The dreaded phone call from the jobcentre

I had the dreaded phone call today from the job centre,,i have just moved over to esa,,and they have put me in the back to work group,,,yippee not,,,how am i going to cope,,after a long chat he is going to leave things for now? and phone me back next month to arrange interview to see what work i can do,,well seeing as my lungs are pooped,,my joints are swollen and my hands hardly work i wonder what job they will find for me,,,he said they will re-train me,,for what? all that money spent on re-trainiing me when only a few yrs of retiring,, oh well will be interesting to see what happens,,,i always thought getting a sick note from the doctor( who says i should not work) was telling them you where ill,,so why are they going to find me work when i am sending in sick notes,,the mind boggles,,,,

15 Replies

  • We need the american systerm ... Thses job worths have not grasped the point of being sick and incapable

  • Possibly something to do with jobseekers allowance being less than ESA Chrissie? Mick.

  • well my esa is the same money as jsa so whats the point,,,i,m just another number as far as they are concerned,,,

  • they are so full of themselves,bunch of idiots.!!!!!!!!

  • I would suggest writing to your MP and explaining your situation and the unfairness of it.

    They may not be able to do anything about your situation, but the more people that do contact their MP's puts a growing amount of pressure on them to remember one thing - they are there to REPRESENT US, their constituents.

    Good luck in any case.

  • Yeah its not fair is it? The only positive thing about it is if you are in the back to work group rather than just JSA you will get more help. Jobcentre staff are generally much nicer to those in your group and even though they have to follow the rules I have found they are sympathetic and do understand how difficult it is.

    Bev x

  • hi crissie,i also have just been for my interview.i should have retired in i cant retire until i am nearly 64.they also said about retraining which is a total waste of money as i am 60.the money would be better spent on providing apprentiships for the youngsters who have their work life ahead of them.the only positive i can see is that it looks better for the goverment as less people on the sick.regards crissie,and remember you cant work if you are sick.

  • Hi Crissie, I have just been reffered to see a consultant at the chest clinic - what for? - to sign for a replacement bus pass as a letter from my doctor is no longer acceptable. What a waste of a consultants time and the expence to the NHS. Surely our highly qualified GPs should be trusted to make these decisions. It will probably have cost more for these checks than to have given me a replacement bus pass in the beginning. What a crazy world we live in.

  • For those not familiar with the way ESA works the basic rate is same as for JSA but after the first 13 weeks (assessment phase) the rate increases by about £30 with those in the support group geting slightly more that those put in the so called "Work related activity group" who are not expected to look for weork but should be trying to move towards work at some point in the future by carrying out "work related activity" which doesnt automaticall mean working but just doing something that helps them move towards being able to work at some point in the future.

    I think most with COPD and other similar conditions should be able to reasonably argue that any condition management such as pulminary rehab or other physio should have that seen as work related activity and not be required to do much if anything more than that and certainly not anything that might agrivate their condition.

    With the Support group there is also an additional premium available on a means tested basis which adds a further £20 roughly per week for those with no other income as long as partners do not work as the means testing is as a couple with single claimants having a minimum income guarantee of about £120 per week. This is because those in the support group also receive the so called "Enhanced Disability Premium" used to calculate the minimum income they need.

    In this group you are also not required to even be doing work related activity (unless you choose to do it) and in both this and the WRAG group one is allowed to work a limited number of hours and earn up to roughly £80/90 a week and not lose benefits (other than the means tested ones which only disregard about £20 per week).

    One major problem right now though is that the assessment phase is lasting way longer than 13 weeksm especially if it involves a review and/or appeal as this can take up to a year to finalise the actual rate of benefit due to be paid.

    The good news is that when this is finally completed all the back payments are then paid as a lump sum and I heard yesterday that someone I helped with their appeal and is now in the support group after having been on the basic rate as if they were on JSA since March 2012 and so can now expect a total back payment of nearly £3,000. :)

  • Useful pointing out WRAG (work related activity group) is for one year after this time the claim will have to be moved onto JSA (job seekers allowance) considering the one year for appeals, the situation could be support group ESA or JSA.

  • The one year limit is for "Contributions based" ESA but it can extend longer Bungle.

    But thisa is only if the claimant qualifies for the means tested version of the benefit paid at the same rates but ONLY if no other income that takes them over (typically a partner who works or any form of pension or insurance coverage).

  • Hi I wonder if you could give me some advice, I'm in the limited capacity to work category, and have now got job centre on my back making appointments every fortnight, and wanting me to do voluntarily work within the job centre which someone else pointed out would be really bad for someone with copd, people coming in all day with colds etc. What's confusing me is that being in the limited capacity group, I didn't think they could harrass you like this x

  • Thanks everybody for there views,,,seems so complicated,,have worked for 46 yrs non stop and never claimed a penny,,am on my own so no worries about a partner,,,blf are going to send out some information to me,,,would be so easier if they just believed our doctors,,,but if i have to go for a medical i,ll take someone with me,,,i don,t need this stress,,you think you get on a even keel and along comes the goverment to pull you down again,,

  • do not forget esa only lasts for 365 days then nothing, no job seekers nothing. you need to get in the support group, get your appeal in as soon as you can, you only e four weeks. i did and i got into the support group, just be ready for a fight, good luck

  • Thanks massey,,but how and who do i appeal to,,,all i have had is a phone call,,and they said they would send some stuff out to me,, if it arrives this week i,ll give age uk a ring and get them to help me,,they helped me with the dla forms,,,i,m always up for a fight,,,,not my fault i ended up like this,,just sucked in to much coolant over the years,,,

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