Appalling attitude by jobcentre

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Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:19 pm

Wife has had fibro now for going on 18 months. Shes a nurse and lucky to still get paid somewhat.

In December she went down to half-pay and also SSP ran out. So payroll sent her a form to claim ESA. So that went in and shes getting £72 a week. Also, filled in the health form (that was 2 months ago) so waiting for appt I guess.

Anyway, shes still off sick, got about 4 months half pay left. Desperate to go back to work but just not fit enough and, in all likelihood, chances are employer will finish her on ill health after 12 months on the sick.

So she gets a letter from jobcentre asking her to go for appt to discuss work. So she phoned them explained she was off sick, she still had a job, hoping to go back etc.

So woman says - you cant claim ESA if your still working???? Wife says yes Im on the sick as I told you but not sure whats going to happen.
So jobcentre woman says well you've got to get a job then or we're stopping your ESA! Wife says Im on the sick - I cant walk without crutches. Woman says well you'll have to do voluntary work then or get no money at all!

Surely this is not right? Shes still got a job for now at least.... I remember filling in the ESA forms etc telling them about job etc so confused now.

Needless to say wife is very upset about this and its made her worst. Appreciate job centre have got to get people into work but this is just beyond. Seriously considering an official complaint.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby Ali170 » Mon Feb 16, 2015 9:48 pm

Hi,

Talk about confusing, I really hope this all gets sorted out for your wife, but I would definitely put a complaint in, in writing with dates of phonecalls, who you spoke to etc in chronological order. It's the only way to deal with them, find out who the manager is and address it directly to him/her. You're allowed 2 appeals so do it quick, it's very wearing having to take these depts. on but they do back down if you're in the right. Mine did !!!


Take care and good luck x
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:32 am

Ali170 wrote:Hi,

Talk about confusing, I really hope this all gets sorted out for your wife, but I would definitely put a complaint in, in writing with dates of phonecalls, who you spoke to etc in chronological order. It's the only way to deal with them, find out who the manager is and address it directly to him/her. You're allowed 2 appeals so do it quick, it's very wearing having to take these depts. on but they do back down if you're in the right. Mine did !!!


Take care and good luck x


But Im right -i.e. you can claim and be on the sick and still have a job?

And they cant make you work like this if your off sick?
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby aziriphale » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:43 am

"Employment and Support Allowance

If you are off sick for longer than 28 weeks or if you do not earn enough to qualify for SSP, you may qualify for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) instead. There are two sorts of ESA. One sort is called contributory ESA and it depends on whether you have paid enough national insurance contributions. The other sort is called income-related ESA and this depends on your income and savings. You can get either one sort of ESA or both sorts. If you get income-related ESA, you will automatically get the maximum amount of help with your Council Tax (rates in Northern Ireland) and Housing Benefit, as well as other means-tested benefits.

ESA is paid by the Department of Work and Pensions and, for most new claims, it replaces an old benefit called Incapacity Benefit."

From http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/w ... _allowance


Sounds like someone has their wires crossed, as for getting a job or stopping her ESA that's just wrong that would only apply if she was claiming Job Seekers allowance I would ring them back and find out exactly what benefit they have put her on and try and get this all cleared up
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:23 am

Definitely ESA is what shes getting.
The initial letter was that she had to attend to discuss working options.

I agree that the person has got it wrong but its appalling they can be like this. The woman was REALLY stroppy about it all as well.
I totally appreciate they put up with a lot of rude people at the jobcentre but this is not on.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby Susan Stokes » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:42 am

Their attitude stinks. I would certainly make a complaint and don't forget to put down the affect this is having on her.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby aziriphale » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:48 pm

As far as I am aware (I could be wrong however so worth checking) that until she has had her assessment she shouldn't need to go in to the job center for any work programs ect

and then only if the assessment puts her into the work-related group or declares her fit for work, if it's the latter then appeal it
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby Michelle1990 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:06 pm

Hi there, sorry for ur stress during this time it can be a slow progress but eventually they really do understand the difficulties us fibro sufferers deal with on a day to day basis. I most certainly would put a complaint in no one shud have to put up with that attitude whether they are rude or not they are working for the job centre so they are civil servants. My partner had attitude off some one in the job centre and he made a complaint and recieved 2 written appologys, not that it counts much. Regarding your wife getting ESA if she is sending regular sick notes she does not need to attend work focused interviews. If her sick notes states she has fibro then she should be fine and also recieve a back dated payment to the date she started her ESA claim. She will have to attend a medical but just be honest about the struggle u both deal with on a day to day basis. Good luck :-)
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby xadiym » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:12 pm

Im In Australia and I have been so sick for 18 months with fibro and Centrelink won't have a bar of it. I have applied for disability twice and both times they have denied my claim. I've appealed and lost. They say I should be working and as such have me on a looking for work payment. My doctor has written countless certificates saying I can't work and that I'm a danger to myself and others and Centrelink won't accept the certificates because they believe they know better. I've been waiting 18 months to see a pain and RA specialist.

I attempted suicide January last year because I just can't cope. Having a mental illness makes it so hard to deal with all the powers that be making you validate yourself consistently. Both my illnesses are not visible so because I'm not in a wheelchair or broken down in some way where I need medical aides they don't want to know. I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2 rapid cycling so coping has been very difficult. The pain is so severe in the mornings that it's truly debilitating and once my cocktail of tablets kicks in I have moderate pain which is a true blessing. Come lunchtime it's back in full force but I take 2 "tide me over" tablets to get me through to my late afternoon tablets and then 2 more "tide me over" tablets till morning. This plays havoc with my bipolar especially with suicidal tendencies.

Sometimes I just want to scream at anyone that will listen "will someone please f**king understand!" But there's no one to listen. My doctor (bless his heart) has recently sent a third referral to the pain clinic that said "please acknowledge my desperate plea for you to see Tracy who has struggled with fibro for years but was only diagnosed 18 months ago by myself. She has a high resistance to pain medication and needs to see a specialist asap!"

So I can empathise with your frustration and I hate that you are going through this. I just want to be able to stick up for all of us and tell these people to wake up! It's hard enough to deal with without the mental anguish of money and where the next meal will come from. I can certainly understand now why a lot of people with mental illness become homeless. It just gets too hard to deal with it all.
Keep trying and make them listen. Go to your local member of parliament or whatever you need to do to make it happen and fight for it. It shouldn't be this hard I know but the reality is that it is.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby denys » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:34 pm

Even if you are in the support group (as I am) you can be called in to the job centre to discuss work options, I had a letter and was confused so rang them and am having an appointment over the telephone in April, apparently just because you are in the support group doesnt mean you will be just left they have to keep in regular contact with you.

As far as the attitude of the person you were speaking to, a complaint is worth pursuing, the lady I spoke to was very understanding and explained everything to me so that I knew why I had received the letter, maybe is your case the lady had had a bad morning but it doesnt give her an excuse to take it out on your wife
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:52 am

Michelle1990 wrote:Hi there, sorry for ur stress during this time it can be a slow progress but eventually they really do understand the difficulties us fibro sufferers deal with on a day to day basis. I most certainly would put a complaint in no one shud have to put up with that attitude whether they are rude or not they are working for the job centre so they are civil servants. My partner had attitude off some one in the job centre and he made a complaint and recieved 2 written appologys, not that it counts much. Regarding your wife getting ESA if she is sending regular sick notes she does not need to attend work focused interviews. If her sick notes states she has fibro then she should be fine and also recieve a back dated payment to the date she started her ESA claim. She will have to attend a medical but just be honest about the struggle u both deal with on a day to day basis. Good luck :-)


Yes we keep letting letters asking us to send the sick notes off. And shes getting £72 a week ESA. I guess this is while she awaits medical.

Seems really dull to make her attend work interview when
1) Shes still got a job but off sick.
2) Shes waiting to see what happens.

For the adviser to threaten her on the phone and say she had to quit her job and do voluntary work to get benefits is just nuts.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:54 pm

Well she tried to speak to them again. Same attitude - turn up or else.

Hour before appt gets a call. Adviser feels unwell and is going home to appt is cancelled. Not even an apology.
Can imagine the attitude if she'd phoned up hour before and said the same.

Not that you can ever get through on the phone.
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby *Lisa* » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:09 pm

paulfoel wrote:
So she gets a letter from jobcentre asking her to go for appt to discuss work. So she phoned them explained she was off sick, she still had a job, hoping to go back etc.

So woman says - you cant claim ESA if your still working???? Wife says yes Im on the sick as I told you but not sure whats going to happen.
So jobcentre woman says well you've got to get a job then or we're stopping your ESA! Wife says Im on the sick - I cant walk without crutches. Woman says well you'll have to do voluntary work then or get no money at all"!


I have a friend at the moment who is claiming ESA as there SSP has run out. They have been on the sick now for over 12months and as far as im aware not been hassled at all from the jobcentre, he just needs to keep sending in sick notes.

When your on ESA work related activity group the job center send out these interviews to talk about how they can get you into work or a course or charity work around the symptoms you have. Now if you already have a job then i assume this is pointless! :-? and so i advise you speak with the manager or seek CAB advise.

The attitude stinks! sounds very threatening to me... "well you'll have to do voluntary work then or get no money at all

This she says without your wife having the interview and being assessed! In the interview they look at your health and symptoms (even tho there not medicaly trained!) and talk to you about what YOU feel you can do and how they can support you in going back to work or taking a college course / charity work etc...

They try to work around you and what your needs are and what you would like to do before sending you into unpaid work, this seems to be a last resort of exhausted options as the job center need to be seen to be doing something with claimants.

Saying that when i had my stint on the WRA group of ESA the advisor clearly see he was up against so much with me that all he did was send me home and advise me to claim for the support group as he knew he had no chance in putting me into employement. I am now in the support group.

They can stop ESA if you dont attend these interviews but your case is different, you need to get some advise and soon.

Good luck!
As a Public Moderator & Admin of this forum my opinions/views expressed are personal and are no more valid than those of other members and not necessarily those of UKFibromyalgia...Lisa
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Re: Appalling attitude by jobcentre

Postby paulfoel » Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:26 am

Well she did attend and luckily the person was ok.

She said, Im still in work, waiting to see what happens, still waiting for ESA. So they said OK see you in three months.

Bit of a waste of time though.
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