Privileges of having disabilities

Do people with disabilities have unfair advantages on other people?

It is true to say that most people think that almost all people with disabilities have been granted entitlements & exemptions which they consider to be unjust to them, even excessively advantageous to people with disabilities. This includes such things as the Blue Badge & parking spaces, Welfare benefits, greater priority in council housing, etc. I could spend hours explaining why this is not the case. How can we make people understand that we do not have any advantages, & that we are in fact at a serious disadvantage?

Blue Badge parking permit

It is a myth that if you have a Blue Badge you can park anywhere you wish, for as long as you wish. There are some restrictions when using the Blue Badge; the rules differ from council to council. Yes, it is true that with a Blue Badge you can park, drop off or pickup someone in places which others cannot. Is this unfair on everyone else? The best way to explain is to use some comparisons. Of course, using comparisons is not ideal in this situation, but it may help some understand better. Perhaps you have suffered a broken leg & found it very difficult to get around, walking from a car park, etc. Consider someone who may not have full use of one or both legs, permanently. We all know what it is like to have a very bad virus that restricts our breathing, causes aches & pains, etc. There are many medical conditions that can have similar but more serious effects on a person. Some people find it physically impossible to walk more than a few steps, or where walking is extremely difficult & restrictive, often painful. It can also be the case that such activity can be dangerous. Some people cannot balance, stand for long without falling, cannot control their legs.

Having a Blue Badge does not give us an advantage; it does not even make things equal. We are still at a disadvantage. Having a Blue Badge helps us to function better. Without it many people would not be able to go to supermarkets, into town, to shopping centres, to the doctor, hospitals for treatment, even to work, etc. Yes, many people with disabilities work.

Welfare benefits

Firstly benefits related to disabilities, generally known as disabled benefits. Another myth is that people who have disabilities are scroungers who claim benefits & live the life of luxury. It is not a luxury having a disability. The benefits we get are there to provide for our needs because of the disadvantages because of the disability, not for us to life the life of Riley. Disabled benefits are given to help us with the daily activities that others take for granted. This can include help with getting in/out of bed, getting dressed, washing & bathing, going to the toilet, preparing meals, household chores, going shopping, getting to & from doctor/hospital appointments, providing for travel costs related to the disability, supervision, etc.

So how come we can claim benefits such as Housing Benefit & Council Tax Reduction? These benefits are not just for people with disabilities. Anyone who is on a low income can claim them. Let me remind you that people with disabilities are not rich because we get benefits. There are strict rules on who can claim & how much they will get. Not everyone gets the full cost of their rent or council tax paid. Not every person who is disabled gets these two benefits, or some others. It is an incorrect assumption that we all get every benefit & at the full rate.

It is a fallacy that we waste this money on expensive cars, luxury food, designer clothes, the latest hi–tech equipment. Next time you consider it to be unfair think about how unfair it is to have disabilities. How unfair it is to have to rely on others to perform personal & sometimes intimate tasks that we cannot. How unfair it is to face verbal or physical abuse. How unfair it is to be called a cheater, scrounger, liar, lazy.....

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Updated: 18th April 2014