Work versus Benefits

Hi, I haven't posted on here for a long while, just been reading posts. I'm 34 years old and I am nearly at the end of my tether at work. I used to be PCSO with the Police and i thoroughly enjoyed it but I now have a clerical job in another department and it really doesn't 'float my boat.' I got told I had fibro a couple of years ago by a Rheumy and pressured my G.P. as I wasn't satisfied due to increasing mobility problems (weakness/fatigue). So last September I saw a Neurologist, had an MRI in October 2012 that was clear. I was discharged from Neurology as a registrar didn't think my symptoms were Neurological I wrote to the consultant and got another appointment as my symptoms were worse & my limbs were so weak. I was diagnosed with 'functional weakness', a disorder of the nervous system, neurological after all. I am now seeing a physiotherapist and seeing Liason Psychiatry, things I wouldn't have got without pushing the G.P. and consultant.

The thing is, the job I have as Clerk is getting so difficult, they are not happy that I am unable to do all that is expected of me and are starting to discipline me. I took 4 weeks off sick but now I have gone back I feel like I am sinking. My pain is all over my body all of the time. I have Pregabalin 100mg, Tramadol, Paracetamol & Naproxen but none of it gives me enough relief:-( I never have a good day. Out of desperation I went to the job centre and spoke to a disability advisor & they will try to help. I know I can't cope with my current job but I really don't want to go on ESA from reading how difficult it is to get. I'm on my own and need my current income otherwise I fear I will lose everything I have worked so hard to get. What should I do? I've nearly resigned a couple of times but I know I won't get a penny from the Social if I do that.

21 Replies

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  • you should have some protection under the disability discrimination act [or something similar.]

    have you spoken to your union and hr?

    I wouldn't resign, find out all your options first.

    are you on dla?

  • Hi Sandra, thanks for your reply:-) I have been in touch with a Disability DWP Advisor and I'm being sent to a 'Work Psychologist' to assess what my needs are. The Police are not very good at looking after civilian staff I'm afraid:-( I contacted my union about the situation by email but didn't get a reply. If you have a 'civvy' the Police are not flexible with role's. The job I have now I have to pull myself up 2 flights of stairs!!!! I do get DLA both HRM and MRC and I am a blue badge holder. Work have copies of all the paperwork including G.P.'s report, 2 consultants letters and proof that I get DLA. Hugs x

  • Hello Mikeymoo,

    Sorry to hear that work is becoming a problem and therefore causing stress, as Sandra says you have got rights & reasonable adjustments can be made that may help you to achieve your role.

    I would like to provide you with a link to the FibroAction website containing information about work & Fibro

    fibroaction.org/pages/work-...

    Also if you would like to email info@fibroaction.org we can send you the Benefits & Work guides out for free , that relate to work.

    Hope this info helps

    Emma : )

  • Yes get as much disability discrimination advice as possible; especially in respect of being disciplined because of your ill health. They have to make reasonable adjustments to allow you to work and it sounds like there is an element of Bullying which is another form of unlawful discrimination called victimisation on account of your disability. You need to become an experton disability law and know your rights. Good luck.

  • How is your thyroid, bet it isn't working properly? Have you had it checked, and have the doctors said it is "normal"? Get your thyroid bloods done. Ft3 and Ft4 and post the results on the thyroid site here, you may find out exactly what is wrong with you, and be able to chuck away all your medications. (Don't accept the TSH result that they will probably give you).

    Good luck!

  • Hiya, thanks for this. I've had blood tests a few times over the last 2 years but the doctor always said they are o.k. I have't had one for a while though so maybe I need to request one:-) Hugs x

  • Don't ever accept it, when a doctor says you are "normal", demand to see your blood print-out, and then get them posted on the thyroid site, as I mentioned. It is a brilliant site, and somebody on there will be able to sort you out, of that I am positive.

  • I worked for a long time before and after diagnosis and after several occasions when I came home from work barely able to move and in floods of tears and then not fit to go into work the next day, I knew something had to change. The crunch came when the company wanted me to go to a two day conference in London, which I'd been to before quite happily and I knew that I couldn't even consider travelling that far, staying away overnight and sitting in a conference for two days. The stress of thinking and worrying about it caused me to flare. My boss refused to understand, saying that if I was sitting down on the train journey and then sitting down all day there shouldn't be a problem. I contacted occupational health and they wrote to my boss explaining the problems. That got me out of the conference,but soon after I realised I had to give up work altogether. I'm still fighting for benefits, but because I now have control over what I do in a day (I'm a great believer in self management) I take less medication which is better for me and I don't have to answer to other people which is better for the stress levels. The benefit fight is hard, but one day the DWP might just get the message if we all keep on at them.

  • The Equality Act of 2010 protects you.

    Go to: equalityhumanrights.com/adv...

  • Thanks for this, in my last job they took me down the disciplinary route, knowing about my condition. HR neglected to tell me that I needed to apply to have my disability recognised under EA 2010. My disability wasn't officially recognised until a full 18 months after diagnosis. There were appropriate adjustments they could have made but they weren't willing to help and would've been unemployed if it wasn't for my union. I am a bit fed up of fighting for my rights, I have struggled for 3 years. I was found another job but it isn't suitable as I can't due everything they expect:-( Hopefully now I have the DWP involved they will be able to negotiate with and educate my employers. Hugs x

  • I would sue your last Job Mike. As far as I am aware you do not have to have disability recognised since the disability Act already recognises most illnesses, including fibromyalgia, mental health and learning disabilities. The act takes note of now you are affected not what you have, and any side effects of medication. Actually, legally, they have to make appropriate adjustments, and I believe the Job centre have forms for funding they could have claimed for the expenses.

    I saw a disability advisor when I was unemployed in 2007, though I would hardly call him that since he did not know what dyslexia was. I could understand about dyscalculia, but dyslexia is well known now. I did not think much of him frankly. I now do not work due to health issues, and dreading the Atos (sic) assessment coming up. Though I now have a good supportive doctor. I am a carer for a neighbour and just about manage that doing small amounts over a whole day. XX

  • Hiya, it's funny you mentioned dyslexia as I also suffer with this. I always struggled at school/college but the dyslexia wasn't recognised until I had a test at 21. I suffer with dysgraphia and my employers were aware of this 6 years ago. When they complained that I took too long with clerical work. When I mention dyslexia they say "Have you?" I never got any reasonable adjustments:-( I would love to have sued as my current employers have made me feel rubbish & so isolated. After all, how do I know that all this didn't contribute to the fibro? I'll see how it goes with the DWP advisors, hopefully they will help get things sorted. Hugs x

  • Funnily enough, I did not struggle with reading and writing. I was very good at that. I struggled a little with spelling, but had terrible memory and retention problems.....

    I found out I was dyslexic and dyscalculic when I was doing a degree, BSc honours in psychology. I had an educational psychologist's report done, the OU funded it.

    I hope you can get it sorted with the job centre.

  • Hi, with me I was good at reading and good at spelling but really poor and slow at writing. I also have cognitive and short term memory problems. I couldn't possibly keep up if someone was dictating or giving a lecture. Teachers always mis-understood and I was moved into the bottom groups with all the disruptive pupils:-( As a direct result I didn't do very well in my GCSE's. I wanted the same academic success as my siblings so I did 5 years college. I was diagnosed by an Educational Psychologist at Hull University when I was studying for my HND. I nearly failed my first year as I didn't have enough time to complete exams. After diagnosis I had loads of reasonable adjustments and I was allowed to use a computer for my exams. I gained my HND & wanted to do a conversion to a degree but I ran out of money. I have been plagued by my dysgraphia all through my working life as successive employers fail to understand, just like with Fibro now:-( I've just got to keep fighting. Best wishes

  • You may have dysgraphia, a writing problem. Yes I also have short-term memory problems, which Is typical of the condition. I always recorded my lectures.

    Sad that we have to keep fighting, but that is the wretched system we are in.

  • does anyone know if stress and depression can trigger the onset of fibromalygia as i didnt have it before i got depression and stress which i think caused my fibronalygia the last 3 months at my job were very upsetting

  • as my firm treated me very badley as they removed me from my job after over 8 years of never having time off and covering all shifts were there was no staff and as the person who i worked with wanted to work till he was 68 which was before people were told to work til that age this person knew i would of taken over from his job when he was 65 so he deside to play dirty and get rid of me as he knew i wouldnt be happy as id be on regular days monday to friday doing his job and a big pay rise to boot he waited till the time was right to make his move when id lost due to death of 4 members of my familey in 4 months he told the boss id said something to him which was nasty and i deffened myself at the boss,s meeting i done nothing wrong yet i was taken off my job of over 8 years and sent here there and every where and lost loads of earning and the stress of all this caused me to nearly loosing my home and i contemplated taking my own life / i think all that stress caused my condition

  • Hi there, sorry you had problems at work too. People can be dreadful when they want to be! No-one else around you is affected by this persons vile filth.....just you....that can make you feel very alone an isolated. I've been in that situation with a previous employer, my stupid manager decided that she didn't like me and made my life hell for a while:-( I believe in the last couple of years my fibro has been made far worse by severe depression & anxiety caused by work. I can totally empathise with you, I really can:-)

  • it got so bad i stopped trusting everyone i came into contact with and ive got no self esteam anymore i feel let down by my boss and the whole firm i gone to 3 out of 4 meetings as one meeting they never turned up and still i got no where .after the 3 months getting messed about and not getting the correct amount of shifts i got so stressed out that at my doctors i felt realy bad and an ambulnce had to be called as they thought i was having an heart attack after that i was on the sick due to stress and depression it drove me to drink which after 7 months i managed to stop with help with conciling i didnt look after my apearance and had a beared and looked like a tramp but i did wash all this because i got acuised of saying somthing of which i never said

  • I know exactly where you are coming from as I stopped trusting anyone also. My brother says I'm isolating myself from people but after I have been treated badly I just want to hide away, if I had the means I would go away for a long time. I truly hope that things get better for you:-) I find that you will never find the answer at the bottom of a bottle so I'm glad you have knocked that on the head:-) Take care.

  • has anyone with fibromoygia scratched the skin of there legs so badley that it got infected and your legs looked like they had been burnt i had this for over 3 years id scratch until id scratched the skin off as it felt like id got ants under my skin i must of taken hundreds of layers off over the 3 years . i had loads of test but they couldnt find out why id scratched . its now stopped and i now have large scars but there fadeing

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