Fibromyalgia Action UK

Access for Work

Despite my various illness, I try desperately to support myself, and work from home as a Virtual Administrator. However as my disabilities have worsened I have had to take on less stressful roles which has meant my earning capacity has reduced. Because of this I am not always able to get the things I need, especially office equipment. My office chair, which was one specially bought to meet my health requirements, broke. The chair cost £800, but was a dream but I could not afford to get a replacement so I settled for chair that had lumber supports and other adjustments. After 3 months that broke, I got another replacement and that has also broke. Each time feel the chairs are doing me more harm than good as my back problems and knees have got worse. Anyway I heard about Access to work and rang them for a telephone assessment. They said based on my issues, and as I am self employed, I was eligible for funding. The sent an assessor to my home to see my working environment and they would see if I needed anything. The assessor came yesterday and spent about 1.5 hours looking at my chair, and how I sit in it, she asked me what issues I have and measured me. I was very pleased as she recommended funding for a new specialist chair with built in adjustable lumber support, a foot rest, arms rests and voice recognition software with training, so when my hands and wrists are sore and aching I can just talk to the PC and it will type. She said because of the Fibro, chronic fatigue and sleep apnoea which sometimes leaves me exhausted and bed bound I could apply for funding for a laptop which could be sync to my pc and allow me to work whilst in bed. She could not recommend it but would include it in the report so my advisor would be aware of my need. I spoke to my advisor who said that as long as it was included in the report and it would assist me to work with my disability, then he would request funding for it.

I am absolutely over the moon that there is help for those wanting to work and support themselves. Working is so much more rewarding than having to rely on ESA.

15 Replies

Hi there - you are an inspiration in my opinion :-)

More people, myself included, should try to adopt this approach / I'm certainly going to make some enquiries - I'm in the work related group and I would really like to get another job and release myself from ESA :-)


Hi Bearess

If you need any assistance or advice, I would be more than happy to help. I have a list of over 60 UK companies who use home workers, and know of some who are currently recruiting for Home Based customer service advisors. This company employs you so you would not be self employed.I love working from home, and a lot more companies are turning to virtual workers, especially during the bad weather.


Hi could you please send me details of home working employers I currently work in admin/customer services :-). Thanks in advance


Hi Shazzap im in the middle of moving home right now but those company's, shore would be nice to know when im settled. Im at that point at the moment at home would be the only place I could work, because I exhaust easy never know when my fibro, is going to flare cant walk to much and my elbows and hands have some where and tear that can cause pain = flare etc. At home I can take pace at any time I like so would be so cool. Soooooooooo glad to hear about your chair and hope it gives you the freedom you need.


Hi Royalspec.

I would be more that happy to give you info, just let me know when you are ready. I am really excited about the chair too, there is a website called Back in Action which does all equipment for people with back problems, and they have some great chairs, so I think I will get it from there.


Hello again / it sounds like I'd be ideally suited to working from home - I would really like to give it a try - I'm currently recovering from a heart attack (4 weeks )

So it'll be a little while before I'm able to consider working again / if its ok with you, I will stay in touch ?

Cheers / Tina


Just to give you an idea, I am working now. I get a list of websites sent to me daily and I have to type up descriptions and send them back within 24 hours.


Sure Tina

Hope you feel better soon. Whenever you feel ready drop me a line.

Take Care



Hi Sharon

I'd be really interested to know some more about the work that you do.

I'm obviously not going to ask you how much you earn but do you find it's enough to live on ( to pay the rent/mortgage etc). I've worked for 34 years but have been unable to work for the last 18 months. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I need to work ~ I'm climbing the walls at home. I recently went to an agency and I worked for half of one day ( in an office doing admin) and then a full day the next.

Oh my! I was in bed for the whole of the weekend as I was so exhausted and felt really ill. It takes a lot for me to stay in bed.

I've moved to a new area where I don't know anyone and its virtually impossible to make friends or have any sort of social life when you are not going out to work.

I feel stuck in a no win situation. I would have to work full time Monday to Friday to cover all my bills but still couldn't earn enough to get by.

It was great to read about the support and funding you've got for yourself. As Bearess says you are an inspiration.

If you have any thoughts that you think might work for me I'd really appreciate hearing from you.


Coz x


Hi Coz,

Yes, I earn enough to live on and pay my bills. My husband was out of work for 7 months and then I increased the amount of hours to cover his missing salary. On average I earn about £1500 per month. I have 2 regular clients, but I am always looking for additional clients, even one off jobs, just so I can establish myself. This works really well. I did some data entry work for an American company, it was very basic data cleansing where I had to go onto an association website and enter the details of certain department heads. Where I couldn't find them I would ring them and ask. This was supposed to be a one off job, but they were very impressed with the spreadsheet I created to present the data, and how quickly I completed it, that I have had 3 more projects from them.

An excellent way to start if you are wanting to work from home, is to create a profile on People Per Hour and bid for some work. I have had some good work from there. Another excellent place to source work is Gumtree.

I work around my illness. I only take on jobs that are not stressful, and with a relaxed delivery schedule, that way if I am exhausted or in pain I can stop work and sleep for a while, get up at say 2am and start working again.

I will be more than happy to chat with you, or help you in any way I can.



Hi Sharon

Thank you so much for sharing all that information with me.

You're really kind.

There's no rush, but I don't know anything about what a profile is or what People Per Hour entails.

Would you mind explaining it in a bit more detail please?

I obviously understand the concept but don't know how to build up a client base.

I really want to get off ESA and make my own living again. Having worked solidly for 34 years I can't handle being alone all day. I know it would be working from home, but I'm guessing there's some telephone liaison required too?

You've been very kind. Thank you.

Please don't rush to get back to me, as there's not a lot I can do until I can get my pain under control. (Got an appt with the Pain Clinic in November).

Best wishes and of course gentle hugs

Coz x


Hi Sharon. I am so glad you're getting a new chair. I too work full time but I am finding it getting too much for me. Thank you for giving us this information




Hi Coz,

Have you got a U3A in your region, its a great way of making new friends and learning new skills, you can check on their site.

Best Wishes



Hi Sophie

Thank you so much for your message.

I will definitely have a look on the website.

All the very best



Anything like that in USA?


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