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On ESA and Mandated to Work programme


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I have currently been on ESA for 3 years after an attack left me disfigured. I now suffer from Severe anxiety and i am unable to leave the house on my own. I have since had two medical assessments by atos, i passed the first one but then failed the second one. This decision was later overturned after a successful appeal that took around 14 months to be heard by the tribunal. The tribunal was around December 2012 and as a result of winning I was placed in the wrag group. I didn't hear anything from them until October 2013, i received a letter stating that I must attend a WFI in which work programme providers will be discussed with me. In the interview i was told i must now attend the work programme as my adviser said that her hands were tied and there was no alternative or discussion about it or what they could provide apart from this statement from my adviser, 'One of the advisers from Avanta was in earlier and she was lovely'. I told my adviser that my mental health problems would mean i would not be able to attend the work programme and i felt as i was being set up to fail, as this was impossible for me to do due to my condition but all my adviser could keep saying was that her hands were tied. I have now recieved a letter from Advanta (The work programme provider) telling me I must attend their offices with a CV on December 3rd for 2- 3 hours or face sanctions. I don't know what to do, there is no way i am fit enough to be jumping through their hoops right now. All this has worsened my mental health and i can't stop worrying about what sanctions are ahead when i can't possibly meet any requirements... I am unable to leave the house unless someone is with me but i have nobody that can leave work to accompany me to their offices. I also have trouble relating to people for minutes without being consumed with anxiety and going into total panic inside, even with people that i have known for years, so it will be impossible for me to have an interview with someone that i don't know for over 3 hours. feeling a bit lost at the moment. Is there anyone that is going through a similar situation that could give me some advice. My anxiety is going through the roof, :(

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Would your GP or (if you have one) mental health worker classify you as a "vulnerable adult" ?

 

Going by what you have stated about anxiety issues and dealing with strangers in unfamiliar surroundings, you would probably meet the criteria... Having an appointment on the 3rd Dec. doesn't give you much time to respond, but this is what I would suggest:

 

Write to Avanta stating that "as a vulnerable adult with mental health issues, I require the support of a close friend acting as an advocate. Due to the short notice given, it is impossible for said friend to arrange time off from other duties to accompany me. In reference to DWP WP provider guidance, Chapter 6, paragraph 41, I would urge you to contact me at the earliest opportunity to arrange a home visit."

 

If you can email it, do so now, and follow it up by posting a copy on Monday, keeping two copies for yourself. You may well get a benefit doubt letter from the DWP, in which case you can demonstrate an attempt to "engage" with Avanta.

 

One final question - Are you in the 24 month prognosis category, or a shorter 6/12 month ?

Edited by Mr.P

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Thank you so much for your reply and advice. Yes, I think that i am classed as a vulnerable adult by my GP. I will write the letter as suggested, the only problem is that i haven't been given an email address for the work provider. Do you think that I should follow the letter up with a phone call on the date of interview? In answer to your final question, I think I was given a 12 month prognosis but I'm unsure. The courts recommended that I should not be reassessed for 12 months.

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Thank you so much for your reply and advice. Yes, I think that i am classed as a vulnerable adult by my GP. I will write the letter as suggested, the only problem is that i haven't been given an email address for the work provider. Do you think that I should follow the letter up with a phone call on the date of interview? In answer to your final question, I think I was given a 12 month prognosis but I'm unsure. The courts recommended that I should not be reassessed for 12 months.

 

Phone calls are no good - you need proof, a phone call can easily be forgotten.

 

Not wishing to scare you but be prepared to have battle this lot.

You might be lucky and they will leave you alone - but they are not known for it.

 

|Do as suggested get as much help in written form as you can.

 

Lots of help available on here so keep tuned in.

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Being in the 12 month WRAG group means that you could lose some of your benefits for failing to turn up for this appointment. With that in mind, I'd ring them Monday and follow the call up with a letter - I'd also berate them for not providing an email address, but that is just me being a grumpy b***** :madgrin:

 

If you can, record the telephone conversation, and insist that they put any agreements in writing.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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Get proof of letters sent - saying you wrote to them (if they decided to say they did not receive it, or lose it) you will then need to verify it was sent.

At least emails are good as you have the exact time and date it was sent - then you can send a back up letter as well.

Cover all your options with these people - do not think they are professional or play fair.

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