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Working and caring? - Carers UK Forum

Working and caring?

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
The Directgov website describes how carers can go into their local jobcentreplus and ask to speak to an adviser about looking for work whilst caring. The website points out that you should say you're a carer because the j/c will understand how carers can lack confidence etc and have special circumstances etc. Really?

I have been turned away twice from my local jobcentre reception as they say they don't offer this service to carers. I wrote to the manager of the j/c for clarification on their policy towards carers. No reply.

Started complaints procedure. Wrote to manager of j/c. No reply. Wrote to Chief Executive of Dept for Work and Pensions. Reply from regional office said they would set up a meeting with their new deal guy at the loval j/c.

I have exhausted the complaints procedure. My only remaining option is the ombudsman. But is this something the ombudsman could look at? All I want is to sit down for one appointment with a J/c adviser like it says on the directgov website! I didn't even ask for New Deal but was prepared to go along to any kind of interview just to get some advice and help. I have had zero help.

Probably I would just call it a day now but that would just let them off the hook and I don't like the idea that it's made so difficult that you would want to just give up . I could seek out other ways of finding work. But the help is supposed to be there for us.

Could I go to the ombidsman over something like this? If not, to whom should I go?

I wonder if anyone anywhere in the country has managed to get an interview with a jobcentre adviser if they are on carers allowance (but receive no other benefits).

I guess this would be a long way along the line but, if we are disabled by association, perhaps they at the jobcentre could consider referring us to the disability adviser that is in every jobcentreplus, who advises people with a disability. They could be made aware of the particular difficulties carers have in finding work and give extra support.

Sorry I missed out part of the story. When I arrived at New Deal interview the guy was very apologetic and said he could not help me because his computer said New Deal was only for people on Jobseekers Allowance. The computer said no and I was sent away again! I wonder why he could not just have sat down and at least talked through things with me - but no.
I really do not know what to advise, so much for the concept of "No-one Written Off" and work for all who can Image . I think that you might get more help from your LA, LAs are supposed to be helping disabled people and carers into work but this lets the DWP off the hook and, like you, I would be loathe to do that, responsibility is a two-way street and they are failing in their responsibility to assist you in looking at the possibility of and preparing for work. If you are thinking of using the Government Ombudsman I believe that you have to have explored all other avenues of complaint and then access the service via your constituency MP but that information might now be out of date. It might be worth involving your MP anyway and asking him to ask a question in the House or write to the Secretary of State Yvette Cooper. Good luck.

I don't know either - but BRAVO to you for pushing this as far as you have.

I am on Jobseeker's Allowance and last week my husband asked me whilst I was "signing on" at Job Centre Plus (Plus what????) to ask for him if he is entitled to any other benefits other than what he receives now. He too had read on the web that the Job Centre was the source of expert information.

So the guy I had to see for my bimonthly interview had his ID hanging from his neck with a worn out ribbon which said "Disability Confident." Great, I thought - this guy must be knowledgeable about disability benefits. So, I piped up and asked if he could help me with a question about disability benefits. He looked at me in disgust and then pointed me to a display of various informational booklets and said "go ask her" - the "her" was the woman who answers general queries for people that come into Job Centre.

I left with a booklet, which I found myself.

I attended an event in Newcastle last year.
See here

Comments from the group :

How will new claims for CA be identified if DWP are setting up a One point entry for all benefits.
In many cases DWP take wrong information,this would have a negative affect for carers if placed in wrong group of claimants
Computer systems are not modified yet to recognise carers
Carers are not passive ,they already work
Carers need kept separate within the benefit system
If DWP are working towards a SWAB, where does that leave carers now and in the future.
Carers are unique and deserve payment to recognise that

The computer comment was made by a person who deals with the software for JCP.At that time she said there would be no changes in the near future.Considering that was October,whether the systems have changed I dont know.From what you have said it looks doubtful though.