New style ESA claim and fit note — Scope | Disability forum

New style ESA claim and fit note

Hi, I’ve just made a new claim for new style ESA but am a bit confused about the fit note, do I need to send this to them now or wait for their initial letter regarding my claim? I struggle filling in forms and sometimes misunderstand things so a bit confused.

I’m also worried about the assessment and what happens during it. I’m really worried they won’t believe me. I have chronic pain which I’m still trying to get a diagnosis for but the drs don’t really take me seriously even though it’s been ongoing a long time. I’m seeing a physio privately next month to see if they can help me. I also have social anxiety and depression which also affect me from working. I’ve listed my pain and social anxiety on the application. I haven’t actually got a fit note yet because I’m so worried my gp might refuse and also because I have a huge fear of making phone calls and speaking to drs and I always struggle to explain things because of the anxiety. I was wondering if it’s often difficult to get a drs fit note?

I’m worried if I don’t qualify where I go from here as I’m not entitled to UC and I’m not sure I could get contributions based JSA. Because of my pain and mental health there really are not many jobs I could do unless it was working from home and not having to deal with people or phone calls etc. I think data entry is about the only thing I could do but I don’t have experience in this and there don’t seem to be any jobs in my area in this field.



  • calcotti
    calcotti Member Posts: 3,768 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2021
    You must get a Fit Note. You can only self certify for seven days. Without a Fit Note your claim will fail.
    in order to qualify for new style ESA you must have a complete NI record for the tax years 2018-19 and 2019-20.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 764

    Scope community team

    Hi @Marie88 thank you for reaching out. Have you got someone who could come with you to your GP or be next to you when you give them a call? Having a friendly face nearby will be a big help. If you can’t go and see your GP physically, does your surgery offer online consultation, so you can request a fit note by email? Maybe a friend could find out for you, and help you write the request?

    Try and break things down into small chunks. I don’t like phone calls either, but taking things step by step is a good way to tackle them. Write down what you’d like to say and keep it next to you as a prompt. Remember nothing is set in stone. If your doctor can understand how much your social anxiety and pain are impacting your life, then there’s every reason they’ll approve a fit note for you.

    Try not to dwell on what could happen if you don’t qualify. That hasn’t happened yet, and it very well may not happen. Living with anxiety is exhausting, so try and focus instead on something relaxing or something you enjoy for a bit, then come back to it when you feel ready.

    Information is also a great tool for combating these anxious feelings. Have you had a look at Scope’s Employment Services? Support to Work is good place to start when you feel up to it.

    If there's anything else we can do to help please let us know. Good luck with your request :)
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