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11 years 2 months ago - 11 years 2 months ago #104192 by ClaireEN
I just would like to say thank you to this site for the invaluable help and info you provide. I downloaded your esa guide and used it to help me complete the ESA50 form and sent it off in March. I suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Last week, I received a letter from the DWP telling me they have placed me straight into the WRAG. Initially I was elated that I had been spared the horrendous "medical" but now I'm not so sure. Is it true they can force you to undertake voluntary work/training which if true, seems to defeat the purpose of being unable to work hence qualifying for ESA.

I phoned the DWP and asked for a copy of my medical report to be sent to me. The chap I spoke to was friendly and helpful enough. I asked him about what would be expected of me at these WFIs but he assured me that you are not forced to do anything and its only to see if there is any help/support available. I have read numerous stories contradicting this so still none the wiser.

The med report arrived several days after my call and I have been placed in WRAG for 2 years, it mentions the restrictions and associated problems that I have and under prognosis, it states that its unlikely that I will be able to work in the long term. Given this, I'm in a dilemma. If I appeal to try and be placed in the support group, will it put my current award at risk especially as I wasn't called in for a medical or if I just stay put, will the Jobs Advisor take heed of my med report and not push for me to undertake training etc.

I am far from workshy, having given up a career in local government due to my ill health but if I was fit and healthy, I would still be working so I cant fathom out how they can force people into doing unpaid work when they cannot do paid! Sorry for long post
Last edit: 11 years 2 months ago by slugsta.

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11 years 2 months ago #104194 by slugsta
Replied by slugsta on topic STRAIGHT INTO WRAG WITHOUT A MEDICAL
Hi Claire,

Firstly, congratulations on being awarded ESA without a dreaded face-to-face assessment :) This means that you have been judged to be unfit for work so you cannot be forced to work, or seek work, while you are in this group. However, as you say, you will be obliged to undertake Work Focussed Interviews and also be forwarded to the Work Program at some stage

Work Focussed Interviews

Work Programme

The demands of the WFIs depends entirely on the JobCentre advisor who deals with your case. Any requirement to undertake activities must take into account your impairments and abilities. Some advisors will undertake the appointments over the phone and we have heard of just one member who was able to have the advisor come to their home.You should phone and speak to the advisor when the first appointment comes through and see what can be arranged.

If you were to appeal you would still be obliged to take part in WFIs but should not be referred to the Work Program (I would not expect this to happen for at least 12 months in your case anyway).

Don't forget that time in the contributary WRAG is limited to 365 days before being means tested.

If you have any further questions, please ask them on this thread/topic.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

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11 years 2 months ago #104222 by ClaireEN
Hi there, thank you for your reply and thank you again for the help and support on this wonderful website, without it, I dread to think what stage I'd be at in my claim. I am due to move over onto ESA on 23rd of this month. The letter states I will be in receipt of income related ESA. I guess it will be sometime after that, that the letter arrives from Job Centre plus. calling me in. I think I will arm myself with questions and quotes and will take my med report with me. I dont think I will appeal this decision for I know I am lucky to have got into this group without the "medical" and I dont want to rock the boat and put my current award at risk. I will post back and let you know how I get on. Thank you again for all all the informative advice and those invaluable guides.

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