Send your Fit Note Service (A guide)

In this article we’ll discuss the DWP’s “Send your fit note service”, how reliable this kind of service is, and how hard it is to do it. 

What is the Send your Fit Note Service?

Send your Fit Note Service is a DWP’s digital option that allows claimants to upload and send a photo of their fit note in just 30 seconds.

The purpose is to simplify the process of sending a fit note to the department.

This service is highly appreciated by both DWP and claimants.

What is a Fit note?

According to the  Department for Work and Pensions, Digital Report: “A fit note is a document issued by a GP, Doctor or Health Professional which explains a patient has an illness or health condition which means they can’t work.

Your doctor will only give you a fit note if your health affects your fitness for work. The fit note is your property and you should keep it. Your doctor cannot give you a fit note for nonmedical problems (such as problems at home or relationship trouble at work). They may, however, be able to suggest other sources of help.

How can I get a fit note?

You can get a fit note from either your GP or the doctor who was treating you in the hospital.

It is best if the fit note is signed by a doctor that knows your case and how your disability or illness is affecting your daily activities. 

How will the doctor assess my fitness for work?

Your doctor will assess your fitness for work following a certain protocol. The doctor will have to consider how your illness affects your capacity to work.

For example, your ability to concentrate and finish certain tasks.

The doctor will have a final decision if you are fit for work of any kind, or not fit for work at all. 

Explaining sections of the Fit note

  1. The date your doctor assessed you 

That is the date on which the doctor assessed you either:

  • a face-to-face consultation;
  • a telephone consultation; or
  • the consideration of a written report from another doctor or registered healthcare professional

The Fit Note may be issued:

  • on the day that you were assessed, or
  • after the consideration of a written report from another doctor or registered health care professional
  1.  The condition(s) affecting your fitness for work

It‘s usually best for your doctor to be as accurate as possible, but they can enter a less precise diagnosis if being too detailed might do you more harm long-term speaking.

  1. Your doctor’s assessment

 This is where your doctor concludes either:

  • You are: Not fit for work  (you are not fit for work of any kind), or
  • May be fit for work taking account of the following advice  (you may be fit for work, taking account of your doctor’s advice in the fit note).
  1. Your doctor’s advice about the impact of your health condition

 A GP can record here whether a referral to Fit for Work has been made, or their reason for not referring, if relevant.

  1. The period that your doctor’s advice covers

The period that your doctor’s advice covers is usually from the date of the assessment to a certain end date.

If your doctor considers that your condition has affected your fitness for work before your Capability assessment, he will mention that in the fit note.

Therefore, the period that is covered by the fit note can sometimes be an indefinite period. 

  1.  Whether your doctor needs to see you at the end of your fit note

 If your doctor  expects you to be fit for work at the end of the fit note, they will indicate that they do not have to see you again. 

  1.  The date the fit note is issued

This may not always be the same as the date of the assessment.

  1.   Your doctor needs to sign the fit note.

The Send Your Fit Note service

Part of the claiming process for the Employment Support Allowance (ESA), people must send DWP a fit note as evidence to support their claim.

Instead of sending these in by post or delivering them by hand to a Jobcentre, the Send your fit note digital service lets claimants take a photograph of their fit note, upload it and submit it securely online in real-time from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

This is easier and faster for claimants, eliminating any postal delays and helps DWP make ESA payments much faster, reducing stress and anxiety for people who really need support.

How to send a fit note using the Send Fit Note service

You’ll need:

  • your fit note signed by your doctor
  • your National Insurance number
  • a phone or tablet with a camera, or a computer with a saved photo or copy of your fit note

You can send the fit note by simply clicking the Start now button on the GOV.UK page for the Send fit note service.

Once you click start now, you will be automatically redirected to a new page, where you’ll be asked:  Which of the following are you using?

  • A Phone or tablet or
  • Desktop computer or laptop

You have to choose which type of device you are using to send the fit note, and then click Continue

Next, another page will automatically show up, where you can save and upload your photo. 

The fit note photo or scan will be automatically checked to make sure it’s good enough.

After uploading your photo simply click continue, and you’re done!

How can I a good photo of a fit note?

Here is some advice on how to take a good photo of a fit note:

  1. Hold the device directly above the fit note It’s best to hold the device about a foot above it.
  2. Avoid taking the photo at an angle.
  3. Find a well-lit place and avoid shadows.
  4. Make sure your fit note is sideways or ‘landscape’.
  5. The fit note should fill as much of the photo as possible but all 4 corners should be inside it.
  6. Make sure the photo isn’t blurred.

Other ways to apply

If we didn’t convince you to send your fit note digitally, you can always post your fit note instead.

The address you should use depends on where you live.

You can find the address on any letters you’ve had about your ESA claim.

If you do not have any letters about your claim, phone Jobcentre Plus.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusions

The Send your Fit Note service is an innovative and extremely helpful digital service, that has simplified the process of claiming Employment and Support Allowance benefit.

Now you can send a fit note in just a couple of minutes, and all you have to do is take a photo and upload it.

Besides saving time, you also can be certain that the DWP has received your fit note and it looks good. 

If you have tried or are planning to sens your fit note using the online method, let us know in the comments section how was your experience and what do you think of the service. 

FAQ about sending a fit note

Where do I send a sick note for ESA?

You need to send the fit note for ESA to the DWP office dealing with your claim, the address should be on any of the letters you will have received about your ESA from the DWP. Make sure you keep a copy before you send it.

Do I still need to send sick notes for ESA?

There is no need to send fit notes for ESA if you have been placed in the support group, as you have already been found unfit for work.

You can contact the DWP and ask for more information regarding any particular case.

Can you send a sick note by post?

You can send sick notes either by post or email.

Who keeps the original sick note?

The original fit note is the one your doctor gave to you, and it’s yours to keep.

If your employer asks for the fit note, they can make a copy

Can you photocopy a sick note?

You can photocopy a sick note, it’s still valid.

However, there might be a situation where somebody will want the doctor’s original writing on the original stationery.

What is a fit note for ESA?

A fit note is an official document issued by a GP, Doctor or health professional which confirms that a patient has an illness or health condition that make them not fit for work.

People claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) must send DWP a fit note as evidence to support their claim.

Recommendations

  1. Employment and Support Allowance: A Guide to ESA for People with a Disability or Long Term Health Condition, Their Families, Carers and Advisors 
  2. Providing Employment Support for People With Long-Term Mental Illness: Choices, Resources, and Practical Strategies
  3. Leverage Your Life Skills
  4. Guide to Government Benefits: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Disability
  5. Positive Behavior Supports for Adults with Disabilities in Employment, Community, and Residential Settings

References

  1. Send your fit note for your ESA claim – GOV.UK
  2. DWP work coaches discuss the Send your fit note service
  3. When do I need a fit note? – NHS

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