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Confused and don't know what to do.

Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
edited October 2017 in Universal Credit
Hello everybody. I have just joined the site and would like some advice if possible. I was recently put on UC after my ESA was stopped. I have recently started a course, having been put on this by my local job center. Unfortunately after only two days due to a lot of standing, walking and carrying a heavy bag (heavy for me anyway) back and knee problems I have a had for a number of years have been aggravated. I have been in a lot of pain, severe at times and was unable to attend the course on Friday. I am no better now and just cannot see getting much better in the near future. What do I do? Apply for ESA again? Will my UC be stopped even though I am physically unable to travel due to the pain? I would be grateful for any advice. Many thanks.

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,647Administrator Scope community team
    HI @Michael2017 welcome to the community, sorry to hear that you have been struggling.  Have you spoken to the job centre about your course and your pain?  

    @Debbie_Scope do you have any ideas?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Hi thanks for your reply. I have been in touch with the course provider and job centre. My work coach actually rang me less than an hour ago to see how I was. She is going to get back to me after speaking to the course provider. I might have got 0 points on my medical but it just goes to show that people in my position cannot do "any" type of work, despite what the oracle (Decision Maker) says!!
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,647Administrator Scope community team
    I am glad you are in contact with them, if you are unable to attend its really important that you are letting them know and documenting the reasons why.  Is your work coach supportive?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
    I totally agree. I think it is very important to show that you are willing to do the best you can. To be honest although I was only on the course for two days I was really enjoying it. I have suffered from depression for years and this year has been really bad for me. I just thought I was starting to turn the corner. Still having said that yes, thankfully my work coach is supportive. I must admit that at the age of 51 all of this is new to me (UC and ESA) and I have found it very worrying at times.
  • Barrylad1957Barrylad1957 Posts: 100Member Courageous
    edited October 2017
    @Michael2017
    Sorry to hear you're having a tough time mate, the black/white, zero grey area world of Universal Credit can be a right pain, as I have found out this year. I know that, once you are on UC, its almost impossible to move backwards, benefits wise; I had a really tough time with my first work coach, trying to 'feed' me to providers, and it led to me being escorted from the jobcentre by the security staff. What I did then, was I 'phoned my MP, and told her that, in my opinion, I was being treated unfairly, and I 'phoned the DWP directly, and told them of my difficulties - difficulties that were being ignored by my 'work coach'. The following day, I was appointed a different work coach, who immediately put me on what they call 'light touch', and things got a lot saner thereafter. Send your MP a letter or email, and 'phone the DWP and explain your case to them; they helped me, so would probably help you too. Dont lose heart.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 7,647Administrator Scope community team
    It is really worrying times for so many people, but I am glad you found us here as we have such a lovely and friendly community of people who understand.  Take a look around and get involved, we are happy to have you :)
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Thank you so much for the kind words and advice. it really is of great comfort to be able to talk to people. I am so glad I found this site!! And well done to you Barrylad1957 I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks once again.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Hi @Michael2017,

    Welcome to the community.

    There's a lot to get through here and it's all very complicated.

    With regards to your ESA stopping, was this following a WCA and being found fit to work?
    When was this decision made and are you appealing the decision?

    Whether you can re-apply for ESA is going to depend on whether you live in a full-service area. If you do, the answer will be no because the legacy benefits don't exist anymore. You can still continue with your appeal though and it should be the case that the outcome will transfer over to UC (I cannot guarantee this though and without knowing a lot more about your situation.

    If you're able to, please get in touch with me at the helpline and I can provide further advice tailored to your individual situation. 

    I'm glad you're talking to @Barrylad1957, he's got lots of great advice and is sharing his experiences with UC with the community to help others through it.

    I hope to hear from you soon.

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Hi Debbie and thanks very much for your reply.My ESA was stopped following the medical. I did not appeal, to be honest I didn't think there was much point. My UC followed on immediately from the cessation of my ESA.

    My work coach has asked me to get a sick note from my doctor (I'm seeing him next week) and to get it back dated to 6 October, that is the date I could not return to the course. I have been told to keep on with the job searches which I am doing. The ironic thing is I am not available for work because of my back and leg pain. Even if I was offered a job I couldn't start straight away! I will be wary of any future courses I am expected to attend. This one, although I was only on it for 2 days, has really set me back.

    Kind regards.
  • Debbie_ScopeDebbie_Scope Posts: 947Member Pioneering
    Hi @Michael2017,

    Keep in touch and let us know how you get on. Take good care of yourself and get your strength back up.

    Are you managing to keep up with your job searching or is this proving difficult in your current condition?

    How many hours of job searching do you have to do each week? 

    Best wishes
    Debbie
  • Michael2017Michael2017 Posts: 6Member Listener
    Thanks Debbie for your kind reply.

    I am doing a lot of job searching, a bit in the morning, afternoon and evening in order to spread it out. I then report all of this on my Universal Job site account so my "superiors" can see what I have done. Not getting bitter at all.... ha ha..

    You are expected to search for 35 hours per week. Takes a bit of doing!!

    All the best.

    Michael



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