After suffering a ruptured appendix, I was placed on Employment and Support Allowance due to the effects that the resulting large hernia that developed caused me and continues to cause me. These effects include severe pain in my back and around my abdomen, breathing and sleeping difficulties, fatigue and trouble walking over moderate distances. The large abdominal hernia deformity that I have been left with is also visible when wearing clothing, which has caused me depression and anxiety.
My doctor told me that I could have surgery to fix the hernia when I had lost enough weight and he gave me a diet plan with special foods to eat. I gradually began losing weight by doing light exercise at the gym and eating the foods that he recommended - all of which I could just about manage to afford on ESA and by taking a little bit of money from my emergency savings.
However, the DWP then told me that I was fit to work due to a 2-minute ESA examination, which in no way took into account the problems that my hernia and associated health issues cause me over 5 minutes, let alone over an hour or more. It merely established that I could move my fingers, stand on one foot for a few seconds and raise my arms above my shoulder.
My ESA was stopped immediately, which I was informed of by letter a week later. I was advised to apply for Universal Credit, which I did, though I had to wait six weeks from application before I could receive my first payment, which did not include any backdated pay to cover those six weeks. During that time I had to spend all my emergency savings to survive. I am unable to appeal the decision, as I did not apply within the time limit out of fear that they would cancel my Universal Credit.
ESA and my savings were helping me to both eat the foods that my doctor recommended and afford to go to the gym to lose weight, speeding up the time that I could have my surgery and get into work – thus actually saving the DWP money in the long term. I now receive less money than I did before and can’t afford to eat the foods that my doctor recommended, or afford the regular bus fare or membership charges required to go to the gym. I also have to spend 35 hours per week looking for work that I cannot physically do as a result of my health condition.
Please donate to help me.
Relying on welfare or asking for financial assistance online is not a position I ever wanted to find myself in. Nor is going shirtless on the internet to show the extent of my condition. But it is where my situation has lead me. I am humbly asking for £3159, which would help me to eat the foods that my doctor recommended and lose weight to have the surgery that will enable me to get into work.
The money will be spent as follows:
- £1017 for 18-month bus travel at £56.50 per month
- £342 for 18-month gym membership at £18.99 per month
- £1800 for 18 months of doctor recommended healthy food at £100 per month