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.

Being forced to look for work a day after PIP awarded?

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misssusan73
misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener

Hello all,

I'm very new here, and apologies if this Haa been covered, but I'm very stressed today. I'm 50 years old and was diagnosed with BPD in April after being mentally unstable and unwell since 14. I was given a very late diagnosis!. Last year UC put me on limited work capabilities, although I didn't receive any extra payment, but it kept them at bay until now. I've very recently been awarded PIP, so recent, that I'm not sure of my rates, so I contacted UC to tell them I wanted to cancel my 'work focused phone appointment' on the 11th July as I'm not fit for work, and seriously, I am not, I get very violent when stressed out. I was told that I still have to look for work even though I'm on PIP and do all the vile things like being put in groups of people and pressured onto courses, which when having BPD is like pouring petrol onto a fire.

I've immediately panicked today and put in a claim for ESA and requested a sick note from my Doctor. The range of emotions I've had today, just by reading a journal entry from UC alone, has really triggered me. I don't know what to do, or what I'm doing? Can they force me into work if I tell them I'm sick, is the ESA assessment the same as PIP?. I really need some help, ashonestly, I just thought things would be sorted when I was awarded PIP 😟

Many thanks from Susan

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Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 5,706 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hey @misssusan73 and welcome to the community. 😊

    Because UC and PIP are two separate benefits, you can still be asked to look for work whilst claiming PIP, as it is not an out of work benefit.

    If you were found Limited Capability for Work (LCW), then the DWP will still ask you to take part in work related activities, but wont pressure you into looking for work. Now if you were found to have Limited Capability for Work and Related Activities (LCWRA), then you'd not have to attend the other courses etc.
    I'm afraid I don't know a huge amount about ESA, so I cant answer that I'm afraid. Hopefully one of the community will be able to answer soon.

    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Thank you so much for your reply, I'm shocked that the job centre are this barbaric and don't seem to care that you've claimed PIP for a reason. It's shocking. 😕

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
    edited July 3
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    A PIP award doesn't automatically entitle you to not have work commitments for UC and doesn't automatically entitle you to LCWRA. The reason you have those is because you have LCW and not LCWRA. You're not being forced to look for work but prepare to work sometime in the future by attending work focused interviews.

    PIP has nothing to do with your fitness to work.

    To be entitled to ESA payments you will need to have worked at some point in tax years 2021/22 and 2022/23. There's also no financial gain to claiming this and UC at the same time because if entitled to payments the ESA will be deducted in full from any UC entitlement. Although there are some advantages to claiming it because for UC you receive class 3 NI credits but for ESA you receive class 1. It's also not means tested like UC is.

    As the assessments for ESA and UC are identical, you do not need to provide a fit note for ESA because you've already been found to have LCW. If entitled to payments then ESA will be paid for 1 year.

    Have you looked the descriptors for LCWRA? If you haven't you can see them here. If you think you qualify you could report a change of health condition for UC and go through another work capability assessment. Please also note that you will need to provide fit notes if you do this. See the descriptors here. Just one needs to apply the majority of the time. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/universal-credit-uc/uc-faq/limited-capability-for-work-related-activity

    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.
  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Many thanks for your reply. I've just done a calculation on the turn2us website and I am much better off financially if I claim ESA as well, i also read that there a 2 different types of ESA, if you haven't paid enough NI..It's all very confusing and really overwhelming, nobody prepares you for all of this, and there isn't any leaflets that give a basic run down of what is best to claim and when. 🫤

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    You've most definitely misunderstood the calculation you did, or you put your details into it incorrectly. The only ESA that's possible to claim now is New style ESA and it's a contributions based benefit only. Entitlement will be based on your NI contributions in the tax years I advised above.

    There's no financial gain to claiming New style ESA and UC at the same time for the reasons I advised above.

    The other ESA was/is Income Related ESA and unfortunately, it's no longer possible to start a new claim for this because Universal Credit has replaced it.

    You can see more information about NsESA here. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance The following paragraph was taken was that link.

    New Style ESA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit (UC). If you get both benefits, your Universal Credit payment is reduced by the amount you get for New Style ESA.

    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.
  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Also, I'm still confused on what I'm meant to be doing to keep the job centre off my back. I can ask for a sick note off the doctors and carry on putting one in every 5 weeks or so, and wasting people's time, but is there is a simpler way. I suffer from violent tendencies and can hit people when stressed and annoyed, it's a part of my BPD that needs work, and a reason that I cannot work, as I'm lucky that I've not ever been arrested for assault. At the moment I'm a liability to myself, employers and other people that mentally trigger me. I'm scared that I'll be forced to go into the jobcentre and have a meltdown.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    You can do as I advised in my first comment and report a change of circumstances by logging into your journal, if you have access to one. Then click "health condition" and report a worsening of condition this way. You will need to provide a fit note for this and continue to provide them until a decision is made on your new work capability assessment. A work coach will refer you for another assessment and you'll receive a UC50 form in the post like you did the first time.

    Or, if the decision on your work capability assessment was made less than 13 months ago you can challenge that decision by requesting the Mandatory Reconsideration. (MR) You can do this on your journal but if you're outside of the 1 month timeframe you must give a reason why you didn't request it within that time. You need to state which descriptor you think applies to you and your reasons why. You can see the descriptors for LCWRA here. https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk/universal-credit-uc/uc-faq/limited-capability-for-work-related-activity

    If the MR decision doesn't change you can then proceed to Tribunal. Please also note that they will not take into consideration any worsening of condition since the assessment took place.

    If you are outside of those 13 months then you are out of time to do anything about that decision.

    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.
  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
    edited July 3
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    OK, so I was awarded limited capability for work, last August, is this ongoing? I wasn't told, and I didn't receive extra money. Does this still apply now?

    [Image removed by moderator]

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    It's an ongoing award until a new decision says otherwise. You are still within the timescale to challenge that decision but please take note of the advice regarding a worsening of condition, they will not take that into consideration.

    I've also noticed that you have some personal information showing in your screenshot and this isn't allowed here to protect yourself and others. This is a public forum and anyone can see your information. I've flagged it to a member of the scope team who will either remove it or edit it to remove your information.

    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.
  • Rachel_Scope
    Rachel_Scope Posts: 276 Pioneering
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    Hi @misssusan73. Just wanted to make you aware that I've had to remove the images you posted as they contained your full name. We don't allow personal information for your safety. You are more than welcome to re-upload the images if your name is removed 😊

    Rachel (she/her)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Well I've asked them whether they knew I was actually on this, as my condition has worsened and I've actually been diagnosed with BPD since they awarded me last year. I've also asked them for advice. They really should be aware of people who have been awarded this, as by pushing them into finding work can send them into a spiral, hence my complete panic today. Also booked in to speak to a doctor on the 11th regarding a sick note to provide......even though I don't actually have to! 😒

    Thanks for your time, patience and advice, I was unaware that my award was ongoing and they can't push me into finding work.... or their 'baby steps'

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    It doesn’t seem like you are being forced to look for work. Attending appointments or having telephone appointments are all part of work related activity, it’s not looking for work. They are known as work focused interviews but are nothing to do with actually looking for work.

    When you have LCW then you are usually expected to attend appointments as part of work related activities.

    With regards to the fit note if you go down reporting changes route then unfortunately fit notes are needed. If you don’t provide then and you’re found to have LCWRA then it can affect when the extra money is paid from.

    Please also note that it’s not awarded based on any diagnosis.

    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.
  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Oh, I guess I'm reading this wrong then, because you me, this is pushing me back into going back to work.

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    Taking small steps yes BUT they can't force you to actually work and you can't be sanctioned for refusing to look for work. It's part of LCW that you prepare to work sometime in the future.

    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.
  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Ahh.. that's what I was worried about. I've had such a battle the last year with my job centre not believing me, it's made me much worse, and I've probably panicked too much today. But they do try and scare you, and I've heard everything from them, so I'm just waiting for the 'sanction' word to be slipped in somewhere.

    Thank you 😊 🙏 💓

    Thank you so much ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 57,197 Disability Gamechanger
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    You're very welcome! No, you can't be sanctioned for refusing to look for work because you don't have to look for work.

    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.
  • letitbe
    letitbe Community member Posts: 465 Pioneering
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    BPD is horrible I’m diagnosed too and the instability is causes is terrible .

  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Yes, it really is. It's caused me absolute misery my whole life, I've walked out of so many jobs because of conflict and not being able to deal with my emotions. Thank you for your support 🙏 xx

  • letitbe
    letitbe Community member Posts: 465 Pioneering
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    I completely understand, the intense emotions can be unbearable and everything changes really quick. Have you had any DBT ? It’s
    what’s recommended for EUPD .

    Wishing u all the best x

  • misssusan73
    misssusan73 Community member Posts: 15 Listener
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    Not as yet, only diagnosed in late March, currently seeing a psychiatrist every 2 weeks, been put forward for counselling, but the wait time for DBT is about 18 months 😟

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