Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Benefits Dilemma for the Self Employed

Hello all.

Having had fibro for years, I haven't worked now for the last 11 months. Not fibro but cancer - open surgery (all clear); acute pancreatitis; gall bladder removal; more attacks; misdiagnosed escaped gall stone causing septacaemia.... that finally cleared up in June and now I am left with a massive hernia which I am waiting to get a second opinion on! Oh joy.....

My dilemma is that I am a self employed teacher/therapist on ESA and now on the benefit which allows me to earn £98 a week. I've already filed an IVA and am now on the verge of bankruptcy. I NEED to get back to work, despite my fibro now being much worse.... I fall asleep on the phone... it's that bad.... some days I can walk others I can't.

I can't go from benefits to 'real' income like I could if I were in a PAYE job. It has to build up gradually..... that means I would have to break the law in order to earn enough to cover everything to THEN get off benefits..... I don't know how to do this.... what a catch 22 it is.

Has anyone else faced this or knows what to do please?

2 Replies

maybe contact citizens advice or possibly a support group near you that you can go to, sometimes they have like health visitors/nhs support, they may know more? sorry cant be of much help, but maybe worth a try

Soft hugs xx


Hi Ceri-Lou, I don't have an answer to your question but could you work from home, do private tuition of similar? That way you can work at your own pace. I left my job 3 yrs ago, just couldn't sit at my desk all day anymore. I now run a cake business at my own pace,

It's not made me rich but pays keeps me going!

Debs xx


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