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You’ve Enabled Me

, , , , , | Hopeless | May 13, 2019

Let me start by saying that I am enormously grateful to live in a country that has safety nets for the unfortunate and the ill; without them, I’d be dead. Sadly, the way that the current administration handles applications and treats disabled people is criminal.

Sit tight; this one really sucks (until the end).

I had been called in for my PiP assessment, a test where an unqualified person asks you vague questions and then lies on a form about your answers.

I had to be at their offices at eight am in a city a full hour’s drive from where I live. After getting lost twice because of road work, I finally found somewhere to park and hobbled to the office.

The appointment was a nightmare. The woman clearly wasn’t listening to anything I said and did a “physical assessment” of my condition from across the room without leaving her chair — an assessment which took my specialist, with 40 years in the field, six months and millions of pounds worth of machinery to figure out. By the time she was finally done, I was emotionally and physically drained as I staggered out to the main office, only to be greeted with the news that there were yet more forms I had to fill out.

Once I was finally able to make my escape, I was barely holding it together as I headed back to my car, thinking only about getting home and hiding in bed.

Then, I tried to pay for my parking. It turned out that the only parking structure near their office had had a massive recent price hike, and I didn’t have enough money to pay to get my car.

I was in tatters, guys.

I was in so much pain I could barely stand, I was an hour from home, and I had no idea what to do. So, there I was, a 40-year-old guy with tears on my face, trying to explain to the lady at the other end of an intercom what was going on when a young couple who had, I guess, heard what was going on just rocked up and said, “Don’t worry; we’ve got this,” and paid for my ticket.

It wasn’t a huge amount — £20 — but the simple kindness of those two strangers gave me the strength to get home.

I doubt they’ll ever see this and I wish I’d been in any state to thank them properly for their help, but that gesture got me through that awful day.

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