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  1. Not sure if this has been mentioned yet but just been on the Universal Job match website and saw this : Universal Jobmatch will be replaced by the Find a job service on 14 May 2018. Important: If you have an existing Universal Jobmatch account it will not move to the new service. Save any information you want to keep, like your CV, cover letters and application history by 17 June 2018.
  2. Sent my appeal off with some brief details of why i was appealing , Had a Letter from DWP confirming that they received my appeal, and about how much ESA i will get until it's heard, But so far over 1mth since requesting the full written statement of the Atos wca Form IB /ESA85, But so far i have not been sent it, The person that i recently spoke with from DWP ,Confirmed that they could see that i had previously requested it, but could not understand why i had not yet received it, What can be done to force them to supply this info,(assuming it actually exists) ?
  3. Hi, I work a 6 week rotating rota - contract is 37.5 hours a week . Every 15 weeks we are given a "training day" which is 11 hours ( our shifts are 12 hours) . So around 2 1/2 training days a year which we are paid for and are expected to use to cover various mandatory and voluntary courses related to our line of work . It is our responsibility to arrange this training and if you start to owe the company training days e.g. not using them , they can tell you when and what you are doing as you owe them these days as your paid for them ! Anyways i am a good boy and use my training days as soon as i get them and more to the point i do not owe any training days until 2019 ! (we can carry them over as "credit" ) Now we are getting a barrage of emails telling us that we have to do two MANDATORY training days in the next 2 months - i have highlighted to my managers i will obviously attend but only when i am roistered to work , i am being told this is not allowed and that i will have to attend and i can have it as ToiL Before i start getting into a big row with them (getting no replies from union reps ) , am i in the right here or could i be forced to attend these mandatory courses in my own time ?
  4. Currently running at 87% of decisions same as original DM decision because.... This folks is why you should ignore the DWP and appeal! I'll give DWP DMs the benefit of the doubt here as although my last MR for DLA was refused.... the Mandatory Reconsideration DM actually didn't write against my new lower award but how I could win at appeal! Bizarre but true ! Reddit thread Rightsnet thread https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/11271/
  5. Hi all, I have recently had yet another WCA and have been placed into the WRA group, obviously this is not the worst decision that I could have got but I was previously (from a WCA only a year earlier) in the care group. I don't understand why I have been moved down a tier after only recently having been moved up, I have been getting ESA WRA for years and have previously been in the care group many, many years ago and have had periods of bouncing back and forth between JSA and ESA under ATOS, the point being, my condition back then should have had me in the care group, but ATOS... and although things have been getting better gradually over the years I still have years of recovery ahead of me, which I thought had finally been reflected in me being put in the care group, but now no longer! The thing is, I provided the exact same information this time as i did last time, I told them that my condition was unchanged, and that it's not going to change if an ESA50 lands on my doormat 6 months after every decision (btw, it took another 6 months from sending in my ESA50 to getting an interview, so that was half a year of barely contained nervous breakdown and another big hit to my recovery). In my ESA50 I stated that given that they are making a decision based on the same set of rules, using the same information, speaking to the same person with the same condition, then making any decision that differs from the last time would be a logical fallacy. The implication of that of course being that if all the factors remain the same then the outcome should remain the same, if it does not then it implies incompetence, dishonesty, fundamental flaws in the system or simply that the decision has been unduly influenced by the personal feelings of the assessors and/or decision makers, it was only implied, but I don't think they liked that...I can't escape the feeling that they know I am not fit for work and have bumped me down a notch out of spite because they don't like being told what to do, even when they know it's perfectly logical and the correct course of action. Pointless though it is anyway. I know what will happen, I'll go to a WRA interview, the conclusion will be reached that they should just leave me alone to recover on my own time and if I want help I will ask for it, and that will be that, same as the last 3 times. Essentially all they have done is cut my income for no good reason, at a time when I actually need that extra due to a drop in our household income, and moreover, they are giving me less to live on while requiring me to shell out extra travel expenses for WRA? wtf? Initial ramble over with, and thanks if you've read this far, I will now endeavor to get to the point. I want to ask for Mandatory Reconsideration but I have a fear that if I do so then they will yet again reinterpret the same information and somehow come up with a way of throwing me back into JSA hell again, and I don't think I can take that, in fact I know I can't. If that were to happen now, i'd lose my mind, my home, my friends lives (who share my home) would be turned upside down too and I'd likely end up back on the streets, living in a forest and selling the big issue again, i'm basically on the edge here, i'm at a turning point in my life where things could start to get much better, or they could get much much worse, and the decisions that influence that are out of my control. Sorry for the ramble, but I can't take my meds til this is done, my question is, has this ever happened to anyone? Asking for reconsideration and ending up with a worse result? Second question, the sticky on MRs states that benefit payments will stop while the reconsideration is going on, I understand that there are different rules for differing circumstances but the CAB website says that I will continue to get ESA while the process is carried out, can someone clarify this for me, will I retain my ESA while asking for MR? will it be at the same WRA rate or will it be cut? One final thought, if my benefits will be cut in any way then I simply cannot afford to ask for MR, seems like an effective deterrent to fair treatment to me, ahem, but is it possible, under those conditions, to make a formal protest without asking for MR? e.g. I have them send me the reports from this and the previous WCA, I pick them to pieces and write up a statement elucidating where they are right and where they are wrong and why the decision is unfair (or indeed fair, i am prepared to concede to a logical argument) but with a clear caveat that this is for the benefit of informing future assessments and I cannot at this time financially afford to ask for a MR as any cut to my household income would be harmful. Would there be any point to this? do the WCA people even look at past decisions and evidence?. So to sum up: 1. Has anyone ever had a MR return a worse result than the one you were appealing? 2. What happens to my ESA WRA payments while in MR? 3. Is there any point in making a formal protest if I cannot ask for MR? If you got this far then thanks again for sticking with it, I do tend to produce TLDR walls of text. Any input will be greatly appreciated, I only have the next few days to decide what to do. Thanks again, Stu.
  6. Ingeus have mandated me to send out 40 speculative letters a week. I have to bring in 40 pre addressed envelopes each week with a covering letter and CV enclosed. They then take them away saying they will stamp and post them. I have issues with this and wish to lodge an objection based on the section in the WPG https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/505310/wp-pg-chapter-3a.pdf Which states: Please Note : Do not notify a participant to apply for multiple vacancies on one notification - you must issue a separate notification for each vacancy . So my question is should that also apply to them mandating me to send out speculative letters? One mandate per speculative letter ? I asked for a reconsideration as I feel it is not only a waste of time, I cannot find 40 business addresses that are within my range and would be viable job prospects let alone 160 which will be the total they are expecting as this activity lasts a month, I can send off to businesses that I have no hope of securing jobs with and quickly fill my quota but that would be pointless. I asked if my advisor could help with producing a list but they said it was my job to do that and lastly I am suspicious that they did not post my speculative letters at all and binned them to save postage, how would I go about proving this, I sneakily put one in with my friends address and it never arrived.
  7. i had a mandatory reconsideration for backdating of my JSA, the decision maker decided in my favour so i will be paid 29 days im owed. I was told by about 7-8 advisors that if they changed the decision in my favour it could be actioned as a same day payment because i've been without for so long. i spoke to the benefit centre today and they have said even though it has been ruled in my favour they have to contact the job centre regarding "labour market laws" and that it will be around another week before i am paid anything. who is correct? its been about 6 weeks now and we've been living off about £20 or less a week to feed/keep warm etc myself and 2 kids under 7 so we're desperate for this money
  8. Hi, I have called the DWP on a number of occasions now in relation to ESA and everytime I've ended up in an argument with them about whether medicals are largely a mandatory part of the process. Some staff state categorically to me that everyone has to go for a medical, some say that only the terminally ill don't have to attend them. I have generally remained calm when they've stated this but it really infuriates me when they keep pushing the point. I have been awarded ESA a couple of times without having to attend a medical at all and I am not terminally ill. I state this to them and they still tell me I'm wrong.... I know that many people are awarded ESA simply on the basis of the ESA50 or that plus medical evidence which is obvious just from a quick internet search. please check this benefits and work link (what's all this Disney busines?) co.uk/news/2706-no-wca-medical-for-almost-three-quarters-of-esa-claimants Have the rules recently been changed? I was awarded ESA without a medical a couple of years ago. It really infuriates me when DWP staff will not listen to what you're saying and are adamant that what they're saying is true, even when presented with figures to the contrary. Their general tone from the outset is incredibly disrespectful and argumentative. At first I thought this was a one off case but whenever I call I get the same sort of response and normally they just end up hanging up the phone.
  9. I wanted to know what the new rules are with regards to withdrawing consent for the WP to share your info/contact people on your behalf/claim their fat payment for my hard work when I get a job .. as I am sure I read it had changed since last year, also coincidentally each time I attend a review meeting I get loads of spammy job/credit emails in the weeks after which seems a little timely!! Am getting increasingly fed up with the WP provider, by and large I have had a year of having to attend weekly job clubs with slow computers and the like but since I hit the year mark it seems to have ramped up big time, I have a good work history with good companies and a degree and the minute my latest advisor saw it his eyes lit up and I have been pestered left right and centre. I was upped to two job clubs a week and also appointments/training sessions/interview techniques etc on one or more additional days a week and it was getting silly and made me ill so I had two weeks off with stress symptoms. I then had more blinking appointments and changes to my job clubs and was told a few weeks back at 1pm on a Monday that I was to stay after job club that day for extra sessions looking into agencies and applying for more jobs for 2 hours each day that week (mysteriously my letter had 'got lost in the post' telling me this), I kicked up a bit of a stink as I am a single parent and said I had to pick my son up from school at 3 so those times were unsuitable, so with a bit of looking at bus timetables he relented to sessions from 1-2.30 each afternoon that week which was still pushing it as am reliant on public transport which is never the best, I attended the first and then had enough, got upset (I am on antidepressants and suffering severe anxiety at the moment relating to a thyroid condition I have just been diagnosed with) and I decided to get another doctors note for 2 weeks. During this two weeks I had a letter from them saying I had to come in during that time and I politely told him NO, the day my sick period ended there arrived a letter saying I had to attend a review appointment in 2 days time and I just knew he was going to mess me about, sure enough on the Friday afternoon at the appt he says I need to up my attendance to daily sessions of 4 hours, which means dropping my son at school, a 45 min bus journey there, then getting back in just enough time to pick him up, I protested that I had a PC at home and why did I need to do all this on their premises and he said I might 'get distracted' at home (as opposed to their noisy office of course!!), that I had appts to arrange and so on which were being neglected due to them calling me in all the time willy nilly saying they are mandatory and have to attend, and he said as I was a jobseeker I should jobseek during those hours, I have no prob doing this, my JSA agreement says 5 jobs a week and they say 10 which I do easily and have never not done, he is also pressurising me to do full time work/get a better off calculation for FT work, which my JSA flexibilities say I don't have to pursue due to being a lone parent, there is no mention of any beneficial training, and any suggestions for that or clothing for interviews have been shot down in flames, its just flaming jobsearching in their offices every day, presumably so I can't attend any interviews without them knowing and that I get fed up with the arrangement. Its not as if I am not trying to get a job, I have had about 6 interviews in the last few months but none successful, am really fed up with the situation with the WP and its making me feel worse, we are reviewing the situation tomorrow after my session and I know he is prob going to suggest the same again next week when I have 2 inset days at my sons school, I really just resent the fact that they think they can pressure me like this and assume I have no plans for the week or anything else to do, and then get a nice big payment for MY efforts at the end of it all so want to know what my rights are, unfortunately at the beginning I signed all their docs as I was being too blinking nice!! PS. Sorry this is a bit of a rant having looked at it, but felt good to vent!!
  10. I recieved a new MAN today saying I have to start a new course on wednesday for 3 hours for next 6 weeks I am on e.s.a wrag group this is really stressing me out as I have no idea what this entails, Its the lenght of the course thats getting to me the most I have had to sit in this place is an hour I asked when I spoke for more info on this so called course but the advisor didnt have any information on it - or didn't provide any with the MAN I received today. Am I right in thinking I can refuse to do this course as this did not provide any information as to what will be happening on this course - what i am expected to do etc... all it says is ;- Steps to excellence (other) no other information about it - don't know if this is even suitable for me any advice would be greatly appreciated thanks
  11. Hello. I am currently getting income based JSA for about 1 year now. I stay with my mum, But all of a sudden my mum is saying i need to pay £27 towards to rent as the council will only pay £109. So why now do i need to pay. I have a brother who gets ESA, and my mum gets income support. What are causing the housing benefit deduction, My brother only started claiming ESA this year in march, And all of a sudden the housing benefit is cut. So could someone help me because i am getting the impression the cut is because of me but i have been getting jsa for around a year and my mum has been getting full housing benefit since untill now.
  12. Hi guys, So 3 months ago I was made redundant from my job, it was a good run while it latest but I knew it'd be a sort of year or 2's worth of work. So I've been claiming for 3 moths and I assume I've just hit the 13 week marker this week for MWA (Says in guidance notes people are generally not referred before week 13). My advisor has instantly sent me on it and I've personally no idea why. When reading the MWA guidance it is for people who perhaps struggle with the discipline of a job etc, well none of thta fits me because I've been working before this for quite a while. I've just had a hard time finding work again as I've moved back to my home town and it's a small place not really much going on around here.... but I didn't have much of a choice. I don't understand how MWA is supposed to give me any useful experience. She just said it was because of a potential gap in my CV growing.... yeah like 4 weeks of random work will stop that. Has anyone gone through this and what should I expect? it says the maximum is 30 hours a week so I assume 6hrs of work a day? How do they expect me to continuously fill out application forms and write covering letters for "5 hours of jobsearch activity" whilst working near full time? Also what kind of placements can expect to do? it just says placements that offer "benefit to the community". I don't want to do something for 4 weeks I feel will offer me zero benefit....if it's something of use then that's fine I can just complete the 4 weeks but my worry is searching for work whilst doing it.
  13. I have had to sign up using a new username as I couldn't gain access to my old account. I had forgotten my password and didn't have access to the email address I used. My old username was Deco_Nic I signed on yesterday (Tuesday) and it didn't go well. My new advisor was sat there but I was actually dealt with by the Jobcentre manager. Firstly I had my jobsearch evidence questioned. I stated I didn't give access to my UJ account and present it hadnwritten as I always had, I was told this wasn't good enough, lucky as I had been assigned a new advisor the fortnight before I had printed off my activity from UJ. This printout was closely scruntnised. The manager picked up on I had not applied for any jobs actually using UJ, I only apply to jobs that take me to external sites. They were not happy about this and kept questioning me as to why I would not use UJ. I was getting myself extremely distressed, I suffer with despression and anxiety. I had to call my friend over who I take with me to try and explain things as I could not speak as I was crying and gasping for breath. The issue of jobsearch evidence was dropped and I was told it had been decided I was being referred for Mandatory Work Activity, it was something that had been decided with no discussion with me. As I say only two weeks previously I had been assigned a new advisor who said I would be given many opportunities once we had got to know each other. As I was so distressed from the jobseatch evidence incident, I wasn't taking in anything that was said. I was giving a letter saying I had been referred and I would hear from the provider, LearnDirect I believe, within 8 working days. The one question I did get to ask was about college, I have an interview on Thursday to start a part time Access to HE course at the beginning of next week, its so I would be able to go to university next September. The course has 15 hours of teaching and the college said that many unemployed take courses of 15 hours with no problems. I was told that MWA takes priority and I would not be allowed to take the course now I am referred and I would have to take it the next time the course is run, that is next September. I was told that MWA was my only option. I had wanted to discuss with my advisor about starting my own business that I would be able to do alongside college and the university. I had read about New Enterprise Allowance and wanted to ask about it but didn't even get a chance. All the manager could say is that they suffer with depression and anxiety and hold down a full time job and MWA would do me good. They even suggested it would help get me into university next year as I would be more confident. I just feel totally railroaded and like my thoughts did not count at all. Is there anything that I can do or do I just accept MWA and that I won't be going to university until 2017 at the earliest? Also were they correct in saying I would not be able to do this college course? To be honest I feel on the scrapheap and not allowed to retrain for the job I have wanted to do for years but until earlier this year not had the guts to go for. Thanks for any advice
  14. Last month I sent a letter of mandatory reconsideration to challenge a benefit decision. The decision did not involve a sanction. I have received no acknowledgement by now. I have spoken to the benefit centre and they phoned me back saying that they have not received my letter (I have proof of signature) and as long as they are concerned there is nothing I can do. Is this right? Shouldn't I be entitled to have my case reconsidered? What should I do? Is this the latest trend at the DWP? What is the procedure? Thanks.
  15. I have learnt the it is the governments intention to allow learndirect ( a profit making college that sells educational courses) to force the unemployed to take its courses and pay for them out of their benefits whether they want to take them or not or lose their entire benefits. I don't know about you but this looks to me like a massive failure of human rights and makes a mockery of any pretence that consumers are protected in the UK. How can they do this? This is like me arriving at your door to tell you that unless you buY this CAR/TV FROM ME YOU WILL LOSE YOUR INCOME BY LAW!
  16. I applied for PIP in Nov 2013 had my medical 11 months later which I failed. I asked for a mandatory reconsideration and submitted new/supporting evidence, sent recorded. Just been told this evidence has been lost, so there is nothing new showing on their system, I am going to get a failed because of this. Is there anything I can do about this, I have asked my CPN if she can send it again, but this is beyond belief. It took me ages to get that letter, it's not easy for me asking for help, saying nothing for what it is doing to my MH. I cannot believe they can lose such valuable paperwork.
  17. Hello people Thank you for your help on my other thread Now i have a new issue:shock: I am with a jobcoach and he said that i havent worked for just over one year ago. so then i asked what does this mean he said that if his manager agrees that i would have to do It and if i dont they will stop my money. I told him this was somthing i dont agree to and that its slave labour and a breech of my human rights. The advicer said its wellfare and if his manager says i have to do it i have to do it. he did not understand why i wasnt happy I said why would i work beside someone thats earning money and i am not. I have done a bit of research online and people say charity shops are in on it. I thought i would be good to help out but why when forced in to something I dont want to do, I told him that i would work for minimum wage only as its in human rights act under slave labour do you people think there is anywhere around this and could i sue them and any provider as i do not consent to slavery Thanks for and advice
  18. Hi all I am new As title says I went for my assessment on March 11th after waiting 8 months for it and got a Call from DWP today saying Atos have declared me "Fit to Work" and as such I am not entitled to any ESA payments I asked for a Mandatory reassessment and was told this can take up to if not more than 6 weeks for a decision and until then I cannot start the appeal process. I understand when that starts I can get put on the assessment rate of ESA while the appeal goes through the slow process of getting to the tribunal. My problem is I cannot afford to have No money coming in for those 6 weeks and was told that my only access to benefits is to sign on and claim JSA while the Decision Maker takes another look at my case. I suffer with chronic back pain and suspected Spinal nerve Damage (Waiting on MRI scan at the Hospital needs to be done under anesthetic as I am claustrophobic and have a number of Medical phobias) and cannot walk for more than 50 yards cannot stand or sit for longer than 10-15 minutes without significant Pain. I am worried about being able to convince Job Center that i am well enough to claim Job Seekers Allowance and also worried that by claiming I will hurt my appeal process I was told as soon as Tribunal has received my appeal that ESA would automatically be reinstated and I would not have to sign off job seekers allowance as the switch back to assessment rate would all be done automatically is it a Good idea first to sign on Job Seekers Allowance and second to trust what DWP have said? Won't signing on Job Seekers Allowance be like admitting they were right to say I'm fit and are there ANY other choices open to me? I have no Family or support network to help me through 6 weeks of no money for Food Electric Sorry for the wall of Text but i just dont know what to do
  19. hi i am a 59 years old unemployed male. and have just been told next week i will see an adviser who will sort out a Mandatory Work Activity for me. i will have to go on a 4 weeks Mandatory Work Activity course.i told my adviser i do not want shop work .he said there is a variety of work activities to go on besides shop work. and said it will be explained to me later, any one know which other Mandatory Work Activities there are apart from charity shops. as i have trouble with my right leg from an old motor cycle injury. so it will be uncomfortable to stand for long periods. and also they think this Mandatory Work Activity will help me in my job search.
  20. Hi, So thought I'd make a separate thread outside of post work programme support to try and garner more attention specifically to MWA. I've been sent on this, apparently it lasts for 4 weeks. No biggie and apparently they say it'll be charity based work. Now I was thinking oh good stacking shelves at a charity shop or something that'll be OK, and apparently I can carry on with it after 4 weeks. So I thought good an easy way to get into some weekly charity work. But apparently no, it'll be stuff like picking litter or working in a recycling centre anything basically. So then I sort of questioned the usefulness of this scheme and concluded it's just not designed to give you any useful experience or anything like that. It's just to put you to work for a bit, end of story and hopefully force you to sign off or something along those lines. Has anyone else been assigned mandatory work activity yet? what have your experiences been? how long does yours last for and what are you doing?
  21. Hi Guys, Just got a letter stating that I failed my ESA medical and now have to wait for a call before I can appeal under mandatory consideration. I have been told it can be up to 14 days before I can appeal for the tribunal stage. I just had a few questions - 1. I was just wondering if it is worth claiming JSA in the mean time? 2. How long do the DWP usually take before getting back to you? 3. Do they backdate any payments if you decide to go to tribunal appeal? Any help/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks,
  22. Hello. I'm a Post Work Program JS claimant (I finished the Work Program around two months ago). At my last signing an advisor told me that ticking the consent boxes allowing the JC access to my Universal Jobmatch account and to receive emails from DWP is now mandatory. My understanding is that this is not the case, and that I cannot be forced to give consent to access, due to data protection laws. Has this rule changed recently, or was the advisor lying to me? The information I can find online on the consent issue mostly dates from 2013. Does anyone have any up-to-date knowledge/experience of this? Is consent now mandatory for people who have finished the Work Program?
  23. Edit: Please delete thread someone has made one already called. "More fun for us JSA Job Seekers"
  24. Started a new thread as this is a fresh concern. A little background I was found Fit for Work by ATOS and have to wait for a Mandatory consideration before I can appeal. The only way I could get any money coming during this time was to sign on for JSA. Most Advisers will be understanding and sort of Park you till the decision is made and can get an Appeal going at Tribunal and be put back on Assessment Rate ESA. My Adviser however is not one of those and wont take my Medical condition into account when I saw her she put me straight onto a course starting next Monday and continuing till Wednesday 9AM start till 11.30 with the National Careers Service to build confidence I told her my condition could well prevent me turning up 3 Days in a row as my health cant take that much activity her reply was "You have been found fit for work so I can't see any reason why you cant attend if you don't I will sanction you and you will get No money for 4 weeks" Today I get an automated phone call stating My work placement has been set up and I must attend a Charity Shop Thursday for said work placement this is the first Ive heard about any sort of Work placement can my Adviser set this up and Mandate me to do this with out any discussion first? I have no idea why this is happening DWP know I will appeal the Fit for work assessment decision at Tribunal and ask to be put back on ESA while it goes through. There is no way I can get through 3 days of the course at 2-3 hours a day let alone start or do any type of Work placement and I don't know what to do or how to cope as Ive been told the DM could take up to 6 weeks to make a Mandatory review decision. I think they are trying to cull me if I am dead through starvation or my mental health gives out with all the worry and stress and I end it all atleast it will be one more person off benefits Any advice would be welcome.
  25. Hi Can anyone help. My husband has mental health problems, so this is very distressing for him. We received a letter saying that he did not attend a work capability assessment appointment for 9.12.13 " he never received any letter, so he could not go to an appointment" Any way the letter said fill this form in to say why he did not attend, which we did stating the fact that we did not receive such letter, it said fill form in by 18.12.13, I sent the form back the same day. We have been worried all over christmas. Then today we receive this letter stating that he will no longer receive his incapacity benefit & income support allowance for not attending his appointment and not giving a good enough reason ? They call this a Mandatory Reconsideration, and said I can appeal. I do not know what is going on here, can anyone help please. My question is does anyone know how long this reconsideration will take. Thank you.
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