First sick note — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

First sick note

Options
PerceusP
PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
Hello Lovely People

I have been a carer for 12 years for my 93 year old dad at his home, until last year. He was admitted to hospital with kidney problems, contracted COVID and sadly died after a long lingering illness. It was painful to watch. 

During this time my older sister was being evicted from her house. She's been in poor health for a while. So, when asked I let her temporarily stay with me, whilst she found a new home. Last month she also died at home with me. 

Whilst all this was going on, my 10 year relationship also ended. 

I'm currently going through Probate. I will have to sell my dad's home, where I live, because it has a mortgage. 

My Income Support and Carers allowance payments ended on my dad's death and I made a claim for Universal Credit, which went through and has been paid.

As you can see from those events of losing both my dad and my sister, losing my partner and losing my home, I have been suffering with depression, anxiety, grief, lack of sleep, not eating and panic attacks. 

I have been on antidepressants for nearly a year now. I burst into tears at the slightest bit of help I get. I pretty much only have my nephew to help me practicality dump my sister's and my dad's stuff. Everything has got on top of me to the point I saw the doctor this morning and she has given me a sick note for 2 months for depression. 

I have been transferred to a new office and have a standard meeting with my work coach planned for today. 

What should I expect from them when I present my first sick note?

What reasonable job seeking tasks will I be expected to undertake?

I am very anxious and as I say nervous about the whole situation. 

Thank you for any helpful advice in advance. 


«1

Comments

  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Hello there @PerceusP and a warm welcome to the community :) Thanks for reaching out, it sounds like you've been through an awful lot in the last few years. I hope we can help support you.

    Have you had your meeting with your work coach today? If so, how did it go?

    Am I right in thinking you're getting ESA? Scope has some guidance on ESA, including claimant commitments, which I hope is helpful for you.

    You've also mentioned being on antidepressants, are you getting any other support for your mental health and wellbeing at the moment?

    You might find these resources helpful for managing feelings of grief, depression and anxiety:
    If we can help with anything, please ask, and we'll do what we can.
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Hello everyone and thank you for your reply Alex. I will have a look at those support groups that you've provided information about. 

    I'm on Universal Credit.

    Yes, my doctor is going to do a follow up in 3 weeks time once my meds have kicked in. I've also asked about things like talking therapy and bereavement counselling too. So everything is on the table. 

    I have just returned from my meeting with my work coach and it could not have gone better. She asked if I was looking for work and I responded positively, then told her my circumstances and then finally I showed her my fit for work note (sick note), which is valid for 2 months.

    She explained that she understood my circumstances. That there would be no commitments apart from returning to see her in 1 month's time and I was to log my fit/sick note in my Universal Credit online account. I think I was there for about 5-10 minutes, all in all. 

    All in all it was a very smooth and simple meeting. I was so worried, but my advisor was understanding, courteous and listened. I know that this is not the case for others, but I just wanted to record my positive experience, in case anyone else is worried too.

    I really appreciate you reaching out to me. It's very kind.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,978 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    How are you feeling about everything at the moment @PerceusP? Hopefully, you'll receive the support you need and deserve soon  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    That's lovely to hear, I'm so pleased the meeting with your work coach went well @PerceusP :) Thanks for sharing it with everyone, it might well be a big help for those in similar situations. It's also positive to hear that you're getting support for your mental health and wellbeing too. 

    If you can, keep us updated with what's been going on, and if you fancy a chat on the forum here, you know where we are!
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    That's very kind of you guys to reach out to me. 

    I'm doing ok. I'm completely overwhelmed by my situation, but trying to do the best I can. 

    My main issue is practical help emptying the house of my dad's and sister's possessions. I don't have a car, so am reliant on my nephew to help. That's very hit and miss at the moment. If I had the funds to hire a van, I would. 

    My next worry is getting together cash to put down for a deposit on a new flat in between selling the family home. I don't have friends or family that I can stay with, so I'm a bit stuck at the minute. I'll figure things out. 

    My mental health is improving. I've been taking my antidepressants and whilst they give me stomach upset, I'm persevering with them. 

    All in all I'm doing ok. I will be ok. I'm just struggling ATM. 

    Thank you so much for enquiring though. I really appreciate it.
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    That's okay @PerceusP, thank you for being so open and honest about how things are, it's not always easy. I'm glad your mental health is improving :) 

    I know that you can hire people to actually clear out/tidy things for you, but as you say, that might be a similar cost to the van. I'm glad you have your nephew to help at least, could he rope in some friends or other family do you think? 

    It might be worth looking into 'Time Banking' if there is a time bank near you, perhaps someone from the local community could help out:
    Timebanking is a way of exchanging skills without any money changing hands.
    With timebanking, you do what you love, when you want to… and get a little help when you need it.

    I'm sorry to hear your worries about getting stuck while trying to sell the family home. Shelter might be able to help with any issues around housing. Have you let friends or family know about this already?

    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Thank you for your lovely response and suggestions. I will certainly look into those suggestions and hopefully move forward more positively. 

    I have received a letter today from the DWP, UCD35, explaining 'The Health Assessment Advisory Service (working for us) will send you a questionnaire.'
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,119 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    PerceusP said:

    I have received a letter today from the DWP, UCD35, explaining 'The Health Assessment Advisory Service (working for us) will send you a questionnaire.'

    This means you've been referred for a work capability assessment. You should receive the form within the next week. You can see the form they send you here. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uc50-form-universal-credit-capability-for-work-questionnaire

    There's a guide here explaining how to fill out the form. It says ESA but the UC50 form is identical. https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/help-with-your-esa-claim/fill-in-form-esa/

    If you have any extra evidence to support your claim you should send this when returning the form.


    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Lovely. Thank you for that information. 
  • Alex_Alumni
    Alex_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,562 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    Thanks for the update @PerceusP, and please ask if you have questions about the form or your next steps :) 
    Online Community Coordinator
    Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    I will do. Thank you. 
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Update

    I'm a bit confused. 

    Firstly, I have never received the work capability assessment questionnaire to complete.

    I queried this at my face to face meeting and on my online journal, because I was concerned about being sanctioned for not returning it. 

    I was told that:

    As you have a specific health condition it is not compulsory for you to complete the Questionnaire.You will be receiving an appointment soon to attend a Medical.

    and

    No you wont be sanctioned for that. Is it the UC questionnaire.
    As i said previously due to your Health condition it is not compulsory to complete.

    (I'm suffering from depression and hypertension)

    So I haven't completed the questionnaire. 

    Next week I have a Video Assessment with a healthcare professional at the CHDA.

    I have my referral from my GP, hospital admission discharge letter, audiologist's report, ENT referral, physiotherapist referral & talking therapy referral, but given I've not completed the paperwork, the assessor won't have this.

    What should I do?

    Contact the assessor and request a postponement and a new assessment date so that I can complete the forms for them, so that the assessor have some insight into my abilities before the assessment?

    Attend the video assessment and make reference to the documents?

    I'm a bit stuck as to know what course of action I should take. 

    Thank you. 






  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,119 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    You should have received a UC50 form to return with all your information and any supporting evidence. You should have received this shortly after you received the UCD35 letter on your journal. 

    I don’t think your health condition would prevent that being sent. I don’t know how they can assess you properly without any information from you. 

    If you have access to a printer you can fill this form in and print it off and send it to the health assessment providers. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uc50-form-universal-credit-capability-for-work-questionnaire

    You can also contact the Health Assessment Advisory Service https://chdauk.co.uk/about-us/contact-us/
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 575
    575 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Options
    Hello

     I have some questions about fitnote, do I continue to send fitnote even if I received the decision and I was not in any group , I am still looking for work in the dicision not justice the decision I did appeal, do I continue to give fitnote to UC please ? 

    Best wishes 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,119 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    575 said:
    Hello

     I have some questions about fitnote, do I continue to send fitnote even if I received the decision and I was not in any group , I am still looking for work in the dicision not justice the decision I did appeal, do I continue to give fitnote to UC please ? 

    Best wishes 

    No, no further fit notes are needed after a decision is made on your WCA. When you say you appealed, are you at MR stage or Tribunal?
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Thank you for that information, Poppy. I have printed out the form, completed it and will return it to the assessment people tomorrow. 

    I really do appreciate your assistance. 🙂 I didn't receive the UC50 form. When I did query it on my UC online journal I was told that it was not compulsory to return it. When I queried that, because I thought it was odd, I was told I would not be sanctioned. All of that is documented in my journal. 

    I will post all of my documents tomorrow. Will that be sufficient time for the assessor to have access to them? ie. Is it a generic set of questions they ask and then they draw on the medical documents and form. Or is it vice versa. I just want to make sure that whilst being assessed, the assessor has sufficient information to come to a conclusion one way or another. 

    Thank you. 🙂 

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,119 Disability Gamechanger
    Options
    PerceusP said:
    Thank you for that information, Poppy. I have printed out the form, completed it and will return it to the assessment people tomorrow. 

    I really do appreciate your assistance. 🙂 I didn't receive the UC50 form. When I did query it on my UC online journal I was told that it was not compulsory to return it. When I queried that, because I thought it was odd, I was told I would not be sanctioned. All of that is documented in my journal. 

    I will post all of my documents tomorrow. Will that be sufficient time for the assessor to have access to them? ie. Is it a generic set of questions they ask and then they draw on the medical documents and form. Or is it vice versa. I just want to make sure that whilst being assessed, the assessor has sufficient information to come to a conclusion one way or another. 

    Thank you. 🙂 


    You're welcome. Make sure you have the correct address to return the form. It's not sent to DWP, it's sent straight to the Health Assessment Advisory Service. If you don't know the address then you can ring them and they will tell you.

    Your form and evidence will be looked at before deciding whether an assessment is needed but most people have them. They are mostly by telephone but some are either face to face or video call.

    What they will ask you during the assessment will depend on how your conditions affect you. I'm not aware of there being any generic set of questions they ask.

    One other thing, make sure you put your name and NI number on everything you send and only send copies because they don't return anything to you.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • 575
    575 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Options
    575 said:
    Hello

     I have some questions about fitnote, do I continue to send fitnote even if I received the decision and I was not in any group , I am still looking for work in the dicision not justice the decision I did appeal, do I continue to give fitnote to UC please ? 

    Best wishes 

    No, no further fit notes are needed after a decision is made on your WCA. When you say you appealed, are you at MR stage or Tribunal?
    Thank you for your response, no I'm not in WCA or any group still look for work, in Tribunal 
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    PerceusP said:
    Thank you for that information, Poppy. I have printed out the form, completed it and will return it to the assessment people tomorrow. 

    I really do appreciate your assistance. 🙂 I didn't receive the UC50 form. When I did query it on my UC online journal I was told that it was not compulsory to return it. When I queried that, because I thought it was odd, I was told I would not be sanctioned. All of that is documented in my journal. 

    I will post all of my documents tomorrow. Will that be sufficient time for the assessor to have access to them? ie. Is it a generic set of questions they ask and then they draw on the medical documents and form. Or is it vice versa. I just want to make sure that whilst being assessed, the assessor has sufficient information to come to a conclusion one way or another. 

    Thank you. 🙂 


    You're welcome. Make sure you have the correct address to return the form. It's not sent to DWP, it's sent straight to the Health Assessment Advisory Service. If you don't know the address then you can ring them and they will tell you.

    Your form and evidence will be looked at before deciding whether an assessment is needed but most people have them. They are mostly by telephone but some are either face to face or video call.

    What they will ask you during the assessment will depend on how your conditions affect you. I'm not aware of there being any generic set of questions they ask.

    One other thing, make sure you put your name and NI number on everything you send and only send copies because they don't return anything to you.
    Hi Poppy

    Yes, I have the correct address from the letter inviting me to tomorrow's video call. I have posted that today by special delivery.

    My video assessment is tomorrow.

    I expect the questions will be similar to that on the form, ie How do my conditions affect such and such activity. 

    Yes, I've put my name and NI number on all of the additional pages. Things like hospital discharge letters, invitation to specialist clinics, email about talking therapy, physiotherapist referral, audiology report etc. 

    Thank you for your support.

    I have photocopied my form and have the originals of the supporting documents. 

    Should I make sure I have anything else for the video assessment? 
  • PerceusP
    PerceusP Community member Posts: 21 Connected
    Options
    Just to report that I went on the video assessment call this afternoon and it was cancelled and is being postponed to a new date as there were insufficient healthcare professionals available to undertake it today. 

    I'd geared myself up for it and it didn't go ahead, so I'm a bit upset by that as I struggle with unexpected change, but we go again on another date 🙂

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.