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Told I must actively look for work whilst on ESA, appeal, rate.


-sickandtired-
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Good evening all .. I am a newby.

 

I am in receipt of ESA appeal rate. Whilst waiting for my appeal to be heard I must supply medical certificates that state I am 'unfit for work' to qualify for the appeal rate.

 

Today I received a letter from Avanta which states I must attend their offices in order to do an intensive job search.

 

I contacted the DWP who informed me, not very politely, that I must continue to do whatever Avanta asks me to do .. including applying for work until my appeal has been heard.

 

I thought you had to be in receipt of the work related component of ESA for them to be able to do this?

 

Your help would be much appreciated as I am petrified that my benefit will stop altogether if I do not go looking for work.

 

Thank you ... Lynn

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Is this letter from Avanta sent under the auspices of the Work Programme ?

 

If it is, then I'd suggest printing off Chapter 3a of the WP provider guidance (do it on Avanta's printer :biggrin1:) and point them to the sections that they are ignoring.

 

If this referral is under a different DWP sponsored programme, then the advice may need to be reassessed.

 

Don't forget to claim back travel expenses, preferably on entry to the building. If they refuse, point out that refunds are not conditional or subject to negotiation.

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Hello again. What the DWP are saying is that because I failed my medical and they have found me fit for work then, regardless of the fact that I have to send in 'unfit for work' notes to qualify for ESA appeal rate I am required to look for work. I would have thought I would have to be on JSA for that or still in receipt of the work related component of ESA? I will 'phone the DWP again tomorrow and ask them to speak slowly so that I can make a proper note of what they are telling me.

 

I suspect that I will be back on here afterwards. I just do not see the logic in having to supply medical certificates stating that I am 'unfit for work' and still be told that I must look for work.

 

Chapter 3a of the provider guidance was all too much for me to take in. :)

 

See you tomorrow ... Lynn

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:-sickandtired-:

 

Anyone who's in receipt of employment n support allowance, whatever the circumstances, can't be mandated to look for a job, accept a job, or undertake work experience. By definition the claimant's been found to have limited capability for work, or there's enough evidence to treat the claimant as having limited capability for work. Like a Med3 (unfit) note!

 

Jobcentreplus have a policy of temporary exemption from the work programme for claimants who're appealing the outcome of a work capability assessment. But it doesn't extend to claimants who've already been referred during a previous award of employment n support with the work related activity component, or jobseekers. Or as :Mr.P: explained you may have been referred to Avanta under a different scheme. Are you able to give us any clues?

 

The initial question tomorrow is, 'Why am I being mandated to search for jobs while I'm in receipt of assessment rate employment n support allowance?' If you don't get a straight answer ask for a call back from an employment n support allowance processor. And if that doesn't work, it's pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard.

 

Best wishes, Margaret.

Edited by **Margaret**
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We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg and it's early days yet, ESA claimants are just filtering through to the providers in any appreciable numbers. I expect to see droves of posts where ESA claimants are being treated the same as JSA claimants because of provider ignorance or disregard for the regulations.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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Hello Margaret.

 

I believe I was referred under The Work Programme.

 

Do I contact an ESA processor via the DWP?

 

I have both telephoned and e-mailed Avanta with the question regarding ESA appeal rate and mandatory work searches. As the appointment is this coming Monday they don't have much time to respond. Avanta questioned the fact that I am not on JSA and also still supplying medical certificates. Said they would look into it and get back to me. I can only wait.

 

I most certainly did not get a straight answer from the DWP. The gentlemen, who was incredibly rude, got himself completely tied up in knots trying to explain something that is impossible to explain and then said, more or less, that he would have to terminate the call if I continued to question him. Though I did manage to keep him talking, not that it did much good. Still adamant that I must look for work regardless because "We would have to stop your benefit and we really don't want to do that do we" etc etc. I am finding it very difficult indeed dealing with the constant threats, blackmail and outright bullying.

 

Don't know if I am coming or going!

 

Kind regards ... Lynn

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Hello all ...

 

Being a daft ole twit sometimes I have now read the correct part of the 'provider guidance'. If this guidance is totally up-to-date then I assume the following section is the most relevant to my problem:

20.

When deciding whether activity

is reasonable in a participant’s

circumstances you need to consider:

The participant’s claimant group and how

this affects the nature of their

participation. For example, al

though mandatory ESA participants can

be supported towards employment

they cannot be mandated to:

apply for jobs

undertake medical treatment

take up work

 

If that is indeed the case then I assume that Avanta should not be mandating me to apply for jobs as they have. Lets see what happens on Monday.

 

Thank you .. Kind regards .. Lynn

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:Lynn:

 

Is this your first appointment with Avanta or were you placed with Avanta, Ingeus, Seetec et al when you were in receipt of employment n support with the work related activity component?

 

If you were referred to the work programme before your latest work capability assessment you have to attend Avanta, but you can't be mandated to look for a job or undertake work experience. If this is your first referral to the work programme, it's a mistake.

 

Have a look at;

 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/168650/response/413255/attach/4/Eligibility.pdf

(Section 48)

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-programme-dwp-provider-guidance

(Chapter 2, section 6)

 

As Avanta have realised something's amiss, if you can, I'd attend the appointment on Monday with the above info and ask for them to sort it. They may or may not help, but at least you won't get sanctioned.

 

If Avanta can't/won't help;

 

Do you still have an adviser at the Jobcentre?

 

(Unfortunately the contact centre staff don't get enough training) but try the phone number on your award letter once more if you can face it. Whoever answers, is the person to ask for a call back from an ESA processor.

 

Can't face another call, or it doesn't get sorted, formal letter via recorded delivery to the address on your award letter.

 

Good luck, Margaret. :panda:

 

 

Yes, that's the same info in Chapter 3 of the guidance.

 

 

 

Edited by **Margaret**
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If this guidance is totally up-to-date then I assume the following section is the most relevant to my problem:

[...]

If that is indeed the case then I assume that Avanta should not be mandating me to apply for jobs as they have.

 

I would concur with Margaret. panda.gif's comment - Attend the appointment, get written conformation that you attended and show them your ESA award letter. Advise them to read the relevant sections (inform them of the chapter and paragraph) in the DWP issued provider guidance and take it from there.

 

Don't forget to insist on travel expenses are refunded in full.

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Good morning all

 

I did not attend the appointment because I am supplying medical certificates saying that I am unfit for work. Instead I sent them an e-mail telling them that I can no longer deal with them as they have got me to the point of contemplating suicide. This is the truth.

 

This morning I spoke to somebody at the DWP who was (for once) helpful, polite, patient and knowledgeable. He informed me that when this matter arose the first time Avanta were contacted on the 13th November and informed that I was no longer mandated and no longer in the work program. This stands until my appeal has been heard.

 

 

 

So, for future reference any person on the ESA appeal rate will no longer be in the work program because they are not in receipt of the work related component of ESA and having to supply 'unfit for work' medical certificates. As I suspected and logic dictates.

 

All this because certain staff at the DWP and all the staff at Avanta are, for whatever reason, not giving their clients proper due care and attention.

 

Regardless, perhaps one day my experience will go towards helping another in the same situation. :)

 

 

Thank you for all the support over the weekend .. I needed it.

 

Kind regards - Lynn

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Hi sickandtired

 

Keep a diary of all your communications with Avanta/DWP. There is no doubt that you are getting a lot of misleading information. You can talk to 5 different advisor's at DWP they more then give you five different answers to the same question. Once you've gathered all the info in the diary, write a Formal Letter of Complaint to DWP.

 

You can also send a copy to: [email protected]

He is the Director General, Operations at the DWP

 

I also suggest visiting your GP as to how you feel at the moment and it's stressed you out. Maybe he can write a letter to attach to your complaint.

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This morning I spoke to somebody at the DWP who was (for once) helpful, polite, patient and knowledgeable. He informed me that when this matter arose the first time Avanta were contacted on the 13th November and informed that I was no longer mandated and no longer in the work program. This stands until my appeal has been heard.

 

Based on osdset's experience with Seetec and sanctions, I'd strongly recommend getting this statement in writing.

 

Congratulations on finding someone within the DWP that is able to give you the advice you need and good luck for the future.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING

EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 

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Based on osdset's experience with Seetec and sanctions, I'd strongly recommend getting this statement in writing.

I wish the poster luck with getting a statement in writing, so far I haven't managed it and I've given up asking.

 

Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges

 

Being poor is like being a Pelican. No matter where you look, all you see is a large bill.

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You can only be mandated to the Work Programme if you are on ESA if you also receive the Work Related Activity component, not if you are in receipt of the assessment rate.

RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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You can only be mandated to the Work Programme if you are on ESA if you also receive the Work Related Activity component, not if you are in receipt of the assessment rate.

 

Thank you.

So once assessed by (not give) atoss, if get wrag then can be sent to this pathetic programme ?

I ask as I have severe brittle asthma/COPD So have trouble breathing. I suffer frequent bouts of constant chest infections which mean 3-5 weeks off work if I were working.

So attending these programs would mean id need to use a nebuliser during my time there.

I guess they wouldn't like that much ? Lol

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if get wrag then can be sent to this pathetic programme ?

 

See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/264161/wp-pg-chapter-2.pdf for a detailed description of the claimant groups - Not all WRAG groups can be mandated to attend the work programme.

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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