work and benefits

cheekylad Member Posts: 2
hi everyone. my name is phil and i am 42. i have psoriasis and also psoriatic arthritus. i have always suffered with a bad back and poor grip for as far back as i can remember. always put it down to doing heavy manual jobs and maybe over exerting myself as i,m not a big fella.

i used to be a foreman for a construction company with my own gang of men so i could pick and choose what i wanted to do workwise and when to do it so it was convenient being in charge but also i earnt a very good wage...£720 a week.

when the recession bit hard the company laid men off and i ended up being on my own on the job and i was struggling to finish my daily tasks. i worked out an 8 hour job took me 12 hours. this was due to pain, stiffness, tiredness and being uncomfortable. i was under dermatology and rheumatology and on medication and these hospital visits were getting harder to disguise so time off was getting noticed. eventually i phoned my boss, explained the situation and said i needed to call it a day as i couldnt do my job like i used to.

i claimed incapacity benefit and failed the atos assessment. i appealed. whilst appeal was in process i was moved to esa and had another medical and again failed and had to go on jobseekers. i had also applied for dla as i had been on incapacity benefit for about a year. eventually i had my appeal upheld and was put back on incapacity benefit. the dla was refused on the basis of second assessment only and i didnt bother appealing, although i think i should have.

i have been told by my consultant i cannot go back to my old job/work as i will end up in a wheelchair and to train in maybe computers. my mind still wants to lay drives, kerbs, concrete, etc,etc but my body has said noooooooooo.

i have been told i have psoriatic arthritus, then r.a, then spondilitus and now back to psoriasis arthritus. i have difficulty getting up in mornings, sitting, standing, walking, tiredness, painful joints, warm body parts, swelling...all the stuff you hear about. i dont believe i have sufficient pain management other than tramadol as and when needed and am about to start pysiotherapy.

i have had an xray which shows degenerative damage to L4, L5 and S1 but no sacrilitus evidence so on this basis am i ok or not and does that xray suggest i have problems? nothing shows up on blood tests but consultant says this is due to my age but funnily enough there is veery little medical evidence saying i can cant or should shouldnt work so where do i stand with benefits as i have an assessment coming up to judge what benefit, if any, i am entitled to.

sorry for this long letter but i think i have covered start to finish?


  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi cheekylad

    I am so sorry to read your story and also sorry that no one has come up with any bright ideas for you and I cannot either.

    You do hear of so many in the building trade suffering with arthritis and wear and tear. I know myself that having done lots of DIY helping my husband build extensions on our different homes and also doing loads of paid cleaning jobs in the past that it has taken a toll on my hands, shoulders, knees, back.

    I agree, I think you should have appealed too.

    I know the consultant is more than likely correct in what he says and he is playing safe,but it is easy for him to say that, isn't it? He is not you. I have recently had a spinal op (neck end) and have been told no paid cleaning jobs until he has seen me at 3 months. This was said after my 6 week check. I only do 3 hours per week but I have abided by what he says although I am sure I could manage it but I have refrained.

    This is a stab in the dark but would physio or injections or injections by x-ray direction, which is even better, help you at all I wonder, with your back problems anyway.

    Sorry I cannot be of help but you most certainly have my sympathy.
    You could always call the helplines and see if they have any ideas for you, number at the top of the screen.

    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.