JSA help

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JSA help

Postby euryleia » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:08 pm

I'm in a bit of a pickle.

My last job gave me such bad references due to sparking off both my anxiety and fibro that the job that initially accepted me has refused me. I'm now on JSA, working occasional exam invigilation shifts (and boy, is it hard to stay awake during exams!). I'm not ill enough to claim either PIP or ESA, and have no other underlying conditions. But I'm still permanently exhausted, still have shooting nerve pains almost constantly, have vertigo on stairs and knee pain, plus muscle spasms when I try and stand up. There's no way I can work full-time, I'm too exhausted and in too much pain.

I'm a bit lost, to be honest. I haven't been unemployed in years and I'm not sure what to do now. Is anyone on here on JSA, or managing work alongside their condition? Do you have any advice on what I can say to my JSA advisor at my next appointment? Benefit advice sites don't provide me with much information and I'm worried I'm going to be sanctioned for not accepting jobs or not applying for enough jobs (there's 10x fewer part-time jobs available in my area than full-time). I won't be made homeless as I rent off my mother, but bills have to be paid, cat has to be fed etc. I don't want to go on ESA again because of all the hassle involved, I was nearly suicidal last time with the way I was treated, and quite honestly, I'd rather be working, it's better for me mentally.

Thanks :)
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Re: JSA help

Postby eeyorejd » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:20 am

Hi
I would speak to your JSA advisor about the reference because I actually thought it was against the law to write a bad reference. I know someone can refuse to write one but didn't think they could write a bad one. You may be able to stop this happening again and even take action against them if you was up to it.

If your ok to work then your JSA advisor should be helping you to find a job and supporting you. I wouldn't worry about what to say as you've done nothing wrong apart from working for what sounds like a very uncaring boss.

I know you need money and I don't know much about JSA but could you do some voluntary work as you never know where it might lead and it would show future employees that you can do a job and the people your doing the voluntary work for could then give you a good reference.

Could you also see your doctor and ask for a fit Note which they state what you can do so that way if there isn't many jobs out there that are suitable to accommodate your needs you won't be forced into applying for unsuitable jobs to keep your benefits.
I really hope things work out for you take care x
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made paragraphs clearer for easier reading.
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Re: JSA help

Postby joolveira » Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:37 am

Hi
I have fibromyalgia among other health conditions but I also work full time as a JSA adviser. I would hope your adviser had made you fully aware of the conditionality for claiming the benefit?? Have you mentioned your health condition to them?? Their is a DEA (Disability Employment Adviser) service available and I would suggest you ask for a referral.

The DEA is probably the only adviser who will be able to support you appropriately in your search for work. The sanctions and disallowances are far heavier and more stringently applied these days so it's important that you make your adviser aware of the impact your health has on your day to day activities and ask that they note the IT system appropriately so that the signing staff /assistant advisers can be made aware too.

Please ask for DEA referral. These sometimes take a while as some Jobcentres do not have a DEA but have to share one with other offices.
I wish you luck in your job search and also with your health. Gentle hugs xx
Last edited by FluppyPuffy on Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Made paragraphs clearer for easier reading.
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Re: JSA help

Postby padders » Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:41 am

You say you can not claim PIP/DLA but it is worth a go as it is not means tested so you can still do some work and get pip/dla as well. Can your JSA advisor not help you fill out tbe forms? Or ring ypur local citizens avice office and book in with them to help you. If you are finding it hard to work even part time then ESA is the way. I no you said how bad it was last time but again speak to your advisor and CAB to help
You claim. I wish you luck x
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Re: JSA help

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:07 am

There isn't really anything else I can add to the solid advice you've already been given. Hopefully some of it will help you find your way forward :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

Wrt to PIP/DLA, as has already been said, it can be paid to those who do work and those who are unable to do so. It isn't paid based on what is wrong with you, ie.not based on which conditions you have, but based on how your conditions as a whole affect you mobility and daily~living wise.

:goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2: :goodluck2:
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Re: JSA help

Postby migrembe » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:09 am

I have read everyone else's posts and i would like to add that after struggling to work for 4 years with ever increasing symptoms but no diagnosis i was seen as fit for work. Once i got the a diagnosis i was deemed unfit for work. I believe if i had been diagnosed quicker and treated more effectively it wouldn't have got so bad. After 18 months on the sick & still unfit for work, I along with my employers decided that i would never be fit enough to return to the job i had been doing - i was a staff nurse.

It might be worth talking to your GP and see if they think you are fit for work at the moment, also ask yourself if you are fit for work in any job? If your GP states that you are not fit for work then you can claim ESA instead of JSA. This does not mean you cannot look for work but it might take the pressure off you to be forced into work.

The law states that your past employers are not allowed to give out a bad reference or how many days you have been off sick, however as someone said they can refuse to give you any type of reference at all. You could get a personal reference from someone you know well, but is not a family member.

As for PIP i would apply for it. Every person who succeeds in claiming it, is a victory for all FMS sufferers, as the syndrome becomes more and more recognised and also Fibro is covered by the disability act in the UK.

I have Fibro, chronic fatigue and chronic depression and a little osteoarthritis, but i get DLA high mobility on the grounds of not being able to walk anywhere without pain and being unable to cook.

Beverley
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Re: JSA help

Postby euryleia » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:46 pm

Thank you all for your replies :)

@Eeyorejd: I am in the process of requesting the reference under the Data Protection Act. If I need to go legal after that then I will. It's the second time it's happened to me due to a vindictive [expletive] in a job several years ago. The staff weren't uncaring, it was more the fact that every time I'd put the phone down it would ring again, on top of three very demanding consultants and a massive (200+) backlog of documents that I was responsible for despite not working there at the time, and I was getting micromanaged to the point that I'd have to pass every query over to my supervisor, and her targets weren't being met as a result. I have contacted them several times over my lack of SSP but heard nothing back. I'm hoping I can get a decent reference from the invigilation job; as soon as I knew I'd lost my job I told them I could take any shifts available that needed covering, and I've held up to that at least.

I was holding out for a Pain Clinic appointment in July so I could wave their GP letters at the job centre, but that's now been pushed back until September. The fit note idea is a good one, I'll try and get that sorted, thanks :)

@joolveira: I have mentioned my health condition to them and stated I would only be looking for part time work. I have my first appointment with them next week and plan to make it very clear. I know there's some kind of regulation I can mention but can't find much about it. Can you advise me on this at all? I found things about the DEA referral online so I am planning on bringing that up at the appointment too.

@Padders: CAB is an excellent idea, I think I might prod them about the references/SSP issue as well. Just gave them a ring and they'll contact me about an appointment :) I don't fit any of the criteria for PIP, as I can still dress/feed myself, walk long distances and wipe my own backside; I've checked the criteria online, but I'll talk to my adviser about the forms though, worth a shot :). I think I'm going to be at that appointment for quite a while...

@migrembe: I'm going to speak to the CAB and JSA about the bad references. As I said I'm in the process of requesting the information. Thankfully I landed the invigilation job so I can at least fall back on that, but obviously that's only at certain times of the year. I've had a couple of people offer character references as well so it's not quite as much of an issue.

I was hoping to use the letter from the Pain Clinic appointment as evidence for my PIP claim but since that's been pushed back I can't do anything due to the 1 month deadline for completing the forms >_<

As for the fit for work... I will speak to a GP, but I work on the logic that if I can spend a day on the computer at home I can do the same in a job (if only workplaces allowed you to take nap breaks!). Hopefully the phone interview tomorrow will go well so I can work to my own hours - but as my fibromyalgia manifests most commonly in my wrists and hands I'm wondering how long I can last in it for since they like work completed really quickly. It's my last option besides retail, so if it fails then I'll most likely try for ESA again.
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