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Benefit changes will put me out of home and job; viewpoint.

Dear Editor, I had to call Birmingham council tax office and negotiate a series of questions and then hold for 12 minutes only to be put through and told the ONLY way I can appeal a decision is to go online and download a form, print it, fill it in, and send it back to them.

But has everyone got the internet and a computer or even the spare money to go to an internet cafe - which was the suggestion I received.

What about all the pensioners or people on other benefits like Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)? I'm a foster carer with the council and am not fit for work at present as I have had treatment and surgery for cancer, - so I am entitled to ESA for 12 months which actually finishes before the council tax and bedroom tax comes in on April 1. So after 18 years of working for Birmingham City Council as a foster carer, I get diagnosed with breast cancer and I am not able to work - and because of these changes I am now going to be in debt, with the possibility of having my home taken off me and be rehoused to a one-bed flat and not able to continue work when given the all clear to return.

I've lived in this house for 25 years but I have been told because of all the changes the government are making, I may not be able to claim any help whatsoever.

Is it right? I get that there are people who abuse the system, but should we all have to suffer? I have always worked and paid my way. I even paid my own voluntary national contributions.

I'm sure that I'm not the only person who doesn't quite fit into this little cattle pen the government are trying to herd me into to.

I'm struggling to understand why.

Maria Kelly Birmingham
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 21, 2013
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