Back Soon!

8/14/2009 11:05:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 11 Comments

I'm taking a break from blogging for the last couple of weeks of August. See you all in September ready for the campaign against the proposed cuts to AA and DLA.

Bendy Girl Xx


Bog Off! Exhibit 14-Doing it the NHS way!

8/07/2009 11:36:00 am BenefitScroungingScum 3 Comments

This Bog Off! was sent in by Benefit Scrounger reader Louise Bolotin. In her words;

Naming and shaming here:

this was taken at the Alexandra Park Medical Centre in Moss Side,
Manchester (GP practice with a specialist weekly epilepsy clinic). It
was very clean and there was plenty of space to manoeuvre a wheelchair
but the light switch was too high (and not easy to find as it was inside
the loo rather than outside the door).
But the first thing I noticed on walking in was the alarm cord tied up so high it was even above the
cistern! I told the reception staff and pointed out that if I'd had a
seizure in there I'd not have been able to call for help... The
receptionist was suitable embarrassed and promised to sort it out.

Let's hope they do!

Thanks Louise and come on the rest of you...the best and worst of the UK's (or any other country's) accessible toilets are just waiting to be displayed here in all their glory!


When re-cycling is a bad idea

8/05/2009 05:08:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 14 Comments

Dating's a funny thing. Initially it sounds like it'll be great fun, an opportunity to meet new people, perhaps see new places, or try new things. It's only when you start to consider it more carefully you realise, actually, it's hell. Sheer and utter hell. Throw in the combination of being a woman in your 30's and having a disability...well, then it's something else altogether. In fact, if I didn't know better I'd believe the DWP dreamed it up as another form of torture for benefit claimants. The current ESA medicals are a breeze in comparison. Actually, scratch that, I wouldn't want to give the DWP any ideas!

It’s really quite difficult to meet new people after the school/college/university type stages of life, apart from work there are few opportunities. Not being a fan of the drinking scene type pick up makes it even more difficult and that’s before you factor in the fact that your disability leaves you so chronically overdrawn at the spoon bank you don’t leave the house very often. Then there’s the whole living in a town so small everyone knows what kind of nappies you wore as a baby.

So the internet it is. The most important trick to internet dating is to avoid the lengthy email/phone romance stage and use it simply as a tool to find people you might be interested in. Where people usually go wrong is ‘falling’ for someone in the virtual world over a period of perhaps months before actually meeting in the ‘real’ world. There are of course exceptions to this, but it’s a trap almost all internet daters fall into, and certainly one I’ve only learned by experience.

As I don’t have a visible disability the part I find most difficult is what to say and when? There are no easy answers to that dilemma, but as a general rule I find it’s helpful to mumble something about having joint problems as a reason for not working prior to the date and leave it up to the other person to ask any questions they may have. “Can you have sex?” being without doubt the most popular.

So, having got past that stage I recently went on a ‘date to see if we like each other enough to have a proper first date date’ It seemed fairly promising. The guy had a decent profile; it contained humour, wasn’t too long and importantly didn’t contain any text speak. The downside as Fruitrock pointed out was that it had a slightly disdainful air about it, but these things are hard to tell online.

The date itself was ok. Nice even. In fact every time a friend later asked me how it went, nice was the first word that sprang to mind, closely followed by pleasant. I didn’t get the impression we had much in common, or that there were any great sparks, but it was nice and I was quietly impressed on a couple of occasions by how he reacted to my dislocating. A few hours later we went our separate ways.

It was afterwards it all got a bit weird.

A week or so afterwards date and I were again chatting on msn. We’d been having quite a nice discussion about photography on the actual date, and I’d mentioned having done some modeling. I later sent him one of my old modeling shots. The date had studied photography so when he mentioned having found some old photos on his computer I was keen to see, expecting something he had taken, or perhaps the slightly embarrassing teenage type photo.

As the photo was coming through, date mentioned it having been from when he was with his ex. Which, when I finally saw the image seemed a bit weird. It was my date, or part of my date anyway. The somewhere between the thighs and bellybutton part. Clad in crisp Calvin’s it was neither the best of worst example I’ve ever seen…but it was certainly the first I’ve seen that wasn’t intended for me. This was a hard on produced and photographed for someone else!

Now I know re-cycling is currently all the rage, and I’m a fan, really I am. I love second hand clothes, wouldn’t be without them, but some things are intended to be used just once. The beauty of erections is that with a few unfortunate exceptions they are an easily renewed commodity, typically available at a moment’s notice. Not one that has to be re-used on another woman!

‘Hello darling I saw this picture my ex took of my hard cock and thought you’d like to see it’ is very unlikely to produce the same result as, say, ‘Hello darling I saw this bar of chocolate and thought you’d like it’ would. Or perhaps that’s just me. Whatever, I think most women would prefer the erection they are seeing to have been erected with thoughts of them rather than the previous person to see it.

I was somewhat bewildered by this gift. All right a lot bewildered. And potentially high. But I was very definitely logged into my twitter account. So I did what came naturally. No, not taking my pants off. Tweeting about it. General amusement was had amongst my twitter followers and I. Including describing the erection as “at best average”

Before too long something else had come up and the second hand erection was forgotten.

Until a few days later when my date, rather pissily informed me he’d seen the discussion on twitter. It transpired he couldn’t bear to wait to see what I might have written about him so he went hunting around on the internet to find my online identity. I can’t say for sure but I reckon he saw slightly more than he bargained for!

Now, I have plenty of faults, but refusing to apologise for my actions is not one of them. I rapidly said I was sorry to the date, admitting it was a cruel thing to have done and that I shouldn’t have done it. As it was all anonymous the only way anyone would ever know who was being discussed was if the owner of the erection said anything. Still, it was a tad cruel and I do know better, so I simply apologized and waited….

And waited

And waited…

Eventually I asked the date if he had anything he wanted to apologise to me for. He didn’t.

He didn’t see that hunting down my online identity might be a bit creepy. Or that expecting me to admit I was in the wrong and apologise without seeing he might need to apologise would put me off. Or even why a second hand erection might be a bit creepy.

A few days later he asked if everything was ok. I said I wasn’t really into grudges and I’m not. After all this has produced hilarious blog fodder. But not a second date!


Save our DLA

8/05/2009 12:26:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 8 Comments

It's impossible to explain how much people like me rely upon the extra income from Disability Living Allowance. My award ends in November 2010 and already I am worrying whether it will be re-awarded or removed because I've made a mistake on the form and not managed to translate the everday difficulties I experience into the required language of a DLA form. Without my DLA I would be housebound. I would not be able to afford to run a car, without which I cannot shop, access health care, collect prescriptions or pay for the care I receive. The idea of allowing local authorities to control this benefit is enough to give me nightmares for the rest of my life. Local authorities already ration care, the process is desperately stressful and only those considered to have 'critical or substantial' needs will qualify. Trying to justify oneself as disabled enough for the local authority is the most degrading thing I've ever experienced, topped off by a social worker who clearly stated he would "ensure I lost my entire care package"
DLA pays for things those without a disability take forgranted. I can't keep myself warm, despite the mild summer weather I require a hot water bottle to keep warm at night, and often additional heating. I can't clean up properly, can't change my bed, work a hoover and many basic household tasks. I use my DLA to pay for the additional gas and electricity, and to pay my carer. I use my DLA to buy food I can prepare for myself, I can't chop anything up so that means expensive, pre prepared vegetables, pricey ready meals etc.
Please sign up to this campaign. We the genuinely disabled understand and share the wider public anger about benefit fraud but beseech you not to be blinded by that into allowing the genuinely disabled to suffer from the loss of a benefit that is quite literally life giving.
Thank you, Bendy Girl X

Via Lisybabe & lilwatchergirl
Benefits and Work sent me the following e-mail. They're looking for 1000 people to sign up before they start hardcore campaigning, in order that there are enough people on board to make a different. I think their campaign is massively important, given the serious threat to our DLA/AA and other benefits.

DLA was established, after years of research, because the costs of living as a disabled person in a barrier-filled world organized by and for non-disabled people were considered to be so high. The estimated costs of disability that came out of this research were far, far higher than what is actually now given to DLA claimants. It was also emphasised that DLA should not be means-tested, because the costs of disability are high whether a person is extremely poor or generally has enough to live on.

Yet the government is proposing either means-testing DLA and AA, or removing it altogether. Their proposal to put the money in the hands of local councils is TERRIFYING, especially to those of us who have experienced first-hand the way that council-funded care has been limited, cut and removed from a majority of disabled people. Councils would leave DLA claimants without enough money either to fund their care or to cover their disability-related costs. The end result of this could well be the death of the poorest disabled people. Do we want to live in a society where the richest are subsidised to the tune of millions (HBOS et al), while the poorest people with the highest costs are left without enough money to fund their care, to support their mobility needs or potentially even to eat?

Benefits and Work's e-mail, detailing their campaign, is copied below. They have 300 people signed up to the campaign so far. Help them get to 1000, and then we can start campaigning.

Ideas for smaller-scale campaigns to support this one could be thought up and discussed here, too...

Claimants have just 100 days to prevent their DLA and AA being abolished.

A government green paper has revealed proposals to stop paying ‘disability benefits, for example, attendance allowance’’ and hand the cash over to social services instead.

Under the plan, current claimants would have their disability benefits converted to a ‘personal budget’ administered by local authorities and used to pay for services,– not to spend as they wish.

Once the green paper consultation period ends in 100 days time, if an almighty row has not been raised, it is likely that both major political parties will see the lack of outrage as a green light to end both DLA and AA.

We’re looking for a minimum of 1,000 claimants, carers and support workers to join our campaign to save these benefits from being abolished. Find out how you can take part from this link:

We know that many people will take false comfort from the fact that, unlike AA, DLA is not specifically named as being for the axe. But if the government was planning only to abolish AA it is extremely unlikely that they would refer constantly throughout the green paper to ‘'disability benefits'’, a term which includes not just AA but also DLA.

Others will dismiss this as just another idle discussion document and our concerns as scare mongering. But it’s much more than that.

36 meetings have already been organised around the country for people working in government and the caring professions to meet to be told about the setting up of a new National Care Service which would oversee the system. In addition, a stakeholders panel of more than 50 voluntary sector organisations, trades unions and academics has been established to offer advice to the government.

Some organisations and individuals, such as RNIB and welfare rights worker Neil Bateman writing for Community Care magazine, have already voiced their alarm.

But not every disability organisation is opposed to the proposals and some even agree with them.

In a press release, Disability Alliance has welcomed the publication of the green paper and said that it ‘looks forward to working alongside Government and all the other stakeholders in bringing these plans into fruition.’ They have even said that they agree that there is a case for ‘integrating disability benefits such as attendance allowance’ into the new system.

One thing everyone does seem to agree on is that huge cuts in public spending will have to take place in the next few years as a result of the credit crunch and global recession.

Political parties are desperately looking for the softest targets to be the victims of these cuts. Dismissing the green paper’s proposals as hot air and not worth worrying about could be the costliest mistake you ever make.

Find out more about the proposed abolition of DLA and AA and how you can join our campaign to fight back:

Please sign. Without my DLA I'd be practically housebound, unable to afford supermarket deliveries and would pretty much have no quality of life at all. Also bear in mind that most people develop some kind of impairment in old age; Attendance Allowance, a benefit for over 65s who need assistance, is currently the benefit at the top of the "at risk" list. So signing this petition isn't just for those who are currently claiming, signing is an investment for your own future!


Desperate Times

8/02/2009 03:41:00 pm BenefitScroungingScum 6 Comments

Recently I found myself in the delightful position of buying yet more fucking vibrators. A fun task you might think? Well, perhaps but disappointingly I purchased said vibrator as a massager. I know, I know, it's an age old cliche, women buy 'massagers' to use as vibrators, but in the absence of any better offers all I have to screw with is cliche. That and horribly spasmed muscles which frankly hurt enough to make the idea of girly self pleasure laughable. So a massaging style vibrator seemed like a good idea. They always do at the time. Ideas I mean, rather than vibrators. Or wanks now I come to think of it.

So, upon opening my brand spanking new massager I was actually rather disappointed to find the instruction leaflet proudly proclaiming "this is a vibrator not a massager"...along with some fluff about not being coy.

As if being single isn't bad enough. The lack of strong male hands willing to massage my sore bits is in itself regrettable, but the massager/vibrator imposter is something else altogether! I was gutted. Especially as the stupid vibrator in disguise is not really powerful enough to sort out my spasmed muscles. As for my lacking attention bits...forget it, no way am I putting that thing anywhere near 'em, it's way too powerful for that!'s not like I have a shortage of properly designed girl pleasing toys.

So lacking a personal masseuse/man sized sex toy I decided it will be better for both my bank balance and sore muscles to find a man. Unlike our lovely MP's who seem to be able to purchase anything they want from the John Lewis list I could not find a tax payer funded cripple friendly catalogue of men to pick from. Which left internet dating. Again. At least these days there are plenty of decent free dating sites. A long time BSS reader 'that scrounging northerner'* had previously recommended plentyoffish as one of the best free sites.

As this is not intended to be a review of free dating sites all I'll say is that plentyoffish is, um, well, um, free. Actually it works pretty well for a free dating site as it includes a reasonable search facility. However, the downside to free is how well it works attracting those who can't pay as well as those who could but chose not to. Important, as I may be benefit scrounging scum but it's not a quality I seek in prospective partners.

Doing the internet dating thing has made me think of what characteristics I'm really looking for in a partner. I think it's probably time to mature the list from it's current state:

Strong hands
Ability to carry me on a regular basis

as so far all that's not exactly brought me the most well rounded specimens of manhood. No snickering, discussions of that kind of manhood to feature in upcoming installments.

* How are you dear?