Degenerative disc disease and benefits - Pain Concern

Pain Concern

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Degenerative disc disease and benefits

Jimluton39 profile image

I have been living with degenerative disc disease for nearly 20 years! I’m always in some amount of pain! Some days I can’t even move. I’m now on universal credit and have to still look for work! My medication makes me very drowsy but it is helping! Really don’t know what to do! Worried that I will have to take a job I can’t physically do! This in turn is affecting my depression! Feel constantly backed into a corner! Any advice gladly taken!

30 Replies

Have you applied for ESA within UC?

No I haven’t! Didn’t know I could?

Yeah I’m on it. You have an assessment like PIP but with actual medical staff

So do I speak with my signing person! Or just apply through my universal credit hub thing?

I’m not sure I applied when I changed from income support, Talk to your singing person I can’t believe they didn’t tell you, you need to be signed off by your doctor at first then when they accept you you don’t need one

Doctors have been signing me off for ages now!

That’s disgusting they still put you on job seekers I’m guessing? How long has the pain been and how long have you been on UC?

When you’re on UC and you report medical conditions and also provide fit note, it will bring up a refer for work capability assessment. This goes to maximus and they will post you the forms then when returned they will ask you to attend a medical assessment. You should phone UC on 0800 328 5644 and ask if you have been referred. If not, it’s quick enough for case manager to submit the referral. If awarded its an additional £328 per month on top of the standard rate.

Speak to your local voluntary benefits charity. Speak to them about the issues of very drowsy.

To get ESA you need to know the legal rules of the benefits system. You need to speak to experts to get this.

I didn’t know the “legal rules” or speak to an “expert” to get this. They knew I was disabled and housebound and they were the ones who told me to apply for esa within the universal credit

There are people where the disability are obvious and easily shown. There are people where the disability seen is not large enough to get the points required. I have had to appeal at tribunal to get benefits.

He’s signed off by a doctor so I think it must be enough I wasn’t and hadn’t even gone to the job centre for them to see anything.

I’m just saying people who have disabilities don’t need to actually speak with experts to get these benefits

You won't know that you could apply because they don't tell you. Most people have to find out the hard way after they leave you penny less with nothing.

I didn't find out till I spoke to citizens advice after almost being made homeless. They then put me in touch with my local welfare rights people who were amazing & sorted everything for me, including winning my appeal at tribunal.

Good luck

sullivn profile image
sullivn in reply to Ritchie1268

hi I live in Lowestoft Suffolk how do I contact the welfare rights been trying c a b didn't want to help any advice please getting very depressed thanks

Ritchie1268 profile image
Ritchie1268 in reply to sullivn


I've just googled & found Welfare rights in Lowestoft.

It's at this address:

23 John Street,

Lowestoft, Suffolk.

NR33 0EX

Strangely there isn't a landline phone number.

There is a mobile number but not sure if it's allowed on here. I just googled "welfare rights in Lowestoft" it's the 5th one down under ibegin.

Good luck

sullivn profile image
sullivn in reply to Ritchie1268

many thanks for your kind help god bless you

Ritchie1268 profile image
Ritchie1268 in reply to sullivn

You're welcome sullivn.

Please try to keep your chin up & try not to let them wear you down, they're very good at doing that.

Just keep going & once you get in touch with welfare rights, they will advise & help you so much, form filling, knowing what to put & how to put it etc.

I have DDD in 5 discs in my back, 2 in my neck & at the time, I was on so much Heroin that my then Dr prescribed I was a total mess, so I know what you're going through & all the stress of all this crap they put you through just makes everything so much worse for you. Try to stay strong, (easier said than done I know) but if you get welfare rights help, you'll feel like a massive weight has been lifted.

Take care & I hope you get sorted. Always here, good luck 👍

Hi look on the Gov.UK site which will tell you all the benefits available. If you are signed off sick by a doctor you should be on ESA and not JSA. You will then be sent for an assessment within 13 weeks and you will either be put into the support group (where you haven't got to look for work), the work group where you have to look for work but can only work certain hours or do certain types of jobs. Or you could be told you don't qualify and be told you have to claim JSA. You can still appeal though.

If you end up being told you have to claim UC JSA then you can still get a letter from your doctor specifying a maximum amount of hours and maybe even what type of work you could do and the Jobcentre will keep this on file and it will offer you some protection. I did this when on JSA and it helped me a lot. Also there is always a disability advisor at every Jobcentre so ask to see them too. Good luck. x

Hi sorry your going thru this awful situation the system these days is brother got same as you a d has been on esa for it...hes not now hes now on the sick benefit part of UC all he did was get a fitnote from his doc and the rest just follows...when yr fitnote runs out get another b4 it does then U will hear from the disability and health assessments an u just go from there....the advice given to go to benefits advice people is to help you with the forms they can he really helpfull wheb it comes to these forms.. . good luck xx

I too have that crippling disease in my lower back and neck. I too also suffer the constant pain that used to be dulled out with Morphine; but since this Oxford Medical Recommendation, my Morphine has been cut and cut and cut to an extent I went from a Working person who had a social life and more importantly, played football with my grandson, to a housebound cripple, who can't even go to the toilet without holding onto the furniture and kitchen units to get me there.

I had a medical and like you found fit for work, but I was also kicked from the Support group and ESA. I was then told because I had been on the sick, I didn't have enough N.I stamps to qualify.... But hold on, YOU paid my stamp for me while I was off work sick ? NO, No, No; We only pay a stamp for your Pension Credits ! But what about the Non Contributed side Benefit ? No to that too, as you get Industrial Injuries Benefit and that makes you £2.80 over the amount you have to live on. And there I have been for the past 2 years with only my Industrial Injuries Benefit to scrounge a living with. Obstacle after obstacle was put in front of me. Housing Benefit refused to pay my rent, or part of it I should say. They couldn't understand why I was not claiming any Benefits ? Unemployment Benefit ? I explained, I had been on it for a year and therefore my Benefit stopped ? Sickness ? I've just explained that too, I was kicked off it, Eventually, they helped me and I held onto my home. Free Prescriptions, Glasses too, NO, you have to be claiming a Benefit ?

Little by little they have chipped away at my quality of life. I became so ill, I thought my time was up, at least I thought I'd not have any ore pain. The only thing that kept me going was my grandson, so I went to the Doctors and it was found to be an over active Thyroid and crones disease, that I'm getting treatment for. I can't understand that in such a short space of time I've gone from such a happy 60 odd year old to a miserable unhappy person, who now lives for the weekends with my grandson. I miss medication times during the week, so I can take extra at weekends, nowhere near the amount I used to be on though, that way, I can at least interact with him. However it worries me with future cuts to my medication as they plan to take me down to only 50mg a day. GOD, I don't know what I'll do when that happens....

So I fully understand your plight, and wish you all the luck in the world, but be aware it can all change in the time it takes to flick a coin in the air.....

WOW, sorry for the long post.

Your story brings back so very many similar memories of how these robots treat human beings. I honestly don't know how some of them actually sleep at night.

Feel sorry to hear about your problems I ve suffered with disc herniated and now have raging sciatica sleep 1-2 hours a night horrendous pain is so debilitating had back pain on and off over 20 years but this belt of sciatica something else .

I was have to claim ESA but am not entitled to any money, due to war pension, but it keeps my stamp right. I was put in work related group but on visiting job centre was told I wouldn't be sent on courses or called in to see anyone as they could see I was unable to work but still kapt in same group so didn't get any money. Not everyone's disability is easy to see but I know from experience of myself and family that doesn't matter. I know of people who have limbs missing bei g told they aren't entitled to any disability benefit and people who don't look disabled get ever benefit going. You have to research yourself to see what you may be entitled to and apply even if you don't think you will get anything. Also remember if you don't get the result you want appeal and make sure to get a transcript of your medical as I personally have experience the lies that are written in medical profile. Stating could do things I wasn't asked about or actions I didn't even carryout. I hope you get sorted soon.

Another similar story that brings back memories.

I got a copy of my first assessment that was over 90 pages long.

It took me many attempts to actually get past page 8 as I just couldn't read it past that for a long time due to the blatant lies that were in black & white, lies to questions that i was never even asked!

I rang them & totally lost it over the phone, asking how did they sleep at night, knowing they were supposed to be "professional" & work for the government, asking how they could knowingly print so many blatant lies.

I worked all my life & used up every penny of my life's savings refusing to claim benefits, until I had too. I now know that they made it so hard, just hoping I would eventually just give up. But I didn't, though there are so many who do as they suffer so much emotional stress & anxiety from it, they just cannot face it any longer. Then they end up so much more ill due to all the stress of these so called "professionals" who are just robots with no feelings who are driven to meet targets from a government that just don't give a damn harryetta349

Unfortunately it's not just those whom lie the very reason all this came about was the rising cost of benefits and the fecking bare faced liars whom refuse to work . I worked from 1986 /2003 in agony that was xmas 2003 by Feb 2004 I was having surgery then things got even worse . Whilst working though I worked in many many households where they just laughed at me for being an idiot working in such pain . I was terrified of not working I had worked straight out of school had a mortgage to worry about but even more it's a matter of pride . I was in construction and used to work on remods of council estates worked on one house he had convinced them he was so ill they put a lift in for him from his kitchen to get upstairs . I caught him one morning running downstairs he thought we hadn't started . These are the people you need to be angry at the fakers draining the system because they are fkn lazy this bastxxx had a new 4x4 to pull his new caravan . So the people that are really sick get treated with the same suspicion as these lazy fks and yes I have been through it but have nothing to hide but they make you feel like crap . They treat you like a liar a sponger I'm sure some of them just get off on the power but let's not forget those lazy lying fkrs that have put us all in the same situation .

I totally agree with you.

I was very similar to you & from the same generation where pride & having a mortgage to pay means you have no choice!

I Left school in 1984 & straight into work, started with a construction company in 1988 & worked there for 26 years after doing 10 years of heavy manual labour hand stacking thousands of concrete slabs everyday before manual handling was even thought of. Before getting promoted.

That's why I'm where I am today. Worn out discs in my back & neck, became addicted to the heroin my Dr put me on & have been unable to work since 2015.

I 100% share your frustration & the problem is we're all treated in the same way as those who do actually play the system.

I left in 1980 started out as a steeple jack climbing the electricity pylons ended up as a decorator for high end clients footballers bankers that sort of crap . Same problems though Ritchie fusion in lumbar necks gone knees gone elbows gone even friggin wrist's Jesus . Worked in hundreds of homes on estates all over country come across same kind of people time and time again fkng liars making out they are ill still working on the side most of them it does pixx you off I have too admit even more so now I cannot work and you get treated like a fkng lepper by the Dla even though working for as long as possible only to make yourself worse in the end I hate myself for ranting about it but these people don't give a shit they don't care that genuine people get caught up in the crossfire.

Again mate, I completely & totally 💯 agree with everything you have said.

I ranted for ages about it saying the whole system is so very wrong & why am I being treated this way after working so hard all my life, going to work in pain daily because I absolutely had to when I shouldn't have been there.

In my last promotion paying 40% tax due to a great salary, brand new Lexus FSport proudly parked on my drive, to then losing it all. Almost becoming homeless, being told after my assessment even though I took numerous consultant's letters as well as a letter from my Dr, all stating I was not fit to work, & then for these letters to be totally ignored & to then read lie after lie in the report. I couldn't believe how I was being treated by a corrupt system that I had paid into for 33 years.

I blamed my then Dr who prescribed me the same thing that's killed over 400,000 in the states through overdose & rising daily, as I was never told about it. I had never heard of opiates till then.

I was mad at the system for treating desent, hard working people the same as those who wouldn't know what work was if it smacked them in the mouth, yet they're much better off.

I too hated myself for ranting, but now I'm at a place where I've forgiven stuff & let it go, I haven't forgotten it & never will, but it's part of who I am now & the reason why I'm looking into how I can now help others from suffering from what I went through regards Opioids, how they should have & very nearly did kill me & educate on the dangers of long term use & what they do to your overall health.

This is so sad . I am also in constant pain ... just been called for an interview

Just had an appointment at my doctors and as usual I’m being treat like a junkie ! Again she tried to cut my morphine. I exploded.

I’d never heard of opioids but you put me on it and not just put me on it give me such high doses.

At the start of my opioid treatment I was on 300mg a day. Yes a day. I still keep a journal. Most of the time I was floating and didn’t know anything from day to day.

I asked my gp to lower it a bit and explained why. It got lowered to 200mg. I got cramps in my legs and gut along with sweating but carried on for years with that dose.

I started lowering it myself over time and managed to get it right down to 170mg. With that level I felt normal. I could work. Play with my grandson at weekends and even play football. All was great for years then this American / Oxford report came about and I became a junkie of my own doing.

I’m now on 120mg a day can’t work and do all the things I used to do.

Now they want to reduce it to 150mg.

I can’t cope on that. I struggle with 120mg.

I’ve told them to stop all my meds for everything. I don’t want anything for you I told her. Walked out

I got home with the phone ringing away. Mr Robinson you need to keep up with this that and the other. I was still fuming so told her No I Don’t. When they find me dead you can rub your hands when you get a further pay rise and feel good for reducing my morphine. I put the phone down.

It’s been ringing ever since. Then I received a txt. Ok keep your same level for now we’ll talk about it soon.

I don’t know what to do now I’ve played my hand Do I pick up my scripts and carry on or stick to my word and stop everything as I’m sick of my life at the moment Always in pain Watching my grandson help me with everything. As seen it was never like this.

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