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Hi, my name is evule1!

evule1evule1 Member Posts: 5 Listener
I just found this site. I've been looking for something like this for ages. 
I hope you will be able to help me. Even little bit. But first I have to explain few things.

I've been employed for last 5 years in a small business. Then in November 2017 I inquired my back at work. It was completely and utterly my fault. I lifted heavy load the wrong way. I felt a pop and couldn't move for a while. But I didn't pay much attention to it as it eased of. 

However things started to get worse and eventually I got diagnosed with two slipped herniated  discs. I carried on working. Because it was left untreated it progressed to left sided sciatica. In November 2018 I got my first sick note. 

In between Christmas and New year I went for spinal nerve root block. This didn't work. By February I could barely move. I hit rock bottom. My husband had to dress and undress me, clean me and in few instances feed me as well. I was on maximum dose of gabapentin and several tramadol a day. I became so depressed that I was seriously considering suicide. I am only 40!
I shouldn't be this ill. Year before that I was doing yoga, going to gym and for long walks with our dog. 

In March 2019 I had a microdistectomy which got rid of the herniated prolapse in my disc. However nobody can fix my two badly slipped discs, which according to the neurosurgeon will be getting worse and eventually I will have another prolapse in another place. 

My back is at the moment not so bad but my left leg is not great. Especially my hip. 

I've seen orthopaedic surgeon and he suggested nerve root block of the hip. 
They also discovered early onset arthritis in both my hips and possibly osteoporosis in the left one. 

I walk with walking stick or crutches depending on how bad or good is my day.
I attend physio.

My liver function is not great due to the high doses of mixture of meds. I also suffer from epilepsy since I was a child. 

I am in receipt of PIP and was awarded the blue badge which was and still is great help as any longer periods of the same movement or position flare up my hip pain. 

So I guess if you didn't get completely bored with me writing all this and you are here, let me ask you the question. 

I've been getting constant sick notes since November 2018. I wasn't in receipt of SSP so I registered in job centre. They gave me UC and sent me for Work Capability Assessment. I was deemed fit for work but unable to do all the work. This ment regural appointments with work coach and looking for work although I was already employed but unable to do my job due to ill health. I was still providing sick notes as well. 

In December 2019 ( more than year after I went of sick) my employer laid me off work.
Now I have to go for another Work Capability Assessment and according to my work coach, if I don't pass this one either and will be deemed capable of some work then I will have to start looking for any jobs and will be classified as unemployed rather than sick. 

One of my friends told me that if I've been of sick or getting sick notes for one thing for so long there must be something I can do to stop the job centre treating me like I just don't want to go to work. 

Does anyone have any advice? Please help! Any suggestions will do. 
Thank you so much for reading this and sorry if it felt like a rant. I had to pour my heart out. 

Replies

  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evule1

    Good Afternoon & Welcome 😃

    I’m one off a team of Community Champion’s here at Scope😃

    I am very very sorry to hear about your troubles to date!!!!

    Please please don’t worry about your rant that’s what we are here for😃

    Yes I had to take early retirement due to ill health a few years ago now 😃

    I would be more than happy in helping you in anyway if required?

    Please please let me know how you feel ??

    @steve51


  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 9,141 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evule1 - Welcome to the community. I'm pleased you've joined the forum as I can ask my friend @poppy123456 to help you as she's so good with any benefits advice.
  • evule1evule1 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi @steve51
    Thanks very much. I don't want people to think that I don't want to go back to work. I was a florist which was my dream job so it hit me hard when I had to stop. Before that I was a barista which I also enjoyed. I am happy to return to work as soon as possible I just need to feel better first. I have various doctors appointments several times a month and the job centre knows this. I want them to stop treating me like a lazy healthy person and give me some credit. At one point my commitments on UC were that I had to do at least 5 hours per day of research into my health conditions. Apparently it was supposed to be helpful for me to understand what is wrong with me even though I showed them all the paperwork from doctors. I have two full files of paperwork from various doctors and hospitals. 
    The day I was released from hospital after my back operation I got a message on my journal from my work coach asking if she can contact me some time this week to do over phone work based review. I was in bed and doped up on pills so barely conscious when my husband told me I have an email from them. 
    Please help if you can. Any suggestions. Honestly. 
    Thank you so much
  • evule1evule1 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi @chiarieds
    Thanks for your reply.
    Yes please ask your friend. If she can give me any advice on how to get them of my back until I fee better am able to go to work, that would be great. 
    It's driving me crazy that "office rats" (pardon the expression) totally ignore and go against my doctors advice. Not just GP but all of my specialists and physio. 
    Thanks again
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evule1

    No probs!!!!!

    I am very sorry to hear about the Jobcentre they can be problematic at times very much like the benefit system.

    It’s great to hear that you want to return to work once you feel better.

    I have posted some info below for you:

    https://www.scope.org.uk/advice-and-support/work-careers/

    Please let me know if you have any further questions/problems???

    @steve51
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2020
    Thanks to my dear friend @chiarieds for the tag and sorry for the delay in replying, one of those days...

    Hi and welcome @evule1

    I'm one of the community champions here on scope and i'm here to help and advise others with the complex benefit system.

    Firstly, when you had the first work capability assessment is there any reason at all why you didn't request the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) for that decision?

    I'm very surprised they have allowed you to continue to send in fit notes because once you've been found fit for work they aren't usually accepted unless you have a worsening of condition of an existing claim or a completely new condition.

    Unfortunately, your PIP award and the fit note doesn't automatically entitle you to limited capability for work. If after this work capability assessment the worst happens and you're found fit for work again then you will need to request the MR for that decision. If the MR decision remains the same (most of them  do) then you'll need to request the Tribunal.

    If your found fit for work then yes your work commitments could very likely change and you'll be expected to look for work but this will be the discretion of your work coach, some are more understanding that others. You can of course ask for a different work coach. If you are found fit for work then no further fit notes will be accepted.

    Do be aware that when you're assessed for the work capability assessment they assess your ability to do any type of work and not just the job you were previously doing. The work capability assessment is about the work you can do rather than the work you can't do.

    May i ask if you sent relevant evidence to support your claim when you filled out the work capability assessment form? They very rarely contact anyone for this, the onus is on you to make sure it's sent. 

    Hope this helps. Good luck with the assessment and hopefully a decision will go in your favour this time.


    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.
  • evule1evule1 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi @poppy123456
    Thanks for your response. 
    After the first assessment I had requested the MR and also transcript of the interview. I requested for the interview to be recorder but was refused. When the transcript arrived there was a lot of mistakes in it and things that were untrue. I pointed this out at the job centre but was told that unfortunately what is written down is correct and stands and I have no way of proofing otherwise. If I didn't agree I could take it to tribunal. I couldn't afford cort costs and still can't so that is out of the question. 
    I did send all the documents they requested and more. They didn't help. I was told I will have an medical examination by the person doing the assessment. She never touched me. The transcript arrived and said that I appeared to have no restricted movement. Dispite me walking in and out with a walking stick and whilst in really feeling uncomfortable sitting for so long. I was in agony by the time this assessment finished. 
    I know that I will or might not be able to get same job like before. 
    And I can now see that despite the fact that I am still feeling like hell I have no options. 
    However thanks for everyone's input.
    It was worth a try.

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger

    Trying to prove what did or didn't happen during an assessment isn't going to get you anywhere because you can't prove it. What you should have done instead is proved which group you think you should have been placed into and your reasons why.

    Who told you that there's a charge to take a benefit decision to a Tribunal? This is most definitely not correct, there's never a charge for this because it's not a court, it's a Tribunal.

    The face to face assessment is not a medical examination, it's a work capability assessment to determine your fitness to work. I've attended 2 of those assessments for myself and i've never been examined by the HCP. They are there to ask you questions about your day to day life and to make recommendations to the decision maker.

    The evidence you sent, was it relevant to how your conditions affect you? Diagnosis letters, future appointment letters, letters from a GP really aren't the best evidence to send.

    You mention walking an using an aid. This is one of the descriptors for LCWRA group BUT for this, they will take into consideration your ability to use a self propel wheelchair as well as walking, which is why it's called mobilising.

    May i ask if you've taken a look at the descriptors for each of the groups? If you have then you'll be able to see them by clicking this link here. https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Your-Situation/Ill-Injured-or-Disabled/Universal-Credit-Capability-for-work-assessment

    If the worst does happen this time and you're found fit for work again then the MR request comes first followed by Tribunal and i'd urge you to take it to Tribunal if the MR decision doesn't change because it will be your only option. If you need further help then post back here and i'm sure someone will give you further advice.

    If the decision does go in your favour and you're awarded LCWRA then you will receive the extra £336 per month from the date the decision was made because it's your 2nd work capability assessment. Had you taken it to Tribunal the first time and the decision was LCWRA then you would have received backdated money but sadly that won't happen now.

    Good luck with the assessment.


    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.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,653 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @evule1 and a very warm welcome to the community!

    I'm glad other members have been able to provide you with guidance. If you are ever feel really low again then please do reach out for support from Samaritans (116 123) or go to hospital.

    I really wish you the best of luck with the assessment and please do let us know if there is anything else we can do to help. :)
    Scope

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