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Hello all,

Have a MEGA urgent important question, needs clarification right now if anyone here can help with it !!!!!!!

To cut it short, (developments in work since I last posted about HOSPITAL THURSDAY 14TH MAY). Still at hospital in morning at 9.30am. Thursday 14th May 2009.

In the meantime, my Manager at work phoned me at home, etc etc etc ....... asked me could I go in work next monday 18th May 2009 for a CASE CONFERENCE ! i.e. how I am, what medication I am taking, when may I likely to be back in work, is there anything they could do to help me/or to get me back to work. or last paragraph this ISNT A WARNING, just a chat, but if appropriate they could send me for a FORMAL REVIEW.

Have spoke twice today on phone to my Union Representative, he cant be with me monday, but said this CHAT he isnt required anyway at this stage, so it OK me go alone, i.e. in chat my manager and a message taker (another manager bit lower than him). AND ME !

Union Rep said - my main important question tomorrow at hospital is :-

IS THIS A/OR CLASSED AS A DISABILITY ?


Is Lupus or Arthritis, even remotely Fibromyalgia a recognised and definate
DISABILITY.

Answers from you important and correct, as my Union representative has specifically asked that, I said, I think it or those conditions are a DISABILITY, but cant say 100%

Urgent replies, not suggestions by the way, needed tonight if possible.

Lots to ask Rheumy tomorrow at hospital.

I said to Union Rep, I am now ill with most probably something for LIFE, I feel penalised, persecuted, guilty for ill-health, I think people who work, was healthy then are not forever are a THORN IN THE SIDE, never mind this DDA and WORK LIFE BALANCE, not even sure this exists. He TOTALLY SAW MY POINT. I said Im not a SHIRKER (like some of whose who have ruined it for us GENUINE ONES) i.e. firstly - people getting benefits who lie and not ill, and secondly people off work sick but are well. HAS %%%%%%%% possibly
SHAFTED it for me and many others !

I am very upset, worried bout this chat Monday, I am innocent, an ill-lady, worked all my life, (25 years in the GOVERNMENT UK) am childless, (another SAD TAKE TO THE GRAVE MEMORY AND LOSS) ! lost both my parents within a year, my brother died of lung cancer aged 57 ( 17th May 2007) my sister got breast cancer 2-weeks after him. (she is FINE thank the lord) !
I by the way, AM A CIVIL SERVANT, WORKED IN THE UK GOVERNMEN FOR 25 YEARS and this is HOW IM TREATED.

sorry to rant and rave, dont know if Im coming or going, but this stress is MAKING ME EVEN WORSE.

after this dragged out post I just need to know is LUPUS/ARTHRITIS, ETC A DEFINATE DISABILITY AND CLASSED AS THAT ?? I am asking that in the morning at Hospital.

Love and hugs, and hope to receive some important, definate replies. May try get in chat room later tonight if I feel up to it, feel very ILL with all this at the moment. This worry etc etc has KNOCKED MY HEAD OFF FOR SIX ! ......... (sure some/all of you will know THAT FEELING, OR WHAT I MEAN EVEN) its hard to explain.

Diane
 

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My employers are treating my condition as a disability and I am seeing a disability advisor tomorrow. I haven't had much time off sick, but I've had a lot of time off to attend appointments etc.

You do sound rather stressed and that won't be helping. Stop looking at it as though it's something negative, because it doesn't sound like it is at this stage. Is there anything practical that would help you go back to work, could you work part time anything? What is your current condition, how long have you been off, and why? It's a bit difficult to know how to advise without knowing these things. Civil service is notorious for instigating procedures to put the willies up people.

Oh sorry, I forgot you don't want suggestions.
 

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I am not based in the UK, but please search through the forum on UK Disability further down the forum list... and you should find a lot of information about your question there.

I have to assume that it *can* be classified as a disability, but my understanding that the diagnosis itself does not guarantee that to happen, but rather how the condition(s) affect you personally. Good luck and I hope someone else comes along with more firsthand knowledge!
 

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Hi Diane

You seem to be panicking unnecessarily. If you go to the meeting with a defensive mind set and/or a union rep, you run the danger of appearing as though you have something to hide.

It will not help your case if you approach the meeting as though your employer is gunning for you. You should take the meeting at face value - as simple review of your condition for the purpose of, such matters as:

a. Estimating when (if at all) you might possibly be able to return to work and on what basis - for manning purposes;
b. determining whether a second opinion is required so as to meet the legal requirements of any disability insurance / pension arrangements.

When you see your consultant tomorrow, it would be worth discussing with him his views as to your current ability to return to work and when he believes this may become a possibility and on what terms. You should also ask whether it would be possible for him to put whatever he says into writing for your employer. It is not essential that you have this for the meeting on Monday - it should be sufficient if you can let your employer know that such a letter from your consultant will be forthcoming.

Most important of all is that you remain calm - not only so as to do yourself justice at the meeting on Monday, but also for the sake of your health.

Take care

Merle
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your predicament and how you need to know clear cut facts, understandably.

First hand information is unlikely to some extent.

You need qualified information.

As far as lupus being a disability.
If you have a diagnosis then you may need a letter of qualification of that from your doctor.

It sounds like you need more concrete advise than the general population on here may be able to provide.

I wish you luck
 

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Just wanted to wish you good luck with your meeting. As mentioned I think your doc is the most obvious person to help you out with any questions as each situation is different and any confirmation would have to come from your medical team.

It's not so much the diagnosis per se, it's how it affects you personally as to whether it's classed as a disability. Everyone is so different in how we present, and here at least you have to be on maximum meds, tried to get the disease/diseases under control and still not functioning well before they consider disability.

Hope it goes ok, sending hugs,

love
Lily
 

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I am in the US, so not knowing what your requirements there are, but here lupus can be diagnosed as a disability. Anything severe enough, can disable. The majority of people with sle are able to carry on in the "normal" world. Then, there are those of us who are not able to carry on a normal world of employment.

Get a letter from your doctor and take it with you. Keep a copy for yourself. Try to not feel defensive.

A year or so when I was first on disability, my employer had me go thru the state employment assessment. Fortunately, I had done one of the tests they used several years prior. As a result, it was one of the crucial means that the advisor used to say that I was not employable. So, if they ask you to go thru the review, use it to your benefit showing where you are not able to carry out the tasks of your job or any other for that matter.

Good luck!
Sally
 

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Attempts failed to get lupus per se classed as a disability from the moment of diagnosis when the Act was revised in 2005. HIV/AIDS, cancers and MS were included for the first time. But that doesn't mean everybody is excluded from the provisions who doesn't come into the named categories of disease. You are included as soon as your medical condition affects your ability to live and work.
It is very like Disabled Living Allowance and disabled driver's permits in that respect: you have to show how the disease is affecting your life. So it's important advice to have a good talk with your consultant and ask for a letter from him detailing how lupus is affecting you and how it is affecting your ability to function normally

The phrase is that the employer has to make reasonable provision or adjustments unless there is very good reason why they can't. The trap word here is 'reasonable'. They also can't deprive employees of their right to health care.
From what other people have experienced so much depends on the individual contract and mechanisms established by the organisation you work for, within the framework of the - is it Employment and Human Rights Commission ? Sorry, I am getting to my "use-by" date
This sounds crazy but when I am in an emotional and frightened situation I find two things help - to let it all out somehow, have a good rant and rave how damn unfair it all is, and then pretend I am somebody else advocating for somebody else. This helps separate the emotion from the practical factual issues.
There is a due process that has to be gone through which will presumably be laid down in some document that you will the right to access with all conditions of employment for your organisation, arbitration procedures and all that. It might even be online these days.

A very painful aspect of work place problems and many others related to disability, is having to acknowledge how much the disease is affecting you often for the very first time. One struggles on only by refusing to dwell on the problems caused by the disease.
On the cheerful side I have known several people who at the end were very glad to give up their work earlier than they would have. They were able to live off their pensions or whatever, not such a high standard of living but much happier and a better quality of life.

It is very difficult, no two ways about it. Here are some comforting and strengthening hugs for you ((((((((((((((((( ))))))))))))) I hope everything goes for the best. Calm and cool !

Clare
 

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Hi Diane,

Sending you a big hug, as I think you need one right now.

Try and not be too worried about your appointment with work, having been in that situation myself, they are genuinely going to try and accommodate/help you and find out a way that they can offer you support.

Remember, employers have a "Duty of Care" to all their employees which they must adhere to. At this stage, they will really just be asking you how you feel, what they can do to help, e.g. work from home, come back part time, need more time off. You have to see it from their point of view too, if your going to be off for a wee while, then they need to disperse your workload to others and/or take in temps to cover and ensure there isn't a backlog. Can you imagine coming back to a backlog after some time off sick, that'd be horrific.

It's easy for me to say don't worry, as when this happened to me, I practically hyperventilated myself into a panic, but they bent over backwards. They paid for me to speak with someone, they lessened my hours, they let me work from home if need be etc, they really will be there to support you, and honestly, if you can, try and be totally open and honest as to how you are feeling. I acutally broke down in my meeting and I think that was an ice breaker, as they hadn't realised how isolated I felt.

Only your Rheumy / Doc will be able to tell you if your illness can/will be classed as a Disability, as we are all so different, it'd be really wrong of one of us to say yeah or nae.

You take care though and look forward to hearing how things went.

Big hugs,

Spudsy x
 

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PS

When you speak with your specialist, any advice/info/questions he has answered for yourself, perhaps type them up/jot them down and take them with you on Monday. I always find if I take a folder and/or pen and paper and hold it up on my lap, it gives me a bit of confidence, and it puts a wee barrier up between myself and the person talking to me and makes them see your prepared for the meeting and open/ready to answer any questions and ask some yourself.

Spudsy x
 
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