Welfare punishes medically vulnerable with exposure to COVID-19


This is a difficult time for Ireland and the world as we battle this virus. One measure which we have been told to adhere to is social distancing, and this will be crucial in the weeks and months ahead.

This is being done to help the elderly and for vulnerable people like me who have chronic life long illnesses. I have several multiple sclerosis, asthma, sarcoidosis and chronic pain, and three mean I must isolate myself from others, and this could last months, if not longer. Yesterday the Taoiseach mentioned how soon measures to cocoon people like me will be put in place.

I am on Disability Allowance and apparently I disobeyed an obscure rule where I needed to inform social welfare I was going on a holiday abroad. While they decide what punishment to give me (probably to reduce my payment) they decided to give me a slap by insisting I collect my payment in the Post Office, and no longer get it directly into my bank account.

I appealed this decision and now they have reinstated it, but have threatened it is only for a few weeks, while they decide what to do (see letter).

By doing this they are putting my life at risk and the anxiety this is causing me on top of the threat of this virus is damaging. So much for a caring Social Welfare system.

The person who is making this decision is in a comfortable, extremely secure job, and is probably healthy with no underlying conditions which will put them at risk.

Their decision to make me stand on legs that are weak and shaky in an enclosed space with the threat of getting a virus which could potentially kill me is beyond belief. Will it take a death to make them change their rules or procedures?

In in Leo Varadkar’s (Leo Varadkar T.D.) speech he said:

We will always put your life and your health ahead of any other concern.

Leo Varadkar – Taoiseach of Ireland

I am not so sure this is the reality.

One thought on “Welfare punishes medically vulnerable with exposure to COVID-19

  1. I am extremely sad about this. I have multiple sclerosis and also on disability. I don’t know what your beliefs are, but in times like these when it seems impossible, I turn to God and tell him to battle this for me. But you really need to trust God and leave it to him.
    I know this doesn’t make you feel better right now, but I have had difficult struggles and left them to God and it gave me a sense of peace. From a fellow ms warrior in San Sntonio, Tx.

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