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Fit notes or PIP

fleur_de_lisfleur_de_lis Member Posts: 2 Listener
edited October 2018 in Universal Credit
Hello to all at Scope as this is my 1st post. 

I am claiming Universal Credit. I am working limited hours teaching, I also support a family member who has a learning disability.

I have had a head injury that has left me in constant pain and impaired vision.
I am in my late 50's.

Job Centre adviser has stated I need to choose the following options;
Claim Carer's benefit; I do not fulfil the criteria (35 hours care).
Provide 'Fit Notes'
Claim PIP
I would need to choose one of the above in the next 4 weeks or I will be directed to attend training and/or accept any job that pays min. wage.
If I do non of the above I will face possible sanctions.

I have worked in the service industry all my life whilst being a full time carer.
I've paid for all my further education/training in order to have a higher paid job; the above will push me back to min. wage service sector.
Currently I'm employed in work that brings in 3 times as much per hour and it benefits adult learners who have additional learning needs.
However because I am not in full time work DWP do not consider my working hours enough as the remit is to get me into full time work irregardless.   

The health issues I now face due to head injury affects the amount of time I am able to work. 

I believe the GP would be willing to write fit notes and this may put me in a category of; 
limited capability for work or
limited capability for work and work related activity.
Do I need to complete a UC50?
Or would it be more appropriate for me to make a claim for PIP?

What I want; to continue in my current job as I can work and manage my health and it's a job which I can see directly benefits other people.  
I also have time to support a disabled person to deal with issues that have a direct affect on their life i.e. benefits et al.   
Fleur de lis


Replies

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Welcome to the community, I will ask @BenefitsTrainingCo if they can offer you any support in this :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • AlexandriaUKAlexandriaUK Member Posts: 40 Courageous
    edited October 2018
    Hi Fleur your posing a really complex set of questions and it's maybe that it want be possible for anyone to answer them completely as it could come down to your personal needs having to take priority.
    You say your a carer as well, this could also effect what benefits your going to be able to claim.
    You could make an appointment to see a benefits advicer at your loca CAB office or your local counc office
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    @AlexandriaUK is right, you might like to call the Scope helpline on 0808 800 3333 or get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • fleur_de_lisfleur_de_lis Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Hello Sam and Alexandria, thank you for your reply.
    I did consider CAB but they are very over used in my area and I haven't found them to be very useful outside of general enquiries.
    I really only have two choices re: Universal Credit
    Fit notes or
    PIP
    I'll give Scope helpline a call.
    Many thanks.
    Fleur
  • Firefly123Firefly123 Member Posts: 525 Pioneering
    You can claim pip and still work or universal credit and pip 
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hello fleur de lis

    When you state that a jobcentre adviser is telling you that you have to make a choice of claiming carers benefit, PIP etc., are you referring to your work coach? 

    In addition do you know what claimant group you are in? e.g. Is it the work preparation group or all work requirement group? and have you been told how many hours you have to search for work each week?

    The choices being given to you do not appear to reflect UC guidance and law, and they appear harsh and insensitive. Firstly you do not have to claim PIP, there is nothing in UC law that says a person who claims PIP can be exempt from attending training etc.  Claiming PIP may strengthen the argument that e.g. you can limit the hours of searching for work, but there is no requirement for you to actually claim and receive PIP.  Your GP could just as easily draft a  letter explaining your difficulties and why you are only able to work at certain number of hours.

    In addition, you do not have to claim carers allowance to be recognised as a carer or have caring responsibilities.  Being recognised as a carer may subsequently lead to a reduction in what is required of you to look for work. 

    You do need advice and assistance or a strong voice to help negotiate with your work coach. It is worth checking to see if their are any welfare benefits advisers at the CAB, independent advice agency or law Centre.  If not (and in addition) go to your MP, and explain your situation and what is being required of you.  You can also lodge a complaint to the DWP about the choices you have been given and how they do not reflect  UC guidance or law, but the MP maybe the staring point.

    Please keep us posted.

    Maria 
    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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