Finances and extra costs
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JSA and fit note troubles

Annabelle26Annabelle26 Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
edited July 2018 in Finances and extra costs
I had to go to the Doctor today to get my Fit Note renewed.  Because my Doctor was on holiday I had to see another one.  He seemed to know what the DWP want.  He signed me off for 3 months which takes me past the JSA period & he put Debility because of the constant tiredness etc I am suffering.  I mentioned I thought it was more than a Virus.  I suggested it could be Fibromyalgia which I had been told to suggest by the lady from the CAB after I told her some of the symptoms & she asked me other questions about & told me it could be that. Unfortunately there is no test to confirm it. I was supposed to go yesterday about the Fit Note but forgot because of brain fog & a headache & feeling absolutely exhausted as if I had not slept for days.  I got up forced some breakfast down me, took a couple of painkillers & went back to bed within about half an hour.  I slept all day until late afternoon when I woke up feeling a bit better & remembered about the appointment.  I rang the Surgery to apologise & try & get another appointment.  I had to ring up this morning.  I still felt really rough but managed to get to the Surgery. When I got home I was so exhausted I had to go to bed for the afternoon. I have to go to the Jobcentre tomorrow to sign on & take the Fit Note but I am not sure what will happen now.  The information I have found mentions going on to ESA but I was already  on ESA until a few weeks ago when I had to miss a Medical Assessment & the Decision Maker decided I was evading medicals because I had to change a couple of appointments because they were at unsuitable times.  I have a case pending at the Tribunal but as yet nothing has happened.  I was told I had to claim JSA which I was doing until now.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    edited July 2018

    Annabelle26
    Annabelle26,

    So I think what has happened is that you were on ESA, but then that was stopped when you missed a medical assessment, and you have appealed that decision. You can argue that you had a good reason for missing the one you didn't go to, and it's absolutely reasonable to change appointments and to explain why you can't make other times that you were offered. So hopefully, the tribunal will decide that you can be treated as having limited capability for work, you can go back on ESA, and then you will have to attend a medical.

    You've since claimed JSA, and you've been signed off for 3 months. Within JSA, you can have what's sometimes called an extended period of sickness for up to 13 weeks. The 3 month sick note you've got may be about the same as 13 weeks, but it depends of course when it is dated and when it lasts to. There shouldn't be much difference in the length of time, though. One problem is that you are not allowed an extended period of sickness if you have claimed ESA, but I think you should argue that, as things stand, your claim for ESA hasn't been allowed, so you shouldn't be treated as having claimed it.

    Jobcentre staff can really vary, and some will be fine with this situation and allow you not to have to look for work whilst you're waiting for the ESA appeal to be decided. Others are not so understanding. If you don't get a good reaction you should try to get advice locally (eg from a Citizens Advice Bureau) or consider going to see your MP. Of course given the circumstances ideally you'd want to get advice by phone or email, but it may be worth checking if your local CAB or a disability information service near you can do home visits, should you need one. 

    If the extended period of sickness argument doesn't work, another thing to say is that you should be able to place restrictions on what work you can look for because of your physical and/or mental condition. You can restrict your availability in any way (hours, location, type of work etc). It doesn't matter if there is no likelihood of you getting work that would fit round this condition, as long as the restrictions are reasonable. It sounds like you can barely do anything at all at the moment, and would definitely need work you could do from home & in a very flexible time scale. Don't worry too much about diagnosis - what matters is how your condition affects you.

    Presumably you have been to the Jobcentre now and I hope they were helpful, but do post back if you need more advice.

    Will
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • Annabelle26Annabelle26 Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    Unfortunately I could not get to The Jobcentre Friday as it was too hot & I was still not feeling well.  I now have a chest infection but I do feel a lot better so am going Monday.  I am having help from my local CAB & MP but we are all waiting for the Tribunal to do something. 
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