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ESA WRAG group, being forced to look for work?


meirou
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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?

Edited by meirou
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Thanks everyone. :)

 

Arghhh, I've just phoned my adviser. I explained the right procedure.

 

I quoted HER from last week, I told her this is exactly what she said to me; "Unfortunately, people on ESA are considered the same as those on JSA and are fit for work according to the government." She is VEHEMENTLY denying she said this, even though it was this statement which led to my research on the matter. She was very angry with me and cut me off abruptly as she had a customer with her, so I asked for her manager's number. The manager was very nice and told me I am not mandated to be applying for work but I can just have a browse through the Universal JobMatch website. This contradicts my adviser, as my adviser said that I would have an appointment the following week to talk about what jobs I have applied for, and also that my applications would be monitored. Anyway she's flat out denying what she has said, and I don't want to see her again. Is there a way I can change my adviser? I've also asked to do some appointments over the phone as I am being sent 3 appointments in two weeks which I think is too much for a person who cannot work. :-x

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"Unfortunately, people on ESA are considered the same as those on JSA and are fit for work according to the government." She is VEHEMENTLY denying she said this

 

estellyn has posted to another thread where I quoted a paragraph from the current DWP issued guidelines - These Work Programme Guidance documents form part of the provider contract and each "adviser" should be aware of them and receive regular briefings when live memos are issued. They should also be familiar with the Generic Guidance which is common to all DWP contracted programmes.

 

If your "adviser" is having memory problems and disputes anything that may or may not have been said, perhaps it would be advisable to record all further interactions - I advocate discretely recording all meetings, if need be, using covert methods. As a private individual, the Data Protection Act and Regulation of Investigative Powers Act allow you to record these conversations for your own personal records.

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Mr.P - Excellent suggestion, wish I'd have done that sooner! Any suggestions for discreet recording equipment? I also believe from looking through that thread and others on here that a person on ESA is not mandated to join Universal JobMatch? I was tricked into it and I don't know a way out. I'm not too bothered but I wish she had been straight with me and told me it was optional.

 

I feel that because I'm out of work and because I look and sound healthy, she thinks I'm a scrounger and a liar. I got the old "there are people who come in here who are really really sick" patronising talk from her. I have a condition in which my body doesn't handle adrenaline like a regular person, it will make me either faint or be sick and sends my heart rate over 200bpm. So I was upset by this comment, I look perfectly healthy and I'm a good socialiser, it's just my insides that are poorly.

 

Anyway, she called back again after I spoke to the manager. She was really apologetic and polite, I think she's had a telling off. And I wont be sactioned for missing an appointment. I was also told that I can do appointments over the phone in future, I only need to see them in person about once a month (why couldn't they have told me this sooner?!) Not looking forward to seeing her again though.

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Mr.P - Excellent suggestion, wish I'd have done that sooner! Any suggestions for discreet recording equipment? If you have a smart phone, use that perhaps?

I also believe from looking through that thread and others on here that a person on ESA is not mandated to join Universal JobMatch? I was tricked into it and I don't know a way out. I'm not too bothered but I wish she had been straight with me and told me it was optional. Can you delete your account? There must be a way to remove your details.

 

I feel that because I'm out of work and because I look and sound healthy, she thinks I'm a scrounger and a liar. I got the old "there are people who come in here who are really really sick" patronising talk from her. I have a condition in which my body doesn't handle adrenaline like a regular person, it will make me either faint or be sick and sends my heart rate over 200bpm. So I was upset by this comment, I look perfectly healthy and I'm a good socialiser, it's just my insides that are poorly.

 

Anyway, she called back again after I spoke to the manager. She was really apologetic and polite, I think she's had a telling off. And I wont be sactioned for missing an appointment. I was also told that I can do appointments over the phone in future, I only need to see them in person about once a month (why couldn't they have told me this sooner?!) Not looking forward to seeing her again though.

 

At least if it's phone appointments you can be a bit less discrete about how you're recording!

RMW

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

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Excellent suggestion, wish I'd have done that sooner! Any suggestions for discreet recording equipment? If you have a smart phone, use that perhaps?

 

I also believe from looking through that thread and others on here that a person on ESA is not mandated to join Universal JobMatch? I was tricked into it and I don't know a way out. I'm not too bothered but I wish she had been straight with me and told me it was optional. Can you delete your account? There must be a way to remove your details.

 

I have used an Olympus digital recorder in the past, a current model would be something like the VN-711-PC, but as reallymadwoman suggests, most phones can be used - A tip: Get a cheap tape dictaphone, it need not be working - Place this on the table alongside a running recording device. This misdirects the "adviser" and enables you to state truthfully that "the tape is not running" :madgrin:

 

As for the UJM account, I don't think there is an easy way to delete the account - You may need to contact the DWP and inform them that the account was set up in your name without consent by an unauthorised third party (no need to tell them exactly who it was).

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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