Hey there everyone. I've just spent 2 whole hours trying to reach a human being at Citizen's Advice Bureau to no avail, so I'm hoping someone here could help me instead!!
I was diagnosed with EDS 7 years ago and as a result of the physical issues, I have worked part time on and off my whole working life (I am lucky that my parents are extremely understanding, or soft, depending on how you view it!). I have been self-employed running my own business for 2 years now and as such, I've been working mostly from home doing my hours as and when I can. I was renting premises, and doing fairs, but had to give all that up physically, and just sell online - from home.
I'm at the point now where I'm struggling to work at all. I'm having to take days off to recuperate between working days and I can't reliably get to the post office to post the goods I sell. It's just becoming unmanageable. I didn't want to 'surrender' to my condition, but I see no other option but to get some financial assistance in the form of ESA and stop being self-employed. I've sold most of my business off, and am slowly shutting it all down. I'm devastated, but I just can't cope physically any more.
So, as I'm self employed and earn practically nothing with my ailing business, I get Working Tax Credits, which are my main income. (I live with my parents as I cannot move out, as I cannot work full time and earn enough to pay rent).
I'm really stuck as to what I do between stopping self-employment and applying for ESA - if I don't get ESA, I can't get JSA because I'm not fit for work. What do I do financially in the mean time? I don't want to over-claim my Tax Credits but I also can't live on nothing until I'm awarded ESA (or not...) if I'm refused ESA I honestly don't know WHAT I'll do.
Any advice? thank you in advance <3
Diagnosed EDS III (HMS) in 2006. IBS, Severe Myopia & Astigmatism, flat feet, floating knee caps, wrists splinted.....