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Bunch of questions about disability and work/voluntary work....

ulrichburkeulrichburke Member Posts: 18 Connected
edited December 2017 in Employment and careers
Dear Support People.

Ok.  I've a bunch of questions about disability and work, they're probably all pretty basic, probably all been answered in about a thousand places online but I'm the kinda guy who can't find anything in websites without a page of directions....

1. )  I've been told I'm allowed to do 16 hours Permitted Work without it affecting my benefits but that's all I now ,  I don't know where to find out any more about this or how to find any.  

2.) IF I'm signed off as unfit to work and I start looking for voluntary work and find some, will that affect my benefits?

3.)  If the answer to question 2 is 'NO', how do I get to be given voluntary work without having referees? I flat don't have anyone anywhere I can use as a referee, I've had too much bad luck with people and places to have any (I've posted my details on that somewhere else on the site, but take that as the truth, please!) I've been turned down for an absolute lorryload of things I've volunteered for because of no referees. (In fact, almost 100% of them.) How do I get past this referee thing?

4.) Same as above but replacing 'referees' with 'lack of experience.' As I'm not getting the vol. posts, I've got not a lot of experience. Problem with able-bodied people IS - if an able-bodied person makes a mistake, it's a learning curve. If a disabled person makes a mistake, he/she should never have been given the task in the first place. I hit that one ALL the frickin' TIME when/if I get past the lack-of-referees bit.  

5.) Do these job-finding bodies cost money? Scope's one of the sneakiest charities going for this trick. There's a Scope centre near me and they said they wanted volunteers, I volunteered and they were lovely to me.  "Welcome aboard. Pleased to have you."  Was getting training, doing an afternoon and a long morning a week, happy to do more.... then I got hit with a bill for £240. Asked what that was for, and they said it was for being allowed to volunteer there. Er. ... I don't mind helping out anyone but why should I have to PAY for the privilege? (AND I'd been assured it was free!) I'm happy considering anything as long as it's not gonna cost me money, Scope and Care Co-ops both have pulled this trick on me now and I think it's a bit low TBH.

6.)  How do you stop your disabilities being used against you, as reasons for not trying you out? I've got an official I.Q. of 68 but that's deceptive, I've also got 16 GOOD qualifications including an H.N.D. equivalent. But people discount those and concentrate on the fact my I.Q. puts me in the learning disability range.  So I've never been given a chance to use my qualifications in real life because able-bodied idiots have always focused on the I.Q. which always comes out far worse on paper than when doing stuff I'm trained in. (I'm not good at jigsaw puzzles/What Shape Comes Next/What Pattern Comes Next, they're what kill me.  As they seem to be what I.Q. tests are  made of, of course I always do badly in them!)

The MAIN thing is, though - I don't want to do anything that'll leave me financially worse off even though, if I get a mythical job, I'd then be far better off.  As far as all the above goes, I've got a ton of examples of things that have happened to me to which have created each of the questions. Please, could someone answer them or tell me where to go to find the answers (hopefully giving me links, if they're thinking of saying 'Go to Website X and look around, I'll never find the relevant page, trust me on that!) 

Before you ask, no, I've got no contact with advisors/helpers. I've got no friends/contacts anywhere. Nobody's told me of any day centres I can go to, save for one which is always full of alcoholics/street people and I flat don't feel safe there. My doctor's promised to send me places I can go to but that's never materialised.  I know there's a Scope place with a day centre here but, as I said above, they're milking you of money the moment you step through the door - if I'm buying a meal, say, or a cup of tea, I expect to pay then but these places where even TALKING to someone's got a price tag on it I think are a bit much, charity or not. 

Yours hopefully

Chris.

Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ulrichburke
    I hope I can try and help!

    1. )  I've been told I'm allowed to do 16 hours Permitted Work without it affecting my benefits but that's all I now ,  I don't know where to find out any more about this or how to find any.  

    Are you on ESA? 

    If you do ‘permitted work’ it won’t usually affect your ESA. It’s permitted work if both the following apply:

    • you earn up to £120 a week
    • you work less than 16 hours a week

    There’s no limit on how many weeks your permitted work can last for.

    You can do ‘supported permitted work’ and earn up to £120 a week. Supported permitted work must be one of the following:

    • part of a treatment programme
    • supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people
    There is more information on ESA here - if you arent on ESA then let me know.



    2.) IF I'm signed off as unfit to work and I start looking for voluntary work and find some, will that affect my benefits?

    I think it would depend on why you were signed off as unfit - if you were signed off because of mobility issues and then volunteered doing physical labour, it could show that you are fit to work.  

    3.)  If the answer to question 2 is 'NO', how do I get to be given voluntary work without having referees? I flat don't have anyone anywhere I can use as a referee, I've had too much bad luck with people and places to have any (I've posted my details on that somewhere else on the site, but take that as the truth, please!) I've been turned down for an absolute lorryload of things I've volunteered for because of no referees. (In fact, almost 100% of them.) How do I get past this referee thing?

    Im sorry you have had such a tough time finding volunteer work.  There are a lot of people seeking unpaid and paid roles and so it can be tough to get your foot in the door.  We are always looking for online volunteers here on the community, this is our Community Champion role and involves welcoming new members, flagging innappropriate content and being a friendly face on the community.  We don't ask for references and so if you are interested then please do email us on [email protected] and I can send you more information.  

    You could check out Do It who offer a free service where you can search lots of voluntary positions and if you let me know where you live I can have a look at what volunteering services there are in your area, lots of places have centres where you can check out voluntary posts and they can support you in this.


    4.) Same as above but replacing 'referees' with 'lack of experience.' As I'm not getting the vol. posts, I've got not a lot of experience. Problem with able-bodied people IS - if an able-bodied person makes a mistake, it's a learning curve. If a disabled person makes a mistake, he/she should never have been given the task in the first place. I hit that one ALL the frickin' TIME when/if I get past the lack-of-referees bit.  

    It is really tough to get your foot in the door without references or experience and this becomes a real vicious circle.  Lots of councils run workshops you can attedn for free to gain qualifications and to network with others who are looking for work and also the people looking for employees or volunteers.

    5.) Do these job-finding bodies cost money? Scope's one of the sneakiest charities going for this trick. There's a Scope centre near me and they said they wanted volunteers, I volunteered and they were lovely to me.  "Welcome aboard. Pleased to have you."  Was getting training, doing an afternoon and a long morning a week, happy to do more.... then I got hit with a bill for £240. Asked what that was for, and they said it was for being allowed to volunteer there. Er. ... I don't mind helping out anyone but why should I have to PAY for the privilege? (AND I'd been assured it was free!) I'm happy considering anything as long as it's not gonna cost me money, Scope and Care Co-ops both have pulled this trick on me now and I think it's a bit low TBH.

    I am unsure about this one, but I have passed your comments on and I hope to have an answer for you asap.

    6.)  How do you stop your disabilities being used against you, as reasons for not trying you out? I've got an official I.Q. of 68 but that's deceptive, I've also got 16 GOOD qualifications including an H.N.D. equivalent. But people discount those and concentrate on the fact my I.Q. puts me in the learning disability range.  So I've never been given a chance to use my qualifications in real life because able-bodied idiots have always focused on the I.Q. which always comes out far worse on paper than when doing stuff I'm trained in. (I'm not good at jigsaw puzzles/What Shape Comes Next/What Pattern Comes Next, they're what kill me.  As they seem to be what I.Q. tests are  made of, of course I always do badly in them!)

    Do you need to put your IQ on application forms? Ive never been asked what my IQ is, qualifications and experience are what is important in gaining employment.

    The MAIN thing is, though - I don't want to do anything that'll leave me financially worse off even though, if I get a mythical job, I'd then be far better off.  As far as all the above goes, I've got a ton of examples of things that have happened to me to which have created each of the questions. Please, could someone answer them or tell me where to go to find the answers (hopefully giving me links, if they're thinking of saying 'Go to Website X and look around, I'll never find the relevant page, trust me on that!) 

    The entitled to website has a better off calculator that provides information on whether there is financial benefit of moving into work. You can find this here.


    We have some great support services in Scope, you can call the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333.

    We also have employment advisors on the community who you can ask questions, or you can call the Support To Work team on 0300 222 5742 or email them on [email protected]

    Support to Work offers advice to disabled people applying for jobs. This employment support can be online, by telephone, Skype or text. It’s open to disabled people who:

    • are working age
    • are looking for paid work
    • have access to a telephone, email and the internet
    • and live in England or Wales

    Your own employment advisor

    Our experienced advisors can support you with:

    • employability skills
    • CV guidance
    • interview techniques

    I hope this helps you out, please do let me know if there is anything else I can do to help.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @ulrichburke

    I have spoken to my colleagues and we are unaware of any Scope charity shop that would charge you for volunteering and so this is concerning. Can you let me know a little more information so we can look into this?

    You can email us on [email protected] - many thanks
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
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