WRAG - Work-focused Interviews?

Has anyone any experience on what is expected with Work-focused interviews? How regalar etc.etc. I am not well enough to start this and want to know if anyone has delayed this commencing?

Thank you.

12 Replies

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  • Thank you, I have a supportive GP though I'm not sure at this stage whether or not a sick note would be accepted by DWP.

  • Hi Reflections

    Here's some info from the Benefits And Work website about the WRAG Work Focussed Interviews, I hope you find it helpful.

    Please click on the link -

    benefitsandwork.co.uk/emplo...

    I am not sure about being able to delay the start of the interviews Reflections, although I did find this comment on the Benefits and Work website about not attending an interview -

    Failure to attend or take part in this interview without good cause – for example, being ill or having a hospital appointment that it would be unreasonable to rearranged - will result in your ESA being reduced or sanctioned.

    I hope you feel better soon and that you manage these interviews, wishing you all the best.

    (((hug))) xxx

    Libs

  • Thank you LibertyZ this is helpful.

  • My pleasure Reflections, happy to help any time! :) xxx

  • I have just started with these. Although I am also appealing against being in the WRAG group, I still had to attend. Initially I had to go to the job centre a few weeks ago. The lady I saw was very nice and very helpful. She told me that she would only need to see me every 6 months, and gave me her direct contact number. She then explained she had by law to refer me for Work Related Activities, although she could see how difficult it was for me to walk, stand or sit.

    Last week I received a letter telling me that I had to go for one of these appointments with G4s in another town, and it was mandatory. I would be sanctioned if I did not attend.

    I couldn't do it. It was an early morning appointment, and not only am I incapable of driving that far, in the mornings my head is still fuzzy from night time medication, making me unfit to drive. If I went by train it was too far to walk from the train station etc etc. So I telephoned the lady at the job centre and explained the situation.

    She told me to call them and explain that I couldn't attend, and give the reasons why. They would then inform her, so she could impose the sanctions, but she assured me she would not do so.

    I made the call, they were very understanding, and tried to make a new appointent. I told them it was a waste of time as I still wouldn't be able to attend, and was currently appealing being in the WRAG group. They said OK.

    Today I received a letter from job centre stating that I must call them immediately or I may lose my benefit. I called, asked to be put through to my advisor and told her about the letter. She said it is routine, as G4S reported my none attendance, and not to worry.

    She told me to attend ONE appointment when I can, but agree to nothing, as they cannot force someone in WRAG group to take part after the initial consulation. However she warned me that when I do attend a lot of pressure will be put on me to enrol in the scheme, or look for work. If you do enrol then every time they ask you to attend, it is mandatory, as is taking part in their 'Work Related Activities'. So "don't agree to anything, and don't sign anything" is the advice I have been given, and it is what I plan to do.

    Hope this information helps you.

    Good luck

    Em

  • Thank you Em, this is interesting, I am wondering whether there would be difficulties to not signing - I will take this advice and see what they say to me. You are fortunate to have found someone to advise you. x

  • I am just holding my breath, waiting to see if there will be repercussions for not attending, but for now will follow the advice I've been given. I did get paid this week, which is something :)

    I was indeed lucky to get the advisor I did at the Job Centre.

    As mentioned I am currently appealing being put in the WRAG group. My appeal papers have now arrived, and I note that the refusal to change their decision includes the statement that (quote)

    "Work Related Activity must be reasonable, having regard to the claimant's circumstances, in particular a claimant's health or medical conditions. Work Related Activity must not require the claimant to seek, apply for or undertake work." (unquote)

    So I shall keep a copy of that statement in my pocket if made to attend one of the interviews.

    Meanwhile it looks like the next step for me will be to attend a Tribunal hearing, which I'm dreading.

    Hope all goes well for you Reflections.

    Em xx

  • Hi, I attend every 6 months. Very helpful and friendly advisor. I am studying at night class once a week the course includes a placement so for the last year this has been acceptable. Have an appointment on Monday, heres hoping nothing has changed.!

  • I have been told I would have to attend every 6 to 8 weeks - by an unsympathetic man. I hope nothing has changed for you too for Monday.

  • I was on contribution based ESA for 12 months. I didn't get a call from the job centre or an appointment with an advisor all of that time. I therefore thought I had been put into the support group only to be informed one month before my benefit was ending that I was in the work related group !!!! They know they can't help me find a job and so don't bother. I worked up until July of last year when my condition became so bad that I could no longer work. There is no help out there for people with fibromyalgia. They all seem to think it is a mental condition and not a recognised medical condition.

  • Well for all intents and purposes it was stated that the government recognises Fibromyalgia as a potentially disabling illness. It seems to have been said and that is about it. I never even got into the WRAG and was declared fit for work and told I needed to sign up for JSA, which of course I did not. So I ended up with Carers Allownace for my daughter and Income Support as a top up. I have no idea how it all works as far as WRAG goes. I hope you get plenty of good advice via this site xxxxx

  • Thank you, I'm glad there was an alternative solution for you.

    Thanks everyone,

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