Redundancy MS and what now

Hi all,

I am really feeling so down and don’t know what to do.

I am 45 and have had MS for 4 years and been struggling at work with brain fog and fatigue but managed to get through it but suffering at night with no energy and feeling drained. I was made redundant 4 weeks ago and i just feel so down and fatigue is getting worse.

I don’t feel I can work anymore as I need my brain to think and i am constantly feel worn out. I dont know what to do and what I can claim (if anything) as my wife has a good job. But i feel a burden on her and its making me feel so bad.

Can someone help me

You could make a claim for ESA (Employment and Support Allowance). The contributions part of it is not means tested, so your wife’s earnings don’t come into it. The fact that you’ve been made redundant may make things a bit more difficult. Because clearly, you were able to work before being made redundant. (Unless of course you were off work sick because of MS before being made redundant.)

So, I would assume you should probably claim Job Seekers Allowance. Again, there is a contributions based part to it, so you can claim for up to 6 months based on the fact that you paid sufficient National Insurance for the previous 2 tax years. And again it’s about contributions paid, so is not means tested. But to qualify for JSA, you should be actively available for and seeking work.

If you find that you are not able to do either, then you’d have to find a way of explaining how you were able to work before redundancy, but not now in order to qualify for ESA.

Have a look at Benefit calculators: what benefits can you get - Citizens Advice


thanks for the advice - I did work but I was suffering everyday and had no energy at night to do anything - my brain felt frazzled. Seems like I will only get something for 6 months anyway so might aswell go for the JSA for 6 months and then leave after 6months. I just hope I get better and can find work or my wife will not get too annoyed at paying all the bills while I bring in nothing at all… Its complete bull - ive worked for 22 years and get MS and lose job and I will get nothing…

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Basically, if you go for JSA, you’ll get that for a maximum of 6 months. However, if during that time you felt that you were too unwell to feel comfortable saying you are available for and actively looking for work, you could get a doctor’s certificate and transfer over to ESA. The contributions based ESA may then not stop after 6 months. It depends on how affected you are by MS.

This is the best advice I could give you to do.


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Cheers Ssssue - so how will the assess fatigue though? Its highly variable and not noticeable to anyone but myself. Its not like testing for ability to walk etc…

It can be quite difficult to get any kind of disability benefit and often involves a very stressful fight with a tribunal to at end to deal with it. Basically if you can lift one arm up above your head i think the DWP believe you are good to go,they don’t really care about the opinions of Dr’s etc on weather or not you are fit for work! I would suggest you look at the guides on pip and esa here and work out if their is any chance you could qualify before you waste the effort!

Is there anything you could think to do from home on a self employed basis that you could do as an when you feel up to it to help to contribute something? Maybe a hobby type thing that could be monetised by selling on ebay or something?Or would you be able to do most housework,food prep etc slowly through the day so your wife can relax when she is home from work,if its possible to get by on just her wage.

You shoudn’t really feel a burden(although its natural you might,and probably a good sign that you don’t take her for granted),marriage is a partnership if it was the other way round and she had Ms would you carry on doing your best to balance working and looking after her?I honestly get Quite upset when my wife tells me she feels like a burden,i go to work and then do a (pretty poor job!) of almost all of the housework etc,recently her son who lives with us has taken to cooking or at least preparing most meals for us all.It annoys me a bit when she tries to do even small stuff to help as it then causes her problems like falls or just leads to extreme fatigue which then restricts what we can do at the weekend!She has just had to learn that the house is going to be ok rather than immaculate and stop worrying what anyone else might think,if anyone that visits doesn’t like it then they needn’t come again!


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Collect evidence, maintain a diary that reflects how your fatigue affects you on a daily basis. Benefits and Work website has lots of info. Contact your MS nurse, GP, etc. so that they know what your current situation is. You can ask them for letters that support your claim. When you are feeling more able perhaps you can then look at finding home based work or flexible work that fits around your abilities. You could also look at voluntary work, it can expand your list of contacts and your skill base.

Were you made redundant because you had m.s.?

Help with your ESA claim.

Benefits and Work

With fatigue, it’s the way you word it that’s important. So you explain to them on an ESA claim form exactly how it feels. It’s very much a matter of you telling them what it’s like being you. Sometimes people have said, ‘by the time I’ve got up and got dressed, I’m so worn down with fatigue that I have to lay down and go to sleep’. Or ‘I feel like I’m walking through treacle all the time, my feet and legs feel so heavy because of the fatigue’. Or ‘I try to read the newspaper everyday, but I’m finding that the fatigue makes it impossible to concentrate after about 10 minutes’. Or maybe ‘I just can’t concentrate anymore, if there’s more than one person in the room, I can’t make proper sense of what they’re saying, my fatigue just makes my brain shut down’.

So I’m not suggesting that you (or anyone), uses these exact examples, think about what it feels like for you and try to find ways of writing it down so that it makes clear to the assessor reading your words what it’s like to be living with fatigue for you.

The other thing you will need when the time comes, is documentary evidence to support what you are saying. So letters from your MS nurse, physiotherapist, anyone else you see who could write you a letter to supposition your claim.


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I can totally understand where you’re coming from - I’m being made redundant in 3 weeks time, although am still awaiting diagnosis.

Let me guess - you can still do your current job because you know it like the back of your hand and can still manage to do it with all the fatigue, but the thought of trying to learn anything new or different seems too much to cope with?

I’m feeling exactly the same, even though the redundancy has nothing to do with your condition, it’s just more bad luck.

hope it works out ok for you,

regards, Brian

We should stop referring to it as ‘fatigue.’ The reality is we are often quite ill and to say we are ‘fatigued’ does not adequately describe what we are experiencing. Saying we are fatigued implies that all we need is a good rest and we will be fine and dandy. We never hear of people who have other debilitating conditions say they are suffering from fatigue. A friend undergoing radiotherapy for cancer spend the hours after the treatment in bed as it makes her so ill. I’ve never heard her say she’s ‘fatigued’


Learn to navigate the NHS/Social Care system and you will have plenty of NHS evidence for ESA and PIP.


This is important - for being put into the ESA Support Group - especially incontinence - a passport to ESA.

You need to get how your MS symptoms are affecting you documented by your GP and MS Nurse.

Ask for a Care Plan which will cover all the disability score points for ESA and PIP.

Take the ‘self-test’ here for ESA and PIP Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Tell your GP about what you have stated here - also your carers - they can have a ‘Carer’s Assessment’.

Get your carers registered on your GP’s computer.

This can be unpaid informal care - for example:

‘My partner does the shopping/cooking etc for me because of my illness…’

'My daughter drives me to the doctors.

‘My partner helps me with managing my banking and bills paperwork.’

Ask about access to the Community Rehab Team if you are having falls - in which case get a ‘Falls Assessment’.

Their OT and physio may suggest grab rails or ramps if you need a wheelchair/powerchair/scooter or a bath lift.

Ask about NHS Wheelchair Services - get an assessment if you feel too weak to walk distances or are having falls.

Ask about how the local Adult Social Care can help you - for ramps, rails, rise and recline chair - care funding.

Remember - ESA and PIP are dystopian and bureaucratic, so you need to learn how to sail through the assessments and beat the government at their own game.

It can be done!