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Finding a job with chronic pain - contacting companies

Marie88 Community member Posts: 114 Courageous
edited May 2021 in Work and employment
I suffer from chronic pain that is made worse by physical work and I am struggling to find a job. I have tried working in various part-time retail and cleaning jobs but had to leave them due to the pain they caused. I am going to apply for employment advice through Scope but was just wanting a bit of advice from members.

I am considering emailing companies such as supermarkets and asking if they would offer employment in a less physical role, such as checkout work. Has anyone else done this and what was the outcome?

I don't really feel comfortable disclosing my health issue. It is also invisible and I have experienced people in the workplace not taking me seriously in the past. Perhaps I could say in the email that I experience chronic pain and am looking for a less physical job and wondering if they would consider employing me, even on a trial basis?

I'm having difficulty finding contact email addresses for the larger companies so not exactly sure how to contact my local stores, unless I phone them. They make it so hard for people to get in touch, it's very frustrating!


  • Ross_Alumni
    Ross_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @Marie88

    Good to hear you are going to apply for one of Scope's employment services. Is it Support to Work that you are considering? If so, the team are lovely and I'm sure they'll be able to help you. 

    There's never any harm in sending off an enquiry by email, and you never know what could happen off the back of that, but in my experience you normally just get directed to the company's online job board to view any positions on offer. 

    If you did see a job that you wanted to do and felt as though you could do, reasonable adjustments might be a way of overcoming any potential barriers. Through the Access to Work scheme, you could be entitled to various kinds of support to aid you in carrying out your role.

    I think it's important to be honest with any prospective employer about what you might need to help you do your job, and working collaboratively with them to ensure that you have full support in your role is a good way to show initiative.
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  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    Having spent 30 years in retail it is usually the case that employees are multi skilled and cover a range of duties and retail work is quite physical so maybe you are looking in the wrong sector

    Large companies have recruitment processes in place which normally start with online applications they will have a website showing vacancies and you apply through there. Recruitment can sometimes be outsourced and not dealt with by the company until after application 

    You should look into the work programme offered by scope 
  • pammy1969
    pammy1969 Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hello Marie88, I too have chronic Pain , as in Fibromyalgia, and also sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
    I have  worked for the Co op for a year and five months now.i have had access to work in plus head office in to try and do assessment for my needs, and I am not even aloud a stool to sit on, I work16 hours on earlies I  claim pip for both daily and mobility.
    But recently had a Assessment done as part of universal credit, and have now been awarded limited work component in the support group,.
    So now I am not sure now if I should be still working or not, To give up my work.
    I did tell in my interview that I had mobility issues,but doesn't make any difference ,I feel more discriminate d as they work on the Bradford factor for sickness so this is going against me if I am off due to any sick days.
    I did get offered checkouts at a different store, but would have been much longer hours and too long sitting down. I don't feel supported .
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @pammy1969

    If you are on universal credit and have been found eligible for limited capability for work (LCW) then you will have a work allowance.  This is the amount you can earn each month before your UC is affected.  This government webpage advises:
    You will be eligible for a work allowance if you (and/or your partner) either have:
    • responsibility for a child
    • limited capability for work
    The monthly work allowances are set at:
    £293If your Universal Credit includes housing support
    £515If you do not receive housing support
    If you have earnings but you (or your partner) are not responsible for a child or do not have limited capability for work you will not be eligible for a work allowance.
    If you go over your monthly work allowance, then your UC payments will be reduced by 63p for every £1 you earn over the allowance threshold.  This is called the UC earnings taper.  I hope that helps :)

    @Marie88 Did the replies received help?  Here's a link to Scope's free Support to Work service mentioned.  Please do give it a little look!
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