Jason Alcock, 51, is struggling despite receiving Personal Independence Payment, Employment Allowance and the Severe Disability Award. It became so difficult to make ends meet that he sold all of his late wife Paola’s possessions, including her Star Wars collection.
Because Jason has autism, ADHD and bipolar disorder, he must now qualify for the £800 support announced by former chancellor Rishi Sunak in May. He also finds it difficult to leave his home in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, and communicate with other people – and relies on technology to communicate.
Speaking to Stoke-on-Trent Live, Jason said: “I’m worried about the future because prices are still going up and they say electricity may go up again in October. It’s scary to know that there might come a time when I might end up in the hospital because I can’t do the things that protect me every day.
“We need an overhaul of the disability system to bring it in line with the cost of living – because it’s not. There hasn’t been a month since Paolo died that I haven’t had to supplement my money by selling something in the house. I don’t have to do”.
According to the original article, Jason “has sold £8,000 worth of stuff over the last three years to survive. Paola had a Star Wars collection, she did a lot of tinkering. All that stuff, her old phones and tablets and all that, everything sold”.
Now, speaking to the site again about the backlash he’s received as a result of the story, he added: “The truth is sometimes inconvenient. I was telling the truth. People with disabilities across the country are in dire straits, and the cost of our lives has risen for everyone else.
“But we can’t go to work, and even buy food is more expensive because we have to do it online and benefits haven’t increased in line with the cost of living.
“Last month I sold the last thing I could. I guess it would be more comfortable if I lied and said I was fine if it helped people sleep better at night. Everyone is suffering from this new world of rising prices.
“Disability has never been a premium to give us a good life, but rising electricity and food prices have made it abundantly clear just how close some of us are to the brink.”