Feel a fraud, about to be assessed for moving from Incapacity Benefit to ESA

I am a brittle asthmatic, have been much of my 40 years, have a range of severe allergies and chronic pain because of Churg Strauss Syndrome, which currently is going through a good phase having had Chemo for it last year. This morning the long awaited letter from the DWP dropped through the door telling me I shall be assessed about my ability to return to work soon. Just recently I have discovered that where my asthma is concerned I am at the end of the line treatment wise, under a specialist hospital and they can do no more. Despite my health I am very independent, and manage to take my four legged pal for a gentle walk most days. I would love to work but know because of the various complications of having a complex array of health problems a potential employer would run a mile (wish I could). So why do I feel so guilty about being who I am?

10 Replies

  • Same place lot of us have been another trip to see doctors as if we do not see enough already

  • just waiting for my appeal, I know no one will employ me with how I am during the winter, and with the return every year of one infection after another. I would love to work, but where. Who will take the likes of us because of our problem. I have felt guilty so mant times and confused, should I risk my health for a political move, because that's what it is. At the drop of a hat, if a job came up where an employer said dont worry about your condition, We'll stop everyone from wearing strong aftershaves or perfumes, we'll make sure no one with a cold comes into work so they dont spread thier dirty germs, and dont worry about the time you will have off when you have infections to deal with. Theres going to be people out there that will disagree with me, but disagree or not it's your health. Really, please someone find us a job that I can do. Ive worked since leaving school, thats over 30 years until this COPD came knocking and made me feel guilty that the remaining years I have work wise, are to be dictated by my health, and YES I smoked so its my own fault, thats where at times I get guilty feelings. Think of your health risk's, but dont sit there, everyday when its fine Im outside in my garden, ( building an ark at the moment) Those of us who are more active than those less fortunate ones, really need some help, so we dont sit there thinking we're passed it, but who ? You are not alone by feeling guilty.

  • Thanks for your replies Dot and Splinky, I feel guilty every time I go out for a toddle, take a bus ride into town etc. I don't cope well with perfumes and strong house hold cleaners any more and so find I spend more time just pottering around home. Just now a hoover around my little flat triggered an Asthma Attack despite being attached to my syringe driver which gives me meds to keep my air bags open. The media is brilliant at making those who have great difficulties every day managing life (Bless the tabloids), should know better being a social sciences student! But thanks once again for replying it is my first time writing here and your support is welcome.

  • I pay for taxis most weeks because of my health David (sorry just being silly over your misspelling of Taxes! It is my sense of humour that keeps me going. I did work until my early twenties but I was made to give up work because of my poor health by the medics, If I had my way would have kept going until I dropped. But I also know that if I did go back to work I would probably spend half of it at least on sick leave. With with the current economic problems people with long term health problems have the least of chances finding work.

  • Sorry but who or what are the ESA why does everything have to be written in jargon ?

    kind regards Ethel

  • Daxie

    Have you thought about voluntary work? Having said that, if you are being assessed for work through ESA they may consider you fit to work and take you off any benefits!!

    Do beware


  • Voluntary work is very good for your own self esteem, as well as helpng others, You can take time off when your ill; whenever needed(in my case I have been off since Oct '11). I volunteer at CAB, Leukaemia Care telephone Helpline, National Blood Service, it sounds a lot but it 's only a few hours per week; if I don't feel well, I don't do it!

    If ,you do take up voluntary work, you must remeber to inform benefits agency of your voluntary work, they will send you a form to fill in, and send one to your employer. BA will not think that you are fit for work! Perhaps, you could volunteer at Benefit Agency!

  • I just find that the DWP and the media is very good at making you feel bad about it all, I know I am not a fraud, being linked to a sub cut infusion 24 hours a day is a real thing. I go through periods of low self esteem from time to time just who I am. I should know better really being a social sciences student under stand how the media works and makes the public see the worst in every thing. I have learnt to read between the lines, just naff at applying the same principles to myself. Brilliant and listening to others, but crap at listening to the sensible side of me, a born worrier is what I am. I have already contacted my GP about my worries and he has told me it is highly unlikely I could work without it impacting on my health. Volunteer work is something I hope to do after I finish my degree would like to apply what I am learning now to help others in the future. I don't volunteer at the moment on regular basis because in the past when I have studied and volunteered it has been too much and my health has gone down hill. Thank you everyone for replying really appreciate it and look forward to chatting to you all at some point.

  • The ESA is the new name for IB: there is no difference It's the governments way of confusing people. Have you got DLA this is a no-means tested benefit (which means that you can be a millionaire and have DLA) But I do advise anyone who wishes to this, "do not fill in the forms yourself, get help from either DIAL (disability, information,advice line) or CAB (Citizens Advice Bureau)". Don't be despondent if you do not get it first time round - appeal, the above mentioned DIAL, CAB will also help with this matter. and keep going until you do get it.

  • I have DLA and used DIAL 18 years ago, but they are no longer in our area. I had to fight for this too. Going to start getting all the relevant information together in the coming weeks.

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