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Claiming Universal Credit and my GP Refuses to Provide Fit Note

31depressed31depressed Member Posts: 1 Listener
edited July 2019 in Universal Credit
Hello everyone.   

I am new on here, am feeling extremely worried and anxious and looking for help.  I have panic attacks, severe anxiety and depression, as well as not being physically fit anymore, now that I am in my 50's for work.  I am on Universal Credit, and recently went to see my GP who refused to provide a fit note, despite another GP in my practice providing me with one mentioning how my mental health was preventing me from being able to look for work.    I provided financial statements showing all the money I have available to survive on, going back to April this year.  However, I was asked to provide financial statements going back to April last year, with details of what I had spent my money on, which I refused to do, because this is not information the DWP need, and I believe there are data protection laws which state they should not be asking for this information, because my bank and pension statements have the amount of money available to me on them.  I also believe that even if I had provided financial statements going back to April last year, the DWP would just have used this information as an excuse to close my Universal Credit account.  I have less than £10,000 in savings and had less than £10,000 savings at the time my account was closed.   The reason given for the closure of my account was that I had £16,000 or more, which is and was not true.   I also needed a fit note, however, when I went to my GP, she refused to provide me with a fit note, despite another GP having previously provided me with a fit note, detailing my mental health issues, which prevent me from being able to either look for or do any work.

I have opened a new Universal Credit account and have started a Mandatory Reconsideration of the decision to close my account and am going to attend a further evidence appointment this afternoon in connection with my new Universal Credit claim.  However, I am looking for help and advice as to what to do in case my GP refuses to write a fit note, because I find it extremely tiring and I get out of breath these days, even when just going to the supermarket and back.

Thank you.


  • HollyGCatHollyGCat Member Posts: 79 Pioneering
    Hi,  Welcome. Have you tried self referring to the Single Point of access MH service in your area?  Might be a bit of a wait, but might mean that you will see MH specialists who understand the benefits system and MH better perhaps?  Also somewhere like Mind or CAB?  Might be able to help you get what you need.  I don't understand well UC, but PIP I do, and this is not means tested.  Is there a reason why you can't apply for PIP instead?  Also, you mention a private pension, which is NOT classed as earnings for benefits and many are not means tested.  It seems like you have an unsympathetic GP.  Can you request to speak to the one from before?  

    If you can't work because of a disability then you should be able to make a claim.  I am not as I say, to aware of universal credit as I have never applied for it.  The benefits I know that savings/private pension are not counted for are Industrial Injury Disablement Benefit (MH can be an Industrial Injury), PIP and if you are diagnosed with a Severe Mental Impairment, Council Tax (though this does depend on your own local authorities interpretation).  Difficult to answer without knowing more.  I feel like reading what you have put you need to push the GP to refer you on.  I would contact someone like Mind or CAB in the meantime.  Best wishes.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    UC is a means tested benefit and claiming this will depend on your savings/capital and other income from pensions etc. Any pension you receive will be deducted £1 for £1 from any UC you maybe entitled to.  DWP are within their rights to ask you to provide them with evidence of all your savings/pensions.

    I'd advise you to speak to a local advice agency near you, for further advice.
    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.
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Start by finding out about the Single Point MH service in your area. Go back to see your family doctor and insist on referrals to mental health services based in your area. Don’t take no for a answer either. That way you can see a mental health expert too.
    Have you ever heard of MIND the MH charity in the UK? Take a look at their website. Best of luck!! Why can’t you apply for PIP? Never ignore mental health issues.
    Ask to speak to someone. Hang in there. Visit this link for more information https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/nhs-services/mental-health-services/how-to-access-mental-health-services/
    Use this quiz as a starting point only- 
    Also complain about the GP. Is it possible to find another one or not who is competent? There are good ones out there. Do you have a social worker? 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,001 Disability Gamechanger
    I’m not clear on why your GP is refusing a fit note. Are you?

    As regards UC there are no data protection regs or rules as you describe. Data protection is about the security of information you give and not about what you can hold back. The general principle with benefits is that on a first claim the onus is on you to prove entitlement rather than the DWP to price that you’re not. Withholding the requested information is not a helpful position to take and not an argument you’re going to win.  
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