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How do I approach the subject of Sick Notes for ESA with my GP?
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# 1
EltonJohnFan
Old 11-01-2011, 3:58 PM
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Post How do I approach the subject of Sick Notes for ESA with my GP?

Good afternoon all,

I have an appointment with my GP in just over an hour and I've been instructed by the NHS Nurse I've been seeing recently to ask him for a sick note as I'm no longer able to claim Jobseekers Allowance due to many things but most of all due to the fact that my MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) has flared up really bad in recent weeks and lots of things have happened as a result of that. I've very embarrassed to even approach this subject with my GP as I've never had to deal with anything of this sort before but I desperately need him to provide me with a Sick Note and I'm worried he might not do so and I'll be without any money or Housing and Council tax support as a result. The last thing I need right now is exta stress as I've already been at rock bottom and feel I could quite easily be tipped back over the edge as I'm in a very low place right now and living with my parents as a result.

I'd really appreciate some reassurance and advice on how best to approach this matter when I meet with my GP because as I say I don't know how these things work and I'm worrying myself sick just thinking about it all. I've been told it's imperative to my new claim for Employment and Support Allowance that I get one from my GP or I'll be in a very bad situation if he somehow refuses. How long does a Sick Note last for? I'm not "sick" as such as I just have very severe mental health problems and I'm a lifetime wheelchair user with numerous other care needs but I don't personally class myself as being "sick". I was hoping he could give me one for at least a few months because I have a lot of meetings and support set up and I desperately need this support because I don't want to go back to how I was just a few weeks ago and I'm just not in the right place to look for work right now, as much as I want to. Thank you for your help.

Last edited by EltonJohnFan; 11-01-2011 at 4:05 PM.
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# 2
dmg24
Old 11-01-2011, 4:05 PM
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Is your GP aware of your recent deterioration? I would just explain what your nurse (CPN?) has said, and that it has been recommended that you claim ESA for a while. Therefore you need a sick note. From what you have said it should not be a problem. Also try not to think of it as being 'sick', just that you are not fit for work at the moment.

Good to see you posting again, hope things get better soon.
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# 3
EltonJohnFan
Old 11-01-2011, 4:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg24 View Post
Is your GP aware of your recent deterioration? I would just explain what your nurse (CPN?) has said, and that it has been recommended that you claim ESA for a while. Therefore you need a sick note. From what you have said it should not be a problem. Also try not to think of it as being 'sick', just that you are not fit for work at the moment.

Good to see you posting again, hope things get better soon.
Thank you very much.

I guess I'm just a worrying sort of person right now and all this ESA is new to me because the last time I had a flareup of MDD I was immediately placed on Income Support/Incapacity Benefit back in 2007 and had a medical which stated I wasn't to work for any reason. I do want to work, however, but just feel that I'm not in the right place, mentally or physichally to do so right now and I'm just hopeful my GP can take this into consideration and help me to be able to get the help I need for the next few months at least. I was warned that it's imperative I get the sick note by the DWP and that's why I'm worrying so much as they've completely closed my claim for JSA and said I need to get my ESA sorted out as soon as possible. NHS24 has contacted my GP twice at Christmas last year and just after the new year this year as I was having serious problems and my GP was notified and spoke with myself and my parents in great detail about this as a result. I'm not seeing my usual doctor today which is another worry and I'm just hopeful the one I do see can show some understanding towards my situation. I wish you all the very best

Last edited by EltonJohnFan; 11-01-2011 at 4:11 PM.
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# 4
Loopy Girl
Old 11-01-2011, 4:15 PM
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He may give you a sick note for a week - but that is not to say you are due back on JSA at the end of it. He may just want to see you again, to see how you are, and then issue you another one.

There's no limit to how many you can have and it is up to the GP.

I strongly suspect the GP won't give you a long term one at this time purely as he will want to keep an eye on things and if you need to see him to get a new fit note, then he can have a chat with you.

Easy for me to say, but try not to worry. It's patently clear that you are not fit for job seeking at this time and the time is more wisely needed to get you back on track.

Just to say as well that you will need to check with your local council re your property being empty and you claiming housing benefit. There are rules about it (am sorry, I don't want to worry you even more but then I don't want you to lose your home either whilst you are being cared for- quite rightly so - by your parents.)

Last edited by Loopy Girl; 11-01-2011 at 4:17 PM. Reason: Typo!
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# 5
Loopy Girl
Old 11-01-2011, 4:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EltonJohnFan View Post
my GP was notified and spoke with myself and my parents in great detail about this as a result. I'm not seeing my usual doctor today which is another worry and I'm just hopeful the one I do see can show some understanding towards my situation. I wish you all the very best
The GP you are seeing today will be well aware of things as it will all be in your notes
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# 6
dmg24
Old 11-01-2011, 4:17 PM
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I agree with Loopy Girl, he will probably give you a short term note at first so he can keep an eye on you. You should also ask if he can backdate the note to when your JSA claim ended.
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# 7
Loopy Girl
Old 11-01-2011, 4:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg24 View Post
You should also ask if he can backdate the note to when your JSA claim ended.
Of course - forgot to say that!

Most GP's are fine with backdating OP so at there shouldn't be a break in your money.

I hope you get on okay today and that you make a speedy recovery
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# 8
EltonJohnFan
Old 11-01-2011, 6:07 PM
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Hi everyone,

I actually met with a female doctor today, quite unexpected but she was a lovely lady and she talked things through with me and has arranged for further support to be put in place and has also asked me to take some sort of anti-depressants even though I don't want to do this. She has promised me that they're not addictive however, but even still, I'm quite reluctant to take them. She has signed me off as unfit for work for a period of one month and has stated that this will give me time to recuparate and have a much needed rest and give her time to see if the pills have any effect. She also stated that I've to meet her again in a few weeks time after the tablets have started to take effect and then she'll see what happens then and she explained a bit about Employment and Support Allowance as all of this is new to me. If I'm not any better in one months time then what happens ? I've never dealt with sick notes before and so it's all new to me but I know myself and I know that I desperately need proper help and not just given pills to take and hope these will work miracles. I've been assured by this lady that I'm priority for mental health care and that she genuinely hopes I get well soon and is looking forward to helping me get things back to normal again. Take care everyone and thanks.

Last edited by EltonJohnFan; 11-01-2011 at 6:09 PM.
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# 9
dmg24
Old 11-01-2011, 6:33 PM
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That sounds really positive, a good GP is worth their weight in gold. If you are still not well enough after a month they can sign you off again, and you send the note to the DWP. Try not to set yourself a timeframe to get well, there is no point in trying to return to jobseeking before you are ready.

What medication has she suggested? Many of the newer AD's are not addictive.
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# 10
EltonJohnFan
Old 11-01-2011, 6:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmg24 View Post
That sounds really positive, a good GP is worth their weight in gold. If you are still not well enough after a month they can sign you off again, and you send the note to the DWP. Try not to set yourself a timeframe to get well, there is no point in trying to return to jobseeking before you are ready.

What medication has she suggested? Many of the newer AD's are not addictive.
Thanks again DMG!

The GP stated that I shouldn't rush myself as there's no hurry in getting better but she feels these tablets will really work for me and I must promise her I'll take them and looked at my mother when saying this. I can't remember exactly what the name was but I think it started with an "E" or an "I"? honestly can't remember exactly as my mother has handed in the prescription to the pharmacy and is going to pick it up tommorow for me. I've noticed that I'll be worse off under the Employment and Support Allowance as my money is dropping from 133.50 (without DLA) Jobseekers Allowance per week to 105.50? Employment and Support Allowance but not to worry, I'll be just fine and as long as I know I have the support of the relevant professionals and my parents then I can concentrate on what really matters and that's getting well again. Do you know how long I have to hand in these medical certificates for if the GP decides that I'm not to return to work when we next meet? I'm waiting on my ESA claim pack coming through the post to sign and send away again with the Sick Note and as I say I've never dealt with anything like this before, all new to me. Take care and enjoy your evening

Last edited by EltonJohnFan; 11-01-2011 at 6:56 PM.
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# 11
dmg24
Old 11-01-2011, 7:07 PM
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You need to submit notes until you pass the WCA. This is normally around the thirteen week stage. The WCA may include a medical, or they may make a decision based on information supplied by your GP, specialist etc. You will receive a form to complete in due course.

If you need any info on your medication, let us know when you find the name and we'll find you a reliable source of info.
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# 12
dane-katie
Old 11-01-2011, 7:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EltonJohnFan View Post
Thanks again DMG!

The GP stated that I shouldn't rush myself as there's no hurry in getting better but she feels these tablets will really work for me and I must promise her I'll take them and looked at my mother when saying this. I can't remember exactly what the name was but I think it started with an "E" or an "I"? honestly can't remember exactly as my mother has handed in the prescription to the pharmacy and is going to pick it up tommorow for me. I've noticed that I'll be worse off under the Employment and Support Allowance as my money is dropping from 133.50 (without DLA) Jobseekers Allowance per week to 105.50? Employment and Support Allowance but not to worry, I'll be just fine and as long as I know I have the support of the relevant professionals and my parents then I can concentrate on what really matters and that's getting well again. Do you know how long I have to hand in these medical certificates for if the GP decides that I'm not to return to work when we next meet? I'm waiting on my ESA claim pack coming through the post to sign and send away again with the Sick Note and as I say I've never dealt with anything like this before, all new to me. Take care and enjoy your evening
105.50? mine took months and months for it to go up to this rate!

I started out on the basic which is 51.85 under 25's and 65.45 over 25's a week.

JSA at 133.50 a week? i thought it was similar to the ESA rate?

Or are you a couple?

I dont know much about benefits tbh just read your post and it seems a little high, but i may be wrong someone will correct me if i am

Is a Bipolar bear

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# 13
McKneff
Old 11-01-2011, 7:25 PM
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You just take it steady and take each day as it comes.

Stay positive, we're all rooting for you.

Regards
Annie
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# 14
Loopy Girl
Old 11-01-2011, 8:06 PM
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By the sounds of it, your GP is going to put together a 'get well soon' plan for you - and this includes taking the AD's.

Please consider them EJF - the way I look at it, if you had a bad chest infection then you would take some anti-biotics to aid the recovery. In my mind, I see AD's as the same - they are a valuable part of getting you back on your feet.

Modern AD's are much better than the old type - none of this 'space cadet' feeling!! And if there is any addiction (and it's a big IF) then normally it's 2-3 weeks of being weaned off and there isn't normally any nasty side effects.

I honestly would urge you to consider them. I'm afraid I don't know your condition inside and out (though I did Google a wee bit) but I am in the train of thought that the AD's help to balance the imbalance in your brain - get that serotonin going again!!!! And that can only be a good thing, right?

And between that and the counselling, the change will be enourmous

I echo McKneff - we are all rooting for you, Keep us posted and I am sure dmg won't mind me saying that she is fairly clued up on the ole mental health issues and I am sure she wouldn't mind you PMing her if need be (if she clears her inbox of course)

Take care and keep us posted x

(meant to say, on the 'relationship' section of here, there is a 'depression' thread and people seem to speak highly of it. Maybes you can have a wander over there and get some support - even reading but not joining in might help to not make you feel so isolated and despairing.
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