I am an autistic person who finds it difficult to get full-time, stable work as a result of my condition. I am fortunate because of the support I have got from my family and the opportunity I was given via Employable Me last year, but the vast majority of autistic people I know are not nearly as fortunate.
Cuts to vital support services, combined with a lack of alternative avenues, mean so many end up isolated and trapped in a vicious circle, and the transition from DLA to PIP has made life ten times worse for them as PIP assessors routinely fail to take the impact of autism into account.
I was also on ESA for some time and it took me 18 months, as well as letters to my MP and repeatedly contacting my GP for basic information the DWP had already received, to get the payments I was eligible for because welfare reform has caused increasing delays to vital welfare payments. I am very lucky I never ended up using a food bank-I know people who have.