Requirement to 'prove' I am disabled - help please!

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clarebear
clarebear Member Posts: 5
Hi All

I am new to both this site (and to RA!) and I need some assistance please.

I was diagnosed last August following almost a year of extreme pain and very limited mobility, which initially was put down to my pregnacy and birth of my child last January. The mobility was so restricted that I was unable to pick my own baby up out his crib which was very distressing at the time.

I have to say I took the diagnosis very badly as all I could see was my young child pushing me around in a wheelchair, and as a result, dispite being due to return to work after my maternity last September I was signed off for longer with RA and depression. On my very first day back to work on 3 December I was made 'redundant'. I was the only person in the (FTS250) company to be made redundant and, according to them, it was totally coinsidental I had just been diagnosed, and that between us we would have need to agree some reasonable adjustments to my working life (I had a role which meant a lot of European Travel, something which I would not have been campable of doing regularly).

Needless to say I am persuing this with a solicitor as I wholeheartedly believe they were being discriminitory. However I have now received a letter from them saying I need to prove I am disabled as they dont believe I am. Anyone got any ideas? I am taking Hydroxichloroquine now plus co-cod and naproxin and I should say this has helped my joints signifincantly, does this mean that as I can move better now they can get away with being discriminatory?

Gosh this has turned into a long post, I am sorry, but would really appreciate your help. Thank you!

Comments

  • markc1
    markc1 Member Posts: 253
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    clarebear wrote:
    Hi All

    I am new to both this site (and to RA!) and I need some assistance please.

    I was diagnosed last August following almost a year of extreme pain and very limited mobility, which initially was put down to my pregnacy and birth of my child last January. The mobility was so restricted that I was unable to pick my own baby up out his crib which was very distressing at the time.

    I have to say I took the diagnosis very badly as all I could see was my young child pushing me around in a wheelchair, and as a result, dispite being due to return to work after my maternity last September I was signed off for longer with RA and depression. On my very first day back to work on 3 December I was made 'redundant'. I was the only person in the (FTS250) company to be made redundant and, according to them, it was totally coinsidental I had just been diagnosed, and that between us we would have need to agree some reasonable adjustments to my working life (I had a role which meant a lot of European Travel, something which I would not have been campable of doing regularly).

    Needless to say I am persuing this with a solicitor as I wholeheartedly believe they were being discriminitory. However I have now received a letter from them saying I need to prove I am disabled as they dont believe I am. Anyone got any ideas? I am taking Hydroxichloroquine now plus co-cod and naproxin and I should say this has helped my joints signifincantly, does this mean that as I can move better now they can get away with being discriminatory?

    Gosh this has turned into a long post, I am sorry, but would really appreciate your help. Thank you!


    Sorry to hear of your problems,would a letter from your doctor help?
    Have you seen a specialist?
    I think you have a good case for discrimination...Get the employment tribuneral form ET1 from the jobcentre and send it off asap explaining the delay in posting it.
    Did you lodge a formal grievance with the company because if you did you would gain an xtra 3 months to submit the tribuneral form,i hope this is helpful

    Good luck,we are all with you :wink:
  • suziev
    suziev Member Posts: 252
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hiya clare bear

    funny thats what i called my cousin always had a bear with her as a kid and it's stuck!

    am sorry your having such a hard time, i was in the position nearly a year ago but it was to prove to my husbands boss that i was disabled, i phoned the helpline maybe worth doing yourself but if i remember rightly they said a doctors note should do it. you used to have a disabled number but now any long term illness such as RA is classed as disability.

    like you i got ra with the birth of my son but wasn't finally diagnosed till i was pregnant with my daughter, it's a hard thing to come to terms and am not surprised you have been so down. i know what you mean about worrying your kids pushing you in a wheelchair but i've come to think that the drugs are really good these days and i really do hope that this will not happen to us.

    you will get your head around it all, there is a griefing process for ra and am sure your going through it, it's such a shame you have had such a rough ride with work too. good luck and sure you have a good case.

    suzie
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,656
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hI Clare
    Sorry you are having such trouble with work.
    What a nightmare :(
    I agree with the others aDoctors note should do teh job for you and hopefully they wont make yoiu pay for it.
    Please doi let us all know how you get on won't you?
    Take care and v good luck
    Toni xx
  • page35
    page35 Member Posts: 1,081
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi clarebear
    sorry dont know much about the work stuff, but i to have resently been diagnosed with RA. mine started after i stopped breastfeeding my daughter, she is 2 now. i also take the same meds as you but have only been taking them for 8wks so not realy working.
    i was so shocked when i was told i had RA (8wks ago) think its gona take a while to totally sink in, still crying quite abit about it, but all folk on this forum have really helped me(Tony being one of them), sure they will you too.
    your not alone there are alot of mums on here with young children, or got RA when there kids were young and are a great surport.
    Take care and good luck
    Page
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    A letter from your Dr or any other medical staff you've seen, as many as possible.
    Any letters from any clinics you have attended.
    If you receive any benefits such as DLA, your award notice.
    A handwritten letter by yourself explaining in great detail, from the minute your symptoms arose and there affect on you and the continuation of them until now, it does not matter how long this is, as long as it is frank and honest it can be more than 10 pages long.
    Witness statements from family or friends who care for you, a Tribunal or even the DWP would not disregard these. As mentioned get the Tribunal form and cleary state why the limitation must be exceeded.

    Try and get as much as you can, anything and I mean anything, bombard them with info and good luck x

    To add under the DDA they would have to prove at Tribunal that they assessed you adequately, measures could not possibly have been put in place to allow you to continue working for the company even in a different role (very unlikely they did this) and what their redundancy criteria was. Most employers use a points sytem when calculating redundancy.

    eg Days off sick - points, days late - points, years with the Company all taken into account to dictate who should be the most reasonable candidates for redundancy. At Tribunal they will have to supply this and I bet you they didn't follow procedure. I've seen the figures on the Employers that don't and it is very high indeed. Fight tooth and nail and get the best representation you can. CAB are terrific and FREE!
  • clarebear
    clarebear Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Goodness thas was so lovely, thank you all for your replies they were all so useful and I will do everything suggested.

    Most of all I am NOT going to let them get away with it, because one thing is for certain I wont let them treat someone else like they have treated me.

    I have already spoken to my doctor (who is fantastic) and she has assured me that she will do anything she can to help. I have also started to write a diary of events as someone else suggested of all my symptoms, doctor visits etc.

    Anyway I will keep you all updated and again THANK YOU, I cant tell you how good it made me feel to get all those replies

    CB xxx
  • eckstardeluxe
    eckstardeluxe Member Posts: 1,192
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    clarebear wrote:
    Goodness thas was so lovely, thank you all for your replies they were all so useful and I will do everything suggested.

    Most of all I am NOT going to let them get away with it, because one thing is for certain I wont let them treat someone else like they have treated me.

    I have already spoken to my doctor (who is fantastic) and she has assured me that she will do anything she can to help. I have also started to write a diary of events as someone else suggested of all my symptoms, doctor visits etc.

    Anyway I will keep you all updated and again THANK YOU, I cant tell you how good it made me feel to get all those replies

    CB xxx

    Good stuff Clarebear, we are right behind you, keep us updated if you can xx
  • clarebear
    clarebear Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    page35 wrote:
    Hi clarebear
    sorry dont know much about the work stuff, but i to have resently been diagnosed with RA. mine started after i stopped breastfeeding my daughter, she is 2 now. i also take the same meds as you but have only been taking them for 8wks so not realy working.
    i was so shocked when i was told i had RA (8wks ago) think its gona take a while to totally sink in, still crying quite abit about it, but all folk on this forum have really helped me(Tony being one of them), sure they will you too.
    your not alone there are alot of mums on here with young children, or got RA when there kids were young and are a great surport.
    Take care and good luck
    Page

    Hi Page

    I never realised how many women are diagnosed after having a baby until recently.

    No wonder you are still reeling from the diagnosis, with it beings so recent. I have to say the drugs are really working for me so hope they will for you if you give them another month or so to settle in. Its not just the joint pain that has subsided but also (touch wood) dont seemed to have been knocked of my feet with the fatigue and other bugs which I kept getting. It maybe coinsidence but I take every bit of good news now and try and ignore the bad!! Dont know if this will help but after battling with crutches/nappy bags/shopping I have now bought myself a jazzy walking stick - much better, and my little boy likes to walk round using it too, which has made for some very funny videos!!

    I really hope it works out for you, and thank you for taking the time out to reply to my post. Let me know how it goes wont you

    CB xxx
  • woodbon
    woodbon Member Posts: 4,969
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just popped in to say HELLO :) I hope that things work out for you. Sounds to me, but I'm no expert, as if its worth taking your case a bit further. Love Sue x
  • autumnlady
    autumnlady Member Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    clarebear wrote:
    Hi All

    I am new to both this site (and to RA!) and I need some assistance please.

    This might be of interest

    Redundancy

    Your employer cannot select you for redundancy because you are disabled or for any reason relating to your disability. If your employer is consulting about any future redundancies, they should take reasonable steps to make sure you are included in the consultations.

    Your employer must also make reasonable adjustments to any selection criteria they create for selecting employees for redundancies, to make sure the criteria do not discriminate against disabled employees. For example, a reasonable adjustment for your employer to make could be discounting disability-related sickness absence when using attendance as part of their redundancy selection scheme.


    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/Employmentsupport/YourEmploymentRights/DG_4001071
  • c4thyg
    c4thyg Member Posts: 542
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Clarebear,
    I wish I had your guts and I wish you all the best. I was sacked 2 weeks ago for not being able to prove that I wouldn't relapse again because I have autoimmune conditions including PsA. Not once was anyone medically qualified spoken to and HR made the decision without my manager and acted while he was on annual leave. Really I should pursue this but I simply can't take any more stress. I'm the weak one and I wish I could do what you are doing. I've chosen to try and focus on getting my health sorted. I'm quite distressed about how many ppl on this forum have similar problems with employers. It makes my future feel very uncertain. I hope for all of us that you get a satisfactory outcome to this. I think we all need a success story.
    Good luck. Cathy xx