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Thread: Unsure what to do next, caught in a series of unfortunate events.

  1. #1
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    Unsure what to do next, caught in a series of unfortunate events.

    Hi,

    I was receiving ESA for quite some time. Unfortunately due to differing circumstances I failed to attend a medical three times. This automatically closes my claim and renderers me fit for work. The Jobcenter and my doctor have the opposite view on that but rules are rules I guess.

    I have started an appeal, with the help from the local CAB office. The tribunal service has sent me a letter to state that they have received my appeal.

    I'm not going too far into it but I suffer from anxiety, PTSD and depression (and some talk of a schizoid personality disorder) with a chronic back problem. I am on the waiting list for cognitive therapy.

    That was before the start of last week. Last week I've been in a car crash, nothing too serious but it has made my back pain even worse and I'm back on Naproxen, Tramadol and Valium. The whole ordeal has made mental issues worse with the car being a write off and insurance. I was just about holding it together with the appeal in front of me, but now the crash has really affected me badly. It's like all the Progress I have done over the years is suddenly gone and my life is unfolding.

    I'm not posting this for sympathy, just what are my options from this point? If I had a medical I would fail being fit for work before the crash but now even more so.

    I don't know what the rules are, my doctor says she'll sign me off. But I don't know if there is any point. Am I stuck in a loop hole, is there a way around this? I can't see how I am able to work, these painkillers are strong and makes me high as a kite along with all the other issues.

    Any advice would be great.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your issue and welcme to the forum you are among friends here.

    With you having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I'm guessing that you've been discharged and found yourself on civvy street.

    In the forces you were perhaps not expected to make decisions but were used to taking orders. With that said you will have 'transferable' skills and knowledge you can bring to jobs in civvy street.

    I saw a programme only last week about how hard it is for people with PTSD to 'fit in' after being discharged from the forces. You've probably gone from having loads of support to having none!

    From a job seeking point of view the most important piece of 'kit' you need is a sound CV that helps sell the benefits that your experience gives to a new employer.

    The thought of trying to 'fit in' with civvy street workers must be difficult as they have no idea what you've seen or been through that causes you to have panic attacks and feel anxious.

    I think it would do you a lot of good if you were to try and attend a medical assessment - see if you can take a friend, someone who knows what you've been through.

    Have you thought about the sort of job that would suit you best. Would it be working outdoors I wonder.

    It might be good to make contact with organisations who understand the issues you face and can offer support whether job wise or help at medical assessments. http://www.supporttheheroes.org.uk/charity-objects.php

    Good luck and I'm sure other members will offer support.

  3. #3
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    Hi Lighttouch,

    I don't really want to go into it, my PTSD stems from childhood abuse. Apparently it's a key issue because I didn't develop correctly or something like that. Just developed sociopathic like defence mechanisms and personality disorders to deal with it. I'm not a sociopath, just an empath thats feels too much gets anxious over silly things, leads to depression and I shut down to survive if that's the right wording. A problem is that I don't want to be singled out or labelled.

    I'm sure many other people feel the same way but I find it hard to admit I'm not as strong as I could be, if someone asks me if I'm working I say yes out of shame. I was working under supported permitted work with Workways but it's hard to find an employer that will deal with all that, if I take my meds I am literally (excuse my language) F**ked, especially when I mix Tramadol and Valium and I'm unable to do supported work as I'm on JSA I think.
    Last edited by mousemart; 12-17-2015 at 02:00 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lighttouch's Avatar
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    Sorry for jumping to conclusions. I can tell that you are an articulate person and in the right setting you are able to express yourself openly.

    The biggest thing you face is being you and facing your PTSD.

    There's no shame in being upfront with what's happened but you could use this experience positively.

    You are the professional when it comes to your mental impairment. You could help other people in a similar situation by talking and sharing experiences.

    Something you need to think about is the social model of disability. This will empower you and hopefully make you see that even when you have invisible disabilities you might be discriminated against as other disabled people.

    To move forward you must see yourself as a disabled person within the context of the social model of disability not the medical model of disability.

    You have lots to offer - the first thing is to self define yourself as disabled without going into detail.

    Also find out if there are any user led disability groups in your area who raise disability issues.

  5. #5
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    You don't say whether you have put in a new claim for ESA because of your worsening condition? Have you?

    When you do not attend a WCA your ESA automatically stops. If you have 'good reason' for not attending then you would be able to have your ESA reinstated and then wait for another WCA date.

    It seems that you are in the process of appealing the decision and during this time you won't get paid.

    Are you claiming JSA? If you are finding this difficult then you have the following options:

    (Go back to CAB and ask for their help with this)

    Continue on JSA and present them with a fit note and 'go sick'. You can do this for up to 13 weeks.
    If your doctor will support a worsening condition then make a new application for ESA. Do not come off JSA until your ESa application is accepted as a worsening condition.

    I know this does not answer your query about job seeking but these kind of appeals can take months and I wanted you to know that you do have options. Some times just knowing that you have options gives you some breathing space and reduces your anxiety.

    This is a tricky area but if CAB are doing your appeal they should have the knowledge to help with these options.

  6. #6
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    Sorry I've not been in touch sooner,

    With the run up to the appeal I cut myself off from everything, I've now had the appeal and it was ruled in my favour. I was struck off of esa because I failed to attend a meeting, the court had to record of the letter the benefits agency sent (which was my reason for failing to attend)

    They put me through a year of.. well it wasn't very nice. All because they messed up their end.

    All sorted now though, new medication from the doctor and i can look ahead to other things.

    thanks

  7. #7
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    Excellent news for you ! This will lessen your anxiety and you can start to reclaim some balance in your life. Way to go ��

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