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  1. I don't know what to do. I'm in the ESA WRAG due to depression, anxiety & social problems have been told I need to attend regular WFI office interviews & start applying for work to hold on to my benefit. I don't understand this. My WCA found me unfit & with multiple barriers to work. Even after years of Psychiatrists, medications & therapy I still have the same problems & am currently pushing my GP to see CMHT again about them. JCP don't accept this & are demanding that, in effect, I have to pretend I don't have any problems & go back to work. I need social support to even go anywhere. I did ask for a mandatory reconsideration to be placed in the support group but that was denied. So I'm stuck. I can't perform miracles & be fit for work again so it looks like I'll lose my benefit as I can't satisfy the demands that come attached to it. I feel like I'm bashing my head against the wall with JCP.
  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 everyone, I've been on ESA in the Support Group for the past 2 years and today i received a capability for work questionnaire through the most that has to be returned within a month. I am just wondering how long after you send the questionnaire back do you hear back from them with a possible face to face assessment date and do you still receive your normal payments while this process is going on?
  4. Hi there folks, just wondering about the upcoming change to the ESA WRAG group from April this year. As you know I am in N Ireland, been in the WRAG group since June 2013, no reassessment in all that time and only one WFI in more than three years. As I understand, the new rules only apply to new claims after April 2017, or are they likely to move the goalposts again, you just don't know with this government.
  5. Hi, on the 13th August I was referred to Ingeus by my JSA Advisor and told to expect a call off them. On the 15th August I had a severe epileptic seizure caused by stress and was given a sicknote for 12 weeks by my doctor. He thinks, due to me being severely depressed and prone to more seizures, that I should be on ESA. I closed my claim for JSA on the 17th and opened my claim for ESA on the same day. Later that day I had a letter from Ingeus telling me to attend on the 27th. There were no mentions of sanctions or anything like that, but it caused me to become very agitated. I called the number on the letter (their general enquiry number I think) and the man, without asking for any details, told me I still had to attend. Is this correct? My JSA claim is now closed and my ESA claim is being processed. I've never met nor spoken to Ingeus before, so do I still need to go? I'm very ill at the moment and this might make me worse I fear. Obviously in 13 weeks if they put me in WRAG, that's a different situation but right now I am very ill. Any info on this would be very very appreciated!
  6. yesterday [25th Aug] i got another ESA50 form. *i've been signed off work since 5-10-07 = 9yr 10m 2wk 6 days. yet they seem to think i'll suddenly get better. *i've been on sickness benefits since 5-12-07 = 9yr 8m 2wk 6 days. *originally i was on the disability rate of Income Support but i've been on ESA since 19-7-12 = 4yr 1m 6 days. *i had my medical on 3-7-15 = 1yr 1m 3wk 1 day ago. i heard people are often re-assessed every year, so i was wondering when i'd have to go through the dreaded form filling/medical again. *i won my most recent appeal & was moved from ESA WRAG into the Support Group of ESA on 27-10-15 = only 9m 4wk 3 days ago! on both the times i had to apply/re-apply for ESA i went through the same long & distressing procedures... fill in ESA50/enclose medication evidence...[i didn't have a medical 1st time but 2nd time i did]...get put in ESA WRAG...appeal decision=more forms/letters...after months of stress i'm put back into the Support Group of ESA. i understand they can't leave me alone forever as they want to check i'm still ill, but it would be nice if they could leave me alone for longer. having to go through this yearly is enough to drive anyone insane, let an someone with mental illnesses. is anyone else facing this repetitive situation? is there anything i can do to make the time between assessments longer?
  7. Hi, my advisor says I can not have telephone interviews anymore, which has really distressed me. I can not make physical appointments at all. I find it hard enough to even make it to my doctors (the only time I do out, with someone with me) Maybe 3 times a year or less. So I was just asking for help if this is true or not? Because If I can't make appointments.... then I will lose my benefits? Thank you.
  8. Just wondering whether it's worth getting further medical evidence together and asking for a MR to be moved to the Support group? I wonder as I'm getting the feeling all DWP care about is the outcome of your WCA, specifically the number of points you got allocated.
  9. Hi Guys I need help for my relative, she is on ESA WRAG income related , shes claiming over a year now and have not received reassessment letter yet. She has some savings around £15000, can anybody confirm if she is ok and her ESA payments will not effect if she let the relevant authorities know about her savings. Thanks
  10. OK, I've just had a call on my 'other' mobile (one I give to companies/businesses etc) from a withheld/private number and a woman claiming to be from the DWP Visiting team? Now I have never heard of them, so was understandingly abrupt and coy with her, she said she wanted to come and visit me tomorrow, to which I replied that she would need to make the appointment in writing, and that I do not discuss personal details over the phone especially when the caller has hidden their number. Having googled about, it does seem that there is such a team but there are varying reasons for them wanting to make a personal visit? I am on IB and receive a very small sum, in the tens of pounds, toward my 3 figure rent. I understand that there is a shake up of the benefits system, but am curious as to why now? And why hide their number? Miffed yes, and paranoid very.
  11. Hi. I had a medical last month with ATOS, and got a letter recently putting me in 'work related activity group' . I then got an appointment with the job centre which I went to last week. It was basically a woman talking what to me, with what sounded like jibberish for 10 minutes before handing me a paper leaflet called 'work programme' , it didn't really have a lot of information on it. Yesterday I got a phone call from another lady from a company called 'prospects' we were on the phone for about half an hour whilst she reeled off bizarre questions which had no relevance to my situation whatsoever, she also didn't really know why I was on ESA . and said I had been found fit for work which is why I'm on the work programme . But if I had been found 'fit for work' then would I not be on JSA instead ?! I have been told to expect a letter or a call next week from my 'new advisor' who will arrange an appointment with me. I a!m ever so confused now. Theres no way I can sit in any 'group inductions' or go off on any courses, not at the moment anyway. I'm trying to remain calm but this has panicked me no end. Am I suppose to be on a 'work programme' so soon? And what does it entail?
  12. I didn't want to hijack the thread I started responding to (Which is where information can be found concerning my unfortunate experience with a HCP Physiotherapist.) I'm opening this new thread to put my voice out there for others to see how the new Ingeus 'steps to work' programme doesn't seem to be working for people who are medically unfit. So after the Physio said she couldn't work with me because I refused to sign the consent form for her to not only store my assessment but to provide my consent for a number of other things I went back to the Employment advisor who said nothing about my previous experience. I wasn't asked to provide another assessment, or sign this form again. http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x351/MaulIce/IMG_0002_zps274791c5.jpg This time I was asked to provide my email address so that the Employment advisor can converse with me. Not sure if I have to provide it? Also asked at my next interview, to just wait in the private room and then move to sit in the main office. I feel they are now trying to provoke me to see my reactions because I have numerous stress issues in busy places. They don't have laptops in this private room so I think the Employment advisor wants me to go to the main office to access the desk computer but I don't know what for. I said I didn't want to speak about anything personal in a public office, I was told I wouldn't be speaking about anything personal. I also got the impression that the frequency of my appointments is going to increase after my next appointment which is a few weeks away.
  13. Hello Everyone, My friend has her first work programme appointment on the 24th June 2013 and was unable to attend due to being very anxious, being sick and had panic attacks! I rang Ingeus and spoke to her Employment Advisor, he was busy when I rang so I left a message that is was important he call back because it was to do with my friend's appointment and that she was unable to attend that day! He did call back and I duly answered the phone call, I told him why my friend was unable to attend and if she can have another appointment date and that I will come with her, I've explained about her anxiety and panic attacks and also told him her advisor at the Job Centre knows of her circumstances as I've had to cancel an appointment she had with her job centre advisor before, I requested that my friend will need a private room as she will not cope being in a room full of people! All what we asked was granted and I also told Ingeus advisor to send me a letter to confirm my telephone conversation with him! Today a letter arrived there was no mention of speaking to me nor mentioned about requesting for a private room all the letter says! 'We have attempted to contact you by telephone but was unable to reach you. We have therefore arranged an appointment for you on such a date etc, etc. I couldn't believe what I was reading' Good job I wrote a letter confirming my telephone conversation with him on the 24th June and mentioned everything we spoke about, I've kept a copy of course and sent the letter to him! I need to write a letter to him about the letter I've received today not mentioning anything of our telephone conversations, my brain has gone pickled at the moment and I want to be careful how I write the letter! He has lied and also not stating the fact of out conversations has anyone come across this sort of problem with Ingeus it will be good to know about them a bit! Thanks helen
  14. Hi I am posting with some questions for a friend of mine whom sufffers from mental health issues (anxiety panic attack, nausea, vomiting, depression) background she has just received notification of being placed in the WRAG group- contribution based ( migrated from IB). she is keen to get some support/advise re testing herself out for possible work WHEN she is well enough and is stuggling with coming to terms with admitting how ill she is. I believe she should be in the support group, as her mental health is such that she cannot reliably commit to work related interviews without risking exacerbation of her symptoms. ( i dont think she meets support group "descriptors" for mental health- but exceptional Circumstances Regulations -regulation 35 should apply "a “serious” or “substantial” risk of harm is likely, should the person be found to be capable of work-related activity" she wants support to get better and return to work but it would be better for her to be in the support group and voluntarily attending work related activity would be far more suitable than the pressure of WRAG group with the threat of sanctions hanging over her head when she inevitably is not well enough to attend. she is weighing up if she is well enough emotionally to consider an appeal wrag to support questions IF she was to ask for a mandatory reconsideration ( asking for scoresheet, statement of reasons and sends in letter from doctor and counsellor) and states Reg 35 as reason for consideration of support group) and the reconsideration response was to keep her in the WRAG group :- 1. what is the process now for mandatory recconsideration , and requesting the score sheet and statement of reasons and registering an appeal ....i vaguely recall some change since i went through this 2.would her money be dropped if she decided to appeal? 3. would she have to persue the appeal process or could she stop there? ( with the money at esa wrag contributions rate or would that be dropped) 3. many thanks in advance
  15. I am currently on ESA and in the WRAG, i haven't been attending any appointments because according to them they didn't have the facilities in my area. Previously i have been doing telephone appointments once every 2 weeks or once a month. After about a year i got a phone call telling me there will no more telephone appointments and i have to attend a work related activity interview. I attended this interview and they said they are a private company ( life skills ) doesn't seem to be any info online about them. Anyway, they said because my work capability assessment was last July the clock is ticking and i technically should be considered fit to work. I had to sign a document that looked like a sign on book you do at the job center when on JSA and was given another appointment letter for in 2 weeks. I was told that i can look for jobs etc despite being on ESA and not JSA. Why should i have to look for jobs? All very bizarre, not sure what is going on. If i am now on the work program? Guess i am. Any info on this WRAG and work program would be appreciated. Thanks
  16. Hi all, I have been attending the Work Related Activity program for a couple a months now. All was going fine, chatted about what I'd like to do eventually and sorted out my C.V. etc. However, since last week, the lady who I see has entered me into the Universal Job Match website and insists that I look for work through that website. This confused me as I thought I was considered too ill to work at the moment but according to her, people on ESA are considered the same as people on JSA and should look for work on a regular basis. Is this true? I can't work because I lose consciousness sometimes two times a day making it impossible. I don't know why I am being forced to look for work if I can't. Also, on a side note, I have been staying at my in-laws for the past week and arrived home to two letters from them. One was for an appointment today to look through jobs vacancies (which I missed due to having no awareness of it) and one tomorrow to discuss what should have happened today, and to bring along any evidence of my efforts to look for work (what evidence though? There is none!) I don't know if the lady is getting mixed up between JSA and ESA or what, or if this is a cruel government scheme. And, what should I say to explain my absence of today's appointment, should I tell the truth or would this be detrimental to my benefits? Thank you! Edit: If I am indeed not expected to apply for jobs, is there any government websites which states this that I can show her?
  17. Spotted this thread on rightsnet.org and it might be worth keeping an eye on it. http://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/6844/ Early days in the thread yet, but it seems, as ever that there's a great deal of floundering and confusion about referrals for repeat ESA assessments being deferred. This is the first mention I have seen anywhere about possible use of the Equality law to defend against future claims of discrimination made by sick and disabled ESA WRAG claimants who are all in the firing line for sanction. First attempt at posting a link, hope it's approved!
  18. Hi All, I have been claiming IB since 97. It was then transferred over to ESA. Since last year I have been harrassed by the Advisor that I am under to either Undertake Training, or get a job. My illnesses are: COPD, Raynauds, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Carpel Tunnel Syndrome and I am also awaiting to see a Hip Surgeon about a hip replacement. I have always attended the Interviews with the advisor except for one and I phoned because I was to ill to attend. All the training things she want to send me on have been silly like: Plastering, plumbing etc. You get the picture. Then she booked me on a IT course with some company that thought they were god. I went a couple of times, but being spoken to like I was a child wasnt on plus I do have trouble with pens and keyboards after about half an hour of use. Their attitude was you will attend 15 hours a week or we will stop your money and we get paid for you being here. She has now put me on another course for English. Now she knows that I have trouble some days even getting out of bed because of my hip. I was due to go on that course today, but, can hardly walk this morning, and bearing in mind it is a 15 min walk from the bus stop I would not be able to do. I emailed the provider so I had a written trail and they were fine about it. Now, what I would like to know is: Can I be sanctioned because I did not go. I do not know from day to day how my illnesses will be until I get up in the morning. If I lose that money, I will be in hardship. Do I have to participate in these activities at present. They have had letters from my consultant outlining my illnesses but have chose to ignore them. Can someone help me to understand what my next course of action is. I am not due to see advisor till sept 14 but have a feeling I will be called in earlier. I have been seeing the advisor since Jan 13. So it is not as if they do not know my illnesses. Shall I get a certificate from my Doctor to say I cannot go to these things yet? Shall I write to the head office (Belfast) and complain about this. I am due to be reassessed in October. I am not saying I will not be able to participate in any activities in the future but not at present. What will happen when I have my hip op? I am on Income Based ESA. The stress this is causing me now is making me sick. I am not sleeping or eating. Eating I am trying to save the money for other bills in case they sanction my money. Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. While writing this the post has been and I have appt with Hip Consultant on the 14th July 2014. Thank you
  19. Hi I was on Incapacity Benefit for ages since 97. Went to all of the medicals for that and they said I could not work due to depression. This has now changed and I have more illnessess. Since then I have gone from IB to ESA first Cont Based now Income Based. What I would like to know is How many times do you need to see an advisor. I have been approx 10 now. I see the same one everytime. It seems to me that she is trying to push me back into work. She even tried to get me to go on training courses for plumbing etc., When she new full well that that would be impossible for me to do. I have various illnesses COPD, Osteo Arthritis in both hips and hands, Raynauds plus carpol tunnel. I have letters from hospital and drs. which she has seen. I am due to be reassed with a new form to fill out in Oct 14. She is now trying to get me to do a course in IT and Retail. Do I have to go on these courses? Please bare in mind with the medication I am on by the time 12pm comes I am very tired and most of these courses are all day. I cannot switch times of my medication as some are slow release and need the time space. Please I would be in so much pain I would not be able to move. Any advice on what I should do? I am due to see her again on the 11th June 2014. I am limited to the amount of time I can type etc., because of medical conditions. Use to stick to help walk and also splints on hands. I said to her it is going to be hard for me to actually hold down a job, because of medical conditions and hosp appts. plus some mornings I cannot get out of bed because of pain. She said we have to be seen to be doing something. Any suggestions what to do. I feel as if I am being pressured into something that may be impossible for me. Thank you for reading this. Forgot to add I have been seeing the Advisor for ESA since last Jan 2013. I also have 10 Medications on my prescription every month. Is it best to just wait it out until it is reassessed with another form in October? I am also waiting to see a Hip Surgeon.
  20. hello, as a member of the above ESA group my time on the Work Programme (which I started while on JSA, fwiw) ends this month. To that end the JC have written to call me in for a 'post WP support interview', however I have been told that for people in my position this shouldn't happen. This is apparently because the WP doesn't end after two years if on ESA. Can anyone confirm the correct position here? The DWP claim that the WP ends after two years (i started in April 2012) regardless of what benefit you are on or were on when you were referred. FWIW also the WP has proven no help at all and I am not particularly comfortabnle dealing with the JC again. I am undergoing a mental health assessment process and would rather avoid all this as much as possible. Thank you.
  21. So I was placed in the WRAG with apparently quite a lenghty prognosis which by my research (if correct) means that I cannot be forced into anything other than WFIs with the Jobcentre (and what they ask me to do) At my 1st WFI the 1st thing on the agenda was apparently getting me into part-time paid or voluntary work. How will this work I (and the person accompanying me) asked with one of my conditons being social anxiety? I was a total mess at my ESA assessment. At this point it seemed my only option was to appeal to get moved into the Support group which filled me with dread of the thought of all the extra stress that would bring. On exploring further I could stay in the WRAG if I looked for part time voluntary or paid work that I could do from home but from my research upto now this kind of opportunity just doesn't seem to exist. I doubted paid work from home work would be available but was surprised/dissapointed to find no voluntary work either. I'm starting to suspect even voluntary work from home work doesn't exist and so my only option will be to go to appeal and see if I can be moved into the Support group which is quite a depressing and stressful thought. I just wondered if anyone else has been in this situation and if so what they did? I would like to do a little work from home be it paid or voluntary as I think it would do me good and even better if voluntary I would feel I was giving a little back but the opportunity just doesn't seem to be there. It's just starting to feel that unless you are ready and able to work in an office etc and be around people then work of any kind is just not an option which is really sad.
  22. Hi All Well I won my appeal in December, then the dreaded brown envelope landed on the door step this morning... not all bad just a letter from the DWP confirming the amount they owe me, and something else about a work related interview.. Can someone explain what these are all about, because its a first for me...seems that even though I won the appeal they still pushing to get me back to work sooner rather an later...
  23. Late last year I was placed in the ESA WRAG group after I went to appeal and I was recommended not to be reviewed for 1 year. One year later I received a new ESA50 form, I filled it in and sent it off. My mental health has deteriorated since I filled in the last ESA50 in 2012. I put in all my symptoms and problems and included psychiatrists, doctors etc details to be contacted at the end of the form. Two weeks ago I received a random letter informing me they were going to pay an additional £43 in respect of my ESA claim into my bank with no reason why. I ignored it thinking it would be some winter payment allowance or something. Yesterday I received my ESAin my bank but it was £230 something instead of my usual £193 (after deductions). Have I been moved from WRAG to Support Group? I'm confused. I've been worrying that I will be forced onto JSA for weeks now but this is strange - it is weekend now so I can't call them
  24. How far can they go? http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/23/iain-duncan-smith-wrag-benefit-cuts
  25. I have a serious autoimmune condition that was diagnosed in 1993, I carried on working until 1999 until my employers understandably terminated my contract due to ill health... I had spent more time off ill in those years than at work. I tried to temp as did not want to be living on benefit but in the end I could not even manage that so applied for Incapacity Benefit and have been on it ever since. I get the higher age allowance. In the intervening years whilst not working my condition has deteriorated and I have developed other conditions. Each time DWP did a reassessment I always had enough points. In May I got the dreaded call that I was to be reassessed for ESA and it would take 10 weeks, well I sat waiting to be called for a medical but no calls/ letters came, then finally I got a telephone call this afternoon from DWP. The lady told me that I would be transferred onto ESA at my current higher rate (is that correct ?) but I had been placed in the WRAG and the transfer would happen on 19 October. How can they put me in this group ? I had supporting evidence of how serious my illness was and how incapable I was, I had a supporting letter from my GP and a record of the 36 medical appts I had in one year, details of how the illness effected me, I thought they at least would want to take a look at me before making this decision. Every part of my body is effected and it takes an exercise of military style precision to get me ready to leave the house. I told her I would be appealing so she told me that everything would be sent in the post and I only had a month from TODAY to appeal ! How can I do that when they had not even posted my letter and she even told me that they don't use First Class post. She then moved on to tell me that I now would be expected to attend an interview at my Job Centre, I told her that would be difficult as I had recently had a blackout and collapsed in the street and had broken bones and sprained ankles on BOTH legs so was having great difficulty in walking, she did put that on my notes, so you never know they may postpone my call up for a while. She also mentioned that my case would be reviewed by another assessor prior to appeal and could be overturned then with any further information I provided. My questions are, firstly the information that she gave me, is it correct as I have heard that they can give out incorrect information ? What further information can I give them as I thought I had covered all bases ? Will my payments remain at the higher rate ? And what chance do I have of having it overturned without going to the full appeal ? I have read so many posts, everyone's experience/ circumstances are different, but I am hoping someone has had a similar experience as mine and any help/ advice would be appreciated as I am conscious of the clock ticking, one month and I have nothing to work with. Many thanks for taking the time to read this.
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