Sorry for the hiatus. I will be back to weekend posts again now.
Employment while Disabled. Lol good joke.
But to be more serious here is what I have learned about Employment while being disabled.
I’ve been disabled since birth, so safe to say I’ve learned everything.
Decades of flinging CVs at a wall
That’s decades, not years. Yes, you really can spend decades just throwing your CV into someone else’s rubbish bin. Finding a type of job you can physically do is like pulling teeth. Then you actually have to get hired, which will be years of flinging your CV around and getting complete silence in response. By the time you find a place that actually has space for more staff, you have been starved of employment for so long that you have no experience so they won’t hire you anyway. At that point, questions about the decade-long gaps in your CV are absolutely redundant and are yet another roadblock to employment.
Your other option is volunteering to gain experience. That means years of unpaid work. That means literally eating ‘experience’. But the experience is good though. But I have yet to see it make much difference, besides the fact I finally got responses from my CV flinging. All responses being ‘Nah’.
Then you change your strategy to flinging your CV at jobs that you can’t physically do, some of which might even put you in hospital. At a certain point, you are so desperate to grab the cash that you are literally putting your health at risk.
Then your final stratagy is to grab any illegal work that you can reach. Because those drug lords and pimps are the first people that ever paid you in 20 years so…
I have yet to meet any disabled people who suddenly had a job paying a living wage the minute they left school. If there were any, they’ve all been burned at the stake for being witches.
Eyeballing every cent that goes in
If your disabled, chances are you might be on the dole just to prevent yourself from going homeless.
But if you are a witch or something and managed to get paid and are stupid enough to declare it to the WINZ office (eye roll), you have to physically eyeball every cent you are being paid. If one cent too much goes in, bye dole. They can cut your benefit, or rip it from you completely. You are now sitting on your paid income for all your living expenses, which may not even pay you enough to eat three meals a day, let alone any rent or bills.
What is a saving? Is that some new food or…? Almost illegal when you are on the dole. Mine is treated as an emergency fund for when my bank account gets hogged by a power bill. That also means no inheritance, no gifts, no small loans of a million dollars.
One way to save yourself from trouble is to quickly spend whatever savings you have before you have to declare it. That will of course mean you will never have savings above a certain amount, which will trap you exactly where you are. The best thing to do is to empty it into bills, morgages and debts. At least that will look like you know your priorities when it comes to finances.
Another option is to not declare certain ‘incomes’. I don’t know how safe that is in some cases, you can still get into legal trouble depending. But you do not deserve to lose your benifit after a one-off sale of a piece of furniture on trademe or that one time you sold some crafts for $5 each at a bootmarklet. Not worth declaring.
Poverty 22 cycle
Employment is very much part of the poverty cycle.
Need car to get job. With what money? Where do you get money? The job you can’t get to without a car. Round and round and round.
Need this much experience to be hired. Experience doesn’t come out of thin air and sometimes education isn’t free. At least you can work for experience for free, but it won’t put food on the table. Round and round and round and round.
Lived for ears in a house that gets zero sun, goes to work in zero sun. Lack of sun hogs your energy, you’ve had one continueous cold for years. Thus you cannot work at your full ability, you will never get a promotion or a raise. You will never save up for better accommodation that will give you more energy to work better. Round and round and round and round and round.
You can only afford cheap, fatty, sugar crammed foods that pile on your weight and hog your energy. You will never reach your full potential with that energy, thus will never earn enough to afford real food. And the gym isn’t free either. Round and round and round and round and round and round and round.
Not to mention the guaranteed depression. That would take up a whole new post.
So you have a car, you have experience to plaster all over your CV, you have the CV to fling around. You might have even worked out a specific job that you can easily do. The end. You go no futher into employment than this stage because now it’s up to the employer to decide if you get a job. You’ve done your side, now they have to do theirs. Then there is a thing called discrimination. Good luck.
What’s a paycheck?
Is it a food? A new kind of book or game? No seriously.
I’ve had friends and fam working for free because businesses ‘couldn’t afford’ them. Does this happen to able-bodied people???
Can we eat ‘store credit’ or ‘staff discount’???
Disability isn’t the cause of unemployment
Our disabilities don’t put us in poverty. Some of us CAN work and have our CVs in our hands ready to wave in your face.
If you’re not hiring, you can’t winge when we bludge off your taxes. You can’t have it both ways.
People on disability are there because they aren’t disabled enough to be on disability
When you think about it this actually does make perfect sense.
Someone may be only slightly disabled. Enough that they can’t stand up for long periods of time. They CAN and WANT TO work. And yet they are still unemployed. And the dole still accepts them as entitled to some benefits. So why are they there?
What are the jobs available to someone in my area with no skills, no experience and no car? Maccas, Supermarket, apple picking, road building, heavy lifting, running around all day, standing and standing and standing and standing. They pay peanuts, but we would grab them if we could physically do them. That’s if. Not everyone can just stand there for more than 10 minutes without running from chair to chair. The jobs that we are absolutely screaming for are sit down jobs. We’ve never seen one. And if we don’t see them, we can’t ask for them. And if they do exist, once again, education isn’t free. And even if you can afford it, the doors will be slammed in your face for some random reason anyway.
This is the endless network of cycles keeping disabled people in poverty, preventing them from growing, preventing them from gaining human status. How much have we changed since Nazi Germany? I haven’t seen much.
All I can say now is when I do get paid there will be a massive blog post from me.
For people like us, the achievement isn’t getting that promotion, buying a sports car and retiring to your mansion by the beach. For us, the achievement is getting paid AT ALL.