Teresa Garratty: An open letter to the benefits assessors who ask me the same questions every year

Posted on April 15, 2016

Dear Whoever Thought Medical Assessments for Disabled People Were a Good Idea,

Last month I was asked to…no….summoned to attend yet another one of your God awful medical assessments. I assume this is because I am in receipt of a state benefit, due to my disability and every year the government like to check that I am in fact, still genuinely deaf.

Once again, I went into the same room and answered the same questions with the same answers.



I have not sprouted new ears that have miraculously recovered my hearing loss and I doubt I ever will.



The dead nerve endings in my ear have not suddenly reanimated into bizarre undead nerve endings that can hear stuff again.


And if they did, then the zombie nerve endings would probably eat my brain before I got to tell any one about it.

I still lip read, I still sign a bit, I still wear hearing aids and I still can’t hear stuff. I am still definitely deaf.


Now, I understand that you must weed out the fakers and fraudsters who are trying to scam money from the tax payers and I hope I passed your highly scientific test that proves I’m not one of those people. (It wasn’t insulting at all.)


But is it really necessary to call me in EVERY year to check that I’m still deaf? Perhaps, at the very least, we could not have those awkward questions that don’t really relate to deafness at all.


I’ve also had this rather marvellous idea, that once someone has passed the fraudster test, you could file that info somewhere and not call them back anymore. Think of all the money you could save on the paper work alone!

Why, it might even amount to something like…£30 a week…I wonder where you could resource that to?

Yours ‘whateverly’ as you’ve probably stopped reading by now,

Teresa Garratty

P.S. Can’t wait until next year….


Teresa is a freelance film maker, photographer and full time cynic. At school, she was voted “Most likely to end up in a lunatic asylum”, a fate which has thus far been avoided. Her pet hates are telephones, intercoms and all living things.

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