When to give up work

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When to give up work

Postby MairiHarper » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:06 pm

Hi everyone

You've all been so helpful with other questions, sorry here comes another one!

I've been experiencing more frequent flares and they have been worse and lasted longer over the last year. I'm likely to be off work for around six months, at least, with the latest one. I've been thinking about whether now is the time to think seriously about giving up work. I'm a single parent and one of my kids has behavioural problems so needs a lot of support. I'm thinking that, in between flares, I'm functioning ok. After a flare I never seem get back to feeling as "good'" as I did before the flare and my functioning at the moment is ok, wouldn't want to be any worse than this as a functioning mum. I think I'm rambling but I'm wondering if anyone has a view on when the time to give up work should be? Part time isnt really a great option as I wouldn't be that much worse off on benefits than I am at the moment, working full time. Part time would mean I would be worse off as I wouldn't qualify for the means tested help. Any thoughts or ideas would be really welcome as thinking about this is causing me a lot of stress and is upsetting, as I'm sure everyone knows. I'll be happier once a decision is made. Thanks all x
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Re: When to give up work

Postby Moobaloo » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:31 pm


I gave up working after my last serious flare, which was last September. I'm only 33, but I totally get what you mean about not feeling 100% even after you've 'recovered' from your flare, and my health had been getting worse & worse over 2 years. I was only working part time, but had lots of seasonal overtime 3-4 times a year and it pretty much wiped me out every time - it was time to make some serious decisions, because I felt I didn't ever feel 'well' and was just ploughing through working life in a job I previously loved. My son has Asperger's, but was only diagnosed within the last 18 months and he is constantly very hard work, which was making my flares (and recovery from them) much worse and it's only recently that I'm no longer a single parent. Be honest with yourself about how much your son's needs & working affect your health & take it from there.

When I worked part time, I qualified for working tax credits & child tax credits to top up my income - have you looked into that? I was lucky that when I resigned my boss was really supportive & had already tried to make modifications in the workplace to allow me to carry on working, but they just didn't work for me. He wrote me a really supportive letter to give to DWP, so now I'm awaiting the decision following my ESA WCA assessment.
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Re: When to give up work

Postby looktwentythreeandme » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:14 pm

I work though my flare ups. I was off work for quite a time when I was first diagnosed and I am much better working. I work and then come home to bed.
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Re: When to give up work

Postby Iceskatemum » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:07 am

I understand were both you and the last poster Look23&me are coming from.
I was working through quite a bad flare this time last year , all I did was go to work come home & go to bed, I don't consider that much of a life. you are only existing. I have 3 children and an OH who never saw me or when they did I was the cross witch of a thing that came down stairs for 5 minutes before muttering something about noise or tiredness and ploding up to bed. Not good for anybody

This then led to a big flare & like you Mari I was eventually put of work by my GP. During the 9 months I've been off , I have really wanted to go back to work even going as far as telling my boss I will probably be in on such & such a date but then the GP pulled the plugand wouldn't allow me back.
As this time progressed I also have tough choices to make as the likelihood of me going back is slipping away from me every day. It is further complicated that I had got to teh place that I decided to retire on ill health grounds around Novemeber last year but as I work for a large organisation I found there are systems in place that I have to complete to see if I am a suitable candidate.

At the moment I have to wait until at least May 2013 before raising it again, as at my last OHS appointment in October 2012 the Doctor suggested that May 2013 was the earliest opportunity that I might be able to consider going back to work . He then suggested ammendments that might help me back in May but based on present fprm even if the ammendments were put in place I don't feel I could go back . Given this is mid Febuary I think it will take a big shift in my present condition to get me anywhere near a desk by May.

From my experience Mari before even getting as far as suggesting leaving on early retirement I think you should have a chat with someone that knows your work situation. Have you a union rep , a welfare officer,or close collegue that could help you .

Things to consider might be do you have a company pension..if you left on ill health grounds would you get your work pension right away or would it be frozen, would you get any enhancement for leaving early on ill health retirement. What benefits would you be entitled to given recent changes in WTC & CTC.

I totally understand the nightmare you are going through . Your body says enough but unfortuatley in the real world other things have to be considered. Take a set amount of time to look at all the options hopefully with the help of someone else . Once you have done this you are then better placed to know what to do for your own circumstances .

Once a decision is taken try not to look back on the what might have beens look at what is ahead and make the most of it for your family, see it as the opening up of new opportunities rather than the closing of doors.

Good luck..... I don't envy you your task but :fingerscrossed: it all works out for you betterment.
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Re: When to give up work

Postby lolabolla » Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:31 am

I was retired on ill health grounds (employer paid me lump sum) in May of last year and I am fighting to get my enhanced pension at the moment.

Only you can decide when the time is right for you to leave the workplace.

But for what it's worth, I too struggled to come to terms with how my health was being affected by trying to continue to work full time.

I applied for DLA and was awarded HRM and LRC whilst I was still working.

I thought that if I got DLA I could afford to reduce my full time hours to part time.

But part time working was not an option for me because of the nature of my job I would have still pushed myself to work twice as hard to achieve the same results.

I stuggled through every work day, even forgetting most nights where my car was parked :yikes: only to get home, crumple in a heap and cry through sheer exhaustion, pain and frustration at losing the real me.

I remember the last day that I worked before I went off on sick leave, I knew it would be my very last day doing the job that I loved so much and I knew what the outcome would be.

I prepared myself mentaly and just walked away that night as if nothing was any different to any other day at the office.

I said my 'goodnights' to my fellow collegues and closed the door on that part of my life.

My health is no better and a little worse but I know deep down that if I had continued to drag myself to work I would have been considerably worse than I am today.

Lola xx
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Re: When to give up work

Postby countyfan » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:17 am

I know exactly your dilemma. I am currently signed of work with 'stress related disorder and Fibromyalgia' and have been for 6 weeks. It got to the situation where I was collapsing whilst at work, so one of my managers said that I was a danger to everyone! Despite them telling me that, after I had been off 2 weeks and when went back to GP for check up, she signed me off for another month, they were annoyed and seemed to suggest I should have tried arguing about it. At the moment I feel in no state to do that though. Additionally I am booked to have a spinal operation for arthritis, next Friday, which will mean at least another 12 weeks off!
I know how you all feel, saying that on getting home from work all you could do was collapse in a heap, as I was feeling exactly the same! While I have been off I have been thinking that I really don't want to go back. It wasn't that I disliked the actual work, just a bit physically strenuous, it's more the attitude of the people there towards me. Have been trying to look for other jobs and have been putting that I consider myself disabled- but not sure if that is technically true! Unfortunately I am not trained for anything except laboratory work, so won't be able to earn as much as I did. However am even beginning to think that it doesn't matter all that much, if it means that I can have some sort of life outside of work.
Ultimately, it's only the individual who can make the decision in their particular circumstances but hope that you find u can decide soon, as I'm sure that will be a great weight off your mind.. :?:
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Re: When to give up work

Postby Nellyphant » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:18 pm

I gave up work in 2004, 7 years before getting a diagnosis! I had been talking with my husband about it for at least a year beforehand as I really wasn't well enough to work and actually do anything else outside of working hours. I fill my time with hobbies and we have a daughter too. I'm still a bit rubbish at pacing if I'm working on a project mind you. I'm worse now than I was back then but still receive no DLA despite applying and appealing. My life now is making sure I have enough energy to do things with my DH & DD and only doing tasks that give me enjoyment. I am very lucky in that respect.
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Re: When to give up work

Postby fester » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:10 pm

As lolabolla states only you can decide when to give up work.

I myself decided to give up work after my last dismissal/redundancy from a job in 2011. Since 2004 I have lost every job I have had mainly due to poor health, not addressed directly by the the employers, always the poor performance issue. Which I quite agree was correct but after so many dismissals and redundancies my confidence reached an all time low and I decided to call it a day.

To be fair I am a little worse off not working but nothing too noticeable and I have not regretted it at all. I don't even miss the company from work colleagues as each position I had, my poor performance, due to health reasons caused immense bad feeling, nastiness and usually the silent treatment, I often felt totally alone and alienated due to my health issues. I am sure larger companies which have HR departments, deal with health issues more sympathetically, but I myself found smaller companies now have a zero tolerance level to sickness.

Whatever you decide, I am sure you will give the matter serious consideration and the outcome will be in your own/family's best interests.
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Re: When to give up work

Postby sparky630 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:50 pm

I was lucky as I had already been ill health retired from an injury at work. They think that is wot caused fibro.

Looktwentythreeandme........i hope I have got that right. I admire u as wen Im in a flare I cant get out of bed. Ive tried pushing thru but i get worse. How do u do it? Xx
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