Job information_ can/want to.

I have been for an interview with my local jobcentre for pathways to work. If I get a job after 13 weeks on ESA I get £40 per week additional to my salary paid for 52 weeks!

The government have thrown money and support on the side of jobcentre and organisations to get all on ESA back to work and the ethic is of encouragement. You now have some good rights in that you don’t have to take any job just the job you want and is right for you.

If like me you are trying to get back to work after mastectomy and on any of the tablets (5yr) that give side effects you can tell them everything and they will work with you as support.

Good luck all

Thanks for that posting Daisy. Very interesting.

I have been on ESA since my recon 11 weeks ago. Sadly my employers decided to dump me just before my recon op. I have now received a letter telling me i have to go for a medical examination to prove my entitlement to Esa. Which seems insulting as i have never claimed benefits in my life and surely they belivee i have had a mastectomy then 2 years later a recon.
Did you have to go for a medical to get on the pathways scheme? I am deseprate to get back to work again with any help that can be given. I am 53 and i have never been out of work so it is a very daunting prospect to say the least.
Can also tell you though that due to the work i did you are also entitled to a £150 back to work grant and a £150 clothing grant from the government when you get paid work.
Would appreciate any advice you can give

I think we are at near enough similar stages - my 13 weeks will be up 2nd week August and I have had medical assessment and pathway interview. I am awaiting their decision to see if I can stay on ESA and get support on the work group. I had mastectomy 5th June and really want to go back to work having sorted out the early Tamoxifen SE and doctors support.

The medical was questioning and he said that for my mental fuzziness there wasnt a question or option - they just needed to know if I could get myself up in the morning and go out to the shops - well sometimes and I push it but other days am too tired or fed up or the prosthesis winks at me but doesnt manage to get put on. Ha they just have questions relevant to what they want to happen and not relevant to BC. So if you are quadriplegic or have learning challenges (brain injury) its straight forward but for people like us we fall through the net. I have a cert that just says BC and am just depressed thinking about the cancer and all that goes with it along with the side effects of night sweats, nausea, tiredness and fuzzy brain. Certificate means nothing to them. Make sure you get your certs in on time or they suspend your payment - havent had one for 3 weeks now as there was a postal strike apparently.

Make sure that you explain to the doctor (med Asses) all your issues and that it depends on day to day. Think of your worse day and go through that day. Its a thin line between pass and fail.

The jobcentre interview told me that I could get all the support needed to get work and they have lots of ways to get us in the door with employers willing to support us. I was so excited at the prospect. He also said that if I got a job after the 14 weeks then they will pay £40 per week for 1 year on top of our wage no matter what it was. The only problem is that we have to be on the work group to get it. If I havent passed the assessment I will be put back to JSA and 31/2 mins signing every fortnight and no more help than that - he even said that he didnt understand it. I have been teaching for years and have lots of skills so a job in admin or clerk or something would suit me and I am not even looking at the money! I am alive and kicking and just want to feel part of society and the human race again.

Not asking for much are we?

Good luck to all trying and dont them add to your problems - give it back. If I am put on JSA I will demand support and all the programs I am entitled to.

I do hope you find what your looking for and if I find anything else out I will post.

Hi again Daisy, i have still not heard re my medical. But i did voluntarily ring the Dea at my local Job Centre to request help with getting back to work. I have now been allocated a job coach, (who looks like she should still be at school), I had a interview this week for a job but of course once i explained that i had been dismissed by my last employer that was the end of my chances.

How are you getting on now with job hunting? Would love to hear from you again?

Well Mounties do you have a plan - this is my teaching strategy talking ha

Well I have been applying for jobs but at 53 and on Tamoxifen its a nightmare. I have always worked so am disappointed that having paid in I am struggling to get anything back. The trouble is we are not criminals or junkies and have done everything for ourselves so we are not deemed worthy of help!

I did not pass my medical and only found out that they closed my ESA when I phoned them when I got my assessment report back with zero points. My problems do not fit into there tick sheet.

I have posted on another thread but basically if they do not accept you on ESA medical then immediately appeal. I didnt as I was fed up and couldnt cope with any more messing about so was supposedly transferred by telephone to JSA on 28/08 but when I went for Jobcentre interview they had no clue of it and I had to apply again fresh! I have not had payment since the last one week ESA payment on 24/08/09. I am still awaiting decision - they are inundated apparently. So if you appeal I am told you still get paid instead of stopping payment dead. In the meantime you can get some money together for the “in case” the systems are not working and you are without money for 4 weeks. It also affects housing and tax benefits.

In the meantime I have applied for 7 jobs but with no experience havent a chance and the jobcentre just says look at newspapers. I have job agencies email me jobs and I have got myself onto a course to boost chances (interview at the end of it).

I get up and plan every day what I am to do and because I need to build stamina and this Tam has given me joint problems in my ankles, nausea and fluid retention I am working every day to adapt and build strength so when I do get a job I will be fit enough for it.

I go to the library as its quite a walk there and back and read up on good diets, fiction and biographies to find out how others do it.
I smile and nothing will deter me from employment. From teaching to admin is a pleasure and I am not asking a lot but it seems I am over qualified but what has that got to do with my career change.

Phew need a cuppa after all that.

Big hug xx

i used to teach as well, i worked in Probation teaching literacy and numeracy, now i am also on ESA, luckly i heard on monday i have been put in the support group, i think cos i am starting rads soon and i also have a osteoarthiritis. I was never asked to attend a medical, i heard that mojority of the people on ESA fail the medical and appeal, if you want to appeal thre is a post called They can advise you.Having BC I have yet to find my “NEXT” What is available to me now? where do i go next?what do I do now? where is my next job?

I cry when i meet friends from work for lunch as they rush off to work i am left on my own in town. I was made redundant in April and diognosed in May. I am kind of envious of people with jobs and a social life as i dont have one at the moment.

Having a plan will help and i need to help myself as none will knock on the door to give me an opportunity. I have gone back to my passion of creative writing and volunteered to teach Creative writing in October for a well being group. I am so looking forward to this and i will be teaching this while i am going though radiation tretment,WHAT A CHALLENGE? is thre people from Brighton here perhaps we could meet up> how do you post a topic?


It is amazing how many teachers have BC - is it the stress??

So many teachers lost from schools and colleges - it would be interesting to get some stats.

Good for you shenay that you are planning your future already - part of teaching huh! I think that you have a good chance of getting work and dont forget that under 16hrs per week you can keep benefits or get working tax credits.

Its a great challenge - the mind is willing just need to work on the body hey?

To post a topic go to the headings on the left - Living with cancer or another and it will say on the right hand of the page to Post a topic.

Good luck.

Thanx Daisy Do

I will be doing 2 hours voluntary a week and if there is funding for the group they will pay me hourly. I thought it was 85 pounds a week youre allowed to earn. Funny thre is lot of teachers on the forum, i can only teach in post compulsory education. I have also heard that thre are vacanciesin every borough teaching sick children who cannot attend school in their homes, Social services might be able to help. Its home tutoring tutors if youre interested, i do not drive so it would be difficult. they pay £26-29 pounds an hour, what are u looking for? do you sometimes feel its agest out there in the job market as well.

I think taking on some kind of voluntary work is a good idea. I’m doing voluntary work on Monday afternoons as we run a business from home which I sometimes find quite isolating as my OH has most of the client contact. The girl who is doing my training was a volunteer for 6 months and she now does 3 days a week as a paid worker as they offered her a job a few months ago.

TBH, if they offered me something like 1 day or 2 mornings a week I would take it for the independence and the little bit of extra cash. When I was ill I didn’t get any benefits and it was very hard as we were living frugally on savings on account of the business being in its very early days. I recently found out my OH was using his credit cards and not telling me as he didn’t want to worry me. The benefit system really needs reform, it is not fair that hard workers who get cancer often get nothing.

Cherub, how did you find your voluntary work? Did you go through a volunteer agency or just see a advert?

I am trying so hard to get paid work but suspect my ex employers are doing their damdest to stop me by giving bad verbal references. Ideally i need someone to pretend to be offering me a job just to see what they would do. So far though no luck getting anyone to pretend to do that.

Now looking for vol work in the hope i could then use them for future references. Would you be able to use your vol work provider as a last employer referee?

Sorry to ask so many questions, but i am 54 and feeling i am on the scrap heap through no fault of my own.

Yes, if you take on voluntary work you can use the employer for references. In the induction notes I was given they also said it is a good idea to include it on your CV when you move on. We have a local volunteer centre where they can match people up to jobs, but they put everything on their website like an agency, so you can look at what’s on offer and they will email out details to you if you can’t go to the office. I’ve met quite a few people now who have been taken on as paid workers after being volunteers. The vols at my place are encouraged to come up with ideas and I’m currently working on ways of fundraising for a food parcel scheme; I’ve been asked if I’d like to write to supermarkets and stuff about the possibility of donations.

If you pick the right type of organisation you get good training. As I’m in a homeless charity that gets funding from the council I can go on any of the courses for NHS or council workers. Had a couple of hours spare this morning so went to a seminar on housing law. My OH is away for a few days next week and I’m on a food hygiene certificate course as the charity is trying to start up basic cookery classes. Another organisation are going to get the classes up and running, but they want to hand over to us so there will be a chance to take classes one morning a week instead of doing office work.This is great for me as it ties in with a food website and blog I’m writing promoting simple food and recipes.

I’m also hoping to do a refresher in Excel when it comes round and a course in Powerpoint which I have never used. I would give it a go - as my main employment is working in our business at home this gets me out for an afternoon and lets me meet people. I was a bit scared at first because some of our clientele have things like drug problems, but I’ve found it has really helped my confidence a lot. Via our business I’ve been offered some freelance work as a Project Administrator on a new website development and now feel I can take on that work - I was working towards it but would have been a bit worried about making that step earlier in the year.

I would give it a go - even if it is only stuffing envelopes once a week. Obviously, I gave them details of BC on the application, but the only people in the office who know are the manager and the girl who interviewed me. To everybody else I’m just a lady who spends a few hours a week making tea and doing a little bit of free office work which is fine by me.

I took a job at M&S for Christmas and will see how it goes. I cant go back to teaching as it was youth offending 16 yr olds and I just cant stop the fighting and I dont want that kind of thing now. I really like working for Marks I go in do some work and then leave and dont bring anything home.

The money is terrible but you can get housing benefit, council tax benefit and working tax credits to top it all up. I am on my own and my two boys come and help me out. I think i will be ok - I just want to feel normal and work again. Will see in a few months.

I did some work for NHS but they are useless employers and mess you about so much so didnt bother.

The organisation I use for volounteer work is Do It :

It goes on area.

Good luck everyone.xx

i hope that works out for you, i think its worth it to be stress free! i will certainly insist on less workload when i go back! I totally get what you mean about nhs employers. You have to really stand up to them.
best of luck

Be careful with M and S. I worked as a Christmas temp at my local store about 5 years ago and it wasn’t a great experience. I was offered 15 hours a week which was all I wanted to do as my father had just gone into care and I only wanted to work p/t. This was fine when I started in the October, but by the end of November they expected you to do all sorts of extra shifts and I was soon being expected to do 47 1/2 hours a week. We had a late night on Thursdays and you had to work from 9am to 8pm with the minimum of breaks, by 7.30 I was having real difficulties concentrating on the till screens(one temp fainted on the shop floor at 7pm). You were also supposed to get time and a half for Sundays, but the payroll would always get it wrong and when I left I was still owed money which I never ever got. They messed up the BACS system as well and the temps were paid cash in envelopes every week - I got a tax rebate one week and had to get on the bus home with £500 in my handbag as they would not let me out to go 2 doors down to my bank to deposit it.

I also told them when I went for the job that I would need to leave 2 days before the contract finished as I had sold my house (450 miles away in London) and I had to return to London to exchange contracts and pack everything up for the removers. The management said this was absolutely fine. However, on the day that I was leaving I was taken to one side on the shop floor by my department manager and told as I was leaving 2 days early I was not suitable for employment with the company, so not to re-apply in the future (this was in front of customers btw).I also received a letter from the Head Office in Edinburgh confirming this. I did use them as referees when I registered with agencies and went for interviews, but they just didn’t get back to the employers.

I have not really shopped with the company since. I used to spend a lot of money in M and S, especially the food hall but I’m afraid their treatment lost me as a customer. I was actually quite taken aback as I had always believed M and S were good employers, but the permanent staff who had been there for years said that over a few years they had gone from best paid retail jobs on the High Street to one of the worst and the conditions were going down the same route.