Universal Credit
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universal credit and fit notes

SugarCoatedSugarCoated Member Posts: 53 Courageous
hello
ive been on UC since applying in feb and had to submit a 1 month fit note because it was causing my anxiety to get worse. had my meeting with work coach and she reduced work search to 16 hours per week, i contatcted her via my UC account that i was having trouble due to my HS (Hidradenitis suppurativa) flare ups and being in constant pain. i get regular flare ups close to my periods and when im stressed out. so pretty much every few weeks. she suggested referring me to the scope provision for a 8 weeks. my condition is such that i avoid meeting people unless nessassry. i dont visit family for months. only people i will see are my mom or gp. or just my children and husband that live with me.
last meeting i had with her she was very harsh to me regarding my illness which is a chronic skin condition which has no cure. i told her i get regular flare ups and the medication doesnt work. she was rude and said diidnt i think it was time to change my medication. i went to see my gp yesterday and told him i wanted to be referred back to the dermatologist but he told me what ive known for years that this condition doesnt have a cure and medication wasnt going to help. he was also really angry at my work coach and said who made her an expert on illness, he also pointed out we dont go to the job centre to tell them how they should do thwir job. he gave me another fit note for 5 weeks also a leaflet to contact insight health care regarding my deppression and anxiety, hes been very understanding and spent quiet some time reassuring me to ignore her remarks. i feel like my work coach is bullying me into doing things. we only made our uc in feb 2018 and already shes tried setting up voluntary work, interview skills, and now asking me to try the scope thing, i dont feel comfortable around people all i do is think negative and end up having a anxiery attack or panic attack. i cant travel to far as i get scared even a 20 min car journey has me panicking and thinking im about to die thats with my partner in the car and my children, 
i dont know how they expect me to travel on buses alone. im so scared ive not been sleeping at night.
can they sanction me if i can'n physically make myself go on this scope course? stop my payments? really been struggling since husband lost his job last year.
sorry about such a long post and the waffling im nervous i guess,
thank you for reading the post


Replies

  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 88 Connected
    edited April 2018
    Hi SugarCoated, so sorry to read your story. I think you need to straightaway apply for PIP, you certainly sound like you meet the mental health part of it at least but apply for your physical illnesses to. By having PIP you would be able to show your work coach that you are not fit for work, or looking for it. It will give you breathing space as they will leave you alone, but this will take time. What is this fit note, are you not able to get a sick note from your GP? Sorry I dont know much about UC yet, do they make you get a fit note instead of a sick note now?
    Please try and attend the course, get your husband to take you and get some anti-anxiety pills if you can. I only say this, because if you dont attend then they will saction you, and that will stress you even more when they stop your money. Maybe your GP can give you a note to get you off the course. Please phone Scope the number is above and is free to get informed advice from experts. I believe PIP is the best way for you, but you need help in the meantime. Take care.
  • SugarCoatedSugarCoated Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    hi despondent a fit note is a another name for sick note i learnt this since claiming UC, im already on medication for my depression and my fit note is relating to my mental health which my GP thinks limits me from working. hes put down depression on the fit note but my depression is due to my skin condition, i suffer from other health conditions too. honestly im scared to apply for pip dont think i can handle too much stress. broke down at the Drs surgery yesterday which is my GP was so angry at these job centre people. my skin condition causes abscesses in my armpits and around my breasts, which restricts my movement and causes pain. ive been suffering for around 20 years now. it doesnt get easier just makes me feel more down and hard to be around people. even my family dont understand what im going through which doesnt help when you miss family dinners or get togethers, thwy look down their noses and think they know what im going through and offer advice which just makes me seem like im useless. 

  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 88 Connected
    I know the PIP sounds and is stressful, but by getting it, you wont have to attend the Job Centre and have to look for work. Attending the Job Centre and their courses are going to cause you more anxiety in the long run than getting a PIP award. I suffer from mental health problems and find it difficult to take my medication as I have erosion of my stomach lining. I have damaged my kidneys with my overdoses, and if it were not for my son, I would be long gone from this world. The governement make it extremely difficult for people with mental health issues to get PIP, but get your husband to fill out the form for you. Get letters from the hospital, your GP as evidence of your illnesses and claim, it is for people just like you.
  • SugarCoatedSugarCoated Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    how do you claim pip? maybe il contact them on monday
    thank you for your kind words and understanding despondent
  • ToffeeToffee Member Posts: 250 Pioneering
    How's dose the sickness benefit work out when you are on uc my sisters on it they told her put no more sick notes in but her payment as not changed? Any no how this uc and being sick works please  they not told her anything? 
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 88 Connected
    You are more than welcome SugarCoated. Click on this:-
    https://www.gov.uk/pip/how-to-claim

    There is also a really great website called Benefits and Work and it would be well worth joining them for a year as they have really helpful guides on PIP.
    here is their address:-

    https://www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

    Good Luck
  • ToffeeToffee Member Posts: 250 Pioneering
    You should try and claim pip it stressful but in the end less stressful good luck 
  • despondentdespondent Member Posts: 88 Connected
    Toffee has your sister been awarded a PIP?  Was she claiming ESA before being put onto UC? When did she go onto UC? All these things will affect an answer to  your question.
  • SugarCoatedSugarCoated Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    Thank you guys I'll definitely look at the website and see the link. Thank you 
  • DaxleedsDaxleeds Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hi Every one I am new but going round in circles the system is an absolute shambles I have been on Sick / not fit for work note by 2 G.P's for 6 month my current fit for work note is for 2 months I still have to attend and jump for the 'work coach' I have been sanctioned and put reconsideration APPEAL have today got an hardship payment Going through this like SugarCoated increased anxiety to massive levels it took me 3 days to even pick up the phone to UC helpline then could not get through for over 4.5 hours in total me my GP and councillor have a long term plan to restore my help but it is getting worse due to DWP UC I have had my medication TREDBLED in the last 6 weeks there is so much more.

    I need Help urgently I am currently receiving UC on limited requirements but  they are hell I have been told to apply for ESA the told this will just come off my UC can I claim PIP and if so would I still get UC or it seems I would be on less money and cannot cope now I have claimed UC since July 2007 PLEASE PLEASE HELP.

  • DaxleedsDaxleeds Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Whoopps meant 2017 
  • SugarCoatedSugarCoated Member Posts: 53 Courageous
    I'm in same boat as you Daxleeds, my work coach has reduced my job search to 16 hours but I still need to be ready for interviews, workshops and work experiences. I'm struggling to sleep up all night until 5-6am the stress is making me tried and cranky which makes my mood terrible. I only see my work coach once a month not sure if that's normal or not buts very stressing going to the job centre full of people and noise. Hope you get it sorted I know what your going through. Can't wait for my husband to find a job so we can get off these benefits. Hang in there its a learning curve 
  • theresa73theresa73 Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Hi. I am on PIP  but still have to attend job centre.. im on universal  credit and have been sending in fit notes since May they no I'm not for for work for a while but still they have no intentions of sending me for an assessment. Now they ring me instead of attending there.  I don't know what tgey expect from people who are ill but they don't care as long as they make you try look for work..  they have mentioned to me to go voluntary but if I could do that then I would go to work..  it's an absolute joke..  No sympathy for sick people.
  • Government_needs_reformGovernment_needs_reform Member Posts: 858 Pioneering
    This thread I'm reading here seems like the film about benefits ( I Daniel Blake ) trust me that film regarding benefits is so true what happens to claimants and how they get left with No money by being sanctioned etc.

    This Government is so heartless and very cruel to the vulnerable.
    ⬇️
    I created one of the campaign election videos for Labour, and Jeremy Corbyn,
    This is a new version of Emeli Sande, Hope "You Are Not Alone
    I highlighted everything that's wrong with this country from benefits, NHS, UC etc, but now we have to put up with the hate now that is the Tories. 

    You can see the video here.
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P5o8hRHh9IY


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 273 Pioneering
    Hi theresa73 and government_needs_reform

    Just to clarify. PIP is a disability benefit. It's paid to people who work and people who don't work. It isn't in any way connected to national insurance contributions (so you don't get any national insurance contribution credits towards your eventual pension entitlement if you just claim PIP.)

    Contributory ESA is an "earnings-replacement" benefit and whilst you claim it, you get class 1 national insurance contributions credited to your national insurance account. These count both for your state pension and for any future contributory ESA or JSA claim.

    With universal credit, you get class 3 (the same category as voluntary contributions) credited to your account.  These are useful for your state pension and for widowed parents allowance only. 

    So there is a purpose to claiming ESA as well as PIP if you want to get these credits. I realise that the degree of stress might be high, but I just wanted to explain that there is a point to maintaining an ESA claim, especially if you are not well enough to work over a long period. 

    Gill_Scope 
  • lizzieloz30lizzieloz30 Member Posts: 57 Courageous
    @theresa73 the same thing happened to me Theresa in regards to them not wanting to send me for a WCA & just having phone call appointments. Each time I rung for a UC50 form they would make up some excuse as to why one had not been sent out yet.

    I ended up going mad at them in the end, said I would complain & that I was being discriminated against. I had the UC50 sent out to me within a matter of days, along with a written apology off them on my UC journal. I'm just waiting now to see if I have to go to a f2f or not.
  • theresa73theresa73 Member Posts: 25 Connected
    Hi lizzieloz30,  ESA has been rolled out here so we are claiming Universal credit,  but i dont think they seen to grasp the idea of sick or disabled people sometimes can't work.  I'm sick of hearing about why they havnt sent me a UC50 out yet.. I'm receiving phone calls from them instead of appointments but i still have to take fit notes in too be verified..  I might have too do what you did and go and kick off with them because they are saying I can work voluntary..   in a year I have had 4 operations and constantly back and forth to the hosp..  do they not think that if im capable of working then I'd rather get payed for it..   good luck with yours. 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The reasons why you've had to claim UC is because Income Related ESA no longer exists in area where there's full Universal credit and not because ESA has rolled out in your area.

    Unfortunately claiming UC with a fit note doesn't mean you're completely excused from the work commitments, it totally depends on the work coach. Some will reduce the hours, very few remove them completely. Claiming LCW under UC is about the work you can do rather than the work you can't do, like ESA was/is.  It will be worth looking at the criteria for LCWRA by doing a google search because that's what they'll be looking at to place you into the group. This is the group you'll also need to claim the extra money which is £328 more per month.

    Waiting since May for a UC50 form is far too long and you really should either contact DWP or put a note on your journal to request it be sent out to you. Your work coach should have already requested this months ago.

    Don't forget you'll need evidence to support your claim when returning that form and i'd advise getting some help to fill it in when you do receive it. Good luck.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,992 Disability Gamechanger
    Two things to note. 

    1) You are entitled to request to change your work coach. 
    2) That, again. 
  • lizzieloz30lizzieloz30 Member Posts: 57 Courageous
    @theresa73 I would ring them if I were you and if possible don't  let them get you off the phone. 

    I haven't been asked to look for work at all whilst I've been submitting my fit notes. The only things I have to do is attend my doctors appointments and take my medication. They've tried getting me to go into the jobcentre once or twice, but I have major anxiety attacks. So I just ring and tell them and they do it over the phone. 
  • amandabarnes1960amandabarnes1960 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    edited January 2019
    Same I haven't been asked to look for work but I've been asked to look at job sites. I have had a heart attack bypass surgery and suffer from angina, I have irritable bowel disease  reflux oesophagitis and COPD and a bad back that gives out on me about four-five times a year that leaves me bed bound, any wonder I have anxiety and depression I get exhausted just thinking about getting dressed some days I feel like ending it .I'm 59 in Feb worked all my life until I had to take my autistic grandson into my care his mum couldn't cope now I can't look after him because I'm too sick to look after myself he,s back with his mum now. I'm so sick of it. I had my Pip stopped even though I had a lifetime award and didn't have it in me to appeal not got the strength this government is disgusting and the staff in the job centers need to understand one day they could be in the same boat they all need to get a backbone and start speaking out. 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,992 Disability Gamechanger
    There are no “lifetime” PIP awards.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    PIP and DLA are different benefits.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,992 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes, exactly. There are no PIP lifetime awards. Your post says that’s what you had  and clearly that was wrong. 
  • amandabarnes1960amandabarnes1960 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    And I came on here for help advice and understand does it really matter.or are you just here to criticize and make someone already feeling low feel even worse.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I don't see any criticizing. All i see is correcting what was wrong. If others see this and see someone saying there's lifetime awards for PIP when there isn't,  then they'll be asking questions. Having looked through the thread i don't see any specific questions from you. If you do have any questions then someone will be happy to answer them.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @amandabarnes1960, how are you doing? I'm glad to see you've had some advice from experienced community members. Sometimes we can all misinterpret people's tone and intentions over an online forum, but do be assured we carefully safeguard discussions. 

    If you feel a message violates our community guidelines, you can report it to us by clicking the 'flag' icon. You can also choose to 'ignore' the member in question. I hope this helps, and if you have any further queries, do let us know and we'll do our best to advise.  

    It sounds like you're dealing with a lot at the moment. Do you have any practical support in place to help you?
  • amandabarnes1960amandabarnes1960 Member Posts: 4 Listener
      I understand where they are coming from just another bad day and thank you for the reply I live on my own and have no support just endless job centre interference and the internet. I really can't think where I go from here. Anxiety and depression have taken hold of my life I spend days without even talking to anyone my family don't live close by and my husband left a few years ago because he couldn't deal with my health issues and my grandson who has autism.  I'm still waiting for my work coach to sort me out with a UC50 form "been asking him for months" he keeps telling me UC are really behind and its taking longer to sort everyone out. My last PIP interviewer told a lot of lies and my PIP was stopped I couldn't face going the appeal on my own with no support. Just need some support and advice.Thank you :
  • asipo20asipo20 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @SugarCoated have you sorted it out job center? Im having samw problem with same illness condition
  • asipo20asipo20 Member Posts: 4 Listener
    I have health condition and needs iam not suppose to work but they still making me go on so many progarammes i complained online still nothing
  • SpinalStenosis1985SpinalStenosis1985 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I'm on PIP and I still have to attend work search reviews at the job centre and look for work because and I quote "just because I am receiving PIP, doesn't mean that I cannot work"  I have been getting constant fit notes since November 2018 and I'm now on an indefinite fit note. However my job centre is less than useless and I'm pretty sure aren't doing things correctly. I hope you get it sorted 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,992 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm on PIP and I still have to attend work search reviews at the job centre and look for work because and I quote "just because I am receiving PIP, doesn't mean that I cannot work"  I have been getting constant fit notes since November 2018 and I'm now on an indefinite fit note. However my job centre is less than useless and I'm pretty sure aren't doing things correctly. I hope you get it sorted 
    This is correct. PIP can and is claimed by many who are in full-time employment. It has no bearing on capability for work. That is an entirely different test. There is no such thing as an indefinite fit note so I’m not sure what you’re referring to there. In any event a fit note is not definitive. It is an opinion and it can be contradicted by other evidence whether medical or otherwise. See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464395/fit-note-patients-employees-guidance-sept-2015.pdf

    See also https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/465918/fit-note-gps-guidance.pdf and https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/fees/fitness-certificates
  • adele93adele93 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    He just need some help i sufferer from epilepsy and depression and not able to work i have sick notes and just recived a questionnaire about my disabilty i currently get £515 a month for not being able to work my rent is £500 so i cant live on it. I was told i might be able to get extra money for my disabilty but anyone know how it works and how long it takes ? Im waiting on pip aswell but iv been told that takes some time. My first payment was today. Thankyou x
  • adj050223adj050223 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I’m sorry this isn’t a reply but as I’m new I’m confused on how to submit a new post so accept my apologies.             My son claimed universal credit last month, he had an advance & he is receiving a payment in 5 days. He just started a job with a zero hour contract. The uc want to know if he had breaks in employment within the last 12 (although he’s never claimed before & if he lived with a partner in this time) he hasn’t as he lives with me at home. Does anyone know what this is about?
    thanks 
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  • pcoventrypcoventry Member Posts: 149 Pioneering
    I'm going back to see my GP on Monday - I have a meeting with my work coach - and she expects me to get a job waiting tables - I have 1 good arm and can not walk well. They told me when they said I was fit for work that I didn't need to put in any more fit notes BUT I need something to stop them from sanctioning me because, surprise surprise I can't do much work! 

    I said to her the other day I can stand in a sling and use my right hand, OR I can stand up on my stick and bang a keyboard with my nose. that didn't go down well - but she just will not accept that I have to ,and in fact I am right now, use a speech t text program to type!

    I'm happy to be paid to sit in an office and talk into a mic all day - I was a radio presenter for many years - but there's no such job, she's happy to send me texts saying I can go and serve sandwiches to toffs at the race course - when I say "and which hand shall I use between the weak one and the one holding me up right?: I get snubbed!

    Sorry it's a rant and probably in the wrong thread but the PC is in charge on this one!
  • SpinalStenosis1985SpinalStenosis1985 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi, 

    According to my Jobcentre PIP only says you're disabled, it has no relevance on whether you can work or not. When I first signed up for Universal Misery I took in all my PIP paperwork and it was outright ignored because being disabled doesn't mean that you can't work, so I had to wait until my Work Capability Assessment to assess if I can work with my disability. The WCA was a farce and apparently I'm super-fit and can work all the hours god sends (I have a severe spinal condition which effects everything I do) so I'm taking that to a Tribunal. I would also suggest complaining about your work coach, as mine was similar to yours and made me feel like a liar, and had me leaving the Jobcentre in panic attacks I complained about it, and eventually I got a new work coach who is much better. Definitely apply for PIP and anything else you can but unless you pass a Work Capability Assessment then your deemed fit for work and can be sanctioned for anything. 
  • OutOfTheWorld99OutOfTheWorld99 Member Posts: 30 Connected
    Hi SugarCoated,

    I hope you have had some kind of intervention from your GP with regard to all this by now ?:

    "has reduced my job search to 16 hours but I still need to be ready for interviews, workshops and work experiences."

    The above is current proof of what a pathetic system is being run by the DWP and their lack of mentality, & compassion when dealing with people who have obvious health problems. Them being, mental or physical. Their arrogance has no bounds as there are regular reports in the media of how they think they know better than qualified doctors. Tribunal cases costing the taxpayer millions has proven time after time that they don't!

    If you haven't got your MP involved with all this yet, I would. Particularly, if this nightmare is still ongoing for you. Phone your local Citizens Advice Bureau, if you feel you are not in the frame of mind to deal with this alone. And they will hopefully appoint someone for you. Also, tell them that due to the ill-treatment you have received from DWP/Job Centre, you wish to make a written formal complaint and follow their complaints procedures to a T.

    I too suffer from long term anxiety and mental health. And as such, if they do play this game with me I will make sure they will also be inconvenienced as much as possible. MP's need to put their mouths where the money is, and start delivering on all the spin they were putting on mental health as it's more than apparent here they've done nothing to address this serious issue.

    How or why they feel it's reasonable to travel or be stuck in a classroom doing irrelevant courses of which I've seen the lot, and effectively not worth toilet paper to any employers, I seriously don't know.
  • OutOfTheWorld99OutOfTheWorld99 Member Posts: 30 Connected
    Hi SpinalStenosis1995,

    Id like them to clarify exactly what type of work you can do. And then seek confirmation from an NHS Dr to confirm it and then send it back to these morons. If fully able-bodied people in good physical shape so to speak,[can't find appropriate work,]they have a hard job understanding that phrase. Then how, the hell do they expect others with genuine disabilities to just walk in and find a job, etc, etc. Beggars belief. It really does.

    The very best of luck with your Tribunal case. I feel another win coming on. :)
  • OutOfTheWorld99OutOfTheWorld99 Member Posts: 30 Connected
    edited July 2019
    Pcoventry,"I'm going back to see my GP on Monday - I have a meeting with my work coach - and she expects me to get a job waiting tables - I have 1 good arm and can not walk well."

    Its an utter disgrace of a system. I would ask 'coach,' who do you sue :) if you happen to pour boiling hot coffee into someone's lap through no fault of your own. You've clearly explained your 'disability,' is this just temporary or are you likely to recover soon? Either way, they are choosing to ignore it. [They are putting you in a situation of risk to others].Seek advice.
  • wataguyiamwataguyiam Member Posts: 1 Listener
    if anyone on here is on universal credit and they are receiving upto date sick notes (fitnote). Then there job coach should not be expecting them to do normal job search activities. That is exactly what I am doing at present, and iv been told there is a variation on this depending on your issuel, I would advise anyone that is struggling on U.C and they are getting sick notes then go and try to claim e.s.a.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    if anyone on here is on universal credit and they are receiving upto date sick notes (fitnote). Then there job coach should not be expecting them to do normal job search activities. That is exactly what I am doing at present, and iv been told there is a variation on this depending on your issuel, I would advise anyone that is struggling on U.C and they are getting sick notes then go and try to claim e.s.a.
    Hi,

    Unfortunately a fit note doesn't automatically entitle anyone to limited capability for work. It's the work coaches discretion whether or not they turn off work searches and what is expected of you will depend on your claimant commitment.

    Income related ESA no longer exists for new claims unless a claimant is claiming severe disability premium and once you claim UC you can't go back and claim Income Related ESA.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
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