Mark says, “Throughout my working life as a journalist, I had been fortunate in never having to claim a penny in benefits. But the £90 that I received each week since being unable to work has made an enormous difference towards paying essential bills like heating costs and Council Tax. Now, though, although I experience extreme pain and my mobility is severely compromised, my contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance will stop. Because my wife earns more than £7,500 per year, I will no longer be entitled to a penny. From now on, I will no longer be able to contribute to the household budget. To most people, the money involved may not sound like a great deal but it offers me a shred of dignity. It offers me hope that I can hold things together until I’m strong enough to be able to return to work. Now, I will be financially as well as physically disabled.”