Struggling today

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I haven't been on here for a while though i have been reading other people problems , etc - keeping in with what has been going on , i have been trying to cope with each day , not been easy as a few months ago my GP gave me Mirtazapine as i was struggling to get through the nights so those you iake at night - they 7 times out 8 once asleep are great BUT daytime i am struggling to get through , i get irritable , on edge but though i told my GP he just put up my night time dosage , even so as i got through most nights i just coped with the days ( live on my own so just get irritable with myself ) i have been hanging on because i have been fighting to get some one to listen to me regarding the ESA , benefit system and my forthcoming medical assessment by ATOS - have been waiting nearly 10 months to hear from them and i dread more and more so i wrote to my local MP expressing my concern about the fact that my GP has made it clear that i am unfit for work and submits sick notes saying that ( have arthritis in both knees as well as severe depression ) , well today i got a reply from him basically saying that i was wasting his time , the assessments are there for a reason so deal with it , he is a conservative and i helped to get him in the last general election , if i didn't vote it wouldn't bother him - that is what i got the impression of by reading between the lines , i understood that local MP's were there to listen to their constitutes , i feel now that life is not worth carrying on , i cannot be push into a job which i will be as they blackmail you into going for jobs even if they are not suitable otherwise you loose your benefit , i have always said that if a job came my way that i could do then i would happily apply for it , i cannot cope any more .

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16 Replies

  • Posted

    H Maria, Your MP can't do anything about individual ESA or assessments and it does sound as though your worrying about something that hasn't happened yet.  10 months does seem a long time to wait to be assessed, have you been to your local CAB?  I'm sure they could advise how to speed this up instead of living in limbo. Also are they up to date with benefits etc or are they holding benefits back awaiting the assessment ? if it's the latter, then 10 months is utterly ridiculous!  Try not to worry about the what ifs, and remember you will just deal with it once it happens, which you will.  Your GP sounds supportive so try not to worry.  In know that's easier said than done, but honestly you've enough to cope with at the moment without worrying about something that hasn't happened yet.  You may be pleasantly surprised at how supportive ATOS are and no one can force you into a job that may make your condition worse. But if your benefits are being messed around then certainly get to the CAB. And ask for advice xxx
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    • Posted

      It is okay - i know my MP cannot do anything directly but i know of a few people who have disabilites and are in the same position to myself but are being treated like dirt when it comes to be assessed first of all by the job centre , being told that we are fit enough to look for work , when i did my 2 year work programme ( just finished it , now awaiting to see what the next programme i shall be sent to ) i was bullied badly by an advisor who questioned my every move and my depression went downhill in a serious manner ( tried overdosing , etc ) luckily another advisor saw how bad i was - dreading going and she had a word with my own advisor and he explained to me that the other advisor wasn't anything to do with me ( the one who was bullying me - she picked on others as well ) and there after he had my back and she was taken off that day anyway - staff changes , i have already been through a ATOS medical ( 2012 ) failed it and the appeal as i could use my hands , arms , apparently there is a back log of assessments and it is not until next year when it changes hand , i just wanted the local MP to understand the position , have a chat , etc - express oncerns on the way everything is being done , Thank you for yourr kind feedback xxx

       

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    • Posted

      I totally understand where you are coming from Maria. The stress of the ATOS assessment and the blatant lies they told in my case...forcing me to eventually have to go to the job centre,even though I knew I wasn't mentally ready to go back to work...Well they wouldn't listen. And the more knowledge you have about your condition,the worse it is for you. Pall the stress from them,sending me on course after course,job interviews,stopping money just because you applied for 50 jobs but missed one that they had suggested.

      It resulted in my present state which is a hundred times worse than I have ever felt in my whole life. 

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    • Posted

      Well said Gillian - why they cannot take in account our GP account as well i do not know , my GP is not stupid but they seem to thonk that all GP's are purposely giving out sick notes just for the fun of it , I am happy to be on ESA - i can deal with that nut of course the government don't want you on that - they want you to be on JSA so there is less people on the sick , but it back fires on us when the employers ignore our job application's because we have had to make it clear that we have something wrong - in my case i just normally put arthitis in both knees so cannot stand for too long , i don't put down severe depression but if i have too then i will , i live in a seaside town so hotel work is the main option - i am trained for that but cannot do it as i cannot stand for long or climb stairs so that leaves the supermarkets and they just ignore my applications , i do not like being black mailed and long gone are the days when you could go down to your local job centre and have a chat with someone about your worries , now it is all chatting on the phone and i can't do that , thinking of you , take care x
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  • Posted

    I was in your situation several years ago. I had an accident at work through no fault of my own, and broke my collar bone. I ended up having to have an operation and had over a year off work. I applied for incapacity benefit which took ages. I had to have a medical assessment and based on that my application was rejected. I had to go for interviews for jobs I hated and for jobs which evolved lifting and carrying which I couldn't do. I appealed and was then told I wasn't entitled to it. I spent so much time worrying about the medical, that I was a nervous wreck and my GP said I wasn't fit for any work. I ended up doing a dead end job and hated it. I know how frustrating it is having to wait. All the red tape involved, lack of information etc and even more annoying being given differing advice and info by different staff is enough to drive the sanest person round the bend. Hope you can get it sorted.
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    • Posted

      I agree , it would have helped if these people doing these assessment had some understanding , our GP's have made it clear that we are unfit for work and they should take thatas part of the assessment , it is all know to getting people off the sick and that is all my local MP is bothered about , when ihave been really low in the pass and i was working my colleagues would accuse me of sulking - how i am supposed to get it across strangers now if i got a job and i was struggling to be cheerful , you should had had your appeal go your way , that was wrong and totally unfair , when i had my appeal , the board said that i would had won before all those changes but because i could use my hands then i would be failing it - i can see this government failing to win the next election as so many people and they families are having difficulties and basically none of the other parties are caring enough either , a dreadful shame that those genuine are being targetted , you take care and thank you for your reply - really appreciate it x
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    • Posted

      That's what gets to me. They run through questions that are made to trick you. 

      Are you able to use a washing machine? Well of course it's a yes/no answer. So even if you say,well yes I can use a washing machine,I'm mentally ill,not thick but that doesn't stop the fact that even though I know job to use a washing machine that 6 days out of 7 I can hardly muster the energy to get out golf bed and switch the blooming thing on....The answer they tick...Yes,she can use a washing machine!! Lol It's a joke. 

      Our doctors have supported us,treated us and monitored us for months on end and feel we are not able to work,yet some jobsworth can sit across a desk,ask a few questions,spend 20 minutes with you and have the power in that 20 minutes to ruin you.

      The questions are purposely set up for you to pass the medical so you are deemed fit for work.

      I told them that my mum has to come check on me,make sure I get out of bed and washed and eating and they took that as,I wash,I motivate myself,I eat!!,,

      They really are to blame for a lot of people's mental health worsening through stress. 

      There was a documentary on TV about it. One women even left because they where told to make people seem fit for work and she was devastated at having to deem severely disabled or mentally Ill people fit and well enough for some kind of employment.

      Im not saying I don't want to work. I have always worked but right now I need a hit of breathing space with as little stress as possible to get myself mentally healthy again. I very much doubt I will be given to much time for that to happen xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Maria and Gillian

      Yet again IMO, people with mental health issues are discriminated against. Everyone can see that someone with their leg in a plaster cast has broken their leg and therefore unable to work for a few months. I broke my ankle and was in a cast. I told my boss at the time (I worked for one of the large supermarkets) that seeing as 50% of my job was spent sitting down ordering stock I would still come to work. She was horrified and told me company policy wouldn't allow that and that I was a danger to myself and others and not to come back until the cast was off and I could carry out my old job.

      Compare that with what happened a few years later. My mum had terminal cancer, one of my kids was really ill in hospital, I couldn't sleep and my dr signed me off with anxiety and mental exhaustion. I sent in weekly sick notes, but after 3 weeks personnel contacted me and asked me to come in for a sickness review meeting. I was told that my sickness record was unacceptable, they took into account, the time I had off with my leg. My GP suggested I went back to work, but partime. They wouldn't entertain the idea and if I wanted to keep my job I had to return full time.

      needless to say my anxiety increased, I couldn't sleep and was like a zombie during the day. I ended up resigning rather than getting the sack. They only paid sick pay for 1 week for each years service. So I got no sick pay and applied for Incapacity benefit which was rejected.

      Totally agree the questions like "can you stand up unaided from a chair" and can you carry a bag of potatoes with one hand, but not with the other are pointless. The Dr who carried out the assessment could not speak English and I couldn't understand half of what he was saying. Like you say I could get myself up, I didn't need personal care assistance and could, if wanted make a simple meal of beans on toast! I tried to tell him whilst I could do that, I never did as I felt so low, I stayed in bed till lunch, had no appetite and I couldn't care less about washing.

      going to job centre work based appointments would get me totally worked up. Due to my permantly damaged shoulder, even shop work was out as there's plenty of lifting and carrying stock needed. I said I was looking for pa/secretarial and reception. They gave me details for a hotel receptionist starting at 7am and at least 15 miles from where I lived, not on a bus route. To get there for 7am was impossible as I didn't have my own transport. The bus to town didn't start till 6am, then I needed a taxi to the hotel which was in the country miles from anywhere, yet they still said it was doable and I had to take it, or lose JSA. Gave up after a week as it cost me more than I earned just to get there and back! Hope you have better luck.

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    • Posted

      That is absolutely disgusting the way you have been treated !!!!! , i really feel for you , your case is one of many that i have read or heard about and it is totally out of order , it shows just how uncaring the poeople who should be helping us are , the advsior i saw at Job Centre when i came off ESA to JSA ( now i am back on the lowest amount of ESA until get assessment then i expect shall be back on JSA !!! ) understood bus times were an issue likewise disability and did actually work with it when setting my targets but i know at my local job centre they are not all like that - one person had to attend Job Centre each day at £3.50 daily bus fare at her own expense - that is alot to pay out , i am fortunate that the job centre is near me but that is not the point , if i take a job on and i fall to the floor then if no one is around to help me then i could be sitting there struggling to get up for quite a while , it disgusts me the way genuine cases are being treated while those who know how to fiddle the system are getting away with it x

       

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  • Posted

    Its the benefit cheats that are making life so difficult for the legitimate ill people. IF your MP ( and I bet he or she is a tory ), clearly would have been better off not replying. Its true he can't make them elect in your favour but as a bare minimum he could have enquired into the delay, and been supportive in at least getting some answers.

    Lets hope he or she doesnt ever suffer in the same way.

    In the meantime I can empathize with how hard it is as I have just relapsed in to severe depression. Fortunately or perhaps not I am self-employed now but if I am in the bad way I am not making money for my business.

     

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    • Posted

      Yes he is Conservative - he got in last election after we hah had the same Labour chap for years - people round here wanted a change . I certainly didn't expect him to perform miracles but at least suggest having a meeting / chat to dicuss the issues concerned , that is what i thought local MP's were around for - to discuss , meeeet his constitutes - he doesn't even know who i am - just one of his many "people " , he won't get in next time as he has upset a lot of people around this area of Dorset - he lives , owns a large estates so in this olden days we would just be considered his peasants !!!, we already have a UKIP take over councillor in my town .
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  • Posted

    Don't MPs have what they call 'a surgery' where you can book in advance a time where you can meet your MP to discuss specific matters, in your case just to air your problem. Mind you to be fair they probably can't do anything about individual assessments as they are done by DWP. Which in itself is a minefield.

    i don't think it makes any difference, conservative or labour with regards to benefits. There will always be people who will do anything so they don't have to work, claim every benefit they can and have as many kids as they want. It's largely down to them, that people with genuine claims are being penalised.

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    • Posted

      Yes , i expect they do but he didn't suggest that i should come to one and i have had enough now with MP's etc , as i said before i didn't expect him to treat me as a special case - far from it but thought he would had suggested going to one of his conflabs with the locals or met him at the work programme - just really so i could just expain the problems i have been through and others like me - i just thought that they were there to listen as some friends of mine down Cornwall way have a similar problem where as my friends husband has mental health problems and she contacted their local MP and he came out and had a chat and listened to their concerns but i guess it is different in each area , i won't contact him again shall just see how things go in other areas x

       

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    • Posted

      That is what i thought but i guess i am wrong - he lives on his large private estate with pots of money and tough luck o the rest of us , i thought he would at least suggested meeting with him so he could at least a face to the person who has turned to him seeking views on the whole mental health issue connected to ESA , job Centre etc , now i jut feel useless - no one to turn to in a professional sense , that is life as so many of us have to deal with xx
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