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Work focused interview access issues 7 years 9 months ago #97625

  • bro58

PC wrote: I went to my first wfi this week. Glad I did.

To recap, I had been offered the chance to defer the wfi for 3 months. This was mainly due to JC+ not being able to meet my access needs. I declined the offer to defer, as since starting the transfer from IB to ESA last summer, and starting an appeal after benig placed in WRAG I have not had any face to face contact with anyone from DWP or ATOS. I wanted someone from one of these agencies to look me in the eye and still tell me I should be inWRAG.

I did not take my wheelchair, as I had been informed of the lack of space. Luckily we managed to park the car nearby, (there is no car park at JC+) and my husband helped me into the building.
The DWP adviser was very apologetic for being unable to meet my access needs. Apparently I am not being discriminated against regarding toilet facilities because there are no toilets available to any of their 'customer' whether able bodied or disabled. The staff usually tell people to ask to use the toilets at the pub round the corner!

The adviser acknowledged that in her opinion I should be in support group. She checked that I had appealed, then sent a detailed email to the DWP office where Decision Maker works. She was shocked that the decision had been made to put me in WRAG without considering my responses to the ESA form, or anyone from Atos or DWP confirming my responses with the GP or other medical professionals I see regularly. She asked the DWP to contact me the same morning by phone, to explain why there had been an inadequate response to my SAR, why I had not been provided with all of the information used to reach the decision to put me in WRAG, and said she wanted them to prioritise my reconsideration, as she believed that my health is worsening due to the stress caused by the delay. She also gave me some very useful advice on what I should include in a letter of complaint to DWP including the fact that as they had told me they had used information from my GP when they hadn't contacted him, they should reimburse me the fee I paid to the GP to access my medical records.

Result? I received a call from DWP within the hour, Informing me that my claim had been prioritised and I would receive a letter within a week to let me know the outcome.

All in all a positive experience.

PC


Hi PC,

Indeed it does seem positive, well done !!!!

bro58

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Work focused interview access issues 7 years 9 months ago #97636

Hi PC
Just been reading through all your thread. I am so glad you received some help and good advice from the DWP adviser, and hope you receive the news very soon that you have been placed in the support group.

I cannot believe you could not have received the same interview, support and advice over the phone. It is awful to think of all the barriers you have been made to face, you are a customer of DWP and they are a service provider. Access to their building, space for wheelchairs, mobility scooters etc., should be the norm especially looking at how many disabled people are being moved into work capability groups or support groups, the DWP buildings should be suitable for their disabled customers.

I believe the DWP Advisor could have that incorrect about you not being discriminated against regarding toilet facilities because there are no toilets available to any of their 'customer' whether able bodied or disabled and that the staff usually tell people to ask to use the toilets at the pub round the corner! How shocking, the Newspapers and Disability Rights campaigners and possibly specialist discrimination solicitors would have a field day with that one., The only reason I mention it is when I had my original injury, I use to work for quite a good employer, (wish i never moved on from them) after some time off I returned to work, it was a listed building, and I had difficulty with walking and stairs, I was placed temporarily in a ground floor office, because I could not reach the second floor and the building had no lift. One day the ground floor toilets were being refurbished, I could not reach the toilets on the next floor, one manager said they knew the company across the road and I could use their toilets. But when it was ran passed Health & Safety they asked HR to send me home on full pay as the company could not accommodate my disability needs in work and it was unlawful to ask me to go and use toilets across the road, also there was Health & Safety risk if I fell or had a accident. I believe because you was called to DWP that day, you’re their customer and they should be able to accommodate your disability requirements and they should not be expecting you to leave your wheelchair behind because there is not enough room, or for you to try and reach a pub toilet accross the road.. I hope when it is all sorted and you are placed in the support group that you find the strength to please tell your local MP and make them aware of what happened to you.

Your story also highlights that they `discriminate’ as they do not provide disabled facilities for their staff or customers and they would not be able to employ a person in a wheelchair or a person requiring a disabled toilet. Also make an official complaint to DWP on what happened to you as I think it is appalling and is not acceptable treatment. I am sure your local press and also the national press would be very interested in your story.,

Best of luk PC
Meg
:)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Brightskies2009, Alien

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Last edit: by Gordon.

Work focused interview access issues 7 years 9 months ago #97651

Thank you for your kind comments, Meg

I don't want the moderators to think I am turning this into a discussion, but in case I have confused any members I will try to explain as briefly as possible:

I was offered a telephone wfi, or to defer wfi for 3 months. I chose to attend the JobCentre to firstly get the wfi over with. I had been dreading it and didn't want to put it off any longer. Secondly, I wanted to prove a point, i.e. show DWP how my impairments affect my day to day functional abilities, as no amount of written explanations seemed to be understood by them.

The comment about not being discriminated against because there were no toilets for any customers was mine, not the adviser's. indeed she was under so much pressure in her work tasks, yet treated me with utmost compassion and courtesy. Even helping me to the staff toilets, and ensuring I could have access immediately I needed to go, which although difficult to access, did afford me some dignity.

I had hoped to convey the message in my last post, that wfis need not necessarily be an ordeal to be feared. By politely informing JC+ in advance of my access difficulties, and by treating the staff with courtesy, I got what I wanted. I.e. a face to face interview that actually did provide me with support, and removed some of the stress I had been feeling due to the anticipation of an experience I had expected to be humiliating.

I actually came away thinking that the JC+ staff are also victims of a flawed system. Yes there are issues concerning the disability access. These issues do need to be addressed, but I am not ready for that battle yet. Basically, I got a better result than I could have anticipated in that my appeal reconsideration is being looked at within the next few days. The JC+ adviser agrees I should be in support group, although she is not a decision maker, she sent her concerns straight away to the DM office. She will maintain future contact with me by phone or email, unless I choose to see her in her office. She also gave me information of an advocacy service to help if I need to go to tribunal, and confirmed she will not be asking me to do and work related activities. I came away feeling that at last I had received some support.

I will post on this forum the outcome of reconsideration as soon as I have news.

Many thanks, I do appreciate the support of moderators and members, and your kind comments.

Best wishes

PC
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nicky, Brightskies2009, carruthers, MariW

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Work focused interview access issues 7 years 8 months ago #97919

SUPPORT GROUP!

I have received a letter, which was dated the day after my first WFI as reported in this thread, telling me that my reconsideration from WRAG to support group has been revised in my favour. I have made it to the Support Group.

My first reaction is to thank everyone at B&W. The advice and support I have had from you wise and patient moderators, and the information in the excellent guides, have provided me with hope and inspiration. Similarly reading the experiences of other members has been very educational, and the kind comments from several people have helped to keep me focussed on the task of finding a way to compile convincing evidence of my disabling conditions and how I meet the descriptors for the support group. I entered the process many months ago, very naive and trusting. It has been an enlightening experience. I am sure I would have given up without all of your invaluable answers to my often daft questions. A battle victory, but the war goes on. I hope I can also sometimes provide support through the forum to others going through the process. I will signpost others in need to B&W, and will continue to keep my knowledge of benefits up to date through regular checking the forum. I am sure I will need you all again, as no doubt this will be a temporary reprieve before I get another ESA form through the letter box. Also, the PIP looms, but sufficient angst for now, time to rest and recharge the batteries.

Once again thank you all for all you do and all you are.

PC

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Last edit: by bro58.

Work focused interview access issues 7 years 8 months ago #97922

  • bro58

PC wrote: SUPPORT GROUP!

I have received a letter, which was dated the day after my first WFI as reported in this thread, telling me that my reconsideration from WRAG to support group has been revised in my favour. I have made it to the Support Group.

My first reaction is to thank everyone at B&W. The advice and support I have had from you wise and patient moderators, and the information in the excellent guides, have provided me with hope and inspiration. Similarly reading the experiences of other members has been very educational, and the kind comments from several people have helped to keep me focussed on the task of finding a way to compile convincing evidence of my disabling conditions and how I meet the descriptors for the support group. I entered the process many months ago, very naive and trusting. It has been an enlightening experience. I am sure I would have given up without all of your invaluable answers to my often daft questions. A battle victory, but the war goes on. I hope I can also sometimes provide support through the forum to others going through the process. I will signpost others in need to B&W, and will continue to keep my knowledge of benefits up to date through regular checking the forum. I am sure I will need you all again, as no doubt this will be a temporary reprieve before I get another ESA form through the letter box. Also, the PIP looms, but sufficient angst for now, time to rest and recharge the batteries.

Once again thank you all for all you do and all you are.

PC


That is great news PC !!!! :woohoo::woohoo:

It has indeed been a long struggle. Well done for persevering, and thank you for your kind comments regarding our site. :)

bro58

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Work focused interview access issues 7 years 8 months ago #97927

That is good news, thank you for letting us know :)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Alien

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