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worries job centre will sanction me as limited in job options after involved in RTA that has left me too scared to drive

(56 Posts)
stuckinthevalleyshelp Sat 09-May-15 19:06:43

Sorry I've had to name change for this as I think I will be torn to bits and a bit scared that I'll look like an entitled brat.

I used to travel 50 miles to work each way in a job that was OK but didn't love it. One morning there was an impatient driver behind me that was driving far too close and looking like he wanted to overtake. Even though it was on a stretch were there was no overtaking. After a few mins I reduced my speed as he pulled out trying to overtake. He did so and unfortunately there was a car coming the other way very quickly and they had a horrific collision that caused a fatality and a life changing condition. I got caught up and had several injury's that although not life changing I was signed off work for a few months. Although I feel responsible for this I was cleared of any blame what so ever. But still I feel that if I had of kept my speed or increased it then this wouldn't of happened.

When it came time to return to work I just couldn't face driving again. Work were understanding for a while, then my employment was terminated.

I've been on JSA, CTS and housing benefit for almost 18 months now. I agree to look for a job within a 3 hour daily bus ride. Unfortunately the buses are slow and with multiple companies you can't get very far in this time. I've had very little luck getting and job and the money I have to live off doesn't even cover the basics so I've just about eaten up all of my savings. Unfortunately I now don't have the money together to get a deposit if I wanted to move. Not sure I could live off this money for much longer now my savings are gone, but there is very little locally for work. Just signing on costs 13 pounds in bus fares and there is no help for a bus pass.

If I could get into the city I probably would be able to get a job but I still don't feel ready yo drive and can't ever see myself doing it again.

Aibu to still not want to drive?

whathavewedonenow99 Sat 09-May-15 19:13:33

YANBU. Maybe a driving refresher course would help with your anxiety. Slightly off topic but I think people who are on JSA and have to get public transport to sign on should be given bus passes. £13.00 is a lot!

Neme Sat 09-May-15 19:23:16

Can you just say you have a driving licence but no access to a car?
Or go to your GP and be assessed as having PTSD and unable to drive for that reason?

WhereIsMYJonathanSmith Sat 09-May-15 19:28:53

Can I ask if you got any compensation if you were involved through no fault of your own?

I sympathise. I was involved in a collision when a driver decided to change lanes suddenly. It shook my confidence for almost 12 months.

As for sanctions.... you are probably right IME. sad

Kayakwonder Sat 09-May-15 19:49:44

flowers That sounds awfully traumatic OP. I think PPs are right:
A) see GP as you need diagnosis for PTSD
And in the meantime
B) tell jobcentre you do not own a car and cannot afford to buy one

stuckinthevalleyshelp Sun 10-May-15 06:36:18

Thanks girls, I actually don't have access to a car anymore - wrote off my car and although I had money through to buy another I never did and now I've burnt through it. I got about 18000 that sounds like alot but really wasn't St all, I spent a lot on physo and had to spend most of it before I even could receive any benefits. I just feel so stuck, can't move and cans get a job and now I'm living on benefits and at the mercy of what ever change come in

FishWithABicycle Sun 10-May-15 06:50:23

Yanbu to have been traumatised by this and Yanbu to not want to drive any more but yabu to have burned through your savings without making any changes to allow you to function without driving and without relying on benefits. If there are no jobs within a non-car commute of your home then clearly you need to move. Yes you'll need to scrape together 2 month's rent for initial rent and deposit - you can get a good way there by eBaying off some stuff you don't need, and you might find there is some help available if you genuinely can't (try Citizens Advice for accessing what help might be available).

I'm not unsympathetic, I realise you've had a very tough time. But sanctions seem to me the correct response to someone not trying to actively make any changes to increase their chances of ever being self-supporting if such changes are possible.

NRomanoff Sun 10-May-15 06:51:10

Tbh if you don't have access to car you don't have access to a car. If you are applying for jobs within that 3 hour radius, why would they sanction you?

Are there trains that will be quicker or allow you to travel further or into the city?

TRexingInAsda Sun 10-May-15 06:51:42

The jobcentre will not expect everyone to have/drive a car!!

But do see if the GP can arrange some counselling or something for you. xx

Jengnr Sun 10-May-15 06:59:00

You have to be willing to travel 90 minutes each way using public transport. If you are willing to do that they can't (and won't) sanction you for it.

That isn't your issue though is it? Your issue is that you can't afford to live on JSA and there are mo jobs in your area which leaves you with very limited options.

If moving is something you would consider do you have a local Bond Board who you could speak to in order to look at moving or one in the area you would like to move to. Alternatively try councils and HAs in the new area and see if there is anything they can do for you. Definitely contact your doctor and see if there is any support there too.

Incidentally why did you have to spend your savings on physio? Did you not get help through the NHS?

pudcat Sun 10-May-15 07:15:48

Could you not claim for physio on the at fault drivers insurance. When I had my accident I was told to claim for everything including painkillers. £18000 would have got you a good deposit to move if you had claimed medical expenses. It took me a long time to drive again and mine was not as serious as that. Perhaps a course of refresher driving lessons would help.

CrockedPot Sun 10-May-15 07:17:01

I too can sympathise with the driving fear. Two years ago I was involved in an accident that put my son in ICU and left me with minor physical injuries but a world of anxiety.
The first time I drove, after the accident, I managed to get round the block, and took it from there. I had flashbacks for a long time, and considered therapy, but managed to overcome it. There was no way I could have afforded to not work, it came down to pure necessity.
If you can't get counselling to help with your phobia, your only option may be to move, but if you were my friend in RL I would be urging you to get help and move on and not become a prisoner of your own fear. Good luck, you can still turn it round.

ConnortheMonkey Sun 10-May-15 07:22:53

Gosh you poor thing. I want to say that I think slowing down was absolutely the right thing to do in the circumstances. You could have had much worse injuries if you had speeded up or kept you speed. He has already started a dangerous maneouvere and slowing down is absolutely right to reduce the possibility of a crash or the severity of a crash. You should not feel responsible for trying to prevent the overtaking driver from a irresponsible move, he probably would have continued the overtake if you had speeded up or kept your speed but the collision would then have happened at an even higher speed and there could have been more deaths.

YANBU you have very good reasons for not wanting to drive and I don't think the job centre can sanction you if you are travelling within their specified limits for public transport.

But please approach your GP to be referred for some counselling as it would improve your life if you were able to drive again in the future.

Lagoonablue Sun 10-May-15 07:24:46

You have to be willing to travel 90 mins on public transport? Really? Bloody hell I didn't know that. That is ridiculous. What if you have to use child care? It stops at 6, I wouldn't be back in time.

Sorry for hijacking but honestly.......I expect more of the same stupid rules as welfare reforms bite harder.

FWIW I would ask your GP for support if necessary and if you haven't got a car now, what is the issue?

sockmatcher Sun 10-May-15 07:26:34

You have a travel to work area. Think it's an hour or 90 minutes like prev poster Said.

I'd be pushing for compensation on the physio front and getting counselling too.

stuckinthevalleyshelp Sun 10-May-15 07:36:49

Thanks everyone, I couldn't get any more physo on the NHS so paid for it privately without thinking I would need the money later. Not sure I can get anymore, think I signed to say I was happy with the compensation and no more grevences. Something I regret now but it sounded a lot at the moment.

Seen my doctor many times, I'm unable to get counciling as apparently its very expensive and open ended so not possible. What I have had is two courses of CBA that was helpful but long term hasn't resolved anything.

I might have been w bit too honest with the JC+ , I could have access to drive my mums car but I just don't want to drive still. Petrified they could try to make me drive 3 hours a day to look for work if new laws come in.

Yes I shouldn't of spent all the money but I had no idea I would be without an income for so long. How on earth will sanctioning me be the right thing? I can barely live off what I have at the moment, sanctioning me will just force me to beg / borrow / steal as what else can I do?!

OatcakeCravings Sun 10-May-15 08:00:07

I think that you will have to move nearer a city. I know that's rubbish but if there are no jobs locally its your only option.

AuntieStella Sun 10-May-15 08:10:04

If the crash has left you with excessive anxiety, then you need to see your GP for investigations. Not all MH issues arising from an incident are PTSD (which is a specific diagnosis, not a catch-all for anything that happens after a trauma).

Even if you are on a waiting list for treatment, it will demonstrate that you are serious about tackling it and should remove the expectation that you would drive, either to a job or as part of a job.

You can short cut the 'to a job' bit by saying you have no access to a car. But that won't cover driving a company vehicle. And doesn't solve your public transport problems.

I agree with the previous poster who said that if lack of public transport is having such a major and negative impact, then you need to put your main efforts into moving to somewhere that suits your needs better - either by having better transport links or by being a big enough town/city that you can do everything on foot. This will transform your employment opportunities too.

Much job hunting can be done online, so there really shouldn't be a need to sanction you at this stage. Keep evidence of all your enquiries and applications.

And we're there local elections for you last week? If so, get on to your new councillor first thing and make your voice heard about transport issues, for you won't be the only one affected by the poor level of service in your area. There are limits to what councils can do, but are they doing everything they can?

samithesausage Sun 10-May-15 08:28:20

I think you need to be on esa (employment support allowance) instead of jsa. One of the posters suggested you may have ptsd.

ConnortheMonkey Sun 10-May-15 08:28:50

Just say your circumstances have changed and your mum is no longer able to lend you her car. They can't force you to buy a car!

LIZS Sun 10-May-15 08:32:41

Have you been offered retraining so that your skills are more appropriate for work in your local area? Fees should be discounted for JSA/ESA claimer. Agree re esa, there will be a support group aiming to help you back to work , with adjustments if needs be.

BeaufortBelle Sun 10-May-15 08:38:57

I am very sorry about your accident and understand completely that you don't want to drive again. However, you received compensation and you spent it all. You should have moved closer to town when you had the opportunity or at least have set some of the money aside to do so. I think you should move back in with your mum whilst you save up the money for a deposit on a flat which is closer to where work is available.

Oldsu Sun 10-May-15 08:57:24

If you read the link you will see that there is indeed help for JSA claimants did your JC actually tell you that there as no help or just not mention it and you didn't do your own research?

As for fares prices, have you actually looked at weekly/monthly fares in your area or are you just assuming that as it cost £13 or a once fortnightly trip to the JC then that's what its going to cost per day when you are working.

Let me give you a perfect example A friend lives on the IOW where the bus fares are amongst the highest in the country with single fares at £4.50 and daily rovers £10, as she used to walk into work and only got a bus to shop, she ASSUMED that's what she would have to pay when she lost her job and was expected to seek work Island wide, of course the reality was totally different a weekly pass is £25 with the 50% JSA discount that took it down to £12.50 a week, OK a lot when on JSA but nowhere near the £9/10 a day that she assumed she would have to pay.

Now she is back working and has to travel to work by bus, she uses a key card which takes her fares down to £3 a day.

stuckinthevalleyshelp Sun 10-May-15 09:17:37

Not sure I will ever be able to get ESA, sounds very difficult for them to allow it for what is now q mental problem and not physical.

Oldsu there is no help what so ever for the busses! There is a JSA discount card but around here that only works for the trains and as there isnt a train station anywhere nearby it is useless. The buses are so expensive as I have to use two different bus companies to get about. Buying monthly or weekly tickets for both companies is 67 / 212. Trust me I've looked into it and its just too expensive and no discount at all for JSA!!

Stitchintime1 Sun 10-May-15 09:26:16

You poor thing. It sounds as if you will have to move into a town/city. And it's tough to make big changes when you are already feeling a bit fragile. Do you know people in nearby places? Could you start by looking online or registering with agencies? Worrying about how benefit sanctions might affect you will only make you worse.

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