Concerns About Not Being Well Enough to Look For Work

This is a follow on to my post a couple of weeks ago. Things went well for the young woman at the doctors but she is now concerned about financial security. As a university leaver she feels pressured to find a new job but doesn’t feel well enough even to look for one.

”I understand that your main concern now is that of your financial situation and the pressure to get a job after having just finished university. However it’s really important that you listen to your body. If you feel that you’re unable to work or even look for work at the moment then it’s likely that doing so could seriously risk your health. Pushing ourselves beyond our energy limits it the worst thing we can do with ME/CFS and for some people it has even caused irreparable damage. The best thing you can do for your long term financial security is look after yourself now and give yourself the best possible chance of recovery. Have you talked to your doctor about the issue of work and your concerns about being too ill to work?
I’m afraid I’m not very familiar with the benefits system but if you are unable to work because of ill health you could apply for employment and support allowance instead of job seekers allowance.  The citizen’s advice bureau is a good source of advice about benefits. You may also want to look at the advice from the ME Association and Action for MEbefore making a decision about changing your benefits.
If you feel that under the right conditions you could work part time, it might be worth talking to the people at the job centre and continuing to apply for job seekers allowance. They were very accepting of the limits to the kinds of jobs I could apply for when I was looking for work. I found that there were very few jobs that came up that fit my circumstances so there was less pressure to spend a lot of time looking for work. When considering how many hours you could work in what kind of an environment also think about the time and energy it would cost you to get to and from work. For example if you think you could work 15 hours a week in a nonphysical job in a quiet environment, would that still be possible if you had to travel for an hour each way to get to work? Also take into account the stress of learning something new. That kind of stress can cut down our energy even further.
The bottom line is that looking after yourself well in the short term will give you a much better chance in the long term!”

What advice would you offer someone in this situation?

 

2 thoughts on “Concerns About Not Being Well Enough to Look For Work”

  1. This is such an important topic and I’m so glad you shared this. I hate not being able to work, of course I want and need the money but I’m not going to force myself to work only to have to quit after a week and be suffering for months after. It’s just not worth it! I’ve been considering looking for a work from home/online type job just for a few hours a week, as I now feel like that is something I could manage, especially as it can be done from my sofa/bed.
    Thanks again guru! <3

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