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TOPIC: On the sick and laid off

On the sick and laid off 23 Feb 2018 07:03 #6279

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Hi all,

I've been signed off sick by my doctor due to stress and anxiety (again) and yesterday got a letter from my employer stating that my contract was now terminated (strange, as I never got around to signing one), anyhow, not that I'm bothered as the job was slowly driving me insane. What I really need is a bit more advice please, as in what kind of crap are the JCP or more importantly UC going to be throwing my way now I'll have to sign on Monday even though I have a sick note until Wednesday.

What I need to know before I register online with Universal Credit (my area unfortunately) is though I know they are probably staffed with the same sociopathic, lying, cyborgs from when I was last in the dreaded JCP office (just over a year ago), what are the new traps lying in wait? And more importantly how to avoid them.

First of is because I've been in employment for over a year, will they be allowed to send me back on the work programme after 6 months, as I remember reading somewhere that you cannot be mandated to do it twice but because it will be fresh claim could they therefore sentence me to another 2 years of misery and bullshit especially as it's now much worse then when I originally did it years ago. Second is if I escape that one are they still pushing the usual crap and utter useless courses at you to attend, which if I remember, if not mandatory, then no thanks.

I did think of going down the to ill to work route but after knowing of a friend of mine who has depression, anxiety, still drinking alcoholic, waiting on a stomach operation and in pain, letters from his doctors and purposely didn't wash or shave for few days and exaggerated is ailments and still failed his assessment, so I would have no hope.

I can only hope that because the letter I received from my employer states that it's with regret and because they have to make cutbacks that I should be able claim unemployment.

As always any input much appreciated,
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On the sick and laid off 23 Feb 2018 17:06 #6285

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Hi Warrior, sorry to hear of your woes and worries. Will you be making a new claim for Universal Credit or JSA? Or do you even know which it will be? One thing to note is your current `fit note`. You were given this while in employment and it`s still `live` and no doubt you will be following up with more fit notes? If this current fit notes expires on Wednesday, will you be asking for another one? If not, you should just go ahead and claim, but a note of caution. I can only speak from what I have read from people who were on ESA and then lost their claim and were asked to sign on instead. If they produced a fit note BEFORE their JSA/UC claim was live, they could be refused on the grounds that they are saying they are `too sick to work`. But if you make the new claim, wait until it is in payment and THEN present the fit note, they have to accept it. Now I don`t know the hard and fast rules on UC or how they perceive a fit note generally as unlike JSA where we get 14 sickness days awarded without needing any fit notes, with UC, it`s only 7. After this 7 days, you require fit notes.

I wonder too if you were paid any SSP while you were employed but off work sick? Did your employer pay you an statutory sick pay?
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On the sick and laid off 24 Feb 2018 08:18 #6287

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Hi Comply,

In answer to your question 'while you were employed but off work sick did your employer pay you any statutory sick pay?' No they paid me my full wage (always).

As for getting any more sick notes or fit notes, no I won't be getting any more as it's extremely unlikely the doctor would give me them as he knew my condition was work related, therefore are you saying I shouldn't make a claim until this one runs out (Wednesday) and make the claim on Thursday to make sure everything was done correctly and therefore ruling out any possibility any fraud or whatever the cyborgs might call it?

I've never claimed ESA before and my termination letter doesn't say anything about being off sick, though it does say my employment came to an end on the 19th and I will be getting a full weeks pay on the 23rd, which I did (I know, we were very lucky to be still paid weekly in this day and age) it even gave me a good review, so couldn't I just make a claim on Monday as who would know I was off sick.

As always, thanks for your response comply, and anyone else who chips in.
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On the sick and laid off 24 Feb 2018 10:24 #6289

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Hi Warrior,

Sorry you are too going through this hell as i am in a very similar boat past and now present.

If you have mental health issues you will not have a problem getting signed off sick providing your doctor accesses your case as being genuine.

Warrior, When you were sick while in your last job, did you follow all the employers recommended procedure for being sick etc? if so, keep copies of everything associated with those particular events; as employers laying people off so flippantly is unusual these days and most probably lie through their teeth if they owe you anything in anyway.

One thing they wont want is DWP crawling all over them which is as close to the VAT man they could get. :)

As Comply will confirm, if you apply esa for example and get signed off and you then have to attend a WCA and you fail that as your friend did, then you can appeal it.

Let us know what your exact plan of action is,ive done the WP crap and wasn't too bad but was in a better frame of mind back then,it would play hell with my anxiety if i was forced to attend such a place now.

jobber.
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On the sick and laid off 24 Feb 2018 10:34 #6290

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jobber wrote:
Hi Warrior,

Sorry you are too going through this hell as i am in a very similar boat past and now present.

As Comply will confirm, if you apply esa for example and get signed off and you then have to attend a WCA and you fail that as your friend did, then you can appeal it.

jobber.

Well spotted, Jobber. B) That is probably the best option if Warrior can avoid UC because assessment phase rate (£73.10) will be paid when the appeal goes in. Currently the waiting times for hearings are around 22 weeks. That means 22 weeks of £73.10 with no job search until the appeal is heard. which in turn means that Warrior has 22 weeks to get something sorted.
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On the sick and laid off 24 Feb 2018 11:24 #6292

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If you were paid in full by your last employer Friday 23rd, I would go ahead and make your claim on Monday as I don`t think your current fit note (ending on Wednesday) would have any baring on your claim for JSA or UC, whichever one your circumstances fall into. UC claims take around five/six weeks apparently and your pay cheque should keep you afloat until your UC payment comes through, but you can also ask for a benefits advance which they pay up front, but be aware that you have to pay this back from your benefit payments, but they allow up to 12 months to repay it.

If you were to claim ESA instead, you would require further fit notes until you were assessed by Maximus and then as Spanner pointed out, the process for ESA assessment money to be paid pending any appeal. But that would only apply if you claimed ESA and not JSA/UC.
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On the sick and laid off 27 Feb 2018 17:28 #6333

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Hi and good to see you again Warrior, sorry it isn't in better circumstances.

I know that bringing the option of applying for ESA into the equation makes your situation more complicated but if you can get your head around it then is well worth considering for the reasons the other guys have put forward. Sick/fit notes obviously then become the immediate issue to get sorted.

You say the GP knows this current attack of stress and anxiety is work related. ESA is work related but on a longer term basis. This is not your first experience of such illness. That might be another isolated natural reoccurrence to a difficult situation or it might be evidence of fluctuations which could be the development of depression. That is enough grounds in itself to justify a further talk with your GP if this stuff isn't going away. This might at least get you a follow up sick note for a fortnight/month etc if the symptoms are persisting (that includes going away for a few days then hitting you again just as you think you are handling things).

Further down the line which varies from doctor to doctor, medication and/or counselling might be considered. There are also alternative therapies available in some areas if anything is left where you are after cuts. In the early days I used to go to a day centre and had a go at painting water colours then went and did a course at college which by the time my first appeal hearing came around was the decisive factor in me winning a unanimous decision to allow me to finish my studies for therapeutic reasons as recommended by me GP. I didn't see it that way when I set out. Had someone set that possibility out in front of me then I wouldn't have done things any different. I was merely trying to keep the joke centre off my back for as long as possible, I wasn't capable of thinking further. Worth taking a look if there is anything near where you are, some GPs are open to suggestions that often require one thing: a referral from them.

Apologies if that might read a little patronising and you have already thought it all through as the friend you have mentioned might have gone through the ringer and given you the run down. Most people fail the WCA, people who have had skiing accidents and are paralysed from the neck down (I guess they could still work as a politician). I have done several WCAs and only passed 2 at the first go (i.e. without having to appeal) and the rest were all 0 points including where I have previously had 15+. The test is a set up, a bit like a witch trial where we are guilty until proven innocent in some cases by dying in the process. The appeal process is not rigged like the WCA test although is still a long drawn out pain in the jacksie but still better than not having to sign on (in my personal opinion) especially if you are suffering with anything like stress or anxiety AND there doesn't appear to be many work opportunities in your area. This is the long haul flight option.

As far as going the route it seems you are faced with there is a new Health & Work Programme that is just starting in some areas. I am sure that this replaces the existing one but from what we have covered on here is a little less clear regarding mandation (Roaches possibly given extra powers on individual cases). They will still no doubt have silly little courses here and there but again, I wouldn't rule out a further shift in the mandatory direction as when they are getting away with negligence it only seems to make them try it on all the more.

I don't think anybody mentioned the housing side of it. I certainly need to get up to date on that with my own status changing slightly but it is a case of keeping them informed regarding any claim with significant changes attached. There have been a number of cases where housing has been affected by UC. JSA tends to be slightly more straightforward by comparison which just makes UC look like a contradiction being supposedly introduced to simplify everything with a single benefit. In some cases DWP contact the council directly in others they don't.

For me it comes down to an immediate choice between getting periodical sick notes (which end after a successful appeal) or signing on at similar intervals which can be tricky waiting on initial payments on UC whilst all the time having to remain aware of sanctions. Work itself is further back in my mind simply because there isn't a lot of it and that is what I find strangest and hardest of all to deal with about this whole stupid circus.
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On the sick and laid off 28 Feb 2018 09:43 #6344

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Verc wrote:
The test is a set up, a bit like a witch trial where we are guilty until proven innocent in some cases by dying in the process.

Warrior, Verc has written some wise words here and if you have already opted to claim UC as from Monday, you could still go down the ESA route once your claim is live for the reasons Verc pointed out. They call it LCW (Limited Capability for Work) under UC rather than ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) but it`s the same thing. You would be placed in one of the UC groups where you are not expected to job search, but may still be expected to have appointments every few months with your work coach or think about some volunteering, or as I did, become a member of a drop in centre for a few hours a week which can be therapeutic depending on the venue.

I struggle with chronic pain so can only attend when I`m able to do so and my work coach is very good about this. I`ve also been put onto telephone interviews again as I met my work coach the last time in the job centre but after our chat, she said she would call me next time, which is better for me as it means if I`m having a bad day,I don`t need to get on a bus to attend the appointment.

Let us know how you got on.
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On the sick and laid off 28 Feb 2018 11:38 #6345

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Thanks, comply. I didn't know about the LCW on UC. It sounds like that is the equivalent of WRAG on ESA designed as a transition for when they supposedly shunt everyone onto UC. At the moment for a time at least it gives people options. The worst mistake I ever made was signing on JSA after failing an appeal (for ESA) because I didn't think I had a choice. As this could effectively be the last year (or so) of ESA, it could get very interesting or worse towards the end of complete UC roll out - a bit like it did when the likes of us were shunted off Income Support. There seems to be a clear conveyor belt type pattern here of moving people from one benefit to another (new one and so on) so I don't expect UC to be around that long either.
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On the sick and laid off 28 Feb 2018 13:51 #6347

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Verc wrote:
The worst mistake I ever made was signing on JSA after failing an appeal (for ESA) because I didn't think I had a choice.

I did the same thing Verc and claimed JSA rather than wait things out for my appeal date and claimed the ESA assessment rate while that was pending. That`s what I plan to do from now on as I can afford to keep myself afloat so to speak if I face the same Mandatory Reconsideration/appeal again next time. No doubt Universal Credit will come knocking in due course when we are managed or migrated onto it, or worse case scenario, have to make a fresh claim for it.

And yes, the LCW (limited capability for work) is just a re-brandied ESA WRAG under UC with the same work related activity actions/meetings with work coach etc...while LCWRA (limited capability for work related activity) would be the Support Group of ESA as we know it. The ALL WORK group is full on Universal Credit conditionality. There is another one that`s somewhere between LCW and full-on conditionality but don`t have it in front of me at the moment. But yes, there are four `groups` we can be in under UC. Although those IN the full-on group can still have some restrictions applied to their CC (Claimant Commitment) if they have medical evidence to say that can`t do X or Y or have a disability that doesn`t prevent them from looking for work, but they require reductions based on the evidence they can produce from a GP or other medical person(s) asking for these to be made. Something everyone should be looking at when they sign a claimant commitment before they `agree/commit to` the actions applied to one. That`s if a person wants to stay in the all work group. Otherwise they would claim ESA or think about doing so if they found they were not able to apply any logic to their position.
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On the sick and laid off 01 Mar 2018 11:20 #6364

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Hi Verc,

From what i remember, as far as housing benefit goes while on UC it should still be paid even if someone is sanctioned.

I haven't got the stuff to hand that covers this at the moment, but basically if someone is sanctioned, as long as they report their change of circumstance ASAP to local council, then HB payments remain in place, just the jsa element of UC that is suspended while sanction is ongoing.


"There have been a number of cases where housing has been affected by UC."

Do you have any links or examples we can have a look at of this Verc as it will help others including myself to be forewarned of their sick games with putting people through even more stress with housing benefit.

will come back later and re post a doc i found that covers HB element on UC..Oops here it is :)




"
2.19 Conditionality & sanctions
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 enshrines the principle that, in order to receive financial assistance, claimants must look for work. All claimants of UC are required to accept a claimant commitment. It is expected that most claimants will fall into the “all work requirements” category meaning that they must take all reasonable steps to search for work.


UC carries consequences for non-compliance and sanctions increase in duration for repeat offences. The housing element of UC is unaffected by these sanctions but as UC, in most cases, is paid direct to the claimant, there are concerns that the severity of the sanctions regime may lead to some claimants failing to prioritise rent payments. The NHF suggested that claimants subject to a UC sanction should automatically be switched to direct payment of the housing element to the landlord in order to prevent the accrual of rent arrears.33




"




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On the sick and laid off 01 Mar 2018 11:58 #6365

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That seems to be the case jobber regarding housing benefit (rent) element of Universal Credit and a sanction. The housing element is NOT supposed to be affected and I`ve read various websites saying this with reference to government policy, but I would say to anyone who has a doubt raised and then a sanction is applied, to CONTACT THEIR COUNCIL/LANDLORD IMMEDIATELY. This is vital because they won`t know why your rent hasn`t been paid. Always make them your first priority to avoid arrears escalating.
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On the sick and laid off 01 Mar 2018 23:27 #6377

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Jobber, Sorry that was me being me, no I don't have examples. I wasn't talking about sanctions there, rather making a general point regarding the delays at the start of a UC claim typically 6 weeks by which time someone could have already missed two monthly rent deadlines. My apologies for causing any confusion, I was talking in the context of Warrior keeping up to date with housing in respect of a new UC claim. In a tenancy which has already had previous delays in payment this could even result in eviction. I have only picked up on a few specific cases listening to the radio discussing the growing homelessness crisis where this has happened and people have then ended up in emergency accommodation which is next to being homeless. As we know though most cases never get anywhere near being aired in the media and basically anyone starting a new UC claim that wasn't getting HB already could be vulnerable and that is a lot of people already.

It is all well and good them coming up with a policy where a UC sanction doesn't affect the housing benefit side but the delays at the beginning of the claim can be just as bad as a sanction and might even contribute to somebody getting one. Deteriorating circumstances, inability to do jobsearch through searching for a home instead and then having to submit alterations to your HB claim when the new rent is different for example.

I know you can apply for an advance on UC but this means they are putting people in debt from day one. Then when your UC finally comes through and you have bills to pay and food to buy what if there isn't enough to cover the rent after you have had to make a loan repayment as well?
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On the sick and laid off 02 Mar 2018 09:48 #6380

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Hi Verc,

No problem! i have also read somewhere of people having HB stopped due to claiming UC and it took me weeks to search the web for the info i posted;wonder why thats all a huge secret, well the secrets out so everyone can spread the good news for others who maybe rightly worried.

The 6 weeks and sometimes + delay affected me when i first put in a claim on UC apparently all has been changed now so people should not have this situation occurring any longer hopefully.Just by them removing someone's JSA element from UC while on a sanction, will no doubt have a financially devastating effect on most;all part of the establishments stick and carrot more stick and their having a party about it while people starve to death.

I so agree with you, media dont seem to apply enough coverage to homelessness and only becomes a hot potato so to speak at Xmas time every year,like a political sympathy vote to appease the masses.If it were happening in westminster's back yard they move their lardy arses and do more.

You are totally right Verc about the advance payment on UC effectively putting people into debt.The TORYS have no real comprehension of what it's like living on next to zero :evil: .I can only imagine because of them living in the world of bubble delusion is why they come up with such draconian ideas.If its anything else they need help in more ways than one. :cheer:
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On the sick and laid off 02 Mar 2018 09:59 #6381

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jobber wrote:
I so agree with you, media dont seem to apply enough coverage to homelessness and only becomes a hot potato so to speak at Xmas time every year,like a political sympathy vote to appease the masses.If it were happening in westminster's back yard they move their lardy arses and do more.

I`ve noticed this also with the current snow and "beast from the east" coverage on TV over the past few days has highlighted that some towns and cities have NO provision for the homeless, which is a scandal itself. Churches and some other charities helping but no council or government plans in place whatsoever. Speaks volumes.

Yet they stand there on TV saying they will tackle all homelessness by 2027..... :angry: People need action NOW. I know a person who only recently was made homeless and lost the room he was renting and when he went to the council for help, they said we can`t help you because you have a DOG! I looked into this and found that councils are not legally obliged to help anyone who has pets, although some will advise. Temporary accommodation means you won`t be helped if you have any pets. So there you have it. Animals are expendable, just as the people who love them are in the eyes of the law. Sickens me to the stomach.

Edited to add: This man managed to stay with his nephew last I heard in the next town, but haven`t met him since to ask how things are going.
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