Good morning all. This is my very first post; I've been a lurker for a few months now but really could do with some important advice. Apologies in advance if it is a bit long-winded or if I waffle on!
I was given my official diagnosis of fibromyalgia in July this year and have been off work since 4th June 2015 (I am employed as a Support Secretary for the NHS). As a result of this illness, my life has changed immensely and because I haven't been able to go out with friends socially, I seem to have been dropped like a hot potato, most hurtfully by my "best friend". This has led to resentment and upset and plunged me into a deep depression. It's bad enough as it is to have to cope with everything fibro throws at you, but to be deserted by your friends has left me in a place of despair. All my family live in Manchester and I'm here alone in Sheffield. I don't go out of my flat for days on end because of fatigue, pain and depression. I am also due to be summoned to work for my first formal meeting next week, and I am shaking with anxiety. My quandary is that I want to hand my notice in on health grounds as I cannot give them an answer when I'll be better enough to return to work. It is also for their benefit that I resign so that they can advertise for a new Support Secretary and because they are currently swamped with work without me, the guilt makes my depression worse. I phoned up the DWP last week to ask them if I were to resign from my job on health grounds, would I qualify for ESA or would I be refused because I resigned from a job willingly. I was told that if I resign on health grounds I would qualify for ESA but not for Job Seekers. I'm tempted to phone them back again to get a second opinion because I am terrified that if I resign and apply for ESA, I'll be told I cannot get any money because I gave my job up willingly. Can anyone please help me if you have had a similar experience and if the information I have been given by the DWP is correct. I don't want to see a future on benefits at all, but I know that for the foreseeable future, I won't be returning to employment soon. Thank you.