Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Been self employed since 1990 and never had day off “sick” since despite being very ill with fibro and CFS at the moment I just muddle through - however been sooooo ill since xmas I quite literally havnt moved off the sofa as per my blog yesterday gp wants me to try duloxetine but has also given me sick note for 4 weeks - I have no idea what to do with it as I've never had one since I was in employment in 1990 - hubby nipped the job centre to ask and all they said was to give him a phone no to ring I need to log a claim for ESA whatever that is ............. As a low earning self employed person I get working tax credits and I know this sounds quite terrible but will this ESA thingy affect this as we quite literally rely on the tax credits at the moment ?? Any comments on this would be very gratefully received ass I simply don't know what I'm doing and getting quite stressed with bad flare up of my IBS over this ............ Thanks in advance x

4 Replies

I'm not sure what should be done in this case, lavender! I should think that Citizens Advice would be able to help you, as they have benefits specialists who can help with difficult situations.

Love Moffy x


Hi lavender

it is difficult knowing what to do when self-employed as i too am in the same boat as much as i decided to have others do my job and because of this i had to become an 'employer' and Register with HMRC the girls who work for me and it is hard work!!

as like you despite what ever i feel like i trundle off to work and have done through severe neck and shoulder and hand pain but then had to stop as it was virtually impossible to carry on as its very physical.

i am just about to fill in DLA/ESA forms to see what happens because we get Tax Credits aswell as not earned high enough and with all over heads etc leaves not much behind and now things are more of a strain on finances and ppl think ohhh got employees she must be doing well ! this is so very not true its called hanging on and hangin on hoping that will get something to help so can go back fully to what i did before.

i got a Blue badge for parking and i have now had SS (social services) before xmas with some adaptions to help and i have supporting medical letters from GP (which you must get in writing too and as much medical paper work together to support you ) i had no problems so far on the 1st 2 above but it is the DLA/ESA which may become a challenge due to all the readings i see on how difficult it is and your able to do..

we were told i should have no problem due to whats going on but hey ho will not know until the Medicals are done.

I know this is not the answer you want and i apologise i am just replying as i understand what you are going through.

is it not pheasable to do as i done with your job to get some one to do it for you whilst you are not able to so there fore you have something coming in rather than losing everything. i took this chance and yes i deeply am losing so much and its depressing as much as i have a strong head on my shoulders most of the time and always on the net searching , but my mind is not what it was and confusion plays a big part too.

all the best and keep us posted on it. no one can guarentee you what you will get it has to be the decision of the government what your entitlements will be, you can only go on advice of what others have gone through.

kind regards

caroline xxx please inbox if want to chat


Hello Lavender, sorry to hear about all your worries and being poorly etc. I sympathise as I am fighting a flare at the moment, can't seem to shift it.

Here is some info on Fit Notes (formerly called Sick Certificates), hopefully this will explain what they are, what to do with them etc.

Here's some info on how to claim ESA -

If you would like us to send you the Benefits and Work info sheets on ESA and DLA, we can send you these for free if you email us on They have lots of helpful information on completing forms, assessments and appeals etc.

Also if you pop along to the CAB (Citizen's Advice Bureau), they can help you complete the ESA forms. They also have access to lots of helpful information on claiming benefits and the process.

I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any concerns etc., we will do our best to help and support you along the way.

Take care and I hope you feel better really soon.

(((hug))) xxx



Hi Lavender

I can't offer any more help than Libs has which will be the most comprehensive and I can vouch for Benefits&Work.

But I am thinking of moving the other way - from Incapacity Benefit to Self-Employment Disabled Tax Credits but the two main things that are putting me off are a) I won't make much money at all because of my health being precarious and also because self-employment in the arts field is precarious too! That's not to say I wouldn't want to give it a shot. But it sounds from what you're saying is that they don't allow for sickness anyway if you're on Tax Credits?

The second thing that is putting me off is that when it becomes Universal Credit they are expecting self-employed people to be earning the minimum wage! I think if you're already on Tax Credits you will be protected, so I'm thinking if I'm going to take the plunge do I do it now or wait until it's too late and am scuppered?

Sorry that doesn't answer your question but I'm interested to hear people's experiences on Tax Credits especially those who are disabled/long term ill and low earners.

Good luck and hope you feel better soon.



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