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Thread: ESA with no medical cert.?

  1. #1
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    ESA with no medical cert.?

    Hello, I found this forum while trying to google for an answer but could not find anyone with the same question.

    So I suppose I'll begin with my background and where I am currently.
    I am 27. I suffer from anxiety disorders. Social anxiety is probably the biggest, but almost everything makes me anxious in one way or another. I really cannot leave my house on my own, literally the only thing that gets me to the Jobcentre every fortnight is the fact that the anxiety over having no money at all (no money in this society is equal to being dead, which I do not fancy being) is very slightly bigger than the anxiety of having to get the bus and sit amongst a lot of people and then face this person who has the power to kill me (because again, no money = dead), I can put on my headphones and close my eyes for the bus ride and the wait, and that is the only way I can sign-on.

    My anxiety generally manifests as panic attacks when I am alone, but in front of other people I will just go mute. Even if I want to say something, I wont be able to. I have been that way my whole life, adults in the past just saying I was shy or whatever made me feel like it was a pretty normal thing to do.

    Also I am a transgender person, while this is not a disability or an illness in itself, it certainly helps to amplify my anxiety - connect that with previous experience of street harassment and literal rocks being thrown at me, I really, really do not feel safe going outside by myself at all, and I am in this situation where if I go to the Jobcentre I *might* be killed by some random stranger who decides to hate me, but if I don't go to the Jobcentre I *will* die because without money I cannot exchange anything for food and utility bills.

    As you may have guessed, I am currently claiming Income-based JSA, but I really cannot work. I have been on their training courses that helped me make a CV and cover letters - my advisors are all happy with my CV and Cover letters and my jobsearch, luckily I have not had a single job interview in my entire time claiming JSA. I say luckily because there is absolutely no way I would be able to attend an interview, I would simply have a panic attack at home all alone - which to the outside world and the Jobcentre I am sure would appear as, "this person was too lazy to go to the interview, money denied." and that would be the end of me.
    Also the occasional mis-gendering by some advisors can really ruin my week, luckily I often see this Sikh dude who is really nice, he is the only person who actually did anything when I changed my name - nobody else seemed to care. Took almost two months for the DWP to get my name right, and I am sure it was only because this guy did something.

    So the anxiety and stress of living in fear of getting an interview or the Jobcentre suddenly being unhappy with my jobsearch or sending me to another training course which I really wont be able to face (yes, I attended the last one but it was the worst thing I have ever had to do and having a panic attack every morning before leaving home was not enjoyable thanks) or any other thing which I just can't do - living like this is just becoming too much and I really cannot do it anymore.

    I only learned about ESA recently, and it sounds like it could be a better option. I would still be really worried about them suddenly cutting me off with no warning (especially after Cameron's latest bullshit) but not being forced to come in every two weeks alone would be a huge deal.
    However, I am worried about needing a medical certificate or sick note to prove I cannot work.

    I tried to go to my GP about anxiety before, it was one of the hardest things I have done. Sat there in silence for a while, wishing I had had the foresight to write something down, but I am not sure that would've made it easier. What would I have written anyway?
    So any who, I eventually managed to tell them that I was worried about anxiety and what I should do. They gave me some phone number for an NHS anxiety line or something, which I literally just laughed in disbelief at - I cannot use phones for talking. I was so shocked, good grief is that all they're going to offer? So I said, very specifically, "I cannot call that, I cannot use the phone. Is there anything else?" Nope. Exact quote, "Sometimes you have to do something hard before you can get help."
    Now this was over a year ago and I am still angry thinking about that. I did something hard. I did the hardest thing. I came to them for help and got nothing. I have not seen any doctors since then.

    So what should I do? My next sign-on is the 20th and I am dreading it more than ever. I want to apply for ESA, but when no GP knows my private life-long anxiety (anxiety prevented me from even applying for JSA for years, I was lucky enough to live with a very generous parent - but now I have bills to pay and JSA was the only option I could see) I don't know how I am going to get any kind of sick note - I don't even know how I am going to make an appointment to see a GP again, let alone turn up and wait and then go in and have to talk to them.

    I am goign to end this here as I a having trouble breathing and thin it is time to have a lie down an a cry. Than you in adavnce or any help you can offer

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by boatgirl View Post
    Hello, I found this forum while trying to google for an answer but could not find anyone with the same question.

    So I suppose I'll begin with my background and where I am currently.
    I am 27. I suffer from anxiety disorders. Social anxiety is probably the biggest, but almost everything makes me anxious in one way or another. I really cannot leave my house on my own, literally the only thing that gets me to the Jobcentre every fortnight is the fact that the anxiety over having no money at all (no money in this society is equal to being dead, which I do not fancy being) is very slightly bigger than the anxiety of having to get the bus and sit amongst a lot of people and then face this person who has the power to kill me (because again, no money = dead), I can put on my headphones and close my eyes for the bus ride and the wait, and that is the only way I can sign-on.

    My anxiety generally manifests as panic attacks when I am alone, but in front of other people I will just go mute. Even if I want to say something, I wont be able to. I have been that way my whole life, adults in the past just saying I was shy or whatever made me feel like it was a pretty normal thing to do.

    Also I am a transgender person, while this is not a disability or an illness in itself, it certainly helps to amplify my anxiety - connect that with previous experience of street harassment and literal rocks being thrown at me, I really, really do not feel safe going outside by myself at all, and I am in this situation where if I go to the Jobcentre I *might* be killed by some random stranger who decides to hate me, but if I don't go to the Jobcentre I *will* die because without money I cannot exchange anything for food and utility bills.

    As you may have guessed, I am currently claiming Income-based JSA, but I really cannot work. I have been on their training courses that helped me make a CV and cover letters - my advisors are all happy with my CV and Cover letters and my jobsearch, luckily I have not had a single job interview in my entire time claiming JSA. I say luckily because there is absolutely no way I would be able to attend an interview, I would simply have a panic attack at home all alone - which to the outside world and the Jobcentre I am sure would appear as, "this person was too lazy to go to the interview, money denied." and that would be the end of me.
    Also the occasional mis-gendering by some advisors can really ruin my week, luckily I often see this Sikh dude who is really nice, he is the only person who actually did anything when I changed my name - nobody else seemed to care. Took almost two months for the DWP to get my name right, and I am sure it was only because this guy did something.

    So the anxiety and stress of living in fear of getting an interview or the Jobcentre suddenly being unhappy with my jobsearch or sending me to another training course which I really wont be able to face (yes, I attended the last one but it was the worst thing I have ever had to do and having a panic attack every morning before leaving home was not enjoyable thanks) or any other thing which I just can't do - living like this is just becoming too much and I really cannot do it anymore.

    I only learned about ESA recently, and it sounds like it could be a better option. I would still be really worried about them suddenly cutting me off with no warning (especially after Cameron's latest bullshit) but not being forced to come in every two weeks alone would be a huge deal.
    However, I am worried about needing a medical certificate or sick note to prove I cannot work.

    I tried to go to my GP about anxiety before, it was one of the hardest things I have done. Sat there in silence for a while, wishing I had had the foresight to write something down, but I am not sure that would've made it easier. What would I have written anyway?
    So any who, I eventually managed to tell them that I was worried about anxiety and what I should do. They gave me some phone number for an NHS anxiety line or something, which I literally just laughed in disbelief at - I cannot use phones for talking. I was so shocked, good grief is that all they're going to offer? So I said, very specifically, "I cannot call that, I cannot use the phone. Is there anything else?" Nope. Exact quote, "Sometimes you have to do something hard before you can get help."
    Now this was over a year ago and I am still angry thinking about that. I did something hard. I did the hardest thing. I came to them for help and got nothing. I have not seen any doctors since then.

    So what should I do? My next sign-on is the 20th and I am dreading it more than ever. I want to apply for ESA, but when no GP knows my private life-long anxiety (anxiety prevented me from even applying for JSA for years, I was lucky enough to live with a very generous parent - but now I have bills to pay and JSA was the only option I could see) I don't know how I am going to get any kind of sick note - I don't even know how I am going to make an appointment to see a GP again, let alone turn up and wait and then go in and have to talk to them.

    I am goign to end this here as I a having trouble breathing and thin it is time to have a lie down an a cry. Than you in adavnce or any help you can offer
    Hi

    I'm only a layperson but if I were you I would go and see your GP with someone accompanying you for example your Mother so they can prompt you in to telling your GP of all of your problems. Your GP is then likely to get a full picture of your day to day difficulties. I wouldn't hold back, tell them exactly what you are going through. Your GP is there to help you; hopefully for you you will have an understanding GP. After a few visits to your GP you should start to build a good rapport with them; your GP should be in a good position to make referrals for you etc, including possible medication and counselling.

    I personally think you need to get to this stage before you apply for ESA. Basically, your GP's role is absolutely crucial in your efforts to get ESA - as they give the fit (sick) notes. You need to keep on the "right side" of them, but you should tell them how it is, explain how hard things are for you; I wouldn't mention anything to your GP about applying for ESA until after a few visits to the surgery at least. Good luck I hope you get what you are entitled to. I'm sure others will be along soon with more specific advice.

    Buster

  3. #3
    as buster has all ready said get to the gp asap i would also ask for a referral to a psychiatrist. it took me years to get a a diagnosis of agoraphobia with social phobia and paranoia.

    however i was all ready on esa for chronic pain before then been on it since 2010/2011 was placed in the support group never had a medical till this day as i will not leave the house at all to go to a place where i have never been before, the only time they asked about one my gp sent a letter asking for a home medical as i would highly likely to attack someone if i left my house.

    also off topic but i was awarded pip 3 mths ago till 2018 for both of my problems.

    all the best

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by boatgirl View Post
    luckily I often see this Sikh dude who is really nice, he is the only person who actually did anything when I changed my name - nobody else seemed to care. Took almost two months for the DWP to get my name right, and I am sure it was only because this guy did something.
    You seem to trust this guy at the Jobcentre, maybe you could ask him to help?

    As the other have said, you do realy need to get to the Doctor, possibly with a friend, and get across to them just how much your anxiety is affecting your life.
    If you don't tell them how bad it is for you they won't know how to help you, or even that you need help.

    As for writing something down, and what would you tell them - how about just what you have told us?
    Why not print it out and take it with you?
    I don't know everything. - But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.

    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  5. #5
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    Thank you for the replies, sadly I have nobody to go with down here. Also I am in the process of moving near Derby, and I have heard stories of friends out in the more rural areas being asked to go to the jobcentre every week, and some even every day. Good grief, what on earth do they think that solves? Do jobs appear out of nowhere when you spend time effectively in prison?

    I have to go to the jobcentre in thirty minutes, I feel very sick and I am afraid I can't go. I should've gone Friday but I couldn't, Monday also, if I don't go today I know it is no-money-ville and that is the only reason I am dressed right now.

    I want to go to a GP, but it feels impossible. If I went in today and asked for an appointment it'd be booked for next week at the earliest, London is too dense and I gasp in awe at people who can get same-day appointments. But even then I know I can't do it alone.
    My partner is where I am moving to, and I am going up to stay with them next week.. but I don't think I can see a GP in a place I don't live? It is a bit of a shitty situation and they cannot come down here to go with me, not any time soon at least and by then I will actually be living there.. and I wanted to get on ESA by then, like before the 20th of March ideally.. because I really really really cannot keep doing this jobcentre thing, I am super dizzy right now as I watch the clock and I am afraid I wont be able to leave the house or something

    I wish I could ask the Sikh fellow for help, but my comfort with him really only extends to actually being able to say good afternoon and replying to his "How are you?" instead of the usual uneasy squeak I make at the other advisors. I guess it is only by the London Jobcentres being so jam-packed full of people and always overcrowded and everyone in a rush that I have not been singled out by anyone for further probing, generally I walk in and sit down and sign the thing and they tap at the keyboard for a minute or two before writing down my next appointment time and saying goodbye to me. Also I don't feel worthy of anyone's help so there is that, too.

    All of these anxiety things and the depression of not being able to do anything about anything and the fear of not having any money to contribute when I move in with my partner.

    I think even if I make it to the jobcentre today I will be lucky if I don't get taken off JSA because I missed my appointment last time as well, but if I somehow do get paid this week I will be filling in my "take me off JSA" form and mailing it to them for the 20th because I really cannot do this any more and to be honest I really probably would rather just die than have to go through any of this

    And the biggest joke of all is to even try and claim ESA I have to make a phone call. i give up

  6. #6
    try writing a letter to your doctor, you seem to be able to get it of your chest easier when typing (writing it down). dont give up x

  7. #7
    As already stated i am afraid without a Doctors sick note or letter from him or the hospital stating you are unfit for work your claim for ESA will fail. The first step is hard i am sure for you, but after you have explained the situation to your Dr. and he is in medical agreement your consecutive sick notes should be a lot easier to obtain. Infact i just ring up 3 days before mine runs out and they have it ready on the day i need it.

  8. #8
    Hi, I hope your are Okay. I think-try a different doctor. You can visit a GP from another area also, so perhaps you could get an appointment, for severe anxiety, take your partner along to get everything over to the doctor. As long as any doctor takes this seriously-it will get the ball rolling and on record. I work in therapy services and unfortunately deal with people facing the same "fob-off" attitude of some (but not all!) GPs. We also recommend to people to find an advocacy organisation. Also approach (via email) Mind/Mental Health Matters to explain the difficulties you are having and also if they can help. The CAB are also a good port of call as is Turn2us online. You can email both. They obv both deal with benefit advice but if you email again they can point you in the right direction as to advocacy for your position, partic the CAB which have advocated on behalf of some of our patients/clients. Anxiety is a terrible and disenabling issue that we often underestimate. Panic attacks are a severe issue and it unfortunately sounds like your last GP was far too flippant about such a serious issue. You obviously can not work and have challenges to hopefully overcome in time, reducing anxiety, getting help with the fear of threat/death. I am currently working with a lady going through transgender issues and it is a truly challenging time for her. Society is challenging enough without the fear of unprovoked agression simply because we are making a choice to be who we feel we truly are. I hope you get the help and support you rightfully deserve, take care, Xxx

  9. #9
    Id go and visit your GP again. As others have suggested, take someone with you. Be clear about your need for a fit note. The GP may think that as your not in work, you dont have a need for a fit note. Explain to him that you want to be moved over to ESA so that you dont have to attend jobcentre, apply for jobs etc.

    As regards treatment, its a terrible condition where there is little the doctors can do. Where i live there is a mental health charity. I was referred to them and they had me attending courses aswell as doing one on one phone calls with their therapists. There is something similar in most towns and cities. Id imagine there is something near to you. Only you know what you would be capable of doing however. In addition you could ask about anxiety medication.

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