Can anyone offer me some advice about the Government Work Programme Scheme?

I suffer from anxiety which manifests as panic attacks and agoraphobia. For the past year I've been claiming jobseekers (I was turned down for ESA) and I've now been told I have now been placed on a work programme by the local Disability Employment Advisor. Sadly the Work Programme is based in Leicester, which is about 15 miles from my home. Although my agoraphobia has really improved I am still not able to travel that far. I therefore telephoned the work programme provider who couldn't understand why I had been referred to them in lieu of my problem with getting to them and I should speak to the jobcentre. I then called the jobcentre and spoke to my disability employment advisor who waffled a bit, said the provider shouldn't have referred me back and that basically I had to go or face having sanctions applied to my jobseekers allowance. n.b. I've been told that telephone interviews aren't acceptable and I have to attend in person.

I'm therefore stuck as to what to do. I'm being passed around with no one taking responsibility and know that I probably won't be able to attend the work programme appointments. I do want to work and have been looking, applying for and attending interviews in my home town. I also spend 5hrs a day volunteering for a local charity, so it's not as if I haven't been proactive.

Does anyone else have any experience of this happening to them? Or any suggestions as to what steps I could take to try and sort this out. It's all very frustrating.

4 Replies

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  • You could always try contacting your local mp as they can be quite a handy tool sometimes.

  • Hello can u not appeal against the decision?thats what i had to do they still like u to go for assessments but if u genuinely cant go then u cant .Have u got a therapist or doctor that could write u a letter that can help.I know in my town they do home visits for assessments or maybe get some advice from citizen advice bureau i think theyre still going.Hope u get something sorted.

    Take care

    claire x

  • Hi

    I had to appeal as well for ESA.!!!and now it's fine.anxiety and agorophobia.u have to appeal within a month of their decision.if it past too long apply again and if they say no make an appeal.it usually works.

    Good luck

  • Thanks for the replies guys. If all else fails I'll have to go to my doctor and see if he can write a letter to them. Luckily he's really supportive so will probably be able to help. I've got a few local job interviews this week, fingers crossed one proves successful and I can wave goodbye to JSA for good. However I'm definitely going to write either to my MP or someone else about it, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who lives in a rural area and has to go through all this malarkey!!!

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