Q. I am claiming Universal Credit and I am not able to look for work due to arthritis.
I am going to my GP for a sick note as I feel like going to the Jobcentre is making me worse.
Is there anything else that I need to do?
A: You are able to self-certify your sickness for the first 7 days, but after that you would require a fit note from your GP.
If you are in a full service area then you will then need to log into your online journal and log that you have a fit note – the description of your health condition must match the sick note perfectly.
If you are in a live service area then you will need to speak to an adviser on the phone on 0345 600 0723 to log the fit note.
After you have been submitting fit notes for 28 days then you should receive a UC50 form; this is a medical questionnaire which asks for details about your health problems and how they affect your ability to work.
After the form is returned you are likely to be invited to a Work Capability Assessment which is a face to face assessment where a Healthcare Professional will get details about your health problems.
Until a decision has been made on your capability for work, you are still expected to look for work, although this may be reduced.
Your work coach has some discretion about the level of work search that you will be required to do.
If you have any medical evidence then you should submit it to your work coach to give them an understanding of the level of disability you have.
Q. My mother was recently taken into hospital having had a stroke, she is only 53 years old. She is being kept in hospital and they haven’t been able to give us a date for when she might be coming home.
She is getting paid Statutory Sick Pay from work and we are sorting a Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction claim out, but is there anything else we should be looking to claim?
A. If your mother is expected to have care and/or mobility needs then she could submit an application for Personal Independence Payment.
For Personal Independence Payment to be suitable your mother must be expected to have care and/or mobility needs for the next 9 months and have had them for 3 months already – if your mother hasn’t had health problems for the last 3 months then she can still apply, but she won’t be paid Personal Independence Payment until the care needs have been there for 3 months.
Also, if she is a hospital patient when she makes the claim for Personal Independence Payment then it will only go into payment once the DWP are notified that she has left hospital, but it is worth making a claim now so that it can go into payment as soon as possible.