Wednesday, 30 June 2010

How much will it cost the government to remove my Disability Living Allowance?

(Following on from immediately earlier entry.......)

Realistically, the govt. would pay me much more in working-benefits and subsidiary costs than it would save if it sent me out to work. I currently receive higher rate care and mobility. Let's call that £450 p/m (although because I have a car on the motability scheme, the cost is more but the cash is less)

Lets say that I get a job working 16hrs a week for minimum wage (I can't expect much more than that, to be honest) our total entitlement to benefits as a couple? £11,400.63. Now, that DOES include some things we already claim, like housing benefit and tax credits and child benefit (all things, I'd hasten to point out, than ANYONE is allowed to claim, working or not, except tax credits which are an in-work benefit). It's still a lot.

Now, add to that that because I'll be working, I'll be pushing myself past what I am capable of while still retaining any degree of comfort. This will mean that most likely, I will have to go on medication. Probably anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and pain management.

I'm going to break this down as much as I can to make it a bit clearer. Obviously, these numbers are not accurate as, guess what? I don't have a direct line to the NHS offices to find out how much meds cost. But I'm going off searches of the things I would need and an educated estimate at how much they would cost based on the assumption that the NHS bulk-buys. For example, I got a price of 64p per pill for Sertraline if bought in bulk at 270pills, so I assumed the NHS would buy in even larger numbers than that, and just pegged it at 40p. It's probably less, but lets add some more for admin costs, the cost of my GP, the cost of the pharmacist, etc etc. Assume all numbers are accurate for the purpose of this excersize.

Assuming Sertraline at 40p per pill: £12.50 p/m
Diazepam (assuming 1-2 pills a week): £3 p/m
Codeine (assuming 28 a month, which I could easily do now, without a job): £5 p/m

That's £20.50 a month on pills alone, almost £250 a year. And because I will soon be diagnosed with a lifelong illness, I will soon get my prescriptions free, which means the NHS will foot the entire bill. It will also foot the bill for the support I will no doubt need. The 16 weeks of councelling I'm sure I'll be provided with (pffffft), the braces (£40 please) I may or may not need to hold myself together (chortle chortle), the hospital stay I may end up needing if I relapse and require hospitalization, or the hospital stay I may end up needing if my perilously low weight plummets any further (which it would do, if I was stressed and also having to be doing physical activity 16 hours a week more than I do presently. And lets not kid ourselves that a 22 yr old with no skills, qualifications, previous work experience AND a baby could get anything other than something that would require a large degree of standing on my feet all day, serving people).

If I was to get pregnant again (not unreasonable for someone my age, in a stable relationship, but also not something I'm planning on doing, but I COULD) the cost to the government would skyrocket almost immediately. I would be extremely high risk, I would most likely have to leave work fairly soon which would mean I would have to go on *drumroll, please* unemployment benefits, or maternity wages (the actual term escapes me at 5am, sorry) all of which come straight from the governments coffers, I would most likely have to have a high-risk birth which would cost some hospital a lot of money, if I have my baby prematurely (stress and weight problems would contribute significantly to this possibility) the costs shoot off astronomically. If I had to stay in hospital for any length of time on bedrest, Beastlet would have to go into full time childcare while I'm in hospital, AND GUESS WHO WOULD HAVE TO PAY FOR THAT, GEORGIE? The government, in the form of childcare vouchers. I haven't even accounted for the fact that I probably wouldn't find a job straight away that could take me, and therefore I'd be on JSA for posibly months before anything came up. That's another £250 a month.

This is all ignoring that the initial assessment, administration, and paperwork required to remove my Disability Living Allowance in the FIRST PLACE will all cost money. George Osbourne is basically saying he wants to pay me more money so that I can be poorer and in lots more pain while someone else brings up my child two days a week. Rightio then. That makes a ton of sense.

Originally I was going to round up this post with a definitive number for you, but I don't have one. The peripheral costs, the ones that just cannot be accounted for, calculated, those are the ones that will really get out of hand if G.O succeeds in his plan of forcing me back to work by removing my DLA and 'encuraging' me to get a job. It seems fairly obvious to me that continuing my DLA payments is actually the most financially sound option for the government, so why isn't it obvious to those who are in charge and should actually know what they're doing?

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