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Thread: Dwp/fit note prob"s

  1. #1

    Dwp/fit note prob"s

    Hello. " " My daughter 42yrs old 4 children school age, works 2 days a week when able to do so and 8-12 hrs combined. The job she got suits her as she has a dissability that effects her whool body when it turns on. She is on the fast track list to see a nurologist. She is sending in fit/sick notes to the job ctr as was advised "by the job ctr" but still they harass her to find full time employment. The fit/sick note"s she sends them states fibro mialga as that is all the doctor can say about it untill she see"s the nurologist. The problem is apart from the work focust interviews she has been told to attend they are not recognising the illness stated on her fit/sick note. Question is, since when have these people been able to question a person ailment and say the fit/sick note is not good enough for their liking. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Since they came up with Work Capability Assessments for ESA back in 2008.

    From what you say there she is claiming UC.
    How long has she been giving them fit notes?

    There are a couple of things she can do:

    1. She can ask for her Claimant Commitment (what she has to do) to be reduced, and if her work coach won't change it then she can complain and ask for a second opinion.
      See: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/be...nt-commitment/
      .
    2. She should ask if she has been referred for a "Work Capability Assessment" yet, and if not then ask to be referred for one straight away.
      They are supposed to refer after 28 days on sick, but it sometimes gets overlooked, and they can refer earlier than 28 days.

    She will need to keep supplying fit notes until after the WCA has been done and a decision made, but being refered for a WCA is good grounds for getting the Claimant Commitment reduced.
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  3. #3
    Thanks. I will pass on you"re advice. The fit notes are up to date with no gaps since she started handing them in. Thank you nukecad

  4. #4
    Senior Member TimeLord's Avatar
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    Can she get her GP to do a med3 that will not have a end date on should refrain from any work etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    From the current guidance to GP's:
    In the first 6 months of a patient’s condition, a fit note can cover a maximum of 3 months. If a condition has lasted longer than 6 months, a fit note can be for any clinically appropriate period up to ‘an indefinite period’.
    The problem here is that either:

    The work coach ignoring the fit note altogether,
    or (more likely).
    The fit note says "May be fit for work taking account of the following advice" and the work coach believes that what the claimant is being asked to do is resonable when taking account of that advice given.

    A different WC or DM may have a different opinion of what is reasonable when that advice is taken into account.
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  6. #6
    Ok, back again. Trying to get info out of my daughter is not easy, her brain fogs up and she gets all panicky as part of her problems. She has had an assesment over the phone with them that lasted an hour (how she managed that i dont know) she said it was an "health official" and the outcome is they want her to do 16hrs a week at least. She says she would love to do a full time job "as she has done in the past, but her condition is pulling her down. These people are not listening to her nor do they recognise her condition. She has claimed ESA and PIP in the past but she was not able to fight them or go through the hassle of assesments when it came to renew her claim. The last phone call she had from UC ended with her telling them their manager needs to ring her doctor as she can"t handle anymore work focust interviews. Thanks.

  7. #7
    There are no "minimum hours of work" to claim UC if you are disabled or the primary carer of a child under 5.

  8. #8
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    You need to find out exactly what that phone 'assessment' was.

    From what you say there it sounds like it may have been the Work Capability Assessment that I talked about before.
    The 'Health Care Professional' who does the assessment over the phone does not make the decision, the DWP make the decision from his recommendation.

    The easiest way to find out just what it was is to look on her UC journal, it should say there what the telephone appointment was about and if it it was a WCA it will say if a decision has been made yet.
    If there has been a decision made following a WCA then that decision will be shown.

    There are 3 possible decisions:
    1. Fit for Work - you have to spend 35 hours a week looking for and applying for jobs.
    2. Limited Capability for Work - you don't have to apply for jobs, but do have to do some 'Work Related Activities' and have to go to the jobcentre every 3 months for a work focused interview. (see below*).
    3. Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activites - you don't have to do anything related to working.

    So you need to sit down with her at the computer and see just what it says on her UC journal, that way you will know just what has happened and what they are asking.

    Again from what you say it does sound as if the decision may have been made and she may have been found to have LCW (Limited Capability for Work).
    (You say she has work focused interviews, which also fits in with LCW, - so either she has already been found LCW orshe is being treated as LCW until a decision is made).
    But without seeing the journal we are only guessing.

    As she says they are only asking her to do 16 hours then again they have given her LCW, or she is being treated as having LCW until a decision is made.
    If they thought she was capable of working then they would be telling her to do 35 hours a week looking and applying for jobs.

    *But she does have to do 'Work Related Activites' - things like getting her CV up to date, maybe looking at what jobs there are advertised, and so on.
    Again there is a section on her journal - click on 'Home' then on 'My commitments' and it will say exactly what she has to do and for how many hours.

    So again - you need to see her journal and see just what it says on there.

    IF she has been found LCW following a WCA and you/she think that she shouldn't even be doing any Work Related Activities then you have a month from that decision to ask for a "Mandatory Reconsideration" of that decision; to try and get into the LCWRA (Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activites) group.

    To be honest here - I have to say that it's going to be very difficult to convince anyone that she can't do any work related activites when she is actually already working at a part time job.
    In my opinion the better thing to try is to ask for her hours spent doing WRA to be reduced from 16, although she will still have to go for a WFI every 3 months.

    It is possible to get the hours reduced with a bit of badgering/cajoling, I myself am UC-LCW and after talking to them at work focused interviews my WRA hours have been reduced first from 16-hrs to 2-hrs, and now to just 1-hr a week.
    (PS. They never actually check how many hours WRA you are doing anyway, as long as you say you have done something they are usually happy to tick a box).

    If you do decide to try for an MR then I'd advise that it is not something you should do by yourselves, you will need the help of someone who knows how the assessment works and what evidence you will need to show to try and get the group changed. Someone who can see what she has said/sent to the DWP up to now and see any decision that has been made.
    In other words a local welfare/benefits advisor, you can find advisors local to you by putting your postcode in here: https://advicelocal.uk/find-an-adviser

    But your first steps in all this are to sit down with her, access her UC journal, and see if the phone call was a WCA, and if it was then has any decision been made.
    Last edited by nukecad; 30-05-22 at 08:34.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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  9. #9
    The latest is she has had an interview with an advisor who helped her fill out a MR letter/form. They also gave her a contact who will help to claim PIP if she so wishes (this will be a problem though as she want"s no one coming to her home doing a spanish inquest on the subject) I would like to think that claiming PIP would be benaficial for her and getting through to the DWP maybe! Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    If an advisor is helping her with a MR then it's as I suspected and a decision had been made, and it will have been 'LCW'.

    MR's are only about decisions that have been made.
    If she has been awarded LCWRA then there would be no need for a MR.
    (And if it had been fit-for-work then they would be asking her to do 35 hours jobsearching).
    Hopefully with the advisors help she can get that 'LCW' upgraded to 'LCWRA'.

    Claiming PIP, with help from an advisor, is probably also a good idea and she needn't worry about a home assessment.
    Most PIP assessments are also done over the phone these days.
    I'm not sure that they are even doing any home visits anymore, they have got used to doing them by phone now, and of course it's easier for them just to use the phone.
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

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