Possible help...? (Jobcentre appointment related)

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Thank you to everyone who replied.

After doing a lot of searching and also with the wonderful advice posted here, it seems I am 100% within my rights to refuse these appointments without fear of sanction.

The problem is, these people are trained Snake Oil salespeople. As I said in my original post (I think) they conveniently rename these things as "Help & Support" or "Carer's Support Interview". The first one I went to (a group meeting) was literally 10 mins of "here's what help is available to carers" and the other 40 mins was about "how rewarding it is to be in work". I worked most of my adult life (I'm now 46) and it's only since the beginning of the year that I've had to stop work to look after Mum full time. If anybody knows how rewarding work is then I think it's me (and others too, obviously) and, on top of all the other stresses and strains of daily life, I don't need some propaganda spinning moron trying to make me feel bad because I'm trying to give my mother some dignity! (Sorry! Rant over!)

Once again, thank you so much to all who've offered help and advice...

I look forwards to chatting with you all further :)
I suspect they get some kind of government money for every person they get back into work, so that is all they care about.

It's essential, as others here also entangled with SS etc know only too well, to do two thigns. As you say, research comprehensively so you can quote chapter and verse of ALL the regulations and legislation - AND, to MINUTE every conversation you have with them, whether face to face of over the phone.

EVERY conversation needs to be followed up by an email to them saying: 'To confirm the matter discussed in your phone call to me of 3.15pm, 25th March, you state to me....I state to you....' etc etc.

That puts the onus on THEM to write back and 'contest' it if they want. If they don't contest it, it's YOUR email that 'stands'.

Remember, they will 'lose correspondence' like crazy (it's amazing how many letters never seem to reach the right people - can't think why!)(ok, some is probably genuine incompetence, but a LOT is 'conveniently mislaid/misdirected to another department), but emails CANNOT be deleted or lost! (If you do every write an actual letter to them, it's worth paying the extra for signed-receipt and next day delivery, etc etc, so they can't claim you didn't send it!).

Remember too, they will filibuster. 'Delaying' is worth money to them. The longer they can delay things, the less money they have to fork out (even if they then have to back date it, it's been in their bank account for longer, and looks better on their books)!. My neice, who gets NHS counselling, routinely is informed that 'she hasn't answered a letter telling her about an appointment, and therefore she's gone to the back of the queue again'.....this is simply to delay her sessions, which saves them money.

It's all pathetic, exasperating and par for the course in these days of austerities etc etc.
The decision maker of DWP tend not to sign their names to letters any more, in my experience.
I used to be on Incapacity Benefit for many years.

I am now over 65 and get State Pension.

But the transition from Incapacity Ben to ESA was a minefield of bad practice from the DWP.

Finally, just short of four months of my 65th birthday I saw an extremely helpful ATOS Doctor.

Shortly thereafter I got back pay of ESA covering a period of about 7 months.
jenny lucas wrote:I suspect they get some kind of government money for every person they get back into work, so that is all they care about.
From around 2011 DWP monitored their "performance" on the measure of claimants leaving benefit. It doesn't matter whether they have left through a sanction or because they found employment. So called "isolated" (going by Neil Couling, head of jobcentre at the time) incidents where front line staff faced performance improvement plan for not meeting targets set out by centre managers via newsletters etc.. concerns also raised at union meetings. Its not a case of financial incentives, their "job" as you would have it is as simple as getting people off the books by any means necessary as aforementioned.

Companies under government schemes (which are essentially corporations that have won bids on contracts put to tender) do function under an incentive system. Coincidently a similar thing has been going on with the NHS for a number of years, but that discussion is for another day :)

For the sake of example, you refer a claimant getting JSA (or ESA WRAG) to the work programme
Depending on how long that persons been out of work, there is a commission for them finding sustainable employment (even if they go self-employed) providing they acknowledge the firm got them there, which is why claimants often experience "courtesy calls" long after they left, even when the firm did nothing to help them.

They get additional for other activities, such as referring for work experience (mandatory work activity, another farce), putting you onto various courses.. alternatively they might decide you require too much assistance and basically sabotage the claimant, getting them sanctioned, their claim stopped at which point they no longer have to deal with them.

Its why you would see less and less being taken on at Christmas, Argos for example were notorious for replacing its paid seasonal positions with workfare, people irrespective of their circumstances forced to work unpaid or have their claims stopped. ASDA also got themselves into hot water for utilising unpaid workers for their night shifts. Considering these people would still be expected to manage 35+ hours a week of proven effort to find work while jugging their placement and whatever personal circumstances they have going on (which includes people in a caring role that might had temporarily found themselves on JSA for whatever reason)

Bearing in mind having your claim stopped, also means the likes of council tax reduction and housing benefit would also be stopped, thus likely making you destitute overnight, unless you are amongst the few lucky ones that paid your house off before it all went pair shaped. This is a big factor in the significant growth of "no dss" in the rental sector.

None of this should have bearing on CA claimants though.. they can call you to discuss your situation/see if you are interested in any help but they shouldn't be nudging you towards anything. Last thing I am interested in is having some kid sitting behind a desk a few hours a week (and better for it financially) telling me what I've given up a fair chunk of my life for isn't doing enough.
The incentives for the DWP staff to get all benefit claimants ( including carers who are paid CA ) to " Find " work for some reward may not stop just there.

Turning to PIP applicants , rumours abound that the contractors carrying out the assessments are paid a commission over and above their contracted fee for those they reject.

Perhaps one reason why outside contractors are used as opposed to trained medical staff with no other incentitive other to judge the claimant on medical grounds , and their ultimate welfare if demned " Fit " ( not necessarily able ) to move over / return to the workplace.

Purely rumours but , believable , and not out of line with any Government thinking.
Article from last year regarding an expose episode of dispatches where a mental health nurse went under cover and got employment with Capita.

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/ca ... cumentary/

You can find much of the same all over the place, so your claims are certainly believable.. after all they would not had undertaken the contract if there was not money to be made.
You can find much of the same all over the place, so your claims are certainly believable.. after all they would not had undertaken the contract if there was not money to be made.


The deductions made by a couple of contacts I have known for years in what used to be called " Fleet Street. "

Getting hard evidence , even in todays information overloaded society , is difficult ... more so from Governmental Departments ... some of the more recent " Leaks " as opposed to " Whispers " can be subject to a frenzy of activity , including calling in favours owed by other parts of the media , to plug them before too much damage is done to whichever Ministry is involved.

One lesson well learnt from recent history .... Watergate / Nixon / The Plumbers.

The leaking of what is now called " The Panama Papers " caught most of our media out , the effects of which are still being felt today across the world. One contact said that she had not seen so much " Fun " in years with each newspaper contacting the other to find out more information !

Even The Eye tends to report more whispers than leaks which illustrates just how the System tends to prioritise the secrecy of certain information having been caught with their trouusers down in the past.

Ian Hislop's testimony to the Levenson Enquiry on press freedom is very revealing in this respect. Still available on You Tube , explains fully The Eye's own procedures when dealing with something juicy that comes into them from whatever source.

Given the DWP is involved , and vital to the Government's economic strategy , hard evidence to support unorthodox practices would be akin to finding gold which could lead to major political fallout if not further loss in confidence in the whole System.