I’ve been on a mixture of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit since I was 17 years old, due to my disability limiting my ability to work. Both are a benefit that can support people who are unable to work, or unable to work full-time hours.
I was never able to get a Saturday job like my friends due to my disabilities, nor attend university. So at a young age I quickly found myself with very few options – and a family unable to support me financially.
At that age, I had no idea that accessible work options even existed, so I truly believed that I would never find a job that I could do.
Being able to sit here today and say I have found accessible employment, that I can do whilst receiving Universal Credit, a vital safety net, is amazing. But, it’s also a double-edged sword and not the life-changing moment I’d hoped it would be.