News items from the latest 'Benefits and Work' newsletter. They may be of interest to anyone on ESA, PIP:
Benefits and Work Latest News
I am in a process of applying for Personal Independence Payment.
I also might be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. I am in work but really struggling there.
I am wondering, it is worth to subscribe for Benefits and Work Claimants and carers subscription plan?
Do they have information that is not available elsewhere for free? Can I find the same information elsewhere online for free?
Would the website be helpful if I am claiming because of autism related issues?
How good is their forum? Do they send from e-mail notifications?
I’ve subscribed, I’ve had a quick look over their info and it looks very good. I won’t read it in any more detail until the time comes that I need to. I’m currently in receipt of universal credit but my work coach assured me they would do an assessment on me soon so when I get word of that, then I’ll read the info so I’m prepared.
I was told by the Department for Work and Pensions that they prefer people to be in work.
Apparently, it does not matter at what cost to their health and how happy they are there.
I can do only the minimum there. I have no resources and energy for anything more.
Employment and Support Allowance would help me a lot but I cannot get assessed if I am in work.
And if I leave the work, I do not know if I will get it.
So, I am stuck.
I failed my first assessment for the support group so they put me on universal credit, they said they could see that I currently had difficulties but that one day I would get back into work. This is true, I agreed, so they put me on universal credit. But what they didn’t tell me was that I would have to start looking for jobs so when I realised that at my first appointment, I told them that I would not be looking for employment and that I refuse to take any old job that suited them but not me. She eventually brought the manager of the job centre over to speak to me to reassure me that if I give them sick notes, they will turn off the Job search and when I’m ready for work, they’ll give me all the help I need and that they will never try to make me do a job that’s not suitable for me. That worked out ok for a while but I don’t want to go in there any more. My job coach is great but I told her I don’t want to see her anymore, it’s doing me more harm than good going in there now so she said she’ll arrange for an assessment for the support group and in the meantime, I don’t have to go and see her as often, so I’ll just wait now until I get that appointment date then I’ll read the info.
Be careful of leaving work. They used to have rules about that so it’s safer to go on sick first until you know the score.
The work group is good if you’re looking for work or looking for what kind of work will be most suitable to you but I’m not looking for work so I don’t think I should be in that group.
I just feel that I suffer every day and this does not fit me at all.
I simply want peace and to be alone. I am so tired.
What is the point of life if I am so unhappy?
Get some advice and support. Phone the NAS helpline and speak to somebody. I’ll get you the link for the number, it might have email support as well, I’m not sure. But please don’t try to cope with this by yourself. It is hard and it is a struggle but with the right support, you’re life can be a whole lot better. I feel for you I really do and I would love for you to get some support with this. I’ll look for the number now and the link.
Here’s some info about the help line www.autism.org.uk/helpline
I understand that California. I think that what you need right now is some suppprt so you can have some time to rest. This has been most helpful to me and I understand that I am often (it appears) a bit more forceful in my appraoach than many people, in getting my needs met, so I know it’s not as easy for everyone. Please will you contact the NAS helpline and tell somebody how your feeling? Your life is so precious, even if you can’t see that just now. You are important but it’s not easy for you to see that just now and I can see why. Having to do a low paid job that brings no joy and leaves no energy for anything else can be soul destroying, especially over time. That’s why I told them I wouldn’t look for work. I understand the situation you’re in and I urge you to get some support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without support. While you’ve still got some strength, please get some help. Life will start to get better for you once you’ve had some rest, some alone time and some support. I care for you deeply because I’ve been in your situation. I only got out of it by accepting I needed support and getting it.
Thank you for trying to help me!
I feel that the coping strategies and masks I wear are actually the dead end.
I simply try to suppress myself and please others. I am exhausted.
There is no point to live like that. I am not happy. I want to be myself.
I have been sick several times. Mostly, when the manager became demanding.
I felt so good and happy finally to be alone. I even cannot describe. I almost want to cry.
The problem with me is that I am really shy and quiet. I always try to avoid conflicts. I am not forceful in my approach and in getting my needs met.
I know that my life is precious and this is not how I want to live. I am trying to find a way out of this misery I experience somehow. I just do not know how to do it.
My life is not about the money. I just want to be happy. I want to keep my budget in balance.
I am now trying to drop the masks I wear. This is difficult as I have to go against what others expect from me and say ''No''. I am unhappy that I have to say No but at the same time I am happy that I do not have to do something I do not want to do.
You are brave. I wish I would be that brave. I feel that I am slowly going in that direction. It just takes time.
It does sound like you are unwell at the minute. As well as contacting NAS I also suggest you speak to your GP about your difficulties to see what support you can access, such as a fit note.
I spent two years in an awful work situation that made me really ill. I am now out of that now and have a supportive manager, which has made the world of difference. Have you thought about changing employment to something that's more suited to your needs? For example, I can't work with a demanding manager and need one who is happy for me to work independently.
I am trying to find something else. I also want to work independently and from home. But job interviews are really horrible experiences for me. I am extremely anxious. The best I can do - Yes and No answers. I cannot explain anything and say something meaningful. Just say words and I think they do not sound like normal sentences to other people.
I am now in an open plan office which is a nightmare. There is even radio.
Oh California, you are every bit as brave as me, I promise you, and I’m every bit as shy as you. I’m not deliberately forceful in my approach and I avoid conflicts at all costs and I can’t even say no, I’m only just learning which feels weird, scary, empowering and many other feelings but I’m slowly finally learning to say no. Just like you, I love being by myself so much I do cry. I feel the injustices of this world intensely but in true aspified fashion, I speak my mind which apparently, gets you what you want. I didn’t even realise I was so forceful, I’ve only started to realise this since diagnosis. Even on here, other people’s comments, to what I write, makes me wonder if people think I’m saying something like I’m right and everyone else is wrong. I have no idea how they could come to that conclusion but since my diagnosis, I have noticed that lots of people say weird things to me and I’m starting to realise that I sound confident when I talk which some how makes people hear what you’re saying differently or something but I’m never trying to tell people what to think or say that I’m right and they’re wrong. What I’m trying to say, is that I absolutely promise you I am no braver than you. This world is a complete mine field to me, I barely understand anything but since I got my diagnosis, I’m growing in confidence and it’s the burnout that has enabled me to do that. By being on benefits, which I am so humbly grateful for, I have had the time and space to be alone, time to rest, and I realise I don’t want much out of life at all. Over the last 12 months, even if I had desperately wanted to do something I couldn’t, I was too exhausted to even get out of bed. Which has been a god send as it has slowed me right down and it’s helping to see myself in a whole new light. We’re not shy or any of those things we think we are. Sure we can be shy some times but so can everybody. For us, it’s more that’s its simply we’re more sensitive to the world so it’s actually uncomfortable for us to be around people for too long. You will find your way California. You’re doing exactly what I did. I realised something had to change, I didn’t know what or how do go about it and the alone time, which I was forced into through a major burnout/breakdown/breakthrough gave me what I needed which was just that, time and space. Now my whole life plans have changed. I’m going to do a masters degree in autism and I’m going to work diligently to do what I can to help spread awareness of autism and to do what ever I can to make the lives of autistic people better. I used to hate the fact that I could talk but my friend made me realise it’s a gift and if I use it wisely, I can use it to help me and others. I’m just the same as you California. You’re going in the right direction my friend and never be afraid to ask for help or get what you want and need. My desire for the next 12 months or so is to get more rest, build up a lovely daily routine that is sustainable for me and slowly but surely ease my way back into work. I will still work as a metaphysician but now I will concentrate my attention on working with autistic people and their families. Of course I will still work with nt’s if that’s who I attract to me but my focus is shifting. Take that time and allow all that beauty and incredibleness that is within you, that is you, to come out of you. And you know, the most ordinary and simple lives, no matter how humble and meagre, are the most beautiful when people are simply quietly and contentedly doing what they love, living life on their terms and their values which never involve finances and stuff. I highly value the simple things in life, like a drop of dew on a single blade of grass in the early morning light, I value people and lives and I don’t place any more value on money than I do anything else in life. People, kindness, love, understanding, all the good and free things in life are what I truly value from the bottom of my heart and life has never failed to provide for me so that is my currency in life and it never fails me. Be true to yourself and keep on doing what you’re doing my friend. It is a journey and does take time, it can’t be rushed, you will come into your own at the right time for you. Just please don’t struggle by yourself, you don’t have to, we’re here for you. I’m almost back on my feet and I’ll come and see you if needs be, you don’t have to struggle alone, in fact we need to share our struggles and our strengths with each other because that’s how we get stronger. When we are united, we gain strength, when we are separated, we lose it. You’re never alone and every one of us here needs you, we need each other. Thank you for sharing with us how it is for you right now, that’s braver than anything I’ve said or done. I look forward to the day you see that in yourself.
There are tons of opportunities to work from home on line. It depends what you want to do. Do you simply want to make a decent income, if so, that’s one route to take. Or do you want to do something more meaningful to you. If so, start brainstorming ideas of what you enjoy doing. Without any thought of what you’re going to do with this information or what it will look like, start noticing, as you go about your life, what kind of things you enjoy and write them down. Or maybe you already know what you would like to do?
There are tons of opportunities to work from home on line. It depends what you want to do. Do you simply want to make a decent income, if so, that’s one route to take. Or do you want to do something more meaningful to you.
I would prefer something more meaning to me but at the moment I would be more than happy with a decent income. I am so tired to be around people every day and in open plan office. It is like torture to me. I am so tired. I just want to be alone.
It is amazing that you are writing that there are tons of opportunities to work from home on line. I do not see them. Where are they?
I think I already know what I would like to do.
I like computers. I enjoy working with computers.
I am confident with Microsoft Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office (word processing skills and able to develop and use excel spreadsheets, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Skype for Business and Visio).
I like to work with databases and spreadsheets.
I have got a very strong interest in data analysis, IT, mathematics, data security and compliance. I am especially interested in cyber security and defense.