Nov 132014

We are getting information that people in the ESA Support Group are being required by JobCentre Plus offices to attend Work Focussed Interviews, under threat of benefits being withdrawn if you don’t go.

According to the DWP Webpage, if you are in the Support Group you “You don’t have to go to interviews, but you can ask to talk to a personal adviser. “, which should mean that they cannot require you to attend.

We are going to look closely at this and do whatever we can to get this stopped, but in order to do that we first need to gather information about how widespread this is, which areas it is happening in and how long it has been going on.

So we are asking for people to come forward if you are in the ESA Support Group and have been contacted by your Jobcentre to attend an interview, we would really like to hear from you, please email us at and we will get back to you

We will never disclose your name or personal information without  your permission, but we may ask you if we can use your case to campaign against this. If you say no to this we will not use the information in any way, and your information will still help us to understand what is happening.


[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 16:27

  9 Responses to “Are you in the ESA Support Group? Have you been asked to attend a Work Focussed Interview?”

  1. Yes myself and my daughter are both in support group ESA , I got a letter asking me to attend work focse interveiw , I rang said I was in support group not fit for work and the lady on the end of the line said , ‘ o yes it’s ok cos it’s all voluary and canceled it , but when I canceled my daughters , they sent a new appointment so I explained she was not fit for work and they took her off their list too , we have to get the word out that they can NOT force anyone in support group to go and they will not and can not stop your money , but don’t leave it and just not go , do ring up and cancele it by phone , hope that helps
    From chrissy baxenden

  2. This has already happened to someone I know here in Ipswich. I only found this out yesterday (27/11/14) I’ll pass on details asap.
    Hopefully more people will come forward with their experiences regarding this.

  3. Without recalling the exact date although it was mid to late August, I attended Fleetwood Job Centre to register as unemployed, after informing my interviewer that I was suffering Periferal Vascular Desease of both legs and was due into Hospital for surgery (I was using a walking stick I should add), she informed me that I was therefore unfit for JSA, and should claim ESA.
    After filling in the forms at her desk, I was told that I would be placed in the Support Group, she told me to expect a call from ESA to ask me further questions and to comfirm what she had said.
    On the 10th of September I was admitted to Hospital, on the 11th I underwent a four and a half operation that was aborted, on the 16th I had a Right below Knee amputation.
    I was discharged on the 30th September with full O/T and District Nurse follow up support, just 14 days later, I recieved a letter from Jobcentreplus telling me that I needed to attend a ‘Work Focused Interview’, failure to do so would result in my loss of benifit !!!.
    I should also say that my ‘benifit’ was, and still is the princley sem of £26 per week !!!.
    Needless to say I refused to attend, since then and after numerous phone exchanges and emails the ‘mucky stuff’ has met the fan, so much so that I now have on the 27th of this month our local Conservative MP coming to my house to discuss this further, I should also say that the £26 is not solely for my own enjoyment, my Wife who for the moment acts as my unpaid carer also gets to indulge in this extravagance, she too is unemployed and is included in my ESA claim yet somewhere I have a Government letter that states that a couple on benifit ‘NEED’ £113 per week minimum to live off !!!!, I see a shortfall here !!
    I should also add, that as a couple we have no savings or investments, and live in a rented property, to say that I am ‘ticked off’ with all this would be making light of it, I have never been so Political in my life, but I find myself currently on a crusade to right the wrongs that disabled people under this Government find themselves having to suffer.

  4. My sister is in Support Group and has been advised by Maximus that she gas to attend an assessment next month as the result of filling in a self-assessment form from Atos in June of 2013. She is bi-polar. How can they possibly assess her on the contents of a form she filled in 18 months ago?

  5. Is worse than this as some are being mandated to work providers too

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