Sue was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis just months after setting up her own business. She qualified for Employment and Support Allowance, but after a year was placed in the work-related activity group where she would be expected to undertake activities to prepare for a return to work. She was told it would take 18 months to appeal and it took her MP’s involvement to secure the benefits she was entitled to. Sue says, “I nearly gave up so many times. It had a detrimental effect on my health. I had worked for 37 years before I became ill. I hold politicians in utter contempt for doing this to people.”

Source: Mary O’Hara (2014) Austerity Bites, Policy Press, 188