Getting sick notes can be a real problem with increasing overload on GP services.
During COVID-19 restrictions, matters became even worse with patients advised not to contact their GP unless it was essential.
Kester Disability Rights (KDR) has had a number of cases where disabled claimants were not paid the Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) addition to their Universal Credit (UC) back to when they claimed it, but only from the point back to which they had a flawless sick notes history. Any gaps in sick notes were said by the DWP to make the claim void for that period. This had the effect of meaning that delays in arranging a medical examination by the DWP resulted in truncated back-dating of the LCWRA element.
KDR successfully argued that sick notes are not essential because the law allows other evidence to be used where claimants are unable to provide sick notes. The Upper Tribunal in EE v SSWP: UA-2023-000846-ULCW found the law, “intended to provide a degree of leeway to a claimant who has not provided a fit note”.
It’s best to provide sick notes if you possibly can. You may be able to rely on other evidence if unavoidable gaps arise in your sick-notes history from when you claim up to when you are assessed by the DWP.