We often get asked alot of questons so I thought that it would be a good idea to write some of the questions down with the answers. I hope that this helps anyone having to deal with the terrible Jobcentre regime.
- Do I have to attend my ESA/PIP medical?
- Yes but it is always best to go to welfare rights first for advice and always take someone with you. Remember that they often film you entering the building. So be wary. They will also try and trick you with questions. Think very carefully about how you answer them.
- Remember it’s not about the illness its about how the illness affects your everyday life.
- DLA is changing over to pip. When you get your forms you must fill them in and send them off in the time stated. Please get help from welfare rights with filling these forms in because they can be tricky.
- Do I have to attend a mandatory appointment?
- Yes you do have to attend a mandatory appointment. If you cannot attend for any reason you must provide a good excuse and get it in writing.
- Never agree to anything verbally. The DWP will lie to you to simply get you out of the building. Get EVERYTHING in writing.
- What is a compliance letter?
- A compliance letter could mean one of several things. Someone could have made a report of benefit fraud against you or they might think someone is living with you. This can be totally untrue so please take all relevant documentation with you to prove your case.
- Can I appeal a sanction?
- Yes you must always appeal a sanction. They depend on you not to. Remember to ask for a mandatory reconsideration form and a hardship payment form. They might not give you these.
- Can I appeal an ESA or PIP decision?
- Yes you can but always get advice on this and go to your nearby welfare rights centre.
- When I am sanctioned can I get housing benefit and council tax benefit?
- Yes you can. You need to go to your local council offices and fill in the correct forms.
- Do I have to attend the workfare program?
- Do not be late for a workfare placement. They will inform the Jobcentre of this and you can get sanctioned.
- Do I have to attend the work programme?
- Yes you do but don’t be late or don’t be absent. They will inform the Jobcentre of this and you will get sanctioned.
- Always get everything in writing off them. Photograph everything you sign so they can’t say that you didn’t attend.
- Can they sanction me for not doing my job search?
- Yes they can and they will. If you are ill or you have good reason then provide evidence. Never agree to anything verbally. Always get it in writing.
- Remember they are not your friend. They can (not always) turn against you at a whim. Always be wary.
- Always be friendly. That’s if you can. It’s very hard but some advisors just want an excuse to find fault with you.
- Keep a record of everything that you do.
- You can audio record your interviews but you cannot video record.
- Children are allowed in the Jobcentre. If they say they aren’t allowed they are very wrong.
- If you are asked to a meeting and you are vulnerable then you are allowed a Mckenzie friend to attend with you. You must let them know beforehand but the law states that they can attend with you.
- Watch your social media. Make sure it’s private and not public because they have been known to spy on people via Facebook etc.
I hope that this list helps you. It’s only a rough list but I hope it helps.
5 thoughts on “Questions that we are often asked. ”
Great advice… After reading through, I just wanted to ask about the right to be accompanied. My understanding is that a claimant always has the right be accompanied “at any stage of business with the DWP”, and it’s not necessary to be considered vulnerable or to notify in advance:
This is where it gets awkward because they can refuse even though they are supposed to. Printing this out and showing them would stop this argument. They break their own rules all the time and I know they will never allow someone else to attend a signing on appointment with them. Not fair not right but it’s how it is.
They are also clamping down on “representatives”. I think everyone who enters the Jobcentre is vulnerable so therefore is eligible for representation. But for normal signing on appointments they wouldn’t. Unless there is a very good reason for it.
After dealing with the DWP for years now this is the case sadly.
very helpful…………to pass on, to vulnerable people………….
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