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60 years old, receiving universal credit, need advice

Lyndylou1955Lyndylou1955 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2016 in Welcomes and introductions
Hi l.m lyn .l am 60yrs of age receiving Universal credit . I am currently on the Sick due to Health problems?  But U/C insist l look for work?? ? Can you help? 

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi Lyn,

    I'm a benefits adviser for BTC and we're helping Scope with questions like yours.

    There are a couple of options within UC for this sort of situation. One is that you are temporarily unfit for work, so don't have to look for work for the time being  - you would need a fit note from your doctor after the first 7 days (for the first 7 days you 'self-certificate' by telling the DWP yourself). Usually, you can't be sick and not have to look for work for more than 14 days but the DWP can extend this if they think it's reasonable. During this time, you don't have to take up a job (if you were offered a job or an interview) whilst you are off sick - you are allowed to postpone that until the period of sickness is over. But if you have more than 14 days off sick, the DWP might decide it's reasonable for you to attend an interview before your sickness has ended.

    The alternative is that you say that you have limited capability for work, which is going to last for a longer period of time. You'll need a sick note from your doctor, and you should be given a form called UC50 after 28 days of sickness, to explain how your sickness affects you. Following that, you may be called for a medical (the Work Capability Assessment).

    The problem is that whilst they are deciding whether you have limited capability for work, the DWP will expect you to look for work! You should talk to your work coach about what is reasonable for you to do in the meantime  - there should be some variation of what is expected of you. Your work coach could reduce the number of hours of work you're expected to look for and how long you are expected to spend looking for work, as well as vary the type of jobs you have to look for. Your GP or a consultant might be able to help by explaining what jobs you shouldn't be put forward for - medical evidence always helps.

    At the beginning of your sickness, the DWP can also use the rules that suspend any work-related requirements for a maximum of 14 days (longer if reasonable) whilst you have a fit note.

    It's also worth checking whether you fall into any of the situations where people can be treated as having limited capability for work without waiting to be assessed. These circumstances include terminal illness and where a claimant is having treatment for cancer, recovering from that treatment or expected to have treatment within the next 6 months. You can always ring the Scope helpline to check whether any of these situations apply to you.

    Once there's a decision that says you have limited capability for work, you don't have to look for jobs - and if it's decided that you have limited capability for work-related activity (which would apply if it's terminal illness or cancer treatment as above), you don't have to do anything to get your UC.

    I really hope that you are able to get the right result for your circumstances. 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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