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Thread: Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.

  1. #1

    Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.

    I was just wondering if anyone had some advice for me as I feel so lost right now.

    I had a meeting to discuss benefits at the jobcentre yesterday and I'm now on Universal Credit, but I have no idea how I'm going to cope with the requirements.

    I've been suffering with anxiety (general, but specifically social, with bursts of agoraphobia) and OCD for most of my adult life, but it was only a few years ago I went to my GP to actually get help. I've had a course of (group) CBT and it helped on some level - I was barely able to leave my home before but now I find (after some effort) that I can push myself to go out for a bit every day.

    I've been caring for my mother who is severely physically disabled for years. Over the last two years however she developed Alzheimer's disease, which has progressed to the point where she has gone into a home. This is, along with the CBT, part of what has pushed me to start venturing out, so I can visit her but it's so hard and I feel so drained all of the time. She used to be my rock, she suffered with agoraphobia when she was young and I could always talk to her about anything - but now she doesn't know who I am.

    I told them I suffer with an anxiety disorder in the UC interview today and while they seemed very nice overall they stated that while there may be measures added to help me into work it will just be added on and that it isn't going to "get me out of anything" which has really upset me. I think it's partially because it confirms how intense this is going to be and also because it sort of sounds like I'm being viewed as the kind of person who would take advantage of an illness like that.

    I want to get into work, but I don't think the brute force, 5 hours a day mandatory jobseeking is something I'm going to be able to cope with. I need to find something which I'm going to be comfortable with and it's going to take time, but I can't survive without money in the meantime.

    Sorry if this is a little long. I guess I vented a little, just really need a bit of advice on how to get through this.


  2. #2

    Re: Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.

    I feel for you and hope you are able to get the help and support you need.

    Could you seek help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau relating to any benefits and support you might be entitled to.

    I would also ask your GP to help as the interviewer obviously is biased and saying the wrong things. Maybe you could seek work on a part time basis?

    I really hope you get the answers you seek. Well done for looking after your mum - you are obviously a strong person.

    Sending you luck and best wishes.

  3. #3

    Re: Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.


    Universal Credit (UC) is being rolled out countrywide to replace what are referred to as 'legacy benefits' which are the old benefits such as Jobseekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Carers Allowance etc.

    Given your situation I think you would be better off in the 'Limited Capability for Work' element due to your medical and MH conditions but you would need to provide medical evidence from your doctor that states your issues would prevent you from holding down a job.

    Also, I'm not sure if the Carer Element is identical to the old Carers Allowance but with that, if you were caring for someone for 35 hours a week or more you get an additional amount of money and I 'think' this also limits the need to look for work as caring for those amount of hours is akin to a full time job.

    Here is a link with more information but if you need help getting through the UC maze a visit to your local Citizens Advice is a good idea

  4. #4

    Re: Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.

    Hi Namoi,

    Sorry to hear of the problems you experiencing.

    I feel like if you have some diagnosis of a kind and history with you're GP they should be able to support you with any kind of written evidence such as letters/proofs etc...

    The organization "Mind" have people who work for the Citizens Advice Bureau who can also write letters supporting you. If you are still experiencing distressing mental health problems then you should go back to see the GP and maybe get a referral to the mental health services team in your area.

  5. #5

    Re: Coping with Jobcentre, Universal Credit etc.

    Oh very interesting, I didn't realize about the other sections of Universal Credit which were available - I'll have a read.

    I have an appointment with my GP next week so I'll discuss it with him and ask if he can support me in getting moved to another group or what he would advise based on my situation.

    I'm feeling slightly better now but I felt so humiliated after the way it went Monday, thank you all very much for being so understanding.

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