Coronavirus: information and updates

A day in the life of Cathrine

Hi, my name is Cathrine and I would like to share with you today the typical kind of day I have working on the helpline. 

I hope by taking you behind the scenes, you’re able to see what a vital part of our community you are and how important your support is, making sure we can continue to be there for disabled people when they need it most.

The phone rings as soon as I log on, and the first caller is so upset she can hardly speak. She’s had her benefits application refused and says the assessor has totally misrepresented her condition. We answer so many calls like this. I comfort her and then we talk about appealing the decision. At first, she says it feels pointless, but after I explain around three-quarters of appeals for this kind of benefit are successful, she decides to keep fighting for support.

I answer a call from a man who’s totally overwhelmed by his 40-page benefit application form. We work through some questions together, discussing how his autism affects him. The forms aren’t disability-friendly at all and he says he’s grateful for Scope’s help because he’s really struggling to make ends meet.

Before picking up the phone again, I read an update on recent benefit changes that’s been sent to our team. The rules are always changing so we need to make sure we’re always ready to offer the latest guidance.

I speak to a young person who has fibromyalgia and wants to take on part-time work. She is very worried about losing her benefits if the pain from her condition means working is impossible. We talk through exactly what she can and can’t do, and she’s so grateful because she’s not been able to find the facts anywhere else. Just another example of the broken system.

After a long day on the phone – 35 calls in total, I check my emails and see I’ve been forwarded a message from Chris, a previous caller. We spend every day supporting people who are pushed right to the limit, so seeing the difference we make means the world.

This job can be tough and there are times when it’s hard not to become emotional but knowing I can make a difference means the world. 

Thank you so much for being part of our community, together we can provide support to disabled people when they need it most. 


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