Frequency Of Work Related Interviews?

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colin333

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Frequency Of Work Related Interviews?

  • on: 09 Jan 2016 12:27PM

 I'm in the ESA WRAG.

 Apart from other things I suffer from severe depression & anxiety.

 I had my first 4 Work Focused Interviews at the Benefits Office, but I was so stressed
out at them, that they said I could have future interviews via the 'phone.

  I've had 3, (so far), 'phone interviews & that in itself is puzzling me. I thought
that people in the WRAG were 'only' supposed to have 6 WFI'S? I've had about
7 so far.

 The woman who interviews me now wants me to have my 4th telephone interview.

  But I missed that interview as I never received her letter.

  She left a message on my mobile, telling me that I'd missed the interview &
that I should 'phone her.
 
   I rang her on Friday, but she was not available. Another member of staff answered
& when she looked up my details on their computer, she said that as I had my last
'phone interview in October, I'm not due another until April!

   I asked her if there was any details about a Thursday January 8th interview, & she
said that there was not. Only that the interviews are every 6 Months & my next is
in April.

   So, I'm completely confused.

  1)... If Work Focused Interviews are every 6 Months, how come my 'Personal Advisor'
is making me have them every 2 Months?  (I had one in August, 1 in October, & she
now wants a January one).

 2)... I thought that people in the WRAG were 'only' supposed to have 6 WFI, but I've had
7 & she now wants me to have an 8th.

  3)... If she's interviewing me every 2 Months, how come there was no reference to that,
when the other member of staff checked on her computer? She said that my Personal
Advisor has my next WFI down as not being until April - even though she wants to
interview me now - in January.

 4)... I tried to 'phone her on Friday afternoon, but she was not available. I'll try again
on Monday.

 5)... Can anyone advise me what to ask her? Is she treating me unfairly, by making
me have WFI's every 2 Months? Am I allowed to ask for a different Personal Advisor,
if I'm not happy with the way she is treating me?

  I'm not at all sure what to do. All I know I that the WFI's - even by 'phone - have
me in a terribly anxious state, & if I'm only supposed to have them every 6 Months,
I don't know why she is making me have them every 2 Months, & the next one will
be my 8th, when I thought that 6 was the most you had to have.

  Can anyone advise me as to what to say to her, when I 'phone her? Please.
 
   Thanks.

Sunshine Meadows

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Welcome to Ouch Too Colin333,

I dont know if there is a limited to the number of WFIs a person is expected to attended so I did a search for more information. I did not find out an outright answer but if you look at the information below it might help explain what the advisor is doing in your case. I think you need to ask if she has differed the WFIs you would have been doing at the Jobcentre, if the telephone interviews are a temporary measure and if she is hoping you will get to a interview at the Jobcentre in April?

Quote
What is the effect of imposing work focused interviews on vulnerable people, especially those with mental health conditions?
Such cases are approached with sensitivity, applying the full range of safeguards, such as home visits, encouraging a support worker to be present and ensuring that there is pre-interview contact with the customer when Employment Service Advisers can explain their purpose. There will of course be cases where mandatory intervention is clearly inappropriate. Those with the most severe mental health conditions will already be in the support group and not required to attend WFIs. Employment Service Advisers have the ability to defer interviews where a customer is clearly not able to attend or to effectively take part. This is particularly useful in cases where, for example, there is a fluctuating condition.

In what circumstances are work focused interviews waived or deferred?
Employment Service Advisers are able to waive an interview when a customer is very close to returning to employment, for example, where an imminent start date for work has been agreed and an interview would be of no assistance to the customer.

Deferrals are used to cover a wide range of circumstances and for varying periods of time. Where there is a short term problem affecting attendance on a particular day, the interview would be re-arranged in the days following the original date. Where problems are longer term, such as a period in hospital, deferral could last months.

https://www.dsdni.gov.uk/articles/questions-and-answers-employment-and-support-allowance-advisers

I know many people look at the six interviews as a target to reach before breathing space but try not to panic if you still have more WFIs to go to. Actually letting an advisor see your symptoms in person can help them better understand and sometimes this helps them make a case for you to continue coping with life as it is. In my case i think getting through the WFIs meant information was added to my records that later helped me get into the Support Group, or maybe it helped me understand why I could not work all the factors involved so i could better explain things on my next ESA50.

I took the dog out the other day managed but was struggling to get into the house when I got home so my partner helped me. Some people think the DWP assessors would focus on the fact I went out with the dog like a ordinary person, and some assessors would however I have a responsibility to try to do stuff to be able to explain what happens and why.

Monic1511

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Hi Colin,
The frequency of WFI's is at the discretion of the work coach and you'll find that it depends on their managers views.  I'm glad your work coach has put you on telephone interviews but if the WFI's stress you so much then you need to start looking for evidence that supports you being placed in the support group after the next medical.
In my area some work coaches call folk in weekly and will sanction those who don't do the tasks they are given.  I wouldn't ask for another work coach as your more likely to get someone more strict rather than more lenient.
I'm sorry that's not going to reassure you but I think you need to start looking for evidence for support group.
Monic

KizzyKazaer

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Hi Colin, I'm in the ESA WRAG also (and have been since my Incapacity Benefit-to-ESA transfer in 2013) and I have a long history of mental illness.  I won't bore you with my various diagnoses  ;-) - but from my own experience of the frequency of WFIs, this seems to be at the personal adviser's discretion as initially I was seeing her about every 3 months, then she changed it to every 6 months (presumably having decided that I wasn't very close to 'moving towards work' after all.)  I think a 6 month gap between WFIs is the longest allowed, and certainly I'm not aware of any maximum number of interviews that can be carried out, given that one can be in the WRAG for years rather than months...

(PS - Monic and I posted at same time, 'work coach' and 'personal adviser' are the same thing)
« Last Edit: 09 Jan 2016 05:33PM by KizzyKazaer »

colin333

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 Thank you for your useful replies to my Post.

Monic1511

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Colin, are you okay?  I think we might have given answers but not sure if we managed to help you, I hope your issue is being resolved
Take care
Monic