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I don't think I can return to work and basically just don't know what to do

ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited June 2019 in Employment and careers

Hey I'm chez I feel a little out of my depth here and not even sure I'm in right place but here goes Today I have been  diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my knee and back I have also been referred to a rheumatologist as have blood result that show inflammation. The first doctor I saw thought it was lupus but one I saw today said he doesn't think so nor does he think rheumatoid arthritis but I have some sort of other disease. I haven't been tk work since March and didn't earn enough for sick pay so got changed to universal credit and lost my tax credits and a lot of money it took them ages to pay anything and it was a lot less than I got when working and claiming tax credits. I still have my job am on long term sick but with the pain I don't think I can return to work and basically just don't know what to do

Replies

  • Ami2301Ami2301 Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,736 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Chezg welcome to the community! Sorry to hear this, it is overwhelming when you have just been diagnosed so please do not hesitate to talk to us about how you are feeling. What sort of job do you have?
    Disability Gamechanger - 2019
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I work in an after school club with children before that a nursery with children so as u can imagine a lot of walking and bending which I struggle with I'm a single parent with three children so only worked part time and in term time hence why I didn't earn enough to get paid sick pay from my company atm I can't see any way I would be able to return to that job. Its taken ages just to get to this point I'd been telling the doctors for years something was wrong at the moment I feel over whelmed today doctor said my back will only get worse over time and my knee needs replacing but as I'm 42 he says they won't do it. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Chezg and a very warm welcome to the community. I can imagine this is extremely daunting and overwhelming having received a diagnosis and having the uncertainty regarding your job. Have you spoken to your employer about reasonable adjustments or a phased back to work? 
    Scope

  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Have you talked about reasonable adjustments? I work part time as a childcare provider and I use my phone whenever I have to calculate something. My former boss suggested I write down numbers on paper and ask for help whenever I need to. 
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    No as I'm still being signed off sick by my doctor for now and certainly until I get a further diagnosis. Universal credit have sent me an appointment for a disability assessment I didn't apply for one they sent me a form to say why I wasn't at work I sent it back now have an appointment next week. 
    April2018 surely u can't use ur phone in a childcare setting? For your protection and the children's protection.
    Also my employer is er not exactly Forth right in helping but due to nature of my job ie a lot of walking bending ect I'm not sure if or when I will be able to return as it stands atm I need atleast a hour if I hoover my living room to recover due to pain so I have no idea what the furutre holds in job respect 
  • Antonia_AlumniAntonia_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 1,781 Pioneering
    Hi @Chezg , please keep us updated after your assessment and I hope you get a diagnosis soon. 
    How are you doing today?
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hey @Antonia_Scope
    I'm doing OK thank you I will let u know what happens with assessment I'm not sure how it all works as like I said I never requested a form but they sent it to me. Is there anything specific I should take I have my test results ect on my phone from my online doctor site but haven't anything written from doctor or anything. I've read a few things on here that makes me nervous about going as ppls experiences have not seemed very positive. But I shall be letting you know what happens x 
  • Nic123Nic123 Member Posts: 8 Connected
    Good luck. I hope it goes ok. I can really appreciate the physical aspects of that job seeming too much. There might be some scope for something less physical at some point x
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    If you're sending in fit/sick notes for your UC claim then your work coach will refer you for a work capability assessment. You should have received a work capability assessment form to fill in and return with all your evidence. As you've now been sent an appointment for the work capability assessment then i'll assume you returned that form.

    The assessment is to assess you're ability to do any type of work and you'll be asked questions about how your conditions affect you. There's criteria to meet for limited capability for work and you'll need evidence to support your claim. This evidence should state how your conditions affect you, rather than just stating a diagnosis. Future appointment letters are not classed as evidence. Test results on your phone won't help as the evidence should be in paper form so that you can hand it in during the assessment, providing they accept it on the day because some won't.

    Once the assessment is complete they will write a report and send it to DWP with recommendations in it. Those recommendations will either be limited capability for work (LCW) limited capability for work related activity (LCWRA) or fit for work. If you're given LCWRA then you'll receive an extra £336 per month in your UC starting from the 4th month of your claim from when you sent in your first fit note.

    Some links here about the criteria for LCW and LCWRA.

    Substantial risk explained here. https://wcainfo.net/issues/substantial-risk-lcwra

    This link here is about the ESA assessment but it's exactly the same, with the same criteria because they are both work capability assessments.

    Once you've had the assessment and your report has been returned to DWP a decision maker will make a decision based on the recommendations in the report. They usually go with the report, it's rare to go against it. Wait a week and ring DWP to request a copy of that report to be sent to you, this will give you some idea what the decision is likely to be. Good luck.



    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you @poppy123456 I get it now. I'll try and print off my xray results to take with me I just got an appointment today for rheumatologist but its not until 12th Sept doctors won't up my pain medication as had a reaction to some tablets last year so am in constant pain. Its all a very scary and stressful process and having to prove in a fourty min interview with a stranger that even showering requires atkeast 20 mins or more rest after is unsettling. But we will c what happens thank you for helping me to understand what us going on x 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Chezg - really good luck with the assessment. Poppy has explained it all brilliantly. 

    If you need further advice after you get the result of the assessment, there are lots of people on here who can help.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    not trying to put you off, as tbh for everyone who has a bad one, there's plenty who fly through them with flying colors, so first, i'll add my points and reasons for them to you, from a person from the same side as you and has gone through 5 now,

    get it recorded and don't do anything without a recording, as not saying people lie, just there words in a written report, aren't maybe the same as you have said them from out of your own mouth, that's first piece of my advice,

    second, get a complete set of hospital notes, scans, MRI results and have a copy sent to the place who's doing the assessment plenty of time in advance, take in person or use recorded del and always make a back up of anything sent you, and filled in by yourself, no matter the cost, having it will avoid any issues if they arise in the future and will i;m sure pay for themselves many times over.

    never reply to any verbal question without thinking first and seeing what you first placed on the paper work you sent them.

    only reply when your ready and don't be surprised to be asked loaded questions in a nice manner just to fool you, it happens, how did you get here today etc?

    do you cook and enjoy making meals?

    you say you have issues walking?

    so don't tell then you enjoy dog walking, riding a bike, shopping, swimming or anything which will counter what you said about being unable to do something, and don't be surprised if you say you can't do something, then they found out from twitter, facebook or anywhere else you can, it happens.

    the same NHS doctors and nurse say one thing in hospital, then once working for the DWP on a WCA tell a totally different story some times, again in happens, worse case, you prove it with notes, they don't read it, and go on how you are on the day, and there views and opinions on how you look and feel and act.

    those who have a better acting ability score well here, those who don't some times fail, even with a massive amount of paper work saying other wise, then again it happens, in the end, you aren't to tell them lies, but being honest also doesn't go down well or in your favor.

    you have to tell them how you are on a worst day, then they make there mind up on how you look on the day your assessed and with what you have written on the form and form there own opinion, hopefully it all goes well, if it doesn't, your also not alone, then everyone will shout up and give you advice on what to do next, more hoops to jump through, so good luck
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,540 Disability Gamechanger
    zakblood said:
    those who have a better acting ability score well here, those who don't some times fail, even with a massive amount of paper work saying other wise, then again it happens, in the end, you aren't to tell them lies, but being honest also doesn't go down well or in your favor.

    you have to tell them how you are on a worst day, then they make there mind up on how you look on the day your assessed and with what you have written on the form and form there own opinion, hopefully it all goes well, if it doesn't, your also not alone, then everyone will shout up and give you advice on what to do next, more hoops to jump through, so good luck
    I think many people on here would take exception to the first comment. Fraud levels espoused by DWP are demonstrably inaccurate and over-stated. No need for such an observation in this context at all.

    The second statement is one that is oft repeated but nevertheless remains wrong and actually dangerous advice. You absolutely must not present your worst day and infer you’re like that all the time. I’ve heard individuals and even advice services say it but legally it is wrong and potentially it is fraud. There have been, and I posted this here last year also, 2 fraud prosecutions on the basis of “worst day” and 1 of them succeeded. 

    Most people, if not all, have variable conditions and it is far better to present those variations accurately in all their glory as the key to disability benefits is whether or not you can do something reliably or safely.
  • MegKnightMegKnight Member Posts: 4 Connected
    Hi Chez. I'm not sure I can add much to what others have said, but I have been in a similar situation to yourself.
    Have you considered re training in some way? You have an interest in looking after children, so what about teaching assistant qualifications? It's most likely that a school will be more willing and more able to support any reasonable adjustments you require. The government may be able to assist you with any costs of re training and the provider will be able to provide reasonable adjustments to assist you in your course. 

    I'm currently in the process of retraining.
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hey @MegKnight
    Yes I defo have I just need to try and get to the bottom of what is going on the degenerative changes in my knee and back are labelled as servere ie to progressional for my age and atm the pain that it causes is limiting everything  but doctors won't prescribe anything higher than I'm on but yeah if they could sort pain even a bit that would b helpful. It's frustrating I've been telling doctors for years something is wrong but only now it's got to point where can hardly walk has anyone even looked into what is going on my blood results point to autoimmune disease but doc don't know which one hence going to see a rheumatologist but that isn't until Sept.. But now thinking could get my teaching assistant qualification or something else or at least start whilst I wait just been so focused on trying to find out what's going on its been whole consuming x thank you for advice 
  • MegKnightMegKnight Member Posts: 4 Connected
    @Chezg I totally understand this, a proper diagnosis and management plan is the first priority and this usually takes the longest time! Perhaps just start looking into college courses and distance learning courses. It's the end of the academic year soon so you may have to wait until September for a course start date. But at least it will give you something to plan for and look forward to.  
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Do be aware that students and UC don't go well together. Students loans and some bursaries are counted as income when calculating any UC payment. Even if you decide not to take a loan that's available to you, it's still counted as income.

    Before doing anything else i'd advise you to get some expert face to face advice.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    edited June 2019
    zakblood said:
    those who have a better acting ability score well here, those who don't some times fail, even with a massive amount of paper work saying other wise, then again it happens, in the end, you aren't to tell them lies, but being honest also doesn't go down well or in your favor.

    you have to tell them how you are on a worst day, then they make there mind up on how you look on the day your assessed and with what you have written on the form and form there own opinion, hopefully it all goes well, if it doesn't, your also not alone, then everyone will shout up and give you advice on what to do next, more hoops to jump through, so good luck
    I think many people on here would take exception to the first comment. Fraud levels espoused by DWP are demonstrably inaccurate and over-stated. No need for such an observation in this context at all.

    The second statement is one that is oft repeated but nevertheless remains wrong and actually dangerous advice. You absolutely must not present your worst day and infer you’re like that all the time. I’ve heard individuals and even advice services say it but legally it is wrong and potentially it is fraud. There have been, and I posted this here last year also, 2 fraud prosecutions on the basis of “worst day” and 1 of them succeeded. 

    Most people, if not all, have variable conditions and it is far better to present those variations accurately in all their glory as the key to disability benefits is whether or not you can do something reliably or safely.
    while i won't disagree with you, there's little point, as we both understand what variable conditions means, all they need to do now is train the assessor, which is the point of the post, the CAB wish me to have coaching lesson for my next assessment so they can teach me the correct way to lie in other words and pass first time, when i've been up front and honest, and to me, while i hold the moral high ground, i scored 0 for it in return, so see your point also, as many people in wheelchairs can walk, it's not long before i see where this is all going, on a good day i can walk 20 to 30 steps without a break, on a bad day i don't leave the house and move more than a few steps at a time, on a average day my back lets me bend so i'm almost upright, on a poor day i'm bent at the waist, my right arm and hand works fine, ive trapped a nerve and have a frozen shoulder making the left hand and arm most days hang limp, i have poor hearing and can't hear if too people are talking, or background noise, i sleep poorly with acute pain in my back with Spondyloarthropathy Spondylarthritis in my spine, Sciatica which is more painful than the back, so when i say i can do one day one thing and the other day i can't, that's it, so on any given day at any given assessment, i maybe able to open a door, talk to a nurse, and walk 5 meter's from the waiting room, but like i say on each and every time of my 5 now assessments, what im i to do on the other days? if sitting and standing and walking is a problem for me, do i fly? taking the med's won't allow me to drive or use machines, so what job would suit me? as the job coach at the job center says sorry your not fit enough to work, never mind what the WCA says and sends me home, so hopefully you see why i type as somewhat of a bit of a cynic most days as the left hand of the DWP doesn't know what the right hand of the DWP is doing, and i'm the square peg that doesn't sit in any of there round holes, and that's not from trying 


  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Part of the criteria for the mobilising descriptor is your ability to self propel a wheelchair so it's not just about not being able to walk. For those reading this, this link also applies to LCWRA which is same as Support Group for ESA.

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    was on incapacity for most of my 20 plus years, then put into a support group, around  4 to maybe 6 years ago, can't honestly remember, but thanks all the same, each day or so it feels like the goal posts keep moving further apart, which catches those on the edge which aren't really in any of the boxes most of the time, as never done Pip and never tbh wanted to go but had no choice onto ESA, but after they first put into a work group only to be sent back after a few hours there and his report on me, been in a support group ever since, until i was cured of my illness by a super woman of a nurse with something against people like me, none box fitters, but thanks for the link all the same
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    So yep get to dwp office.. To b told my appointment has been cancelled because they have got so behind.. Ggggrrrrr 
    Tbf lady at desk was very nice and apologetic even more so after my mom had to get me a chair because the pain of getting there was to much and I wasn't the only one they turned away today. So will b trying again on Wednesday got a morning appointment so hopefully that one should be OK. Do have to say a) they certainly do not make it easy for ppl to get into their offices u can't get dropped off right outside then the aera for waiting room is another fair walk not sure how far it is but I had to stop I don't know how many times and once in there my mom had to go to reception desk as I literally could not make it without a rest first
    B) I saw the stairs they have there and omg there is no way I'm getting Up them so fingers crossed they have down stair offices
    C) some of the people there getting their appointments cancelled where a hell of a lot worse off than me I just don't know how ppl cope with all of this 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    That must be so fustrating @Chezg! I hope the appointment on Wednesday goes well and please do let us know :)
    Scope

  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    edited June 2019
    So have been for appointment today. It took along time difficult to say how it went. Yes the lady doing my assessment seemed very nice softly spoken sympathetic even.. But after reading others ppls experiences not sure how much if any was genuine. What I can say is the interview defo started before we even got to room although she then discovered walking and talking and breathing was not a strong point of mine lol. Repetitive questions framed in slightly different way a lot I would say not that it matters when ur telling the truth because ur answers are always the same anyway but me being me and liking to know everything before I do anything, so I did a lot of research and read a lot of ppls experiences beforehand.. That's just the way I am I can cope with stuff so long as I know what's going on ect so I'm thinking on that point of view I was more aware by what other ppls experiences had been and then my own ie the fact she asked questions multiple times but in different manner. I have a lot of unexplained symptoms and things that could be put down to the tablets I take, b12 deficiency, being rather chunky, and or an autoimmune ( not yet diagnosed which one) disease as well as osteoarthritis in my knee and back and if I told her this once I must of said it about ten times every time now I go to doctor he says wait for specialist rheumatologist to determine which is which. Also digging into past history and because I have depression there was a lot of questions relating to that which somethings I've never said outloud to anyone before I found it very upsetting and almost felt a little humiliated that I'm saying stuff about myself and where I've found myself to b atm. I've always been hugely independent and having to say my mom has to come help me with housework and dinner ect plus all my symptoms ect a very over whelming experience. And yes I cried which made me cross at myself. All in all not a great day
    Time will tell what the assor made of it all. 
    Will update when get my report 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,997

    Scope community team

    Hello @Chezg, I'm sorry it was a difficult day today, but hopefully the outcome will end up being positive after all.
    Thanks for letting us know. :smile:
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Chezg, thank you for coming and updating us on this. I'm really sorry it was a tough assessment. I hope you're able to have some time this evening to do something positive.
    Like @Adrian_Scope said, I really hope it's a positive outcome.
    Scope

  • zakbloodzakblood Member Posts: 419 Pioneering
    good luck and hope it's also a positive outcome
  • ChezgChezg Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you everyone. I'm glad my mom came with me  and am now having a pj evening with the kids this group has been amazing from words of support and advice just knowing ur not alone and going mad all by ur self is such a positive thing x 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Morning @Chezg, I'm so glad you managed to have a relaxing evening after the assessment. You most certainly are not alone, I'm so glad we were able to help :)
    Scope

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