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How does everyone with vertigo survive financially?


I been looking online for jobs for housebound people but there isn’t anything out there really. Maybe I should set up a business looking for jobs for other housebound people!!


Sign me up! ;). Yeah at some point I will have to get creative too. Have PMed you a suggestion.


How do you survive financially? Good question.
I am only 3-4 months in and still on sick leave. Employer is being OK about it for now… but for how long? Trying to work part-time from home to keep things together. Don’t yet have a plan about what to do if I don’t get well enough to resume my job. Might try part-time - I’m on Pizotifen now and at least that’s helping me use my laptop more etc, but yes I guess a driving job or something like that would be really difficult.
Tricky one.


It’s interesting to see Pizotifen mentioned quite a lot. Sadly it didn’t do anything for me at all neither did Amitriptyline although I might have another go once I have spoken with my GP. Anything is worth a try!!


@NewbieChris Hi there. What a horrible position to be in. Is your house big enough to rent out a room rather than to have to completely leave your home altogether?

I am not up to date with the procedures of the benefits system etc but if there is anything at all you can do to get reassessed go for it with all you have. Ring up/write to/email everyone you can think of, e.g. MP, citizens advice bureau, DWP, local council, GP, Consultants, Prime Minister, Queen…ok I am getting a bit carried away here, but that is what I would suggest (maybe not the Queen!!). But that is something you can do while you are stuck at home. Bug people, make them listen, otherwise they make their decisions that affect your life so much and then just move on without a thought.

FIGHT. I am not saying that lightly because I know that the last thing any of us feel like doing sometimes is fighting, but this is important, and everyone needs hope. If this is getting you down to the point of despair you could perhaps get a mental health referral and be declared unfit for work because of depression/anxiety etc caused by the condition.


Well said Sarah!


Hi Sarah, thanks so much for that. Well some good news anyway is that the last 24 hours or so have been better. Headache isn’t as bad and I haven’t been spinning as much although I am certainly not right at all, still very unsteady, and feel pretty much like a spin will occur at any time but a tad better so hoping that the Amitriptyline/Pizotifen combo may be having some effect. Of course with this it can change in an instant so who knows.

Yep during my last bout of this (2015 to 2016) I contacted and dealt with all of the above (bar the Queen!) although yes I did contact the PM however whilst I did get a reply from a government pen pusher they just forwarded it to the relevant department, which will probably be the delightful DWP who don’t give a monkeys anyway!! To be fair to the PM though I think she has other things on her plate at the moment!!

The DWP basically ignored all the info from my GP and Consultants and even went as far as accusing my GP of just writing letters to help my benefit claim, even though the DWP themselves ask you to send in any relevant information from your GP or Consultants to “help” your claim., thus totally contradicting what they ask you to do in the first place! Basically they just went with the 1 hour Work Capability Assessment over all other evidence, even though the WCA Assessor lied about certain tests he had done. He actually stated that I had performed and passed a balance test called the Romberg Test. When I received the paperwork I had to Google it because I had never heard of it let alone performed it!!! Problem is you are stuffed if you attend the WCA because they argue that you got there so if you can attend then you can attend any workplace and if you can make a sandwich or a cup of coffee then you are fit enough to do a 9 to 5 90 minutes from your home!

I did appeal to the Upper Tribunal because of an error of law whereby they had an unregistered GP sitting on my Tribunal and when I looked it up it transpired that the GP in question should have been registered. I have my appeal next week although it’s a clerical oversight by them so I doubt it will affect the outcome being the same again. What annoyed me the most is that the Judge on the original Tribunal after finding me “fit for work” said off the record that she did actually have some sympathy because she knew “no one” would employ me due to my condition. So on the one hand I am fit but on the other hand no one will employ me!!!

That’s the problem they say all these people with disabilities and illnesses are fit to work but they don’t take into account that it’s pretty unlikely that any employer is going to give a job to someone who can’t guarantee regular attendance over those who can’t. If I could find an employer who accepts that my attendance will probably vary and will allow me to lie down for three or four hours in the event of an attack then fine I am quite happy to work for them, but this is the real world and with every job having a minimum of 10 applications that’s pretty unlikely.

Fluctuating conditions like vertigo are apparently the hardest to prove with the DWP.


It is all very difficult.

I would suggest that you do rent out your house or part of if (don’t sell it if you can avoid it, as it will be hard to get a mortgage again if you are struggling to get a job) for the simple reason that stress is one of the key aggravators of this condition.

if you can get yourself into a sustainable way of life, so you are not worried about finding a job or losing your home, then you will be in a better position to work on your recovery. and when you start feeling better, you’ll find it easier to get a decent job.

just my thoughts!


Thank you gidlabu, Fortunately I am mortgage free so that’s not an issue at the moment although I understand what you mean about selling then trying to buy again. I may have to think about letting although before I could let the house needs work on it and that sadly costs money. I just hope the slight improvement over the weekend continues although the problem is it always seems to come back weeks, months or years later.

Not sure it is stress related though. First time I had it I was probably around the happiest I have ever been,. And it happens when I am asleep sometimes so as far as I can see nothing in particular sets it off.


@NewbieChris Hi Chris. If your GP can do anything to help your claim why on earth shouldn’t he/she do so anyway? They are the experts after all. The DWP sound like an absolute nightmare! The WCA lied about tests? I can’t believe what I am reading here (actually I can) but it is just so wrong.

Do you have someone representing you legally who could challenge this? If not, you must surely be entitled to legal aid to at least get some advice. When Judges are saying things like that it ‘off the record’, something has gone very wrong somewhere.

I know my sympathy isn’t actually helping very much, have you explored the mental health route at all?

Developing MAV when you are already in work and have an understanding employer is very different from having to find a job with the condition already affecting your everyday life.

Maybe the meds (either the ones you are on, or something else) will help you enough to make all of this battle unnecessary? And maybe there is something better around the corner for you.

Don’t give up.


Thanks so much Sarah, in fact than you all of you for your kind replies.

Oh yeah the Work Capability Assessor was quite a chap with his untruths especially as I had the Assessment recorded and yet despite a 5 page manual I wrote outlining all these untruths it was still overlooked. The problem is the DWP send you for an Assessment for which they then fail you on that Assessment and you ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration. Who do you ask for that? The DWP!!!

As for the Independent Tribunal, well it’s all a farce. I mean they choose to take the advice of (in my case) a doddery old GP who hasn’t been registered for years (when he should have been to partake in such work) over up to date evidence from my GP and Consultants. I almost wish I could find a job, then promptly fall over break a leg or two and then sue the DWP for saying I was fit and capable of doing anything but unfortunately it’s the Government and all they want to do is save money because previous Governments have squandered it and who is the easiest target? The ill and disabled. It’s a disgrace but because the way the media report it everyone on benefits are scroungers.

What I hate about it the most is that when my vertigo occurred in my early 20’s my parents helped out so I didn’t claim benefits. In 2008 when I had another attack I had some money in the bank due to my father passing away so again I didn’t claim benefits. 2015 when the vertigo hit obviously the inheritance had run dry and I had been made redundant only a couple of months prior so was in a difficult situation financially (and still am) so I claimed and failed. So the one time out of three I could have done with the Governments help they say nope sorry. Unfortunately if I had just arrived from another country I would probably get all the help I need but that’s not an argument for this site!! It’s not just me though the internet is full of sites with far worse stories than mine with people being turned down and told they are fit to work after heart attacks, strokes and life threatening illnesses.

Re having legal advice it’s an absolute minefield because (and I tried) most solicitors won’t touch benefits cases because it’s against the Government and if you do find one it costs. It’s a system not fit for purpose but what can you do?! In fact I would love to work for some charity or group that helps people in this situation but as far as I can see they are all volunteers otherwise for an average wage I would quite happily sit on my PC all day trying to help others out.

Wow, sorry for the rant, I have veered totally off topic.

The good news (touch wood) is that today I feel a lot better and haven’t had (fingers crossed) and major spinning since Sunday. I have quite a few “here we go” moments when the head feels heavy and you think you are going to spin but fortunately the feeling subsides. I went out for the first time in a week and felt ok’ish although there still is some wobbly movement if I over do it but hopefully this improvement progresses. Could be the pill combo of Amitriptyline and Pizitofen although if it is it’s bitter sweet because I wish the GP had suggested it over a year ago!!! But thankful for small mercies and whereas I felt about 10% normal last week I would say it’s nearing 70% now,. Let’s just hope it lasts.

A friend of mine has been dizzy recently as well and his pharmacy advised Travel Calm tablets and apparently they did the trick with him although I won’t take those on top of everything else. If any of you have had luck with Amitriptyline or Pizitofen do you eventually come off them or do you take them long term?

Apologies for droning on and Sarah thank you again, and I will take note of your sentence in your fourth paragraph and tell that to the Tribunal because it sums the quandary a lot of us have perfectly…


So sorry to hear about your struggles with DWP. It is an absolute nightmare and extremely stressful. I was lucky and I passed the assessment. I have chronic migraines every day with debilitating head pain for a lot of the day, along with 24/7 diziness.
I joined and used the guides from the website to help my DWP application. They have guides and guidance on tribunals also, if you haven’t seen it it might help maybe.
I can only claim the N.I contribution based allowance bacause my husband works full time. So I just get a little bit of money from DWP, but that helps a little bit and then I have to rely on my husbands income to support us both. So we’re having to be really thrifty.
I was surprised to read in your first post that you have to list medical conditions on job application forms. I was sure I was told that isn’t allowed to be asked and you don’t have to declare it until after you’ve been offered the job ??? But maybe that’s because its driving jobs? Still you would think it’d be the same across the board for any job.

Wishing you luck with your upcoming hearing. X


Thanks Vix. Sorry to hear that you have such struggles but great that you passed the Assessment although obviously it’s a shame you had to take it in the first place. Yep I looked at benefitsandwork and it’s a good site, unfortunately I had filled in my form before discovering them.

Re the applications I probably didn’t phrase it well. I have seen some that ask directly about medical conditions but generally it’s that a high percentage of them ask for explanations for gaps in employment. I also sometimes list the vertigo under disabilities because I put down I am partially deaf anyway,. Maybe I am being too honest but here is a scenario. If you are off work for say a year due to illness but you put down travelling as the reason (even if it wasn’t) and you are offered the job then that’s fine. The way I see it is the problem occurs when say in my case I then have a two week long (or longer) vertigo issue the first week of that new job. They will ask questions and at some stage it will have to come out that I am prone to these attacks and then suddenly they realised I lied on my form. I then get sacked and then going for the next job the previous employer is the one who is going to give you a reference!!

You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t in many ways because how honest is too honest, especially in these days of health and safety and all that.


Not at all, everyone needs to vent sometimes. It doesn’t seem fair that on the first two occasions you used your own/families money for support when ironically the benefits system might have helped you then (had your own resources not been available) and now when you really need it they have tightened their belts!

Yes unfortunately it does. When is your hearing? Or have you had it?


It’s Tuesday so it shall be interesting if nothing else. I doubt I’ll get anywhere as it’s only a re-run because of an error of law on their part and obviously it refers to my situation over 12 months ago rather than now. Once it’s over though if worst comes to their worst I guess I can reclaim and just go through the entire situation again!!

Re The financial aspect a mate suggested tonight that I could technically sell my house and buy two flats and live in one and rent the other out which would at least give me an income. Not a magic wand but certainly something I hadn’t thought of. Just a pity the system forces us to consider such things!!


Hi Chris, I guess it is a case of taking one day at a time rather than letting it crush you. I hope the outcome on Tuesday is better than what you are expecting.[quote=“NewbieChris, post:35, topic:14097”]
Re The financial aspect a mate suggested tonight that I could technically sell my house and buy two flats and live in one and rent the other out which would at least give me an income. Not a magic wand but certainly something I hadn’t thought of.

That sounds like a good idea. That way you haven’t permanently lost out and when such a time comes that you are well enough to work again (let’s be positive here :slight_smile: ) you will be able to sell the flats and buy a house again. If the benefit system won’t help then that is certainly an idea to fall back on.

Agreed. All the best for Tuesday.


Thanks Sarah much appreciated. Aw well, there are people in far worse situations. You must either be up very late or are on the other side of the planet?! :slight_smile:


You are welcome. Yes I know there are, they are being treated unfairly too!!

[quote=“NewbieChris, post:37, topic:14097”]You must either be up very late or are on the other side of the planet?! :slight_smile:

No I am in the UK, but I have been off work for over three weeks and when I don’t have to get up for work I slowly become a bit nocturnal :slight_smile: I am back on Tuesday so I need to stop it now and get back into a routine again. My default setting is definitely that of an owl rather than a lark though!!


Well an absolutely disastrous Tribunal. They tied me up in knots and tried to make out that I am more than capable of being a trapeze artist in between my vertigo attacks!!! I no doubt will receive the news via post that I have failed.


I am so sorry that was the outcome. The only thing I can suggest is that you sign on for job seekers and if you are not well enough to attend the interview you ask your GP to phone them for you to explain why. This is a big ask of your GP but you need someone on side and he/she would seem the obvious choice if at all possible. If you can get to the interview and become dizzy then don’t fight it, just fall over in front of them, tell them why and let them report back to the JC. If you survive the journey and the interview and are offered the job it will not be your fault if you have to take time off later. They are forcing your hand.