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My son is bipolar and his medication means he's unable to function until after midday.

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  • alphonsoalphonso Member Posts: 2
    Richard I am interested in how you approach this,  my son has Bipolar and can function in most respects except that his medication means he is unable to wake and function until after midday.
    We have tried shifting his sleep cycle but this has not worked.

    He has a part time job that starts late afternoon, this is fine but would not make him financially independent.

    I'm sure others on medication face this situation. Your thoughts would be welcome


  • RichardLamploughRichardLamplough Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Alphonso, thanks for this.  I'm working with somebody right now who lives with mental health issues, and perhaps isn't a million miles away from your son in terms of his support needs in the work place.  I will call him Alan.  There have been all sorts of issues with Alan's performance at work over the last nine months or so and that's why I was invited in, via Access To Work, to see if I could help turn things round.  In Alan's case, his employer has always been very supportive - he has worked there for over 10 years.  I've got to know Alan very well over the last two months, have met his parents and understand a fair deal about his life outside of work.

    Alan is currently working 37 hours a week, but despite my support to try to restructure his job to fit in more with his mental health issues, both his employer and I think that this isn't workable in the long-term and we have suggested to Alan a reduction to 16 hours a week.

    We have done this, in the knowledge that I have a meeting booked with his local Disability Employment Adviser to look very carefully at Alan's benefits.  It's a changing time, of course, as Universal Credit coming in, and I don't know yet what the implications are in Alan's area.  But, the hope is with working tax credits, and perhaps some help with housing benefit (Alan hasn't claimed this before) he will no worse off, financially, on 16 hours a week compared to 37.  For Alan, of course, this is crucial.

    Above all, it's Alan's quality of life, much like the quality of life of your son that has to be put first.  "True financial independence" is always very difficult for people on low incomes and for people with mental health issues even more so.  But you might get there... and the key is to get support from people who REALLY know what they are talking about concerning benefits.  So find help (a DEA... or somebody at Citizens Advice) who can help you explore EVERY possible benefit if you haven't done this already.  Don't forget to look at the Personal Independent Payment (PIP) - there's a long delay in people getting this, but, when successful it's backdated to the day you put in your claim. - Good luck with everything - Richard

    E2015 - thanks for your comment and I'm sorry you are having such a struggle.  I've known a few people who live with conditions (perhaps) similar to yours and I don't think their employers have been particularly supportive.  I cannot comment on your particular case and this forum would be an inappropriate place to dig too deep into details.  I'm guessing you have no union representative that could perhaps support you?  If you are not a member of a union, as far as I am aware, there's nothing to stop you having the support of an independent person to talk to your employer.  This could be a work colleague or a friend/neighbour perhaps -  somebody who is with you as your "advocate".  Most employers' staff handbooks say they are happy for advocates to be present.

    If you haven't done so already (and forgive me if I'm telling things you already know) document everything as accurately as you can.

    I'm sorry that I can't be of any more help, but I wish you all the best.

    Richard
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