Working tax credits

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devine63

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 03 Nov 2013 04:48PM
Dear Fiz

as others have said, mental health conditions are medical conditions just as much as physical health issues are, the law makes no distinction [under the UK Equality Act 2010 a person is disabled if s/he has any physical or mental health condition which has significant, adverse and long term effects on the person's ability to undertake everyday tasks].

However I have to be blunt, I am shocked to see that you are even considering taking on any professional role at the current time, since any social worker is required to be currently "fit to practice" in order to provide their clients with appropriate support. 

You are, as I understand it, still actively seeking treatment for long term mental health issues (though those depression /anxiety /self-harm symptoms are under better control at present, they still require treatment).  In addition your recent comments on another ouchtoo thread have indicated very clearly  that you are currently experiencing a major eating disorder, for which you are not yet actively seeking treatment.   Any eating disorder involves fairly major distortions of the person's cognitions, so how could you be sure you were viewing the client and their situation objectively?   Given that is the case, I cannot believe that you could be considered fit to practice and therefore it is not appropriate for us to encourage you to undertake professional work.

If you need to work for financial reasons, then for the time being you will need to seek employment which does not involve clients.
regards, Deb





Fiz

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 03 Nov 2013 05:33PM
This isn't a social worker post, it's admin for a charity that adminsters welfare relief to those in need. It's not statutory and the the post didn't advertise for a social worker, just admin skills. But as part of the application I need to demonstrate that I am aware of the impact of the welfare reforms on society.

Many people manage to work successfully with both depression and with eating disorders. Indeed my social worker/care co-ordinator thinks it would be really good for me to work part time as she feels that working would boost and increase my self esteem and give me greater self worth. Although the post is full time it says it is open to job shares, and I will only be applying for a part time post, if there is no one suitable to share with I wouldn't contemplate a full time post. I am sure that it would give me the focus needed to recover but it does need to be an achievable job that I feel I can do but my confidence is so low I am not sure I can even walk out of the door at times. It has been pointed out to me that the longer I go without working the lower my confidence will get and when I get a part time job and manage to do it well, then my confidence will increase. I just hope that proves to be the case.

auntieCtheM

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 03 Nov 2013 06:10PM
hi Fiz,

Are you still going swimming three times a week?  So at least that will be getting you out of the house.  Have you thought about doing voluntary work for a few months, say in a charity shop, to see how the commitment thing goes?

Obviously your social worker knows much more about you than we do, and it is great that she thinks you are able to take on something part-time.

devine63

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 03 Nov 2013 06:27PM
Hi Fiz

it's good that this isn't a professional social worker role.  I'm sorry that, in that case, my comment must have seemed harsh, but the standard to which some professions are held (e.g. medicine, nursing, social work, psychology, teaching) is, quite rightly, higher, in that we have to be both "fit to work" as anyone might be and also "fit to practice" which applies only to those professions which work with clients. 

You're quite right that getting a part time job will boost your confidence and I hope that this one will work out for you, if it turns out to be financially viable to apply.  It is certainly good for many people to work during their recovery and treatment, as along as the type of work is suitable.  I wasn't suggesting that someone with depression or an ED could not work at all - I support a number of people in that position!

regards, Deb

sherbs

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 04 Nov 2013 09:32PM
Well done fiz, for at least having the balls to get to,thinking that part-time work would be good for you.  It certainly has boosted my confidence, as I tend to be a bit or a hermit, but working part-time hours suits my disability 1 day on, 1 day off (to rest up and pace myself).

You are indeed correct that many people with both mental and physical disabilities work, we have at least 4 at work with metal health conditions, which rang hugely, from depression to bi-polar, and 2 support workers who have depression, I am the only person with a physical disability, but it does not bother my colleagues at all, I know and they know my limitations. and working in an admin office with 5 others we all help each other out with the work load.

If you are successful and get a job offer, your employer can ask access to work to step in to see,that,you have the correct equipment available or even work 1 day from home, if that's possible.

Good luck fiz it's definitely not a walk in the park, I struggle everyday I work, but something just keeps pushing me not to give up, we'll not just yet !!

Fiz

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 05 Nov 2013 12:34AM
Thanks Sherbs. I've had a mega busy day helping my dd today (yesterday by now) and have appointments all day tomorrow (today) and Wednesday which will include seeing my sw and I plan to discuss the job with her and then hopefully complete my application on Thursday. Deadline is next Monday so I have a week to get it there. I was really worried about how I would be left feeling if I didn't get the job but actually I am feeling more ok about it and what will be will be. At least I tried.

auntieCtheM

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 05 Nov 2013 05:58PM
 >hugs<

sherbs

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 06 Nov 2013 09:48PM
Thanks Sherbs. I've had a mega busy day helping my dd today (yesterday by now) and have appointments all day tomorrow (today) and Wednesday which will include seeing my sw and I plan to discuss the job with her and then hopefully complete my application on Thursday. Deadline is next Monday so I have a week to get it there. I was really worried about how I would be left feeling if I didn't get the job but actually I am feeling more ok about it and what will be will be. At least I tried.

Absolutely fiz, Just by you trying will give your confidence a boost, so don't be disheartened if you fill in the form and don't get to the interview stage, you know you are a very intelligent, capable woman, and one day you will be back working again, and part-time will suit your needs.

Please keep,us posted as to how you are getting on.

Of course your health both mental and physical comes first, so do bear this in mind when job hunting, but I am sure you know this.

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 09 Nov 2013 03:06PM
It is easier for people who get DLA to get Working Tax Credits because getting DLA confirms the existence of disability either mental, physical or both. The Working Tax credit is supposed to be for people put at a disadvantage in terms of going to work because of their life circumstances eg a single parent or a person with a disability.

Working Tax Credit is a means tested benefit and in mine and Mr Sunshine's case it means that my contributions based ESA is counted as income which means we get less tax credit. It is worth noting here that if I applied for Income Based ESA I would not get it because even though Mr Sunshine earns less than 16,000 he would be expected to keep me.

In terms of a person who is on Income Based ESA Support Group getting Working Tax credit I do remember on the Tax Credit Calculator there being an option to say you are on Income Based ESA. Here is a link to the calculator http://taxcredits.hmrc.gov.uk/Qualify/DIQHousehold.aspx.

Fiz,

In regards to working I did find I could no way do whole days in the call centre but if I focused my whole life around getting to work for four hours four days a week I was able to do it at the time. It did turn out to be unsustainable because of worsening physical symptoms and also the effects disability discrimination on my mental health.

If I were offered the same job and told I could work from home I would be really tempted because I did love helping people, and earning my own wage made me feel much better about myself. However my health simply is not good or reliable enough to put my ESA Support Group at risk.

In a way you need to be your own Gypsy Rose and try to predict the future. If you think working and earning a living would aid your mental health recovery and be sustainable go for it but if not then I agree with the suggestion of voluntary work.
 >hugs<

Fiz

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 09 Nov 2013 03:33PM
I'm in such a dilemma over this it's untrue.

On taking the job.

Pros
I think it would do my self esteem the world of good to work if I was well enough and managed it
This job is available as a job share and not many jobs are so I ought to be able to work part time and claim WTC
The work fits my ethos and beliefs to a T
If all went well and I managed this it would give me the experience and current work experience to get a better paid job in the future when I am well enough.

Cons
If I try to do this job and I find the multi tasking nature of the job too stressful and fail it would lower my self esteem even further
Because I can now claim SDP on top of my ESA I may end up worse off working part time with WTC and in supporting dd currently that might be impossible
I am currently in the support group ESA and currently left alone by ATOS/DWP and to come off this benefit and fail at work may mean it is a struggle to get back into the sg rather than the wrag or worse not be deemed eligible for ESA at all on re-assessment which will hugely affect my mental health

On not taking the job

Pros
I remain in the support group ESA which will give me the time and space needed to focus on my recovery and therapy that I am being offered shortly
I am financially secure

Cons
It will be much harder to find a suitable job at a later date that is part time and that I am able to do, these opportunities rarely appear.

...

Atm I don't even know whether to apply! My social worker thinks I should apply and then I only need to decide whether to take it if I get offered it but I don't want to waste the managements time and would feel I am letting the charity down if I do it that way if I know I don't want the job. I am screwed up about it really. If the deadline was even one week later it would be easier to submit the application but I am swamped with dd's and mine benefit applications/changes and her student finance/DSA stuff which is already stressing me out and I feel I can't cope with another thing right now and yet in one or two weeks when dd and my finances are sorted will I regret not going for this if I let it pass me by?

I just want to say though how helpful it has been to be able to discuss the difficulties of disability and work here knowing you understand the difficulties and the dilemma where out in the world people have no idea.

seegee

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 09 Nov 2013 04:27PM
If you apply but don't get the job, that does not mean you aren't good enough; more likely the employer has received dozens of applications from other people who are also well-qualified for it. 
Most of those won't be interviewed simply due to time constraints, so try not to see it as failure on your part if you don't get an interview - it's often partly luck as there are more good-on-paper candidates than can be interviewed in the time allotted. 
Similarly if you are interviewed but not selected; you get more interview practice while the employer chooses one of nn interviewees who are all well-suited to the job (they can't offer a 5-way job-share after all).

Are you physically well enough to concentrate for the number of hours needed each week on a regular basis?  If you aren't then you clearly need to take any treatment offered as a first step towards recovery & getting fit for work. 
Taking on part-time work when you are well enough is sensible if you can.  I can see how difficult it would be to let this job pass though; it's not often you see a job advertised that fits you so well it feels "right".

Whatever you decide & whatever happens next, take good care of yourself. >bighugs<

auntieCtheM

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 09 Nov 2013 08:49PM
One thing you can definitely say - if you do not apply you will not get the job!  And that is a decisions made.

Fiz

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 10 Nov 2013 07:16AM
My main task today is to continue with the application and I will see where I get with it by the end of the day.

As an aside, if I came off esa and had a salary and wtc would I still receive free prescriptions/dentalcare/eyetests/glasses? I would lose any cold weather payments and the 130 winter heating payment I know.
« Last Edit: 10 Nov 2013 07:18AM by Fiz »

KizzyKazaer

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 10 Nov 2013 01:01PM
Put simply - if your annual income for WTC purposes is less than 15,276 and you receive a disability element in your WTC, you will be entitled to full health costs for all the things above-mentioned, and the NHS Business Service Authority will send you an exemption certificate (you don't need to apply, as the HMRC who administer Tax Credits will notify them automatically).

starsmurf

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Re: Working tax credits

  • on: 10 Nov 2013 07:22PM
Fiz  >bighugs<

Only you can decide if you are well enough to cope with this job.  Your social worker does not seem to know everything about your situation, as we've discussed on another thread.  You answer any questions you are asked truthfully, but you've said you don't volunteer some information.

How would you cope with the interview?  Can you cope with the stress of it?

Could you make yourself go out on the days you're working?

You are (understandably) feeling under pressure about the form-filling you have to do today.  Can you cope with that kind of thing as your job, as you've said it is in administration?

On another thread, you've mentioned how tight money is going to be for a while.  Can you cope with any drop in income?  If you can't then don't even apply.

Do others on this thread know how the DWP/ATOS would react if you did apply for work?  Could that result in Fiz being reassessed, even if she didn't get the job?

I don't want to stress you out Fiz, I just wanted to highlight a few things I thought were important.
Look carefully at the avatar, note what's barely visible in the gap in the rings.  I've highlighted it for you.