IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A keyboard with a key that has the word Benefits on it. Wording: The title of the blog. The ITV Tonight logo (top right) and the ME Association logo (bottom right),

ITV Tonight Programme: Hidden Disabilities: The True Cost?

It is estimated 12 out of the 14 million people living with a disability are dealing with one that is not visible. It can affect people’s lives from getting a diagnosis to the type of education or job they are able to do. It is something Saima Moshin, the reporter of this film, knows too well.

“While working as a foreign correspondent my foot was run over in an accident.  My life changed overnight. I have to deal daily with chronic pain. I am far from alone when it comes to living with a health condition that is not obvious.” 

Saima Mohsin, Broadcaster

Millions struggle all the time with various conditions that cannot be physically seen. From autoimmune diseases,  ADHD, illnesses like M.E. to Crohns, or mental health and brain conditions….

Bethan with M.E.

14.30 Bethan in Bridgend’s promising army career was cut short by her M.E. diagnosis. “It was a very brutal, very final way to end what I’d done, what I’d spent my young life aiming towards.” She has to cope with constant background fatigue.

“When I do things – over and above my baseline of activity – it’s extreme fatigue, it’s pain, it’s more like having flu.” Wanting to help others, she retrained as a mental health counsellor and lecturer. And, with some ‘reasonable adjustments’ now hopes to work part-time. “With my work I can continue to pay my mortgage, to live independently, to hopefully just manage the condition.”

But when she relied on benefits, she found the application a nightmare. “It would take me weeks to do tiny little bits on the form because the mental process is huge, the physical process of filling in the form but also the psychological process of having to write everything I could no longer do.”

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