Oh well, another chapter of my life over....

Today, it finally happened, after 6 months on sick leave my company have given me 1 months notice to end my contract!

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry

On one hand its a relief not to have to feel guily for not being at work and on the other I’m now scared of what the future will hold. I know I am now about to start the horrible process of having to persuade people who don’t know me or my MS to allow me my DLA and ESA.

I am very lucky to have the support of my family and friends, but they don’t pay the bills. So I’m trying to put on a brave face and am constantly reminding myself it could be worse!!!

Anybody out there with some advice???


my advice is go see your local citizen advice they will tell you what you are entitled to

I have my OH appt at the end of this month - I’ve asked to be given ill health retirement (I want to do it whilst I still have an element of choice). I am currently a secretary working 16 hours per week - not an overly taxing job for a healthy person, but exhausting for me! I applied for (and got) DLA a few yars ago - my advice is, when you get the forms, take your time filling them in, they’re quite daunting to do all at once, and remember to put you at your worst - none of, well I find it difficult doing something, but if I do it this way it’s ok. There’s help online for the wording that you need to put in - don’t tell lies, but also don’t be an optomist on the forms, that will get you nowhere, and remember that you have worked and paid your taxes for however many years - you have paid for these benefits already, you are entitled to them.

Good luck,

Luisa x

Hi Jessie, I was in your present position some 12 years ago now.At the age of 48 and having worked for 32 years, my future was looking like it would be in retirement. My neuro, although he couldn`t give me a diagnosis, did advise me to exclude work when planning my future.

Retirement on ill health grounds did follow soon after his prediction.

At the time I simply couldn`t imagine several things.

  1. How I would pay my bills

  2. How I would fill my time

3.How disabled I would end up.

All these things filled me with dread. But, like you, I could stop feeling guilty about being on long term sick.

you need to sort out what benefits you are entitled to. I know things have tightened up since I retired. But even so, you must be eligible for DLA. I didn`t know i could have applied for this whilst still working. Do you know that? Nobody told me!

I read on here that ESA is more of a nightmare than IB was. Many folk here advise joining something called Benefits and Work. It costs £20 a year, but they give enormously helpful advice, on how to claim and how to appeal. Might be worth looking into, eh?

Then there is the question of your home. Do you think you need aids to help you live safely and more easily? if so, then ask for an assessment from an OT.

I have had these many times and they come up with ideas i never knew about.

I hope your transition from work to retirement goes well. You can always come to this site for help, support and friendship.

luv Pollx

And can I just add one more suggestion?
Copy the important pages of the form - and fill the copies in in pencil. Many Government forms are now downloadable, and you can fill them in on a PC - and then mail them in. No matter how you get the blank form, get the words right first and then fill it in.


Like Poll I had to give up work over a decade ago. I can remember having all your worries but what I didn’t expect was the enormous feeling of relief when I didn’t have to struggle to keep all the plates spinning. It was like a weight I didn’t know I was carrying just melted away. Yes it’s been a struggle at times to pay the bills but the ability just to rest when I need it is worth pure gold.

Poll suggested Benefits and Work and I would give that a huge second. They will help you navigate the maze that is DLA and ESA. You can also check out any other benefits that you might be entitled to at

Good Luck and don’t be too disheartened. You mention a chapter being over but another is soon to start.


Good Luck, don’t try to fill in the forms yourself - get help from someone who understands the ‘jargon speak’ of the people employed to do a job and assess something they have no conceivable idea of what our difficulties are. The most difficult thing I found was to admit to myself just what my limitations were and facing the fact.

The relief of not having to run the ‘rat-race’ and beling able to take things at your pace is such a blessed relief and eventually, when you have your head round things, you will find that given time you can achieve so much more than you thought you could. I have found that I do things in 10 minute bursts. do a bit and rest a bit - you do eventually get to the places you are aiming for and hopefully will even have a bit of energy left to enjoy the experience!

Another benefit of not being at work is it actually costs less, no dress codes to be achieved, time to eat and provide more basic and tasty food, and no transport costs. It is much easier to survive on less when you know just how much cash you have to survive on - don’t ask me how but it does.

Things will eventually come together and life does go on, I am sure all our thoughts are with you on your new journey. When you eventually look back on these times you will wonder why you were so afraid. (Many of us can vouch for that fact)

Luv and best wishes Ann

Seek professional help on the forms, I tried filling them in for my dad who had a stroke and was left very disabled and they turned him down? It made me cry in frustration but age concern helped us immensely and filled in the forms usingbthe correct wording. You local ms branch might help and also thebCAB. Please do get help as it is not what you tell them but how ou tell it. Chis

I’m facing redundancy and the dreaded ESA as I’m not coping working full time - I’ve heard so many terrible things I’m considering not even trying for it and taking my chances in the dole queue. But I struggle to see how I’ll gain employment ahead of ‘healthy’ people. I’m only 27 and live alone, this worries me terribly. Ginny

Sorry but I may have the wrong end of the stick; I am presuming your permanent staff but while you have been signed off sick by a doctor they have sacked you?

If so totally wrong and I suggest you contact or ACAS who will sort it out for you.

It takes getting on for one year for your employers to satisfy the requirements of the Equalities Act to be able to dispense with your employment.

As far as DLA and ESA are concerned contact DIAL who will come around your house and help with the forms. Or Benefits and work who give excellent advice.

For the forms ring 0800 882200

Good luck


jess do you need to talk , phone me , be strong i know you can xxxx

Join the clan, I’ve jsut gone down to half pay and they are about to start a disciplinary process on the grounds of capability issues. OH recommended ill health retirement, but I can’t imagine how we will manage, my OH doesn’t earn that well, we are already struggling due to changes in his work circumstances. I’m worried that even though the ill health retirement has been recommended I wont necessarily get it, but if I get sacked on capability issues then I’ll never get another job. I’ve just started Tysabri and my consultant has told me that things will improve. but I feel worse than I did before I had this first dose. I don’t know where to start. I’m going to an appointment with my MS nurse tomorrow to discuss things as the only time I have met him was yesterdat when I started the Tysabri. But I will have to take all 3 kids with me so not sure I will be able to discuss much.

What? Disciplinary on the grounds of capability when disability is the cause!

Can`t be right…seek advice…sounds illegal to me.

luv Pollx

Apologies, this was meant for ggmarch, not the original poster.


Thanks everyone for all your advice, have almost completed my DLA form, big thanks to Shirley for so much help and advice, I wouldn’t have thought of all the right things to say.

Adult social care have suggested lots of aids for the home so I’m waiting for a visit so I’m trying to more positive now.

But again Thank you all so much. And please feel free to keep the positive thought coming!!!

Jessie xxxx

xxxxx jess

My advice is to join the Benefits and Work website. It costs about 20 pounds but for all benefits claimants it is essential. Also do not read right wing rags like the Express and Mail. They label ALL on benefits as scroungers, and it can get one quite down. Having MS is not something trivial like having a cold. Always remember this. Despite the hype, the truth is it will kill 90% of sufferers indirectly.

Sorry to any newly diagnosed people, but these are the facts. You will find out soon enough, unless extremely fortunate. All the best.

I’ve already got the union involved, Poll. Although I have just had to remind them that MS is covered by the DDA. Sometimes I wonder why I should do all the work. Feeling very foggy today. Had first Tysabri monday and still haven’t recovered. Suggesting I rest when I have 3 children at home isn’t really an option. If I close my eyes someone tries to wake me up.