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Tinabean16Tinabean16 Member Posts: 19 Listener
edited May 2019 in Universal Credit
Hello
After failing my appeal of the work assessment I now have to look for full time work.  I provided a new fit note where my GP put I was unfit for work, but my work coach said that it was confirming that my condition had got worse.  I am not in a good place at the moment due to my chronic depression.  I have suffered with depression all my life and after losing my husband of 39 years 3 years ago July, it has got worse.  I am in tears writing this as I feel no one understands or even cares about Mental health issues. 
Tina 

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi,

    I've just read through some of your previous posts and i'm a little confused.

    I see before the Tribunal you were in the limited capability for work group, is that correct? What was the actual decision from the Tribunal? Did you lose the limited capability for work after the Tribunal?
    Community champion and 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.
  • Tinabean16Tinabean16 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    Hi Poppy123456

     I was placed in the work group that’s is why I went too the tribunal.  The outcome was that I do not have Limited Capability for Work.  The tribunal however have accepted that I have depression. 
    Tina
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Tinabean16 
    I'm really sorry to hear this. If the tribunal decision is that you are fit for work, your sick notes are still relevant, because (as your work coach has said) you have got worse. That means that whatever the tribunal decision was, you are worse now, and so you can ask to be sent to another work capability assessment. Probably not what you want, I know - but if your work coach agrees that there has been a change (they can hardly deny that as they've said it's what your fit note says!) & you've got worse, then I would use this to be reassessed and hopefully, get a correct outcome.

    I would argue that there has been a relevant change of circumstances (you've got worse), you've got evidence of this in your fit note, and so what the work coach should be doing to support you is to refer you for a further work capability assessment (that will involve a new UC50 and could involve another face to face assessment, but it doesn't always).

    Also because you've got worse, your work coach can suspend your work search requirements and agree that you don't have to look for work. For the first 14 days of your new (worsened) sick note, they have to do this. After the first 14 days, they don't have to do this, but they certainly can - and arguably they should, if the fit note says you shouldn't be having the stress of job search.

    Even if they don't suspend your work search requirements completely, they can decide that you don't have to look for full-time work. I think your 'expected hours' (of work & work search) should be lower because of your mental health problems. I also think that if the Jobcentre don't agree to support you properly, they could be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
    This extract from DWP full service guidance for UC may be helpful:

    'work related requirements should be reasonable and tailored to reflect any restrictions including, hours, type and location of work, which are appropriate to the claimant’s condition. The fit note may help tailoring requirements. If the claimant provides new medical evidence which supports either of the following:  a condition that is different from the one on which the WCA decision was made  a deterioration in the existing condition The claimant re-joins the health journey and Day 1 conditionality applies. Refer to Work capability assessment outcomes.'

    In other words, as you have a deterioration, you should be treated as if you were presenting fit notes for the first time. You shouldn't have any work-related requirements for 14 days, and beyond that it is up to the work coach. Meanwhile, they should be referring you to a new WCA.

    Meanwhile, it sounds as if you could really do with some support to help you with your next steps. I wondered if there was a Citizens Advice or another disability advice organisation who might be able to help you? Or as your GP sounds as if they are trying to be helpful, they might know of an advocacy organisation who can help. It's so difficult to negotiate with a work coach all by yourself. 

    I hope this helps.

    Will

    The Benefits Training Co:
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  • Tinabean16Tinabean16 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    Hi Will
    Thank you very much for your advice.  
    Tina
  • Tinabean16Tinabean16 Member Posts: 19 Listener
    Hi Will
    Update I have contacted my local MP to see if they can help me.  I have a GP appointment. Haven’t asked work coach for another referral for Work assessment, waiting on hearing back from MP. 
    Tina
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,926

    Scope community team

    Thanks for updating us @Tinabean16, I hope you get on well with the GP and that your MP gets back to you quickly. 
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

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