First, though, a warning…
|DO NOT just make a new claim for Employment and Support Allowance. This is because if less than 6 months have passed since the Jobcentre Plus has made a decision about your capability for work you will normally not be entitled to get any money until the Jobcentre Plus has made a new decision, which means you have nothing to live on until after the medical, and, if they refuse you, not even then. The only times this does not apply are when you have a new medical problem, or clear evidence that your condition has worsened. Even then you are taking a big risk, as the Jobcentre Plus may not agree that the condition is really a new one, or that your condition has worsened enough.|
Realistically, therefore you’re generally going to have to claim Jobseeker's Allowance.
You may feel very strongly against doing this, as you may still be pretty sure that you’re not fit for work. You may even feel that you cannot claim Jobseeker's Allowance without being being dishonest, because you believe that claiming Jobseeker's Allowance amounts to saying that you don’t have health problems and disabilities. However it’s not quite like that.
- By claiming Jobseeker's Allowance you are not saying you are as fit as a fiddle. You are simply saying that you are willing to look for work and will take a job if it is offered to you. There’s nothing to stop someone who’s been found unfit for work from ending their claim for Employment and Support Allowance, if they want to, and claiming Jobseeker's Allowance instead.
- The law allows you to restrict your availability for work if you have health problems or disabilities: you might, for example, be able to restrict your hours of work, or how far you have to travel to work. You would probably need to get medical evidence to support you with this. A Disability Employment Adviser may be able to help with this (see the next blob).
- If you have disabilities or health problems, you have the right to ask to see a ‘Disability Employment Adviser’: they can make sure that your disabilities are taken into account by the Jobcentre Plus, and suggest ways in which they can help you.
- Remember all you have to do is to keep to do your best to look for work, in the ways the Jobcentre Plus ask you to. You don’t have to find work. If you do your best, but can’t get a job because no-one wants to give you one, that the Jobcentre Plus’s problem, not yours.