Hi everyone,

My apologies if this isn’t the best place to post this, but I’m in a bit of a panic and having difficulty concentrating, so don’t really have the focus to search for the ‘right place’.

After seven and half years of being bullied, mistreated, and having my mental health destroyed, my employer has agreed to offer me an early departure scheme in lieu of firing me or having me declared incapable for health reasons. I’m not going to fight this, because I’m just getting to the point where my mental health is beginning to recover, and that is more important to me than anything about this job or the people in it, so I’ve decided it’s time to move on. I’ve recently applied for PIP due to depression, and had been experiencing panic attacks, but have worked very hard with a private therapist to try to get them under control. I have a lot of things on my plate at the moment, but my primary concern is that this looks as of 1st August, I’m going to be unemployed, with a semi nice payout, but no access to benefits because of the payout, and no real guarantee that I’ll be able to work a ‘normal job’ (evenings are okay for me, days not so much). Other then my disabled sister whom I’m helping to support, I have no other friends or family that helps me, and I can’t live off of the payout that I’m getting, and will need to continue to work. I’ve no doubt that my immediately trying to find another job will impact on the PIP assessment (due to the fact that it’s going to look odd that a person with mental health problems can look for work), but I feel as if I have no other options. So, my plan is to try to temp for a while, as my primary skill set is administration. I’m working with a Remploy advisor for longer term employment, but don’t know if that will happen either.

Given all that’s going on, it may seem odd, but what I’d like to know is if anyone has applied for/received contributions based job seekers? I’m of the mind that to apply for it as I don’t know when I’m going to be able to find another job, but also worry about committing to a jobseekers agreement that I may end up breaking due to ill health. I worry about being penalised if I break the jobseekers agreement, and worry that this will have implications in case there ever comes a time when I need to apply for income based job seekers. I suppose that I worry that the jobseekers agreement will be more of a hindrance as I’m aware that it requires that you be immediately available for any type of work, and can include up to a 40 hour work week, which I know that I won’t be able to sustain. My thinking is that it's better to not bother with jobseekers until it reaches the point that I need income based, and just try to find something on my own until then. However, I don't want to cut of my nose to spite my face.

I appreciate any advice anyone could give.
Rosa