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By Ms No World Order
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Disabled workers forced to take unfit jobs

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‘Sarah Dean is not the image of a disabled person in work the government wants you to see. The 26-year-old has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. Unable to cope with the anxiety of going through the “fit for work” tests in order to apply for employment and support allowance, the disability out-of-work benefit, Dean is surviving on zero-hours contracts. ESA would have given her either a higher rate of benefit to live on (compared with jobseeker’s allowance) or support (albeit poor) to find a job more suitable to her health needs. But as a JSA recipient, Dean is not classed as “disabled”, as ESA claimants are, and so has to take pretty much any job going.

Dean has had four different contracts in as many years, working as a shop assistant at various tourist venues, on- call for a shift any, and every, day. What makes an insecure job difficult for workers generally can make it debilitating for someone with a disability or health condition, and Dean tells me both her ADHD and OCD have worsened, to the extent she now needs specialist ADHD therapy.’

Read more: Disabled workers forced to take unfit jobs


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