Unemployed

I have now been signed off work for 11 months. For 9 of those months I was receiving Employment Support Allowance. However at the end of July I received a letter stating I had to attend a “fitness for work” assessment. I could probably write an entire blog post about how terrible ATOS and their health assessments are, but suffice to say ATOS found me fit for work. However my doctor disagreed with their assessment and continued to sign me off.

It now came to the point where the only thing I could do was appeal the decision and this is what I have been working on for the past 2 months. After requesting the Department for Work and Pensions to reconsider the decision I was still found fit for work. At this point my only option is to go to a Tribunal . However I have my own mental health to look after.

I think its safe to say that I have spent most of the last month worrying about this appeal and it got to the point that I was making myself ill worrying about it. According to Google the success rate of going to Tribunal is 40% and I know that continuing the appeal would be best. However all the stress and anxiety makes my CFS worse and I would rather be happy and healthy than have to continue worrying about this.

After some discussions with my doctor I also decided to resign from work simply because I know I won’t be able to return in the foreseeable future. My work have been extremely kind in keeping me on for the last 11 months and were totally okay with me staying but it came to a point where I had to decide what I should do as I have no idea when I would be able to return. At this point my current aim is simply being well enough to attend college next September.

Its probably a terrible time but here I am, unemployed and I couldn’t be happier about it. But what am I going to do now? I’ve decided I am going to spend more time working on this blog. I’m going to try and treat it more like a part time job than just a hobby. To be perfectly honest I’m only doing this because if I don’t have a project to work on I would spend all my time watching Grey’s Anatomy. I’m going to try and post twice a week here and hopefully start making youtube videos again. But don’t quote me on that. It totally depends on how I’m feeling.

I am extremely fortunate in that I live with my parents and therefore have very little bills to pay each month. But I still need a way to pay for this blog. Some people may not be happy with this but I have decided to look into becoming a book depository affiliate. I also know that a number of people on my Tiny Watercolours post asked if I sold my artwork anywhere so I am going to look into setting up an Etsy shop.

I just want to thank everyone again for your support over the last year. I’ve said this before but it really has been a crazy year. We are also nearly at 2000 followers which is amazing considering I started out 2014 with only 100 followers. So thanks again.

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28 thoughts on “Unemployed

  1. Hi – Your plans to become a book depository and to sell your amazing water colours to help pay for the blog sound like relevant, good ideas. Looking forward to seeing more of your writing. Moke xx

  2. Congratulations on making a big, and difficult, decision which has made you feel more comfortable. Your watercolours were indeed beautiful and I hope you are able to use this talent to make some money – I’d certainly be interested! X

  3. I have never had any problems with ATOS but whether that was because i was a staff nurse in a former life i have no idea, although it did take me a year to win and get DLA as well, i would have had no money to live on and been living on the streets by now if i hadn’t of fought on to the end. My advice is speak to CAB and fight.

    As for your blog – you will find the serious bloggers write most if not all days a week, but have fun with it.

  4. Hey Girl, thanks for following my blog. Just new and getting starting hope you like it. Reading this article made me feel firstly sad you had to go through that, but secondly glad you made such a big change. Personal health is always most important!

  5. Not working sucks, I’m in that boat as well. But I do know that health is more important than a paycheck – which is why I’m not working either. It sucks not having an income, but finding ways to keep busy and work on something is more rewarding than cash anyway! Good luck!

  6. ATOS have made some awful decisions when it comes to finding people fit for work and like you I spent a lot of time making myself ill with worry but I’ve also now decided that my health and happiness are more important than job. Good luck with your future! 🙂

    1. ATOS are really terrible. One of the things the woman wrote in the report was she thought I was fit to work since I could wash my own hair. Because being able to wash my hair a couple of times a week totally proves I can work a full time job. That really pissed me off.

      Thanks 😀

      1. They have got to be joking haven’t they? They obviously don’t live in the real world since when did washing your hair become a necessity in a full time job? Haha. You just do what’s best for you and be happy 🙂

      2. Sorry, I couldn’t help laughing at this one! I mean, I have heard a lot of these arguments myself, having been through the same process some years ago. What are in those peoples minds? Really…?

  7. Hello from the states! I hope things start to get better for you, I’m sorry for your struggles. I look forward to seeing your artwork on Etsy

  8. I’m guessing you don’t live in the States. Due to the “wisdom” of a do-nothing Congress, our unemployment now only lasts 6 months, not that the job market has improved. There used to be long-term unemployment but they “neglected” to extend it. Mine runs out in December…

    1. Nope I live in the UK. We have something similar here called Jobseekers Allowance, but to get it you need to be fit for work. My doctor has signed me off work because I’m not fit for work. But I am also not unwell enough to get sickness benefits. Soooo thats annoying.

      1. I understand the “not quite sick enough” issue as well. Here, it takes about 1 year to get a hearing for disability. You generally need to hire a lawyer. And in the state I currently live in, only 4% of the disability requests are approved on the first round. So, in short… I get where you’re coming from, even if you’re coming from the UK. 🙂

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