Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Long term sick

Hi I am looking to find out some information/advice . I have been off work since November due to constant headaches after seeing a Neurologist I have been diagnosed with cerebrovascular disease along with memory impairment just to polish it off I have severe depression with anxiety. I had below knee amputation several years ago and dealing with chronic pain now I have osteoarthritis on both hips.my job is a sales advisor in a call centre for sky I would love to return but with my mental illness and memory impairment along with the pain  the stress of targets and pace of that specific role would make me worse there are no other roles that they could give me is there anything i can do my family are constantly at me to do something I really don't know what to do. 


  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @wattycz1,

    Sorry to learn that you've been struggling so much with your health and that you haven't been able to work as a result. I can completely understand why it is you don't know what to do. It's a stressful time when you're trying to recover and trying to work out a plan of action that ensures the bills are paid and financial commitments are met. 

    See our Work pages for more information about what your employer can do to support you.

    As things stand with your employer, what reasonable adjustments have they made so far?

    Have you had an Access to Work Assessment?

    Are you involved with Occupational Health either through your employer or the government's Fit to Work Scheme?

    Are you aware of your employer's policy on sickness? If not, have a look so that you know what to expect and what their procedures and processes are for managing long-term sickness. ACAS has good information about Employment rights so it's worth spending some time looking at their website or calling them if you're able to.

    Let me know a bit more about what's happening to help you return to work and we can work through it all step-by-step. What are your GP and other medical professionals who are supporting you advising?

    Are you claiming DLA or PIP?

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon and sorry for all of the questions. if you don't feel comfortable answering in a public forum, just inbox me and we can go from there.

    Best wishes
  • wattycz1wattycz1 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Thanks for your reply i will go through each point there are some areas which i was unaware of 
    Access to work assessment is the first thing i have not had i am not involved with Occ Healththrough my work or government fit to work scheme. My GP sent me for counselling which in all honesty did not help and still waiting for a follow up appointment with neurologist they are not advising anything at all and i feel that i am not being listened to and i am just a number i am getting standard daily living appealed this due to my mobility but lost so i have done another claim which is change in circumstances as my condition has got worse 4 months ago i feel like i am not getting support and i am really struggling each day i can only do what i can to quote mindfulness I don't have control over my illness 
    Thanks again 
  • dogfatherdogfather Member Posts: 61 Connected
    Hi wsttycz1 here goes. 
    1 I.  Sorry you are suffering with all these issues. 
    2 . Why have occupational health not been involved re getting you fit for a return to work? Your line ne manager/ sky management should sort this. 
    3. What reasonable adjustments has your employer offered you so you can return to work? If nothing you need to quote the equality act 2010 and ask why not.  A company like sky sholilc have other opportunities you can fill which takes the stress of your current role. I am not 100% certain but think if they find you an alternative job your money can't drop. 
    3. Are you on a pension scheme, if so what are
    there terms for ill health retirement? Have you asked your manager. Is it possible you may be eligible? 
    4. As you have been of sick since last November and your SSP has run out have you applied for ESA contribution based? If not why? 
    5. Are you a union member? Have you discussed your situation with the union? 
    If you can answer these questions I may be able to offer a bit more advice
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Member Posts: 947 Pioneering
    Hi @wattycz1,

    It sounds like there's lots to look into and lots of things that can be tried to support you back into work. If you need further help with this, please do let me know.

    Are you keeping in touch with your line manager while you've been off? At your next contact it would be worth mentioning to them about the points that have been raised here and what support is available through the company. If your line manager doesn't know, your HR department will.

    Please let us know how you get on and if there's anything else we can do to support you.

    Best wishes
  • wattycz1wattycz1 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    edited September 2017

    There was talk of Occupational health around Feb time 
    No offer of any other roles etc  since approximately May
    I have not had any contact form my employer 
    Regarding pension I can check this myself 
    I am currently getting ESA waiting for assessment phase 
    Unfortunately at sky no union 
    Sorry for not a lot of information but I get very frustrated and spells of confusion 
    Thanks again 

  • dogfatherdogfather Member Posts: 61 Connected
    Wattycz1 my suggestion to you is 
    1 contact your line manager arrange a meeting at a place convent to you. Take a friend / work colleague to the meeting you can record it or tKe notes. 
    2. At the meeting as why OH have not been involved in your case. 
    3. State you have always been willing to return to work if reasonable adjustments can take place so you can return to work. ( You need OH involvement to write the report)  they may even suggest sky send you at their cost to see other specialists to see what your long term prognosis is? If they say there is nothing they can do they will have to justify why this can't happen.  You could also ask what are they chances for ill health retirement if there are no adjustments they can make. After all this will be a business decision. You need to check how go the ill health retirement pack safe is to see if you can live on the income.?

    You need the reply to your reasonable adjustments request in writing, just in case it goes further. 

    The issue with your knee / hip pain I think will be covered by the equality act 2010. Your current on going health issue have to last at least a year before they are covered by the act. I think the OH letter to the business (Sky) will tell them if your conditions are covered. 

    I would also contact your local CAB for further advice. 

    If if you can find a solicitor who works on a no win no fee basis this will be useful. 

    I am not an expert if you have any questions ask, I see if I can find an answer. 
    I hope this info helps. 
  • wattycz1wattycz1 Member Posts: 31 Connected
    Thanks @dogfather
    I  appreciate your advice i will sit down with my family and look at all information. 
  • dogfatherdogfather Member Posts: 61 Connected
    You definately need some help. CAB ACAS I think your employer Sky need to help you. If this goes to court for reasonable adjustments it can cost them a lot in reputation & potentially payment to you.
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