te Have you ever applied for a job, or an internship? Thought not.

As for the BBC programme, "it is absolutely disgraceful hateful propaganda that blames Disabled people entirely for not working. Another shameful BBC production - no doubt funded by the DWP!!" to quote a more knowledgeable disabled person (who is in paid employment).

Sorry, 'means tested'in the first line.

Back at university I did some work as a student ambassador, but was told I couldn't earn over a certain limit as it jeopardised my DLA.

It all depends on what you mean by 'means tested', and to which benefits you are referring. As with all bureaucracy, necessary as it is, there are different benefits that apply in different cases. Matthew is right that he could lose some benefits if he were earning more than a certain amount, but he is wrong that he would lose all benefits if he was working. It's a moot point in his case as he says he is not looking for paid employment, and judging from the BBC programme I don't blame him.

The school could probably pay you without any adverse effects on your ESA. There are ways round this. The more disabled people do things for nothing, the more they get exploited.

Well, yes, but given a choice between contributing to society by volunteering, or sitting on my arse and doing nothing, I'd rather volunteer and make a difference.

Due to a spam infestation, commenting has been temporarily disabled. Contact me if you have something intersting/useful to add, and I may add you comment to my entry (giving credit, of course).