Certainly if you’re in the UK, we have a great welfare system that people take for granted.
I am guilty and always just thought the UK government was too lenient in terms of handing out benefits to lazy people (or those benefit ‘scrounging’ 16 year old pregnant mums with 10 kids in a 8 bedroomed house). Perhaps narrow-minded but that’s how it was. My left-wing supporter best friend always tried to tell me differently. As a case worker, she was always the more compassionate one with a wider view on just how many different types of people they cater to and within good reason. She paid a great deal of service to the public and it is kind people like her that can make the world a better place. People like her, are the reason we have a pretty good public welfare system and an unselfish society to an extent.
When you get a chronic condition, you suddenly become aware how limiting it is and how much help you need. For example, there are times, I am super wheezy, extremely breathless and I just.cannot.walk.far. This is an issue if I’m going to the doctor, supermarket or anywhere deemed necessary to live my life and get by.
Based on my own research and digging deep, I realised I was eligible for a blue-badge (disabled pass that enables drivers to park in dedicated car park bays closer to the entrance of public places).
I applied. And I was eligible. As long as you can prove your condition and the severity of it through medical certificates and doctor notes, you should be eligible too.
Blue-badges aren’t merely for those in wheel-chairs or amputees. It is for those who have severe physical conditions or mental conditions that restrict them. And it is a fair system. As a series of questions and evidence is requested to ensure that you are legitimately eligible. There is no cheating the system.
Also, please ignore those who give you scowling looks if you do get a disabled badge and people can’t physically see what’s wrong with you. You DO NOT owe an explanation to anyone, especially judgemental morons. I once experienced this with a young couple, who frowned at me and retorted ‘that’s for that disabled people only’. It was probably my biggest EYE-ROLL ever. ‘ I am disabled…’ I replied. I continued ‘ I have COPD and a collapsed lung’. Why did I just explain myself to a bunch of strangers? This was a lesson for me. For all they knew, I could’ve had an amputated leg, a mental disease or some other. But that fact is, I AM disabled with a severe disease. Christ. I can’t breath at times. Is that not enough? Anyway, what sounds like a rant, it’s more just a story I can tell you, so that you don’t feel alone or judged. It happens all the time. There are some bad apples and bad people. I accept it and don’t dwell.
Another area for you to look into is Personal Independence Payment. This is a supplementary income for those who have long-term ill-health or disability e.g. if you need financial support with medications (especially in England), travel costs, daily care, nursing care etc. It is important because it recognises that care for a chronic condition can be extremely expensive. I applied for this and as a disabled member of society, I do use the extra money to help me with mobility e.g taxi’s to get to the doctor, investment in holistic health, medicine etc.
In another post, I will also provide useful links from a societal point of view, where you can access forums or foundations for more information on the disease or simply to communicate with other sufferers. Just so you know that you are SO not alone in this!