RULES FOR ‘FIT NOTES’ AND ‘EXTENDED PERIOD OF SICKNESS’
Someone who has signed onto JSA after being found ‘fit for work’ has to be treated like anyone else on JSA. This includes rules around fit notes.
The rules for giving an Extended Period of Sickness are set out in Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 1996. Point 55ZA states:
(1) This regulation applies to a person who—
(a) has been awarded a jobseeker’s allowance;
(b) proves to the satisfaction of the Secretary of State that he is unable to work on account of some specific disease or disablement;
(i) declares that he has been unable to work, or expect to be unable to work, on account of that disease or disablement for more than 2 weeks but he does not expect to be unable to work on account of that disease or disablement for more than 13 weeks; or
(ii) is not a person to whom regulation 55(1) (short periods of sickness) applies by virtue of paragraph (3) of that regulation;
(d) during the period of his disease or disablement, satisfies the requirements for entitlement to a jobseeker’s allowance other than those specified in section 1(2)(a), (c) and (f) (availability for and actively seeking employment and capable of work or not having limited capability for work); and
(e) has not stated in writing that for the period of his disease or disablement he proposes to claim or has claimed an employment and support allowance or universal credit.
That final point (e) refers only to the claimant’s current situation. If someone is currently registered on JSA having been found fit for work, their previous time on ESA is irrelevant. If they submit a Fit Note from their doctor this is the same as anyone else on JSA submitting a Fit Note. It is not a claim for ESA (as they are on JSA) and nor is it a statement in writing that they have claimed or are going to claim ESA. It is simply a Fit Note from their doctor saying that the demands put on them should be limited for a set period in order not to damage their health.
This clarification of the rules was written by the Scottish Unemployed Workers’ Network after consultation with the Child Poverty Action Group – February 2017