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Is it really worth all the hassle? Any advice welcome.

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Right, I don't really know where to start here, but let's have a go.


I went to the doctors the other day, just for an ear infection, but the doctor I saw was new and was reading through my notes. She noticed that I have very high blood pressure for my age, and wanted a chat about my life at the moment, here's what I basically told her:



I lie in bed at night, instead of drifting off to sleep, I am hit with massive waves of tension and anxiety. I take the days worries to bed with me, and end up crying myself to sleep. I've tried writing my worries down, but it hasn't helped. Not only do I find it hard to fall asleep at night, but I also wake up feeling more tired and less-refreshed than before I went to bed. That means I start my day off feeling tired, energyless and irritable.


Day to Day Life

In my day to day life, I feel tense, unable to relax; constantly tired, I have a lack of energy. I'm often anxious and in a bad mood - this has led to temper outbursts. I always seem to be the cause of argument in our house,. I used to be able to have a joke and laugh with people, now they may say something that's not aimed at me, or if it is it's just in a jokey sort of way - and I flip. Like I have hit my mum twice, I felt terrible after it and after a good ole' cry, we had a cuddle and she told me it would all be ok. Needless to say relationships with my family are strained. I get angry for no reason, I have depressing thoughts, and have lost interest in things which I used to enjoy. Just recently, I've found myself telling every I can't be dealing with life no more. I feel like I'm constantly tied to job-searching to meet my JSA agreement, and forget to take time out for myself - if I do, I feel terribly guilt about it. I frequently suffer from headaches, back pain, and upset stomach.



I snack between meals and put on weight. I can't help it, but the slightest problem causes me to wolf down a box of biscuits, a bar of chocolate, or some other kind of sweets. Then I go back to what I was previously doing feeling guilty and rubbish due to my lack of will power.


She's came to the conclusion that I am stressed.


Now we've recently found out that I have one kidney, when I was a baby my parents got told I might have one, but never actually got it confirmed. I also have high blood pressure. Now my kidney is functioning fine, as I have had results back of a few tests at the beginning of the week, but despite the medication, my blood pressure is still above where it needs to be. I also have an extremely high pulse, it should be between 70-80, mine was 113 on my last visit. I feel my heart skipping beats alot, so they want to do an ECG on me, which I have to go back for whenever I'm ready.


I should be aiming for a blood pressure of 120/80. But mine is in the region of 140/100. My doctor said this is dangerously high for my age, and it's also no good for my kidney. High blood pressure, can damage the kidneys! Obviously for people with two kidneys if one gets damaged, they can have it removed and live fine with one, but if mine gets damaged, I don't have another one to fall back on. They may need to up my BP medication a bit, but also they said they need to work on helping me cope with my stress.


Now here's the problem. My doctor has said he wants to sign me off sick, I've no idea how long for but he does, but not for a long time, maybe a month or something. He said it's to give me some time to relax and hopefully remove the stress. Plus get my BP more under control.


They think it would be good. Personally, I don't think it's worth all the hassle. Mainly because I'm on JSA. That'd mean having to change my benefit over to ESA for a month, and then there's the added thing of the horrible medical examination you have to go through, which I've read people get failed on quite alot. It's just more stress and worry, I think, as I'm not even sure I'd qualify for it. But then, what do I know?


Just thought I'd come in here for a bit of advice.

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If it's only for a month you wouldn't get to the medical bit, that only happens at week 13.


I would get the sick note from your GP and get transferred to ESA, take a break and sort your health out, especially if it's the job searching that's causing or contributing to your stress.


"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Hi, so you don't think there would be any problem? What would happen during the month i'm on ESA? It is the job searching that's contributing to it, I think. It's all I've done since finishing college in 2008, and it just gets on top of you. I just need a break from it I think. Then come back to it with a positive frame of mind.


One thing I forgot to mention in the previous post is that I get chest pains. They are linked to stress and quite worrying. I think that may be why they've requested I have an ECG.

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I am absolutely not an expert and I've never claimed ESA, but for the first 13 weeks you're on the assessment rate and all you need to do is send in 'fit notes' from your GP. As to how smooth the transition from JSA to ESA would be, I don't know but I would personally be prepared for some payment 'hiccups' just in case.


I can understand how frustrating constant job searching is - my daughter has been unemployed since finishing Uni 18 months ago and it really gets her down, especially the ones that don't even bother to reply with a no thanks.


"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Reallymadwoman more or less has it. It's not technically correct to say that the medical exam is done at 13 weeks - the idea is that it's done at some point within the first 13 weeks. In practice, there is a backlog and it often takes longer. It would be very unusual for a medical to be done within the first 4 weeks of a claim. So Reallymadwoman is correct - for a short claim, the medical likely won't be an issue.


So when there's no medical, all you need is a med cert from your doctor. The transition from one benefit to the other won't be all that smooth, necessarily - your JSA claim would need to be closed before the computer system would allow an ESA claim to be opened and processed. That could cause a break in your payments - you shouldn't lose money in the long term, but it does take time for the DWP office to process the change, so expect that some payments may not be made as you expect. That's a euphemism: I really mean, you might end up without benefit for a week or two.


As to what would happen during the month you're on ESA, well, nothing much. You need to provide med certs from your GP or other doctor, and to avoid hassle those certs should cover every single day of your ESA claim. ESA claimants don't need to sign on.




The idea that all politicians lie is music to the ears of the most egregious liars.

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What you need to dio is go into your local JCP office tomorrow (Monday) and sign off JSA with the last day of looking for work as today (Sunday) and then make your claim for ESA from tomorrow. That way there will be no break in your claim and any outstanding JSA payments will be released as quicky as the customer service team are able to close your claim via the JCP office which is on average anything up to 2 working days following the receipt of handing in the ES40 booklet (or ES40S the form you can complete in the JCP office if you don't have your ES40 booklet).

You are highly unlikely to be called in for a medical prior to 13 weeks due to the backlog already in the system unless you were previously claiming ESA for exactly the same reason.

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