Possible help...? (Jobcentre appointment related)

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hi all,

I'm wondering if anybody can help?

I'm a carer for my Mum, it literally is a full-time job, plus I also bring up a six year old alone.

Recently I've been sent a number of appointments for the JCP that are, supposedly, for "Help & Support". However, when I get there these are nothing more than VERY thinly disguised interviews in order to try and get me back to work! It was my understanding that, because I'm a full-time carer and not the lone parent of an under-five, I would only be mandated to attend a WFI every 3 years. I have tried to broach this subject with them but they keep avoiding giving me a direct answer usually saying things like "It's in your best interests" and "in order for you to not miss out on your entitlements".

I'm not really a confrontational person but I want to make it clear that if I don't have to attend then I won't as it means leaving Mum alone for over an hour! Can anybody point me in the right direction? My head is spinning wondering what to do...

Thanks in advance, Lee.
Hi Lee, ring the Carers UK helpline, who will be able to send you a copy of the relevant regulation, I'm sure.

Unfortunately, DWP have replaced a lot of expensive experienced staff in recent years, replaced by someone with 6 weeks training and a computer. Need I say more?!
I tried but, sadly, they're busy and I couldn't get to speak to anybody (which is understandable).

However, since my post a friend passed this over to me. It may be of help to others in a similar situation:

http://educationalfreedom.org.uk/income-supportcarers/

I hear what you're saying about 6 weeks training! Another friend had to recently navigate the minefield that is Universal Credit and her poor advisor (or "Work Coach" as they're now called) didn't have a clue what he was doing. So much so that he kept having to leave his desk to go and ask a colleague for help!

Never mind. I'm sure the time to REALLY start worrying is when we're told that, from now on, all out-of-work benefits will be re-named "Pepsi Presents; JOBSEEKERS!!" :lol:
Lee_17031 wrote:I tried but, sadly, they're busy and I couldn't get to speak to anybody (which is understandable).
Unfortunately the Adviceline phones are often over-subscribed, but if you leave a message or email them they will get back to you - usually within 3-5 working days :)
Need expert advice? You can talk to the Carers UK Adviceline five days a week, no matter where you are in the UK or how complex your query is. We do benefits checks and advise on financial and practical matters related to caring.

0808 808 7777
advice@carersuk.org
Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

The Carers UK Adviceline also includes a listening service, there for you to talk through your caring situation with a trained volunteer who understands what you are going through. Available Mondays and Tuesdays, from 9am to 7pm.
Can you turn the tables on them and say: 'OK, so I'll get a full time job, 9-5. So, who looks after my mother during that time? Who collects my young daughter from school and looks after her till I'm back from work? DO TELL ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'

PS 'Oh, yes, and WHO, pray, looks after my daughter all day during the school holidays (at least 13 weeks a year - 6 weeks summer holidays, two each at Xmas and Easter, and three one-week halfterms)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You should qualify for "Home Responsibilities Credits" on your National Insurance (NI) contributions.

If they still do that? which I think they do.
HRC now called Carers Credit. Can get if you care least 20hrs a week (if only LOL). Unlike CA, not means tested.

FF
Lee, just email them, and they will get back to you.
Alternatively, your Library Reference Section may have Child Poverty Action Group manuals on all benefits, like an Encyclopedia of all DWP benefits. Or the DWP itself have published a book with all benefits listed.

I am told that the CAB website also has a guide to all benefits.
bowlingbun wrote: Unfortunately, DWP have replaced a lot of expensive experienced staff in recent years, replaced by someone with 6 weeks training and a computer. Need I say more?!
No disrespect, but in reality dwp's "mission" the last decade or so is to get you off their books by whatever means possible. They have openly admitted any outcome where a claimant is no longer using the service is seen as a positive outcome, this includes circumstances where the person has been sanctioned/had claims stopped.

They are target driven and most of the services they used to provide have all been privatised/farmed out under the guise of various government backed programmes which serve only to line peoples pockets

Once upon a time it might had been a useful service to the public but these days it is little more than blood sport for the civil service by large staffed by psychopaths.

Anyone reading that might had worked for them in the past, I know there are sometimes still good ones, and this isn't directed at you.. but if you had your money temporarily stopped while planning a loved ones funeral and putting in 100+ hours of week care because one of them didn't understand their own rules you'd have a hard time letting go of that too I suspect.

When I was actually able to work (before care role came full circle and took everything over) I also did some volunteer work with vulnerable people, it was rewarding and it helped me work on my "people skills". I saw people being made homeless and in more extreme cases dying because of the situation dwp had left them in, this still goes on today, but our media is more interested turning the working/middle classes against each other than discussing this because the buck stops at the top and it is ultimately government responsible and accountable for it

/rant

As far as your WFI goes they can suggest all they like but if you are caring fulltime then thats that.
Don't take any nonsense from them, be careful what you sign and don't agree to anything because they will try to trip you up with "verbal agreement" excuses but ultimately they should not be able to do a thing to you.

Best of luck