I finished sorting out a claim for Universal Credit today. Universal credit is the UK’s benefit system which is replacing everything like disability payments, jobseekers allowance, housing benefit, child tax credit and others. I’m claiming Universal Credit because I am looking for full time work, and not in any work at all at the moment.
As of today after meeting the advisor I had to make an agreement to do 35 hours worth of job searching related activities per week. This isn’t just logging onto the internet and browsing the vacancies posted on the various websites, including the governments own Universal Jobmatch. The 35 hours includes the meetings I’ll be having with the advisor, set to be fortnightly, research time spent on travel routes to and from available vacancies, research time spent on the companies advertising the jobs, filling in application forms and so on. It’s doable, but 5 hours a day 7 days a week focussing on this is just going to pour a lot of fuel on depression and anxiety.
I have asked if I can help getting into doing some voluntary work, any amount of time I spend doing voluntary work will count towards this 35 hours strict target, so that will help, and there is a scheme that I might be able to get onto run by a local college that could get me an NVQ in Administration, and a foot in the door in the NHS service. Getting training to do some care work is also an option that I’ll be looking into. There are no places at the moment, but my advisor said she will keep checking for me and there could be something there for me soon.
I hope I can get back into work quickly. I’ve been long term unemployed before and the depression I suffered then was very severe. My experience is good. My skills are good. and my CV is good. I just need a little luck, get those interviews and try to impress at the interview stage. So here I am crossing my fingers and hoping for the best