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I started back to work on a permitted work scheme, which is for those of us who have been on long term sick but are looking to get back to work. It means you can work no more than 15hrs and still receive incapacity benefit.
I arranged a back to work programme with my employer, I have been working 3 mornings, I have had to change departments because i could not manage my old job.My employer has been very understanding.
I contacted the working tax credit office to inform them that my hours have reduced, they informed me I was no longer entitled to claim,so they stopped my money (£2350 per year)!
I tried to enquire which other benefit I was entitled to but was told because I was working(!) and claiming incapacity benefit I wasn't entitled to anything else!!
I then received a letter on Friday informing me they have STOPPED my incapacity benefit, because they say I am fit to work!!!

I have always wanted to get back to work,its not that I don't want to work, its just at the moment I am not able to work full time.
What I can't understand is why I had more benefit when I was working more hours, and then loose everything when I drop my hours???It doesn't make sense.
My doctors are absolutly furious and have written letters for my appeal. I had to see my GP today because I am so down and can't sleep. He has now signed me off work indefinately.
I just feel as though I am being penalised for being ill,as if I haven't been through enough, I now have the worry and stress of how I look after my family and keep a roof over our heads Worried

Any advice greatly appreciated

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Dear Tracey I just want to be with you to give you a hug. I can't advise you as I know nothing about the system but I seem to think Paul is a bit of an authority on benefits as he works, or used to work, in this area. Maybe a private email to him might help. I'm sure someone will reply with some assistance for you. It does seem a crazy system that penalises someone who is willing to work. If your doctor has put you back on the sick then maybe you can get benefits reinstated. I hope something happens quickly to ease you of this added stress. You have been through enough and come fighting back like the star that you are. Don't let the b******s grind you down! Much love B x
Hi Tracey, sorry to hear about your working problems, it is bloody outrageous.
I work for the NHS and if I'm off sick I get paid but if I go to work reduced hours - which I am having to do like you cos I can't work full time - I have to take those hours as annual leave! So if I work 3 half days I lose 3 half days annual leave. If I go sick I get paid for the 3 days and do not lose any holiday! This is the NHS 'return to work' policy for people who have been off sick for a long time!
The world is cazy! Banghead
Hey, as a self employed person, I have had to scrap my way through whilst I was really ill, despite having a visit from some doc, as I could walk up stairs and get in and out of bed, he thought I was O.K. but for six months unable to drive or go shopping, had to rely on neighbours getting stuff and various friends who came to look after me when I cound't even make the end of the street. do not understand the system Bomb
Thanks for your replies!
The system is all wrong, it seems to pander to the people who have no intention of working and give them every benefit thats going and then decent hard working folk who want to work get kicked in the teeth at every turn!
I am so furious about this, why should I be treated like this when I have been seriously ill and all i want to do is get back to some kind of normality?
The crazy thing is I would probably be better off not working!!

I'll keep you informed
You are so right Garance, its the honest ones that get all the c**p.
My consultant said these very words to me "the problem is youre too honest and don't know how to work the system" How true, if I had lied I would have been ok.
Then you see these people coming into our country and getting handed everything, I only want to work and keep a roof over our heads is that so wrong??

Hi! Just had to jump in when I saw the comment about a revolution because I was just thinking the same thing a few days ago while I was walking to work. of course...I was speaking of the US and with Bush as President...who could blame me? Thinking Anyway...I have a coworker who had a bad stroke a few years ago and went into a coma..they didn't think he would ever be functional again and he is able to work and wants to work but Dept of Health and Social Services cuts off his health benefits when he works too many hours and they actually told him it would be better worth his time not to bother working at all! The system is all about keeping people down and it works because we are all too tired and beaten to have the energy and drive to organize for the revolution. It sucks!
Hi everybody
Just thought I would bring you up to speed on my fight. I still have had no benefit, my appeal has been sent off along with 3 letters from my consultants and GP, I have had 2 meetings with my employers, the second being today, I had a union rep with me.
I have been signed off work again with stress/depression and also extreme weakness in my left arm.
This worries me!Have any of you had this problem, this is the side I had radiotherapy on and I am finding my arm is getting weaker, I also have pain traveling from my neck down my shoulder. I had started going to aerobics because I thought this would build up my muscle, but doctor says this was too much too soon. I can't win! Banghead he has referred my for physio.
Anyway the upshot of the meeting today was I have a line for 4wks,after that I must return to work, or they will start proceedings to pension me off due to ill health Worried the thing is the way my arm is at the moment I couldn't do my job, and if I have to go to physio (i understand this can be painful)I don't think I will be able in 4 wks.

best wishes
Hello Tracey,
Two neck dissections - you have my sympathy - I only had one RHS all lymph nodes plus a lump of neck muscle. If you had the neck muscles took out two you will have really suffered. - Hospital physios are good. - Give you exercises with elastic bands.
Due to nerve damage I had a lot of referred pain in my right arm bicep and elbow joint. I really thought the cancer had travelled and was in there - it wasn't of course - but the mind plays such tricks on you.
Depression please use an SRI anti depressant drug - it tales 4 to 8 weeks to kick in but they do lift the mood and help stop you thinking so negatively.They DO help you cope with not much in the way of side effects that I've noticed.
The surgery and radiotherapy causes havoc to the nerves in the neck region and the symptoms can be felt along the arm and even down the spine to the leg nerves. I still suffer a LOAD of side effects one year on. I am applying for an ill health retirement.
Good luck to you - keep in touch - Tony
milk the system you are right Tony they even get token to do that?

I am not going to comment on Tracys horendous story as I am there too nearly lost my home but did they care, no I had dared to work for a living and single so dont fit into the little boxes. Confused

I was yes a Disibility Advisor and could tell you stories you would not belive about our foreign friends but not going there is just makes me so angry and I am unwell as it is. Banghead

Good Morning Tracey,
TELETEXT page 312 20.01.06 paragraph 1 :-
"A scheme allowing incapacity claimants to try their hand at a job without putting benefits at risk will be hailed as a way forward for the system" Scheme to be launched by John Hutton MP.
I wonder if the work and pensions secretary knows how the system works for genuine claimants.a letter to him might not go amiss
John Hutton MP
House of Commons
You local MP may be interested in your case.
Keep Smiling Razzer



EXCLUSIVE Mum-of-two fears she'll lose her home

By Natalie Walker

A CANCER sufferer fears she and her kids will be left homeless after her sickness benefits were stopped.

Tracey White, 36, had her money stopped by benefits chiefs six weeks ago, although three doctors backed her claim that she is too unwell to work.

Mum-of-two Tracey has had three operations to remove 12 tumours from her throat, followed by radiotherapy.

But last week, she was told her appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions' decision that she was fit to work full-time had failed.

Tracey, who is still employed by Tesco, said yesterday she had been stunned by the outcome of her interview with a doctor acting for the DWP.

She said: "I did not think for one minute he'd think I was fit enough to work.

"He asked me daft things like could I walk up three steps or could I answer a phone.

"I could do these things for a couple of minutes but that does not mean I'm well enough to work 37 hours a week stacking shelves or in the warehouse.

"My mortgage is £210 a month, so we have next to nothing left to feed, clothe and heat us. If this goes on much longer I really think we could be left without a home."

Tracey, of Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, has gone back to work several times over the past year.

She was allowed to work fewer than 15 hours a week and still receive benefit. But the brave mum, whose husband John was laid off as a spray painter last year, has found it too tough since her last op.

She said: "There's nothing I want more than to have the strength to make money to look after my family.

"But my doctors say I'm too weak and need a wee bit more time to get better. The last thing I want or expect is handouts. But this is out of my control."

Tracey, John and daughters Jade, 13, and Zoe, 10, have only £77 a week in income support to live on after the withdrawal of the £88-a-week benefit.

Her GP Dr Graham Riddle, of Alloa Health Centre, wrote to the DWP: "I find this decision quite astonishing.

"The combination of surgery and radical radiotherapy has left her very weak and she has certainly not made a full recovery.

"I find this system completely irrational when it panders to people who will do everything within their means to stay off work but incapacitates people who want to return to work."

Surgeon David Soutar, from Glasgow's Canniesburn Hospital plastic surgery unit, said: "I would be surprised if Tracey will be fit to return to full-time employment for several months."

And a surgeon from Glasgow's Beatson Oncology Centre also asked for her to be given more time to recover.

A DWP spokeswoman said: "Although we can't comment on individual cases, all decisions are made on available evidence put before us."


The Minister for Works and Pensions is Mr John Hutton. I would encourage mouth cancer patients and carers and others concerned to email him at expressing disapointment at how mouth cancer patients like Tracey are being treated.
Last edited by drvinodkjoshi
Hi Paul you are quite right, re milking the system. Have a school friend with severe M.S. she has to pay for care etc, yet an ex friend lives in South Africa, has a disabled person's flat fully kitted out which he lets out to two jewellery dealers who have sub let their two houses, he has had his leg off and has had 5 0r 6 artifical legs at £5,000 per leg, yet I have to fight city hall to get one pair of orthoepedic shoes per year for my son; plus my aged mother has social workers bothering her to know what she has in savings. so I know what you are talking about.

I WON!!!!!!


Really pleased Tracey that the system has finally recognised what a horrendous ordeal you have been through. I too experienced similar difficulties in the early days of my diagnosis/treatment. I'm back at work now after two and a half years and I really needed that time to get over the psycological effects of Cancer as well as coming to terms with the physical side effects. When you think of all the "faker's" out there it really does make you mad how someone like yourself can be persecuted for claiming benefit for a what is a very debilitating and painful experience.
Good luck for the future.
Thanks Steve

I was really furious when they rejected my appeal as I see 'fakers' everyday who manage to work the system and seem to have everything. And here I was desperate to get back to work because that was a step back to 'normality'. I didn't think they would overturn their decision but I wasn't going quietly! it was the principal, and I wanted them to see me in the 'flesh' that I wasn't faking it, I was genuine.
Thanks for your reply


Well done! It ould be good, but it on't happen, for the officials that made the overturned decision to be asked to look at what they did to you, and ask why they did that.

I wold bet that their performance assessment puts much more weight on budget cuts, and much less on actually meeting the needs of the individual.

Good on you for having the strength, the patience, the determination and the courage to stand up to this kind of bureacratic bullying.

You are a real star.

Hi all,
Not wit any intentions to offend anyone here - I find this all a bit strange. I have lived most of my life in Europe and gave up my Spanish citizenship to revert to my Indian. I am married to a woman of Irish- Indian origin and have two teenage sons and a widowed mother and a aunt who is a spinster. You can read my story on the main page in "Ananth's Story". In India we have nothing like incapacity benefits, work less hours, medical benefits, medicines provided etc. etc. Being the eldest of three brothers and one sister - all who are far away from India and home have their own responsibilities in the Countries that they live. They are not expected to contribute anything towards the upkeep of the family and the entire onus falls on me. A lot of people ask me as how I mantain my outlook towards life when five other lives besides mine are dependent on me. I have never ever thought that I could not do what was expected of me and even through all my problems with fighting cancer - with bills mounting up and a bit of income coming in - I have clawed myself to being what I was. Even though I have a stoma and feed through a peg - I work 14/16 hours a day, I work out at my office gym, run four km every morning and have a great diet. On the other hand - I have never backed off on giving the very best to my sons, wife or my mother and Aunt. My sons go to the best of schools;my elder son now drives his own car - which I bought for him as a gift for having done well, both use the latest cellular phones as does my wife and I. I really cannot think of anything that anyone in our family lacks in terms of material things or love for each other.

Here the entire issue is to do or die. I think I have been lucky enough that I had such support that I was able to fight the cancer and live a few more years to see my sons grow up into fine men and ensure that my wife and mother/ aunt are totally secure - when I am not there. As you would have read at the start of my story - I have been informed by the doctors that I will have to live the rest of my life breathing through the stoma and feeding through the peg. I have accepted the same as a part of life and began to improve my quality of life. I had to find a way to talk without having to close my stoma each time I needed to do so and went crazy looking for affordable means that could not just benefit me bu all others who have our problem. After months of doodling and thinking, as I was walking down the asile of a supermarket, I saw some baby bottle nipples made of silicon. I do not know why but I bought about ten of them and then began working on them- cutting them in a way one could breathe in and out and finally hit the nail on the head. I approached the medical fraternity for approval and they were amazed at the product and especially the price factor. A stoma button in India costs nothing short of about 150/200 US$ and I was going to mass produce and retail at a price of 2 US$. I decided to better it and went in for designing a stoma button with an " orator" and today I am using the prototypes and they work like a dream. I go into mass production in partnership with the manafacturers of the makers of the baby bottle nipple- much to their delight as they find this an opportuntiy to help out the common man to at least afford an opportunity to talk. I have also decided to distribute 100 pcs. (every month ) to each of the two hospitals where I was treated. The doctors are really overjoyed and anyone can well imagine that. I too am so as I have managed to do something that will help so many people to express themselves once again.

I truly love life and live it king size. I have a fantastic family, some great freinds, a great job and a new life. I have a lot of people to thank for this and its not just all those I know but also those who have read my story here, heard me out at various seminars and heard me out on TV. Thank you - each one of you and may God and "the force' be with you all.


That was a very interesting perspective you present (with apparent conviction). I don't exactly know what to make of it all... but find it intriguing just the same.

Your cancer survival story and how you have coped with the after-effects of treatment, maintaining your work affairs and responsibilities associated with being head of your family... plus the "invention" you described... It is all most admirable indeed. When you write: "I truly love life and live it king size"... I believe you! We should all take a lesson.

Best regards and continued success,


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