The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 02:50:41 PM

Title: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 02:50:41 PM
I'm in the Uk and am unable to work due to my knee probelms. I am waiting for an operation which is scheduled for the 30th January. I then have quite a long and intense recovery before i will be able to return to work. I have been out of work for a few months and have tried to apply for some disability allowance or incapasity benifits.

I am unable to walk with crutches as I cannot weight bear and I cannot leave the house without my partner incase I have a dislocation whilst on my own.

I applied for both benefits and was told that I am not entitled to anything because I am not 'disabled enough' How disabled do you have to be? We are really struggling to live off of my partners wages and we really need the extra help.

Does anybody know if this decision seems right or has anybody been in a similar situation?

Any advice?
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: Nettan on January 02, 2008, 03:18:25 PM
Why can't you leave the house on your own ? Are you not able to weightbare on your leg ? With crutches you would be able to jump around with no weightbareing. A wheelchair is another option and you can always work in some have your arms and hands to use. Sorry if I seem to be harsh. But I think all of this might be the reason why you can't be called disabled. For having benefits for disabled you normally need to have the problems for very long like a year or at least 6 months.
See if you can find any work to do over the Internet. I have some part time work that I do from home.
I have 2 damaged knees and a spinal damage. But my arms and hands can do the work.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 04:23:58 PM
I can only get around on crutches. I know that i can do things like office work the problem being that where i live the only reception style work available is in hotels whch i what i've been doing for the last 4 years. Working in a hotel is never as simple as just using your arms and hands, which is why i eventually had to quit work after struggling through for over a year of constant pain.

I tried applying for some telesale jobs but nobody would take me on with an operation due that would mean i'd be off work for at least 6 weeks.

I understood that disability was something that was available to people with serious disabilities but I am completely baffled as to why i cannot get incapacity benefits as this is for people with injuries that are ongoing and being delt with?

I understand where you are coming from but i am also getting frustrated with peoply ie. my partners family, complaining that i must be able to get some kind of work. but i dont think they've ever tried to get a job whilst explaining that they will be having at least 6 weeks off within the next couple of months.

As for working from home,  I would love any suggestions for this as i cannot find a thing, but am bored silly and there is only so much i can do in a day with my own business.

Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: Nettan on January 02, 2008, 04:32:59 PM
This is temporary and maybe they consider you too young to need benefits. You have a partner supporting you and with no kids they probably consdier this is not enough for getting benefits.
When I was 20 I was on crutches for 2 years, had surgery..meanwhile worked parttime and studied.
There is always a way..or you might need to cut down on what you need.
Some people here around are in same situation as you but they also have kids to support. Look what income you have and live after that.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: friendsfan on January 02, 2008, 06:14:17 PM
Hi, im the the UK also and im claiming incapacity benifits because of my knee problems, bt incapacity is assessed on your tax you have paid in, or something like this. Have you tried claiming income support and if you cant claim income support could you claim jobseekers allowance? Im sure there must be something you can claim to help u,contact your local jobcentre plus and ask.   
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 06:30:05 PM

I can't get income support, housing benefit or council tax benefit because of my partners income. I could probably get job seekers but then i wont actually be seeking a job until after my operation now so it seems doubtful.

I'm so confused by it all i've never had to claim any benefits before i've been very independant and hard working. It looks like we'll just have to try and live with what we have.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: jathib on January 02, 2008, 07:21:32 PM
I think it would be pretty unusual to disable someone because of a knee problem. Nobody would be working if that were the case. There are literally thousands of things you could do. So I'm really not at all surprised by that decision. I've been on crutches 15 or so times throughout my working life. It's pretty inconvenient but very doable. I'm on crutches at work today because I  had surgery on my ankle a couple weeks ago.

You might want to just look for some temporary work for now. I'm not sure how it works in the UK but in the USA there are tons of temp agencies that will place you in a job you can handle. I don't know what you do for work but in the meantime, you might want to think about getting some training for a more knee friendly career.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 07:39:44 PM
I think i'll give up on any advice for financila help it's just making me feel more useless and lazy. Unfortunately i tried working on crutches for 6 months but it didn't work, i was exhausted, in more pain than normal and having more frequent dislocations. I have tried to find work from home, but to no avail. I have tried t find work that doesn't envolve getting up too much but no such thing exists in a tourist town like where i live. It's bar work or hotel work or nothing.

I feel as if people think i dont want to work. It's no fun sitting at home on my own, I desperately want to get back to work and i will as soon as my op is done until then, as i said before i will have to look at cutting down our bills.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: glasgowgirl on January 02, 2008, 08:43:43 PM
Hi Gemma,

You sound really fed up and I'm sorry that you've had so many problems over the years. I hope that your operation goes well later this month and you get your life back afterwards.

I've been off my work since last May following a high tibial osteotomy and another op in November as an emergency to remove the infected metalwork. From what I read on here, sometimes I feel I'm not doing enough to get back to work sooner. I think what I have learnt is that everyone is different and I know that I cannot yet go back to my nursing job.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I have managed to successfully claim for Incapacity Benefit. I went on to half pay in December and my employer told me I was entitled to claim for that and also for Income Support (but I was not allowed that) My incapacity benefit pays something like £57 a week - which is nothing really, but helps with the shopping at least.

I really think you should be able to get some money from the government. I'm not sure if that is Incapacity or Disability Living Allowance. You should be able to apply for a Blue Disabled Badge too (not something I have done but you probably would be entitled as you can't walk far) The assessment for that has a mobility component and a living component - you need to check that out to make sure it is this allowance, but there is something available to you!

I recommend you phone your local benefits office - sometimes in the job centre - for advice. My experience is that they want to help you and can fill in most of the forms over the phone to speed things up.

Please don't give up! I feel sure you should be able to apply for something!

I'm lucky that I work for the NHS and my job is secure. It's a big shame that you had to stop work.

I hope this has been helpful and reassured you a bit or given you some pointers.

My final comment is that (in my opinion and no-one elses) sometimes this forum is fantastic, but sometimes it can make you feel worse or that you're not doing enough to help yourself. So take the advice you need and filter out some of the stuff you don't. And remember that you alone are the only one who knows your situation and what you can do.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 02, 2008, 09:18:55 PM
Thank you so much glasgowgirl. Your encouragement means a lot. I do feel a bit useless sometimes but i've tried all i can and i will go back to work as soon as i can but until then i will keep on at the job centre to try and get some help.
You've made me feel much better :)
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: gaz on January 02, 2008, 11:37:26 PM
Gemma my DW has just had to claim jobseakers allowance and it all had to be done over the phone so it might be worth giving them a ring

also as you have said you have looked for work so you are actually seeking a job so why no try to claim, if your due for an op and will not be able to work its not your fault.  i am sure your not the first to have this happen to them.

i bet there are plenty of people claiming in your situation

good luck
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: SuzanneT on January 03, 2008, 02:49:01 AM
Hey there, don't  take these negative responses too seriously.  That's not what we're about.  I understand what it's like not to work.  I am walking, but still in pain & certainly not strong enough to return to my job as a teacher.  There are not that many sit-down jobs that are easy to get to & easy to do once you get there.  I can't even lift a gallon of milk out of the refrigerator without additional pain.  All of us are different.  I am fortunate that my husband has been able to be there for me & take up the slack.  We are getting by on less than we used to.  Don't get discouraged.  I know that it is hard.  I am there for you if you need encouragement.   Suzanne
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: tanyap on January 03, 2008, 09:25:47 AM
Gemmaleigh I TOTALLY understand where you are coming from. When its a massive ordeal to even get from the front door to the car I can understand how difficult it is for you to find some work that you could do. I have a desk job - otherwise I wouldnt be able to work. Ive been on and off crutches for the past 3 years and like you I can easily dislocate on them.
When your in pain all the time it can be so difficult to do anything else.

I dont think youre being lazy or useless at all!!!!!!! Youre just in a tranisitional period where youre waiting on your knee to be fixed.
Dont fret.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: kathat on January 03, 2008, 10:59:56 AM

From what I have read on the board, there are many others in a similar situation, so don't feel bad about being unable to get work. I am managing to hold onto my job, but more through luck than anything else. If I had been on a different ward or day shift instead of nights, then I would have had to leave by now. I do not have enough qualifications for many sit down jobs, so I don't know what I'll do if I have to leave my current job. It gives me the horrors just thinking about it! Good luck with your efforts. Try not to let things get you down too much - you're going to need all your energy for healing.

Best of luck,

Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: The KNEEguru on January 03, 2008, 01:11:32 PM
Everyone's situation is different. It depends on so many factors.

My suggestion is that you call 'DIAL' (Disability Information and Advice Line) and go in and see them, perhaps taking with you a letter from your doctor regarding your current situation. They will advise you, and if they think you have a good case they will help to fill in the forms and send them off on your behalf.
They have vacancies for volunteers, too.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: glasgowgirl on January 03, 2008, 09:23:46 PM
Hi again.

I'm glad you are going to keep on trying. The Disabilty Advice Line are good. I've spoken to them before and got a fair bit of good advice.

Hang in there. It's not easy but rest assured that there are lots of people in the same or similar position to yours just now.

Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: rustysul on January 04, 2008, 10:26:34 AM
I have knee and hip problems and i am getting mobilty allowance and disability allowance,neither of these payments are linked to how much tax you paid. The mobility allowance is granted once a specialist visits you at home and examines your level of disability,this can be the sometimes the luck of the draw if the specialist takes an instant dislike to you or got out of the bed the wrong side he may dismiss your case.
So appeal and they will maybe send a different specialist who will look at your case in a different light.
Disabilty living allowance payments you should be entitled to, if you cannot work because of your physical disability you are entitled to this payment re-apply and keep applying until you are paid.Dont listen to some of the comments an this page about why dont you work on computers or call centres etc.
you are disabled and entitled to these payments, it is the people who are claiming and are not disabled are the ones who should look for work. good luck!
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: Nettan on January 04, 2008, 04:41:39 PM
My guess would be that there are short-term disabilities and long term.
If you have worked you should be able get something for sick leave.
For the rest you can always apply. The countries are different.
Where I live you won't get anything unless you have the disability for long. That means for a year or more.
And I will have to totally disagree with Rustysul..if you can work in some way and there are works available, why live on disability payments. That is to use the system in a wrong way.
There is difference if you can't work or there are no works available that will suit for the disabilities a person may have.
Then you have no choice then to get help so you have something to live on.
Trust me I know something about this as I live with 2 damaged knees and a spinal damage and can work some anyway.
If I had the possibilities I would work fulltime and not need to rely on the state.
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: jathib on January 04, 2008, 05:07:13 PM
In the US we pay for our own short and long term disability. Employers may pick up all or part of the cost. Typically young people will not pay for it and then when they find themselves injured they wonder why they can't get help. The rest of us know better than to tempt fate. In addition to that, we can accumulate sick and vacation time at our jobs. Disability of any kind requires paperwork from a doctor verifying that you are unable to work. You can't just call and tell your insurer that you are injured. Sometimes a doctor will say you are 50% disabled and put restrictions on what you can and cannot do.

If you find yourself with an injury that will prevent you from going back to the same line of work then the goal is to work with an occupational therapist that can figure out what you can do so you can possibly be retrained. Where I work there are three employees that are permanently in wheelchairs.

I think in these kinds of issues people fail to look at the big picture. Suppose everyone with an injury, temporary or otherwise, was just able to draw government assistance when they asked. I'm currently on crutches due to ankle surgery. A few months ago there were four people in my department on crutches and/or in walking boots due to injury. Imagine the cost if we all just got a government issued check. Getting such assistance needs to be difficult and frustrating to help prevent people from abusing the system. I'm in agreement with Nettan on this one. If you can find something to do, you should do it. There's nothing wrong with working on computers, I've made an excellent living doing it!
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: TIBBAR on January 04, 2008, 05:08:20 PM
I have worked for the same job for the state for 30 years. I could retire with state benefits but not federal SS. So I can't afford to retire just yet. Because of several health problems ( some very recent ) I can apply for disability. These payments would be more than my retirement benefits. Seems the system is flawed when you get more money on disability than retirement. So more people opt for disability than retire. If I take disability I also can apply for Federal SS disability benefits ( which are better than my retirement benefits) and get them now instead of waiting another 8 years. Short answer: for me disability would pay more to stay home and do nothing than to work or retire.  Flawed system indeed. Now I work on till I just can't anymore and will reassess the situation when it comes up. Friends and colleagues can't believe I am opting to work than to stay at home and be paid. That may happen someday but just because the system is flawed doesn't mean I should take advantage of it. Maybe I am crazy?????                                      Frosty
Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: kathat on January 05, 2008, 11:09:15 PM
There is always some sort of work suitable for everyone BUT it is not easy to get the right job for you. That is why there are disability allowances and unemployment benefits and parenting benefits and all other types of allowances/benefits. There are always going to be people who sit on their butts and do nothing but abuse the system, but why should those who genuinely want to work, but are unable to find appropriate work, suffer financial hardships because they just happen to be physically able to work. EVERYBODY is physically able to do some sort of job, but there just aren't always enough jobs of the right type out there. I have been on unemployment benefits before, when I was between jobs. I couldn't have survived otherwise. I was able to work BUT I COULDN'T FIND WORK. I eventually did but I needed those benefits in order to live, as well as cover the costs of looking for work (resumes, postage, phone calls, petrol and parking for interviews etc). Nobody should be penalised or criticised for being out of work, especially if medical reasons forced them out of work in the first place. They need support and constructive advise.

Anyway, good luck for your surgery Gemma, and I hope you manage to sort your financial situation out - financial stress is the last thing you need when you are trying to deal with health issues too.

Title: Re: Financial help
Post by: GemmaLeigh on January 06, 2008, 12:38:50 AM
Thanks Kathy,

After my pre op on monday i'm going to take a trip to citizens advice I think and see what they think. At least if i'm busy stressing about finances I'm not stressing about my op!! :)