Having money brings its own complications and difficulties. As a self-employed disabled person, earning enough is an endless pursuit; just trying to keep `afloat’.
From Able Magazine #110 (March/April 2014)
The dreaded tax return always looms and getting all those boxes completed correctly and on-time is an achievement in itself. I’m glad to have a column for Able as regular and enjoyable work. However, for any disabled person, money is a huge issue. There are schemes presently available for working disabled people, such as tax credits but changes are due next year, when things go ‘Universal’ so we’ve yet to see what happens then.
Often, because of our impairments, we fork out for things that other, non-disabled people, don’t have to fund. There are outstanding additional costs for some disabled people like me, such as expensive care packages and there’s all the little `hidden’ costs that people don’t often see.
For instance, if I’m getting a train somewhere, possibly for work, I need to have a personal assistant with me. That means buying two tickets, not just one. Because my PA’s primarily provide personal care and are not support workers – whose roles are slightly different – their costs aren’t covered by the Access To Work scheme.
In theory these additional costs can be covered by the Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance but I’m already required to contribute half of that to my care package. All of the Mobility part goes to Motability to pay for my van. We know that for many people living in austerity Britain, simply not having enough money means that the threat of further cuts is a dreadful prospect.
It’s not all bad though. I consider myself fortunate, that presently, I do have enough money for a decent life. Recently I was doing a little window-shopping in an up-market department store. I chatted with one of the sales assistants, new to her job. We both did a lot of sighing along the lines of “We’ll never be able to afford these lovely things”. She then said: “Well maybe one day.” and I nodded.
Afterwards though, I wasn’t so sure I’d want that day to come. If I could afford those things, I’d need a big enough home to put those things in. So then I’d have to move to a place and area for people with expensive things and I don’t think I want that. I like my life as it is now, with enough – although I’d make exception for an indoor heated pool!