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Is anyone here doing permitted work while claiming ESA. I have found a few hours a week with a friend my dad no( think they are just feeling sorryfor me but oh well ). They have offered to pay me for this work but im worried i wont be able to to commit to this its only 4-6 hrs a week and i can pick them but it costs them to money to set up a new employee so i would like to only volenteer for the first month any help apperciated


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Hi Donnamarie,

I don't know the rules over benefits & if you can earn or not but you should give yourself credit - perhaps they have offered you work because they think you can do it AND be good at it AND they believe you will fit in well & be a valued addition to the other employees!

Fingers crossed it all goes well for you, Michelle x

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For anyone who has suffered ill health and is unable to return to what they were doing previously; it can be very scary to start something new. There is a lot to take on board – a new environment, new people and procedures. Also, it is common to suffer a lack of confidence after ill health.

If you prefer to start on a voluntary basis, this may help take some pressure off and may help with confidence.

As a volunteer, you are very much in the driving seat. There is no contract of employment and you can put your health first. If you are ill one day, you simply do not go in to work or if you feel unwell whilst in work, you can go home early.

When you start, (be it as a volunteer or under permitted work,) it is very important that your employers know exactly what your parameters are.

When I started at the Shaw Trust, I had an appointment with the head of department. I explained that I was very anxious about starting something new. I said that I preferred a routine and did not cope well with unexpected events. I would need to be office based and would prefer a slightly later start because I have battled with insomnia for 18 months, (feel my pain!!!) I explained I would need to undertake one task at a time and would find multi tasking a problem.

Following from this, the Shaw Trust have followed my suggestions to the letter. As a consequence, I am functioning well there. Being upfront and honest at the start, is a good way in protecting yourself from people inadvertently expecting too much from you at a later stage.

In the employment market, there is only one person who will put your health first and that person is you!!! It is therefore important that we look after ourselves.

‘Looking well’ can be very misleading for people when they assess our capabilities. It is therefore very important that we explain our circumstances very clearly at the beginning.

If the environmental factors around us are correct, we perform at our best. You may find that as time goes on, you will need less ‘sheltering’, but starting off with baby steps will help you make long strides later.

Write a little list of things which would make working at your new place comfortable and consider what would cause stress. Discuss this with your prospective employer. If they quibble with your suggestions, (which I don’t think they will at all,) this is an indication that working there may not be conducive. You can then focus on work places where reasonable adjustments will be made without fuss.

Just remember to run everything past the Job Centre and DWP.

Good luck and well done for doing your utmost to progress.

L xx

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