Researcher in disability and social security. Currently diagnosed as having ME/CFS
Stef Benstead graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2010 with a 1st in Natural Sciences. From this she went straight into a PhD at the University but she became ill whilst on fieldwork in her first year. She took time off to recover - and is still waiting for that recovery, making her a full-time spoonie (a 'spoon' is a unit of ability to do something, based on health, time and energy; the concept was thought of by Christine Miserandino).
Stef had to withdraw from the PhD and now spends her 'spoons' reading andwriting on disability and social security. In January 2013 she published her first book, 'Why We're Not Benefit Scroungers,' detailing the realities of the social security system and living with chronic illness or disability.