“So What Have You Been Doing To Look For Work?”

My benefits advisor has been keen for several months for me to get Universal Credit to put me through another Work Capability Assessment, since he’s worried that they’ll randomly stop accepting my Dr’s fit notes and stop the payments (based on his experience in the field!). The idea of them stopping payments is absurd, as I’d also lose my home since Universal Credit pays for that. Oh and Universal Credit is what makes me eligible for free legal advice…the whole thing is like a ridiculous house of cards and a catch-22. My first and last Work Capability Assessment was in January 2020 which deemed me to be capable, and I was only saved by the pandemic from all commitments for 18 months so didn’t have to deal with that.

They consider you eligible for a second assessment when your medical situation has evidentially changed (which mine actually has with autism and OCD diagnoses since). So before having to defend myself on moral grounds, it ought to be possible on technical grounds.

The funny thing is that if I am deemed capable to work again it will make my situation worse. But anyway, this time the advisor will be able to attend with me and isn’t concerned about getting the wrong result. He’s the advisor so I have to trust him!

My take on it all is explained perfectly in an email I just sent to him :):

Hi Kevin,

My last UC appointment was 11th November (the one you came to was 28th October), and I reminded them again that I’d like to do a work capability assessment, in response to their first question being ‘what have you been doing to look for work?’. The person I saw was standing in for the person you saw (who was off at the time). There’s still been no movement on it.

To be honest the worst part of it is having to answer the question about what I’ve been doing for work, which is so far out of the range of appropriate for my circumstances…like asking someone who’s been in a wheelchair for 4 years what they’ve been doing to train for the 100m sprint race in the next (able-bodied) olympics! Even remembering to update my journal about the actions I’ve taken regarding the eviction issue, is hard at the moment.

My next appointment is Monday 13 December (1.30pm). Is there value in you coming with me to that to help push them further?


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