Employment and Support Allowance Claim

I have had enough. Last week I have finally sent in a claim (completed at the last moment as usual…) as the job market has become a no-go-zone for me, something I finally have to admit after 8 years of trying very hard, since my diagnosis in december 2003, and all this while having the care for a daughter with learning disabilities at home! I was called by a lady from DWP an hour ago, who wanted to know more details about my working past in England since my arrival in England july 1995. My word, what a list! when going through it, especially from the moment I started a new job as a Finance Manager for a small local marketing firm at the end of 2003. Believe it or not, the morning after I had received the confirmation from the neurologist about me ‘having’ MS, I received confirmation from this marketing company that I had been taken on. At that point I still thought I would be able to ‘thrive’ (is this the correct word?..) on my experience, but how wrong I was… After a few months I was exhausted, felt embarrassed and the ‘open plan’ in the building made me feel spied on 24/7 (OK 8/5…). I then experienced the ‘support’ you will get if you come forward with your condition…, none, which I could then understand as they were a small company. I kept the honour to myself and decided to resign july 2004, and started doing agency work, working in administrative departments of other (big) companies. The stories I have… In 2006 I decided to give up on the office environment (lack of movement, cognitive issues), and decided to become a carer (makes sense doesn’t it…). Again, the stories I have… Things went decisively wrong when I started working with young disabled people in august 2007. Do not get me wrong, I loved it (we oldies can learn a lot from these very unfortunate young people… well some of them…) but I was constantly messed about when it came to the shift pattern, which was very ‘unfriendly’ to a MSer with extra responsabilities at home (my daughter needs attention 24/7). I cannot remember how many emails I have sent to Unison about the situation, but my word what a waste of time and energy that has been (is it because I was on my own, is it because the people I spoke to do not have affinity with a disabled employee… what are your experiences in that area?) Anyway, they ‘lured’ me into signing a contract for P/T work because of the circumstances, but this became a NSAA (No Shifts At All) contract, relieved as they were that they more or less got rid of the CMF (Cripple Mouthy Foreigner…thank God I never lost my sense of humour?) But all was not doom and gloom! because of my shortcomings I had to accept was more or less told off because I did work for a week since my last dismissal 01 september by a college for disabled students (…) where I became too much of a risk (which of course was not said with that many words!)

Crikey, what a time you’ve had. I hope you get the support you need. Alison x

sorry folks something went wrong…not again!..) ‘But all was not doom and gloom’ should be the last sentence for the moment… I did post the rest of the letter… but where is it? (anyway, this is why I gave up on the office…) I’ll try to find it…

…thank you Allison! No idea where it is… so I’ll continue with ‘Not all was doom and gloom’ (and forget about the rest!) ====get on with it Jos before your short term memory loss kicks in==== …where was I…but not all was doom and gloom (…) and started working, last February, at a college for disabled students. I met some lovely colleagues and most of the students, and a few in particular, were most wonderful to work with IN SPITE OF all the issues they must have endured in their young lives, and it was wonderful to see them smile in spite of everything (even because I tripped…) :smiley: But again, it was not to be and in the end they were not at all understanding towards my position at all, although they did try other options, but it became obvious that they did so because they have to by law… (I just felt that they must have taken their decision at an earlier stage!) And here I am, sick and tired of it all, getting ready for another tribunal? Whatever will come my way, I can keep my head up knowing that I have done what I could and eh, if anyone needs a Dutchman with a past in bookeeping (if applicable I’ll send you my CV!), whose Dutch is very acceptable ( :smiley: ) and also has knowledge of german (et un petit peu de français…), who has also worked as a carer for 4 years (and will continue to do so at home for the rest of his life…), then let me know!!! :wink: It’s just working with my laptop that gives me problems these days (although I might have to blame my glasses…) as you might have noticed… Looking forward to your reactions, stories. Look after yourselves and keep on :smiley: (for as far as possible of course…)