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Benefits for MS and Fibromyalgia

Hello

Can anyone help me with my question, I was diagnosed with MS in June 2003 and I also have now been recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I already get higher rate mobility DLA, I was just wondering whether I would be entitled to anything else. I do work full time but I am finding it a struggle, I am off sick at the moment with the effects of the fibromyalgia and the side effects of the medication for fibromyalgia but I am due to go back to work next week and I really do not know how I am going to manage. My new recent line manager does not understand how I am feeling I have been signed off for nearly three weeks but she said to me the other week if you feel better, come back to work it won’t matter about the sick note (some hope), the reason I have been signed off is I have been suffering a lot recently with a lot of pain and also with the side effects of the medication. The situation with my fibromyalgia I feel is getting worse and my MS is also really kicking in, I have been doing my job for 24 years and I cannot afford to give it up and my employer with the Local Government Pension Scheme Ill Health Retirement Pension makes it very difficult for people to go off on first tier ill health retirement, I work for one of the emergency services in a clerical capacity. I was thinking if I could get another benefit on top of the DLA, I may be able to go down to 30 hours per week and for it not to hit me to much financially, as I live alone and I have no other means of financial support ie a partner. Of course it would help enourmously if I could leave work on first tier ill health retirement, and it would help my stress levels as well, as with everything as it is at the moment I am feeling very stressed and hurting big time, and I am feeling so tired but cannot sleep when I get to bed.

I have a rheumatolgy appointment here in Bristol this Friday morning and a MRI scan on my Brain this Friday afternoon which my Neurologist has requested me to have as because I have not been feeling to good with the MS lately, I think he wanted to know what was going on, he has not requested a MRI Scan of my spine which I am rather puzzled about, he did mention about having a lumber puncture but I am rather worried about that, as that sounds horrible. I am feeling very upset and worried at the moment, can I ask for your help and advice.

I am 45 years old.

Thank you and take care all of you.

benefitsandwork is worth a google see if they can help. Before l claim my state pension l was getting severe disablement and the high mobility/ low rate care. They are not means tested. And as you have two progressive diseases you should get an exemption form from the GP - so that you do not pay for prescriptions. Thats what l did - haven’t paid for a prescription for about 25yrs.

High Dose Vitamin D3 will help you with both MS and Fybromyaligia. Just google Vitamin d3 MS - and Vitamin d3 Fybromyaliagia

My friend with psoriatic rheumatisim and Fybromyaliagia has been told to take very high dose vitd3.

If I were you, I would be planning a two-pronged strategy if you are thinking about IHR… One, I would be using consultations with your specialists to tell them that work is now too much and that you will be seeking IHR. That way they’re primed for when they get a request for an opinion from your pension people. Two, I would be passing the same message through the formal Occupational Health route at work (you may well be doing this already).

Also, please do not be pushing yourself back to work before you are ready.

On the part time thing, well, much the same strategy. But do make sure that you understand fully what are the pension implications of going p/t. If you were to go for IHR further down the line, it is highly likely that your projected years’ service would be based on your p/t hours. (Any decent scheme will certainly take full account of your full time accrued years - but do make sure about this too.)

Alison

Hi Emerald,

I’m sorry you are having such a tough time at the moment.

I will try and explain the benefit situation so it will help you to make decisions.

DLA (which you already get) is not means tested and so can be claimed if you work or not.

Then we move onto income replacement benefits – exactly as it sounds, benefits to claim if you are unable to work at all. In your case the benefit would be Employment Support Allowance. You can claim this benefit alongside an occupational pension but the pension reduces ESA. The first £85 of pension is ignored – after that each £1.00 reduces ESA by 50p.

What you are looking for is something to top up your income to allow you to go part time. Working Tax Credits are used to improve people’s situation who are on low incomes. I do not know if you would be eligible. 30 hours work may take you over the limit. You can find out more about them for yourself. I don’t want to put the link because it will delay my post but Google Tax Credits and it is the second link (HMRC)

Alison is right though to suggest that part time work may affect your ultimate pension. Every scheme is different but mine took an average of the last 3 years salary to determine the ill health pay out. If I had gone part time for a year it would have made a big difference so I went off sick and then applied for my pension from full time.

If you work for local Government I is likely that you will have 6 months on full pay and 6 month on ½ pay sickness entitlement so you should not be in a hurry to go back to work. This is a decision you should make without chivvying from your line manager (who, after all, has different priorities.)

Jane

ring 0800 882200 the Beneffits Enquiry Line; have your NI number and they will tell you all you can claim

Good Morning everyone, I hope everyone is alright with all of you.

Just to say thank you for all my posts for Beneftits for MS and Fibromyalgia, you are all very kind and the information was very useful.

Thank you

Emerald