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  1. Hi-I was just wondering if anyone knows how far they can actually make you travel to these appointments, at the moment they are making me travel 30 miles just to do job searches on the computer etc. its an hours drive at least cos the traffic is awful or 2hours on public transport. Also, am currently on a sanction because my wonderful "advisor" sent me an email telling me to attend the wrong office for my appointment so obviously I missed it (they have one 12 miles away from me as well but she reckons they only see esa people there...?) so obviously I have no money whatsoever until my hardship payment comes through in 2 weeks-my mum spent her last money filling up the car so I could get to my stupid appointment and so there was nothing left for parking,I was running late cos I had to drop her off at her work on the way over there and I didn't have time to park far away where it's free so I parked in a pay spot without buying a ticket thinking I'd only be quick and I could buy a ticket when they gave me the petrol money back- I told her I needed to be quick or else go and move the car and then come back but she deliberately kept me over an hour and then surprise surprise I got a parking ticket-so I went back to the office,dumped it on reception and said it was a present for the advisor,the reception lady called after me saying she cant pay it and I shouted back that I don't care it's her problem now and I can't pay it. (I then bought a parking ticket-I'm hoping if I write to the council with the ticket and an explanation they'll let me off the fine) I can't get into trouble for like harassment or something ridiculous for this can I? I was just making a point lol Its not like I was acting in a threatening way.probably the wrong thing to do though cos now she knows shes upset me
  2. Hi there, I want to give as much information as possible so i'll be as detailed as i can and i ask of you that you please take the time to read it all as it would really help me. I currently suffer from severe depression, anxiety and occasionally agoraphobia. This is mainly caused and triggered by stress and pressure and results in panic attacks and uncontrollable shaking and sweating. Was on IB for around 5 years and moved to ESA. After the inevitable but expected zero points on my ATOS/ESA assessment and a decision maker agreeing with ATOS my claim was sent to tribunal from which i was successful and placed in the ESA Wrag group. Don't have the exact dates but this would have been around March 2014. With a 12+ month prognosis. Fast forward to around November 2014 and i was referred to PeoplePlus/A4E but as they didn't have an office near me any contact was done by phone. They have since opened a local office and i have been attending appointments from around May/June 2015. So far it's been ok. I've completed one course which although it was difficult (health wise) i enjoyed it. Mainly due to the (3rd party) "teacher" being extremely pleasant and relaxed. So far my advisor has been pleasant and appears to understand what my barriers are. Though one day they'll say " you're not ready for work yet" and the next day it's "I want you to start applying for jobs soon". But now the pressure is being put on me and it's causing my health to be affected which i intend to address with them this week but first i need to get my facts and my (and there) rights correct. Ideally with the relevant DWP guidance provided. I'll try and keep it as organised as possible. 1.) The DWP guidance here (chapter 2, page 6) and here (item 44) both clearly state that a participant on ESA cannot be mandated to apply for jobs or take up work either paid or unpaid. I've seen on CAG that they can't mandate you to do job search either but i've not found any proof or guidance about this. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I've not been asked to do this yet but in conversations with other claimants i've expressed my opinion that if you can't be mandated to apply for jobs and you're not yet ready for employment then surely doing job search is not of benefit to you. I've also seen on both CAG and DWP guidelines that ESA Wrag claimants can be mandated to take up an unpaid community based placement. Yet there own guidelines state ESA claimants cannot be mandated to take up any unpaid work. Yes, i know it's meant to be confusing but can anyone advise on this? (i've not been asked to do this but it got me curious). 2.) How often should i be expected to attend "reviews"? Mine are called Employment Planning Reviews. They are mandated and at a frequency of around 1 per week. Some have been more often, i.e. One on a Friday and the next the following Wednesday. I've not had 2 in the same calendar week (i hope that makes sense). I've seen some information that says 6 in your two year period and some that say not more than one a month. I'd like to get some clarification on this. 3.) I'm being pressured into doing a course which appears to be ran by an employer i wont name but results in you applying to that company towards the end of the course. I've already said no twice but my advisor is adamant i should do it. I'm guessing i can be mandated to do the course but not mandated to submit an application. But the pressure and stress about this is already affecting my health and is causing me to feel worse. 4.) Is there any template someone can provide with which i can withdraw all phone call consent? I intend to address this vocally but would like something in writing in case i need it. I had an interview with my advisor last week during which he mentioned number 3.) above. I said no as i'm not ready yet. But. I still received a phone call yesterday (Friday) trying to pressure me into it, i said no again and they said we'll discuss it Monday. It's ruined my weekend which is now consisting of anxiety, stress and worry. Though i am quite happy to keep receiving the text message reminders of appointments. Overall, i would like some clear guidelines of what they can and cannot do. I've been ok with it so far as going out once or twice a week is slowly helping me and making some new friends (other claimants) is helping me start socialisng again. But the pressure the're starting to put on me is making me ill again and i want to stop it before it starts. I'm having a crappy weekend full of anxiety, stress and worry because of it. I don't intend to have another one. If you've made it this far, thank you! and i really appreciate any advice or experience you can provide!
  3. I've been put on the work programme with a4e and have numerous complaints against them which I am pursuing. I am on esa. Some of the complaints include the first guy I saw laughing at me, the first guy stating that 95% of the people that went there don't want to find work, the lifts being out of order for 3 weeks at least and the office is on the second floor. and on and on... One of my main concerns however ,which I am taking as far as I can including contacting newspapers, is their behavior concerning contracts and agreements. The first time I went I was given a sheet of paper to sign which luckily I noticed said 3/3 in the corner, when I asked for the other 2 pages (which he had not given me) he said we will talk about them after we sign. I told him I needed to see them before I signed… to cut a long story short I became confused and distressed and scared of getting my esa sanctioned if i did not sign.(I have mental health problems) I told him I did not understand what I was agreeing to and asked if I could take the papers away to study or get someone to help me with. He said \"no\", I ended up in tears saying I don't know what I'm signing but signing anyway. I have no idea what I signed. The second time the woman walked me to the reception desk and put some paper down and said, if you just sign this you can go, I noticed there were quite a few other papers under that one and said what are these then, I insisted I would need to read and understand ALL of the papers, by now everyone in the reception was looking at us and I think she became aware of this and said I could take them home, I jumped at the chance, she then said "there are a few things I should explain first"…. she tried to retract the offer once she had got me away from the people witnessing the event on the grounds of not wanting to damage my mental health by causing undue anxiety. at my first meeting I'd become extremely distressed and asked if i could bring someone to help me next time and he said " She will want to see you on your own the first time"... I believe they have been instructed on what words to use as, i took it as a no, which is strongly implied. I know someone who was refused the right to read the other 2 pages (who also suffers mental health problems) until after he signed, which he refused to do until he had read them, they put him down as refusal to sign and reported him to job centre, he is awaiting news on whether his benefit will be sanctioned. I believe a4e have a deliberate policy of withholding information from 'customers' , information that they are agreeing to. I would be very interested to hear if anyone else has had similar experiences of a4e. \"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.\" (Margaret Mead)
  4. Hi, id like to ask any of you kind people if you can give me some advice on my situation. Im currently in the WRAG group attending A4E, which ends in July sometime. They have done nothing for me and my condition is still the same. How do i go about claiming income based ESA? So i don't have a gap in payments. All so, if i claim income based ESA would i have to go to A4E again? Thanks in advance.
  5. Hi i am currently on ESA in WRAG and been with A4E since July 2013. I was wondering why on my appointment letters it no longer states that its mandatory does this mean i can now choose to go? just strange it doesn't say its mandatory anymore because i know that's not the case if youre in the WRAG. These guys are no help at all Thanks for reading any help is very much appreciated.
  6. Hi Everyone. The A4E Exit Report (moving on report), the one you get on your last appointment with A4E before being thrown back to the JCP. Does anyone know how many pages there should be ? I received a two page report, but googling some page I didnt bookmark said there was 7 pages, and that we only get two but the full 7 pages are sent to DWP. Ive put in a SAR with the DWP, and they say there is only two pages. So just wanted clarification that there is only two pages and not seven.
  7. Hi Everyone. Hopefully a simple question here. A WP08 form was filled out by A4E, because I turned up for a course and asked to leave 20 mins early to sign on, they reused and cancelled the course saying they would rebook. So I received a sanction doubt, replied to it but received a sanction for the whole month of Jan 2013. I put in a Subject Access Request (SAR) so I can appeal the sanction. The paperwork I have received includes all paperwork from A4E. Two sheets in particular interest me. One sheet looks like a memo, but all the details have been blanked out with two big black squares. Just as all the other A4E sheets where the A4E staff members name has been blanked out. One of these forms was a WP08, a statement of what happened when I turned up at the A4E office, and I left. The person who signed this form has had his name / email blanked out. But thankfully the DWP sent me their copy of this form showing the persons name and email. The person who signed the statement wasnt even one of the members of staff from my A4E office. So can a person, who didnt witness the actuall events, sign a form saying the contents are true and accurate ? The next point is that the staff on the WP08 form stated "The client did not turn up to the event". But I also received some more A4E screenprints, where one of the comments on the system, regarding this event states "Client arrived at office, but did not wish to stay for the course". Which is rubbish. So the local office staff have entered one comment saying I arrived at the office, but the statement states I didnt even turn up. Can I use the line that the statement has to be signed by a witness who was actually there and witnessed what happened. And can I also use the two different comments to cancel the sanction, as the two comments stated above contradict what happened. I ask because if you state specifically in a statement that "The client did not turn up for the event" then in my mind thats plain english, stating I didnt call, didnt go in and say HI, didnt just sit in the reception area and then leave or didnt even stick my head round the door and say I wasnt doing it. It states I didnt even turn up, when the other system notes state I did turn up, ie doesnt matter that the staff cancelled my appointment and said they would rebook, because its my word against theirs, but having two A4E docs stating completely different comments should be a good reason to appeal. Thanks Phillip
  8. Hi, This is my first post. I'm in the Work Group for ESA and I've got to sign up with a Work Group provider. In Edinburgh there is A4e (who I've heard not good things about here), Igneous and Remploy. Does anyone know if Igneous or Remploy are good/bad in Edinburgh? My health is improving slowly and I am keen to get back to work when I feel I can manage it. Many Thanks.
  9. sunnysue


    I,m currently in the work related activity group of ESA. My job centre advisor has told me I have to go to a "information session" with A4E. Because I have a 24mth prognosis, he says I can't be forced to go with them. But I have to attend the information session and then choose whether I want to go with A4E or stay with the job centre advisor. I haven't got a clue what would be best, so if anyone has any experience of A4E I would love to hear it please. I have to make it known though that it's not an easy option to stay with my job centre advisor. Every time I see him I get hints of sanctions thrown at me. I dread every meeting I have with him. He doesn't seem to make any allowances for my health problems at all. Anyone?
  10. My brother has been sanctioned for not answering his phone. It was a review by A4E and he was not informed he was being called (a4e says he got sent a letter but he didn't) and when they did call his phone was turned off as he was visiting our father hospital and as it was the cardiac unit it was necessary to switch his phone off. They say that he isn't entitled to hardship payments and should go to a charity for food, while that idea is fine he has missed job interviews as he can't charge his phone and has no way of showering or cleaning clothes for his interviews anyway. The CAB were pretty useless in that they just reiterated what the jobcentre said. I am financially unable to help and live miles away. Only other family is our dad who's in hospital. He has to miss seeing his son at the weekends due to this and his ex will use this a leverage to stop my brother seeing his child again. Can anyone help?
  11. http://www.channel4.com/news/emma-harrison-im-a-useful-face-to-have-a-go-at Link says it all
  12. Hi, new here and first post so be gentle I have been on A4e for a few months and haven't had much luck with getting a job. However i've still always turned up to every single appointment and job search they have given me. So it was a surprise that i got a letter saying i have a doubt against my claim for missing a job search appointment on the 3rd of September. Reading the letter it said i was informed on the 28/8/2012 of the appointment. Now this is false, i did have to see my advisor but she didn't tell me about the appointment, the only thing she handed me was my letter telling me of the next one-to-one. What's worrying me is how can i prove they didn't contact me? To be fair my advisor wrote me a letter saying i have never missed a session before and i included that in the evidence i supplied to the DMA but i'm still worried. I haven't had the decision yet but i really can't afford any sanction and have hardly slept. Anyone have any similar stories of being told about appointments when they didn't? Any help is appreciated.
  13. I have just (today) received a letter from a4e informing me that an appointment had been arranged for yesterday and I had failed to attend and that Jobcentreplus would be informed and the possible outcome of sanctions explained. (As if I hadn't had this threat rammed at me constantly since "joining" work programme!) The only reminder of this appointment in my possession is a letter given to me on my first appointment with a4e dated 2/7/12 This letter has four different dates on it for four appointments in the following order: Friday 13/7/12 Info session Friday 17/8/12 With a specific adviser Tuesday 2/7/12 Job search Tuesday 7/8/12 Job search At the end of my last visit I was told "see you in a fortnight" (Tuesday 21/8/12) as the guy running the session had decided fortnightly jobsearches were all that they require from me (I volunteer for CAB 2 days a week) I remarked at the time (and showed the appointments to the adviser) of the chaotic nature of the letter and suggested they ought to use proper appointment cards to avoid confusion! Unfortunately this is exactly what happened. Obviously I will challenge any sanction given (I aint a CAB adviser for nothing!) but just wondered if anyone might have "heads up" on reasoning for challenging a sanctions decision in my case? My only ideas are the chaotic state of the original letter and my busy schedule with CAB (I also assess people for a foodbank on a 3rd day per week as a CAB adviser) I feel like I am battling DWP 24/7 for others but when it comes to my own problems I get sooooooooo depressed!!!!!! And it would happen at a weekend!!!!!
  14. Hello all, this is the first time ive used this website (infact, today is the first time ive even heard of it!) First a little information. To start, both me AND my brother are on Jobseekers allowance (there is little work we are qualified for in our area, gets snapped up quickly, meaning that alot of people are still looking for work, the jobs available are stuff like HGV drivers, Electricians etc, which both me and my brother are unqualified for) We have both been referred to the A4E work program, and A4E has been doing nothing but mess around with me and brother because they send us Letters saying we had missed appointments that we never get told about! The Jobcenter one day told me that i should contact A4E to arrange an appointment myself, which i did and attended, when there i made sure they had my contact information (address etc) correct, which they did, so i told then that because id not been recieving letters i would like them to email me all my appointments etc, which they told me was no problem, but today I have recieved an Email stating that i had missed an appointment yesterday (Monday the 6th) which they told me about in a letter (which, i had NOT recieved), and that I am being Sanctioned for 6months?? Is this level of incompetence normal for A4E?! or are they doing it on purpose to try and get people off JSA?! I emailed the A4E employee who emailed me about the sanction, asking if they can send me copies of the letters i have apperantly been sent, i will post here with the response i recieve. Is there anything i can do about this stupidity?
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