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Going Self Employed. What help can I get as a disabled person?

Soppos
Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited November 23 in Benefits and financial support
Hi guys, I wonder if anyone has any ideas or information for me please. I am planning on going self employed as my job has become a bit more challenging for me. I only just found out about access to work and my employer is a bit reluctant to go down that route. If I go self employed, what sort of help can I get as disabled person. I currently received the higher rate PIP. Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • woodbine
    woodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 5,668 Disability Gamechanger
    hi @Soppos and welcome to scope, in what way is your employer reluctant re:access to work ?
    Some info from gov.uk in this link;

    https://www.gov.uk/working-for-yourself
    I am a person with epilepsy not an epileptic, my illness doesn't define me.
  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi @woodbine , thank you. I have requested to have an accessment by atw people but employer is saying I need to tell them what I need before they can discuss atw. The problem is, I work in different locations, and they are all different. I have told them it will make things easier if an assessor comes to my work place and we determing the struggles and kind of support I need. It has been a very stressful process so I have contacted a disability charity who is trying to get my employer to allow me have an assessment. It's all been very stressful and I am thinking of just letting go
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,464

    Scope community team

    Hello @Soppos

    Welcome to the community, how are you today? 

    Have you had any kind of discussion with your employer about what you might need? It might be a case of them wanting to have those conversations so that they can see if they can provide the changes themselves as reasonable adjustments, which is often the first consideration before Access to Work comes into the picture. 

    Regarding what you could get from ATW, well, there's a lot of things you can get help with, such as travel arrangements, specialist equipment / software and advice around working hours and the set up of your workplace.
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  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    @Ross_Scope , thanks for your reply. I have mentioned a few to them but they did frown on them. They said I have been doing the job since and didn't have a problem, well I had been struggling from onset but never realised there was anything like access to work. I have support all through my university but never realised I could get support at work. I had always wanted to work even with my stroke symptoms and problems with my genetic condition. It's just come to a time where if I can't get these adjustments I might as well go self employed.

    While I had been shielding for the past year, I set up a charity which so far has been doing really well and have had some funding. It is just the worry of loosing my main stream of income that troubles me. If my employer can make adjustments I will really love that. I've almost lost my life twice and most recently due to covid, its made me really think hard about the precious things in life to be greatful for. I am at the point of letting go.

    I have also been told I can get support from my local council with personal budget etc. I am waiting for an assessment for them to determine what sort of support I can get. I am really stressed and fed up but hopeful in some way. I am trying so hard to stay positive but mentally, I am not in a good place
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,464

    Scope community team

    @Soppos

    Their lack of understanding seems quite surprising, people can often do a job for a while without having adjustments, either because they have tried to hide their condition or get on without help, or because a condition can worsen. 

    It might be worth reading up on Access to Work and making sure your employer knows how beneficial it would be for you, and ultimately it might help them become more inclusive as an employer.

    I can understand that it can be hard to stay positive at a time like this and I can see why it has impacted your mental health. Is that something you receive support with at all?
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  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Most of my life I have tried to just get on with my job regardless. I have been prejudiced or discriminated upon due to my medical condition but I really loved this job and didn't want to disclose my medical condition as it was not neccessary as part of the recruitment. I have been with them for over three years and it's been on/off due to ill health. Management does know about my conditon now as I provided sick notes over the course of the years and most recently shielding letters from the government. I am at a point where I really can't go on like that anymore.

    I have only spoken to the charity that is supporting me about how I am feeling. They've suggested I let the GP know which I haven't just yet. Last thing I want is to be put on more medications. I already have too many as it is. But I think I do need help.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 6,660

    Scope community team

    Hi @Soppos :) Welcome to the community. I'm also sorry to hear of the problems you've been facing at work, and with your health.

    It does sound as though you could do with some additional support. It's great that you've already spoken to the charity who are supporting you, and they're right in suggesting that speaking to your GP can be an important first step. Medication doesn't suit everyone, so if you share with them your concerns about this they should be able to talk you through your other options. If you live in England, you could also look at referring yourself for talking therapy through the IAPT scheme.

    If you do decide that self-employment is for you, then you might like to check out Scope's page on trying self-employment. It has plenty of useful information, advice, and links.
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  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    So sorry for late reply. I've had a really rough few days, then took ill. I am much better now. I have also spoken who has mentioned IAPT and I think I will love that. I have been referred and hopefully I will hear back soon as GP put it as urgent. My advocate ie the charity that is assisting me have managed to get my employer to agree to an access to work accessment. My employer was only happy to offer reduced hours and said unfortunately that's all they can do but I am glad I had an advocate who made the case on my behalf. The stroke left my left side not as mobile but I had been managing with it until I couldn't anymore but I am still able to do my job with some adjustments.

    I think I am really looking forward to speaking with this therapy as my state of mind has not been right, I got really concerned and almost did something I knew I will regret or maybe not even had the chance to regret. I have a beautiful family with two young kids...I just have to keep going because I love them to bits but I had been dying slowly inside. I think at some point I will be going self employed but in the mean time, reduced hours will do me some good.

    Thank you all for your very kind words and suggestions. I am so glad I reached out to a charity. If it wasn't for them I don't know.
  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi, just giving a feedback on this. Thanks a lot for all your advice and recommendations. So, my employer finally agreed for me to have an ATW assessment, report came in with some adjustments that needs to be put in place including awareness training. Employer is blatantly refusing to do awareness traing saying the company already has a diversity awareness training for all colleagues. They are not willing to comply with the other recommendations which is really sad. I am still going back and forth and hoping we can get somewhere.

    All this while I am not being paid which is causing me a lot of stress. Fingers crossed we get somewhere with this.

    I have also been approved for Direct Payments from my local adult social care service so this is being put in place for me.
  • Ross_Scope
    Ross_Scope Posts: 5,464

    Scope community team

    Thanks for the update @Soppos

    It seems like a bit of two steps forward and one step back, it's positive to hear that they agreed to the ATW assessment and that you have been approved for direct payments, however it's a shame that your employer isn't willing to comply with all of ATW's recommendations.
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  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    @Ross_Scope , I know. I am at the point where I am thinking of quitting if employer not willing to make adjustments. I can't see myself working under duress with my condition when I know there are adjustments that can be put in place. If I had known about ATW before, I sure would've raised this up long time ago. They are not even willing to reduce my hours. Thankfully I have a charity supporting me with this.
  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Good evening everyone. Just updating you on my situation. So my employer has made some adjustments by reducing my working days to tow days a week as per my request . The other adjustments they are not willing to do so I will just carry on and see. My question is, am I able to work part time and be self employed? If so, can I apply for access to work as part time self employed? is there such thing? Thank you all in advance.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 267

    Scope community team

    Hi @Soppos, please accept our apologies for missing your last query! 

    Can I clarify that you're asking if it's possible to work as self employed on a part-time basis? My answer would be yes.

    I can't see why you would not be able to apply for Access to Work if you're working on that basis. I know somebody who works on a freelance basis, and gets this support.

    If you haven't already take a look at Scope's Support to Work, they can support you with the application. 

    What's your situation now? Keep us updated if you can :)

    Alex
    Online Community Coordinator
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  • Soppos
    Soppos Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi ALex, thank you for your reply, Yes that's correct. I am in a difficult point really, my employer has not been willing to let me go part time or make any adjustments so I will have to give my quit notice and figure out what to do

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