On JSA but struggling as have chronic leg back pain and RSI. Should i try ESA again ? — Scope | Disability forum
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On JSA but struggling as have chronic leg back pain and RSI. Should i try ESA again ?

tw25 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
Just wondering if anybody is on JSA and is struggling. In short i now have RSI that is getting worse when job searching as i could not sit so was lying on my belly to job search. Is there anywhere i can turn to either make adaptions to my computer or should i look into ESA again as my hand/arm pain is getting worse ?.


  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Community member Posts: 932 Pioneering
    Hello tw25,

    I've had RSI myself in the past and it's really painful. It's an overuse injury and you need the right support to heal.
    Talk to your Jobcentre adviser and tell them about the difficulties you're having with RSI and see if they can offer any support or aids which will make using a computer easier. Maybe a chat with the Disability Employment Adviser? There are loads of products on the market to help with RSI, they can be a bit pricey though. You need to rest the tired muscles and take regular breaks.
    If the pain is so bad that you're unable to carry out your jobsearch, maybe you need to see your GP?
    If you're sick and not fit for work you can keep claiming JSA if you have: 
    two short periods of sickness of up to 14 days in any jobseeking period, or within each successive 12-month period if your jobseeking period lasts longer than 12 months,
    a third or longer period of sickness of up to 13 weeks in a fixed 12-month period starting from the first date of your sickness. We call this an “Extended Period of Sickness”. You must have medical evidence if you are sick for longer than two weeks, and you can only have one Extended Period of Sickness in any 12-month period.

    Knowing that you can continue to claim JSA while sick means that you can allow yourself some time to recover from the RSI with support from your GP. If there's no improvement then at some point it will be a good idea to think about claiming ESA but for now, it might be better to stick with the JSA and see how you improve.
    Ultimately the final decision is down to you, only you know what your body is capable of so don't try to push yourself if the pain is getting worse.

    If you run into difficulties let me know and I'll see if I can help you with some more information.

    Best wishes

  • tw25
    tw25 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Spoke to DEA and was not so helpful. Suggested Dragon software but no help in paying or learning how to use it. All very well having pain killers but they dont solve the problem. The pain i can manage but the fact im doing permanent damage to my health and not getting help is wrong on every level not to mention it dragging me down.
            Thanks for your help Debbie. I will see how i get on with physio and go from there.
  • Debbie_Alumni
    Debbie_Alumni Community member Posts: 932 Pioneering

    Sorry to hear that the DEA wasn't helpful. You're absolutely right that painkillers don't solve the problem entirely, it often takes much more than pain relief. 

    As part of your JSA, are you on the Work Programme and if so, who is the provider? I believe that there could be some funding via this route if you need some equipment to help you manage your jobseeking. I would need to do some more checking though.

    Access to work can often help but I'm not sure if you would qualify as a jobseeker. It's certainly not right that no-one is offering any form of support. Dragon software isn't cheap and when you're living on benefits, there's no real way that you would be able to afford it. There is some free voice recognition software around, whether or not they meet the same standard as Dragon, I don't know but if you want to have a look, I came a cross a few here http://download.cnet.com/s/business-voice-recognition/windows/ 

    With all the problems you're having I'm starting to think that claiming ESA might be a better option so that you can ensure you get better support but it does seem so unnecessary when you should be getting proper support.

    I think you've been in touch with us by email, so will we carry on looking into this for you and seeing if we can help you sort this out.

    How long have you been having physio, and have you felt any improvement with it? I had physio and acupuncture for mine and after six sessions there was a massive improvement, however it took around six months to fully recover from it. I completely empathise with you, it really does bring you down.

    Best wishes

  • tw25
    tw25 Community member Posts: 17 Listener
    Go to physio on the 4th of may and its my 1st appointment since the new symptoms in my upper arm/. Did the work programme a year or so back. Trouble then i honestly had no interest in work as i was on pills that never helped and had depression. 
             My main concen now is being stuck with chronic RSI which is getting worse by using a computer to search for work. It's like going round in circles. I s[oke to a RSI charity and they suggested ESA or a fit to work note from the doc stipulating about the RSI etc. I want to get back into pt time work if possible but again only when im managing the pain and its not dragging me down.
         Appreciate the help Debbie.


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