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Thread: anxiety and UC

  1. #1

    anxiety and UC

    Hi. I think I kind of already know the answer to this post and do'nt think anyone can actually help me, but wanted to post it anyway

    So i've been on universal credit for a few months.

    I have always had extreme anxiety that's massively effected my life- the phonecalls I receive every 2 weeks from my work coach are enough to make me lose lots of sleep and have me worrying about them non stop etc. I get very anxious on the phone and consider rejecting the call every single time

    With that in mind, there's just no way I could get through a job interview, and as such I guess I feel i'm on the wrong benefit and I need to be on one where i'm not required to be looking for work basically!

    I have never been to the doctor about my anxiety because, ironically, that also makes me too anxious. I can't bare to make an appointment and stuff and the whole process is very daunting (also pretty sure I have adhd and some other mental issues going on tbh that makes me, essentially, a moron! I have some very embarrassing examples lol)

    I'm wondering if anyone has any advice. Is it possible for me to switch over to LCWRA (a term I learnt today)? Can it be done without seeing my Dr? Without having to call my work coach? (i'm confused about how people with anxiety even get teh ball rolling since it surely always involves either speaking to the universal credit people in person or on the phone? I can't be alone in that being a huge trigger for me. I wonder how many others out there avoid getting any kind of help due to how the system is set up)

    At this point i'm honestly more likely to just end my claim somehow (not even sure how that would work without getting a job tbh!)


    Also, I got a message in my journal saying that appointments are now face to face for my work search and I have one next week. I don't intend to go - It looks like i'll have to end my claim. Can I 'self certify' a sick note for one week though so that I at least get paid for this month and then I can either ask them to cancel my claim, or maybe just wait until they kick me off? (which I assume will happen if I just ignore all contact with them? Sanctions and then kick me off maybe?)

    I guess my plan is to hope that I can find the willpower to see my GP and get meds and fit notes from him, but can't see me doing that anytime soon
    Last edited by subterfuge; 21-05-21 at 07:50.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    ONE thing worth mentioning, is that most GP appointments are by telephone at the moment - if you could cope with that, it would start to get you help.

    Also, i dont know if this is appropriate, but have you told your work coach about the intense level of your anxiety?

    I am sure others will have more useful advice, but i wanted to reach out as i suffer a lot with anxiety - it is a real b**ch, I really feel for you.

    If you have family or friends who could support you with any appointments, that would be brilliant.
    Good luck

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    LCW and LCWRA are not different benefits in this case, they are still parts of UC.
    Which actually makes things a bit easier, because you can ask for UC to be changed rather than having to make a whole new claim.

    In UC they are classifications that change your claimant commitment, ie. if you are awarded one then you don't have to jobsearch.
    LCWRA also pays extra money.

    LCW= Limited Capability for Work. That puts you in the 'Work-focused interview requirement' conditionality group.
    LCWRA= Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity. That puts you in the 'No work related requirements' conditionality group.
    You can read more about the 4 different conditionality groups in UC here: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Cl...iversal-Credit

    To get into one of those 2 groups you usually start by providing Fit Notes from your GP for 28 days (that 28 days can include a self-certificate for the first 7 days) and then they will refer you for a 'Work Capability Assessment' to see if you fit into one of the two catagories.
    (They may refer before 28 days if it's clear that you will still be providing notes).

    The first step of that is a UC50 questionaire which you fill in and send back.
    From the answers you give they may then want to talk to you on the phone, a telephone WCA.
    It's unusual at the moment for anyone to be assessed face-to-face.

    You will need to keep providing Fit Notes until the assessment is done and a decision made.
    There will be no requirement to jobseek as long as you are supplying Fit Notes
    If you stop providing Fit Notes then they will ask you to start jobseeking again.

    So you need to gird your loins and find the willpower to see your GP. That's the first step to getting the help that you need.

    You are correct that if you Fail to Attend your appointment at the Jobcentrer they will take action.
    The usual course there is to ask you if you had 'Good Reason' for not attending, if you can't show 'Good Reason' then you will be sanctioned.
    However your UC claim will not be closed, just paid at a lower rate.
    Repeated Fail to Attends may lead to higher sanctions and the eventual closure of the claim, but it's not something that just happens straight off for a single FTA.

    Anxiety can be 'Good Reason' for not attending but they would ask for confirmation/proof that you suffer from anxiety - so we are back to the GP and a Fit Note again.

    What I would for UC do in your case is to put a note on your journal replying to your Work Coach and clearly saying that you will be unable to attend because of severe anxiety and asking for your Claimant Commitment requirements to be temporarilly 'switched off' and to be referred for a Work Capability Assessment.

    Telling them in advance that you won't be able to attend, and why, is much much better than just not turning up.

    Work Coaches do have the discretion to temporarily switch off worksearch requirements like that, but will want to see some indication that you are taking steps to get put into a Limited Capability group.
    Asking for a WCA shows that first step - as long as you keep on with the process, provide fit notes, and return the UC50 when you get it, you should be fine.
    So it is important that you find the willpower to consult your GP and get the Fit Notes.

    PS. Back in 2015 you reported having bowel cancer and asked about claiming ESA, but never came back to that thread after asking.
    Did you claim ESA at the time? If you did then what group and did it stop before you claimed UC?
    Those answers could be very important here.
    Hopefully you have recovered and your cancer is no longer a problem.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    LCW and LCWRA are not different benefits in this case, they are still parts of UC.
    Which actually makes things a bit easier, because you can ask for UC to be changed rather than having to make a whole new claim.

    In UC they are classifications that change your claimant commitment, ie. if you are awarded one then you don't have to jobsearch.
    LCWRA also pays extra money.

    LCW= Limited Capability for Work. That puts you in the 'Work-focused interview requirement' conditionality group.
    LCWRA= Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity. That puts you in the 'No work related requirements' conditionality group.
    You can read more about the 4 different conditionality groups in UC here: https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Cl...iversal-Credit

    To get into one of those 2 groups you usually start by providing Fit Notes from your GP for 28 days (that 28 days can include a self-certificate for the first 7 days) and then they will refer you for a 'Work Capability Assessment' to see if you fit into one of the two catagories.
    (They may refer before 28 days if it's clear that you will still be providing notes).

    The first step of that is a UC50 questionaire which you fill in and send back.
    From the answers you give they may then want to talk to you on the phone, a telephone WCA.
    It's unusual at the moment for anyone to be assessed face-to-face.

    You will need to keep providing Fit Notes until the assessment is done and a decision made.
    There will be no requirement to jobseek as long as you are supplying Fit Notes
    If you stop providing Fit Notes then they will ask you to start jobseeking again.

    So you need to gird your loins and find the willpower to see your GP. That's the first step to getting the help that you need.

    You are correct that if you Fail to Attend your appointment at the Jobcentrer they will take action.
    The usual course there is to ask you if you had 'Good Reason' for not attending, if you can't show 'Good Reason' then you will be sanctioned.
    However your UC claim will not be closed, just paid at a lower rate.
    Repeated Fail to Attends may lead to higher sanctions and the eventual closure of the claim, but it's not something that just happens straight off for a single FTA.

    Anxiety can be 'Good Reason' for not attending but they would ask for confirmation/proof that you suffer from anxiety - so we are back to the GP and a Fit Note again.
    .
    Thanks a lot of that reply. Nice, helpful people here.
    Yes, basically confirmed what I already kind of knew which is that the first step really is to speak to my GP and get on meds, and then intially start on the fit note route (would feel weird about asking him to 'sign me off' like i'm a scrounger but it is what it is - that's an example of something which would be very hard for me to do!)


    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    What I would for UC do in your case is to put a note on your journal replying to your Work Coach and clearly saying that you will be unable to attend because of severe anxiety and asking for your Claimant Commitment requirements to be temporarilly 'switched off' and to be referred for a Work Capability Assessment.

    Telling them in advance that you won't be able to attend, and why, is much much better than just not turning up.
    Thanks fr that advice. I think that's what I'll do.


    ''PS. Back in 2015 you reported having bowel cancer and asked about claiming ESA, but never came back to that thread after asking.
    Did you claim ESA at the time? If you did then what group and did it stop before you claimed UC?
    Those answers could be very important here.
    Hopefully you have recovered and your cancer is no longer a problem.''

    Bladder cancer actually. Sorry about not getting back at the time - from memory I had a nasty reaction to one of my operations and was in hospital losing a lot of blood for 5 days with transfusions and all sorts and forgot about the thread lol!

    No, I never did further investigate the ESA issue. Was pretty sure I wouldn't qualify after I done some reading. My appointments and operations got more and more spaced out and in truth, they wouldn't really hinder my ability to work a great deal

    And thankyou. I have recovered well. I've had 5 'all clears' in a row so far!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by walker View Post
    ONE thing worth mentioning, is that most GP appointments are by telephone at the moment - if you could cope with that, it would start to get you help.

    Also, i dont know if this is appropriate, but have you told your work coach about the intense level of your anxiety?

    I am sure others will have more useful advice, but i wanted to reach out as i suffer a lot with anxiety - it is a real b**ch, I really feel for you.

    If you have family or friends who could support you with any appointments, that would be brilliant.
    Good luck
    thanks for that. No my work coach isn't aware of anything at this point. Kinda felt I couldn't bring it up since I didn't bring it up straight away, since it might look a bit fraudulent in a way! (claiming jobseekers knowing I couldn't really get a job, although I was at least applying and could prove it to them if needed)

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    So ESA doesn't help then, it was a long shot but could have made a difference.

    As you say it is what it is, and if you can't manage any work, or conditionally like jobseeking, then that's not scrounging.

    Hopefully you are getting more incentive to go and see the GP, once that's done things should start to get better for you.

    Let us Know how you get on.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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