Hi all, I had round 2 of lemtrada in June, and was off work for four weeks. I felt great. I have been back at work for 5 weeks now on phased return and I’m absolutely exhausted. I feel awful, I’ve broken out in spots, I’m struggling all round. I think I need to consider seriously cutting my hours or giving up altogether. Currently I work 30 hours over four days. My problem is that I am just about managing on my wage. I can’t afford to drop more hours. I currently rent a bungalow which has changed my life (I used to have to do four flights of stairs up to my flat) and I don’t want to leave. I’ve given up all hopes of buying a house as I just can’t afford to save a deposit. I’m stuck in the rental trap. I work for the DWP and I know full well how little you get on ESA. Bottom line is, work is destroying me, but I can’t manage without it. Any ideas or advice would be greatly appreciated. I don’t know what help is available out there, if any. Thank you
Do you claim PIP, see https://www.gov.uk/pip/overview
Have you tried Access to Work, Get support in work if you have a disability or health condition (Access to Work) - GOV.UK plenty of help available.
I am surprised that working for DWP you don’t know how to find out what you can claim if unemployed. I don’t mean this in an offensive way. I just find it surprising.
As you rent your home, if your income is below a certain level, housing benefit might be available to you.
ESA and PIP may also be claimable.
Don’t just resign from work, go on the sick, if your GP agrees you are too I’ll go work. Then you might qualify for I’ll heath retirement.
Might be worth your while looking into retiring on the grounds of ill health. I did that four years ago and they enhanced my pension to age 65. Don’t know if the Civil Service do the same but worth looking into. It was pretty painless, took me less that six months from start to finish. I also got an Inland Revenue pension on the grounds of ill health. Might be worth u punt. Gary
Perhaps you could have a chat with your Union to find out what the best options are.
If you work for the DWP there should be a facility for occupational health. They can direct you on the right path. The union and your employers should be able to set this in motion. I retire through ill health five years ago and with my modest pension, DLA (or PIP) and ESA, I’m not destitute. When I applied for council tax discount they said I was entitled to housing benefit.
It may take some homest talking with your employers but don’t think about just resigning. I hope this helps.
I get PIP, on a three year award. I’m not prepared to rely on it in case they take it away. I can’t use Access to Work as I’m employed by the government
This is a great idea, can’t believe I didn’t think of it. My union are amazing! Wouldn’t be without them.
Thanks for the advice. Before I moved in here with my partner I was claiming WTC which has now stopped because we live together and our combined earnings are too high. I’m sure I won’t qualify for housing benefit because my partner is full time employed but he doesn’t earn enough to support us both if we had just the one income. And really, I don’t want to quit work altogether. I love my relationships with my colleagues and I’m doing a lot of work to help disabled employees at the moment (yes, the DWP system is crap for us too) which really needs to be done as processes are slow and woefully inadequate. Just a few less hours would be great. I’m going to really get stuck into some research about financial help from elsewhere. I hate having to worry about this. Life’s hard enough as it is!
Would you be able to work from home one day a week?
I didn’t think my employer would allow that, but I asked at my last appraisal, and my line manager said “Of course!” straight away, much to my surprise - and it all helps just that little bit.
And if you work four consecutive days - may be worth making it one day off during the week instead rather than a long weekend, I found that helpful too.
re sounding more positive now...go get em girl!
I can’t believe that you don’t qualify for Access to Work because you’re employed by the people who make the rules about it.
Definitely talk to your union rep. Also, occupational health?
Presumably you are a member of the civil service pension scheme? If they have to retire you on I’ll health grounds, surely you would be able to start getting your pension? And though ESA is reduced because of that, it’s possibly worth it.
Just don’t decide to resign because you’re not up to the hours. You may find that given a bit more support over the next few months, you’re feeling more capable.
When I returned to work after my long absence - as part of the changes to facilitate my return - I asked if I could reduce my hours from 37.5 to 30 per week, which they agreed to. I work on Monday and Tuesday - have Wednesday off to get over Monday and Tuesday. Then I do Thursday and Friday. Like a lot of other folk I can’t afford to reduce my hours any more because I couldn’t afford to live if I did. It worked well for a while but i’m struggling more and more as the weeks go by now.
Ive been told by a lady at my local MS Support group that I would stand little chance of getting any PIP because i’m too well (and looking at the form I have to agree). So this is where I am - working 30 hours per week and really struggling. Can’t work from home cos I’ve already asked.
Going off to sulk in a corner for a while now