I was just wondering how many DiS users have at some point in their lives been on the receiving end of benefits, or their parents/siblings/significant others, and why?
Often the image of "benefit claimants" are the usual stereotypical chav with a fag in their mouth, can of lager in one hand and a baby in the other and so on and so on, but most people I know who don't fit the stereotype have had to claim benefits at some point or other because they could not have survived without it.
I was raised by my mother (who suffers from bipolar disorder and is constantly on incapacity benefit as a result) and my father who quit his job to raise me and my brothers.
He received carers allowance for looking after my mother during the harder periods, child benefit for myself and my brothers, housing benefit and is also on the receiving end of incapacity benefit due to his various health problems and we struggled by with enough to have a decent upbringing.
My brothers have both had to rely on JSA at various points despite having both completed their degrees as there are obviously very few jobs out there, least of all jobs specific to their degrees.
My boyfriend had to claim housing benefit and JSA whilst spending the best part of 6 months trying to find anyone who would actually hire him.
Without any of these benefits, my family etc would not have been able to survive.