Skip to Content Skip to Navigation
Member Login

Member login

No account? JOIN US

Ask the expert: work focused interviews

No matter how complex your emotions or your circumstances, the Carers UK Adviceline is here to give you the information you need.

Each month we take a question from the Carers UK Forum and get one of our advisers to provide an expert response. This time we're looking at work focused interviews, and the circumstances where you may be asked to attend one.

You asked:Concerned comic

My son has Asperger’s and social / confidence issues. He turns 18 years old in August. I’ve cared for him for what seems like forever and receive Carer’s Allowance and Income Support. The Job Centre want me to attend a work focused interview next week. I’m worried that they will stop my Income Support which will affect my Housing Benefit. Am I worrying for nothing? 

Our Adviser says:

As you are claiming Income Support it is normal to be asked to attend some work focused interviews (WFIs). However, as you are claiming as a carer (and as long as you aren’t also a lone parent with any children under five years of age – where different rules apply), you should only be asked to attend a WFI in the following circumstances:

  • at the start of your claim for Income Support
  • when Carer’s Allowance ends
  • when you start or finish part-time work
  • when you finish training
  • when you turn 18
  • in any other case when three years have passed since the last time you attended.

If one of the above circumstances applies to you, then you would need to attend and take part in the WFI. You should make it clear that you are still caring for your son and that you aren’t looking to get back into employment at the moment because of your caring role. Once you have been to the WFI your Income Support should continue as normal and you should not be asked to undertake any work related activity. Unless your circumstances change you shouldn’t have to go to another WFI for another three years.

If none of the above circumstances apply, then you could contact the Jobcentre Plus to challenge the fact that you have to attend a WFI. You can use one of the template letters on our website to help you.

If you do have to attend the WFI and the Jobcentre ask you to undertake any work related activity (such as looking for work, undertaking training, or taking part in the Work Programme), then you could contact the Jobcentre Plus to challenge this, as you should not have to do this. Again you can use one of the template letters on our website to help you.

For more information you can read the information on the Carers UK website about work focused interviews and work related activity.

  • Carers UK Adviceline: You can talk to us 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 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join us

Hands join us

Together we're a supportive community and a movement for change.



Your donations are an essential part of helping us make life better for carers.

How you can help

Carer and son

With your help we can reach more carers with timely support and advice.



We will keep campaigning until every carer gets proper recognition and support.

Back to top