You will not be required to take steps to apply for or take up work as a condition of your claim. You won't be expected to look for work, just prepare. If you don't do what is expected of you then yes you can be sanctioned.
For the other issue i realise that you rang welfare rights this morning BUT what you really need, as previously advised is face to face advice not through a phone call or a forum. This way you can take all your paper work for them to see exactly what's happened in the past 18 months or so.
I really can't help you with this anymore unfortunately, there's only so much help you can give on an internet forum.