Mar 172015
 

This is a repost as we’ve been made aware that DWP are sending out a new crop of letters to those in the ESA support group

We ‘ve had increasing numbers of emails from those in the ESA support group facing constant harassment from local job centres. Harassment takes the form of letters and phone calls ‘inviting’ people to work focused interviews, chats with job coaches or other ‘helpers’. Another type of ‘invite’ suggests that the job centre need to check you’re getting the right amount of benefit they advise you to take in bank statements and other documents. Often these letters and phone calls wrongly state that your benefits are at risk if you do not attend. All such interviews are voluntary according to the regulations, not mandatory. Its sounds like a scam warning from some dodgy company doesnt it, but this is the DWP Job Centre, supposedly public servants, causing anxiety and misery.

We have reproduced two template letters to use if these scams happen to you -with thanks to John Slater

Your Name

Address 1

Address 2

County

Post Code

Name JCP Manager

Address 1

Address 2

County Post Code

Date

Ref: NINO

Dear JCP Manager   I received your letter of <insert date> stating that you have arranged a work‐focused interview for me on <insert date> at <insert time> without my knowledge or consent.

The DWP is aware that I have been placed in the Support Group for Employment and Support Allowance and therefore exempt from activity of this nature. S.19 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 specifically forbids the Secretary of State from imposing any work‐related requirements on anyone allocated to the support group.

This letter has caused me considerable distress and has exacerbated my illness. Should the DWP persist in sending me further letters of a similar nature I can only conclude that it does so knowing that it will cause me alarm or distress. Such actions are a criminal offence under section 2 of the protection from Harassment Act 1997 and I retain the right to make a criminal complaint to the police.

As the DWP is acting contrary to the Welfare Reform Act 2012 please regard this letter as notification to cease and desist all such activities immediately.

I will not be attending the work‐focused interview and in doing so I will not be placing my entitlement to ESA at risk. Any suggestion by the DWP to the contrary will be considered harassment.

I remind the DWP that I will continue to comply with all lawful requirements in respect of my ongoing claim for ESA.

Yours sincerely

A. N. Other

Your Name

Address 1

Address 2

County

Post Code

Name JCP Manager

Address 1

Address 2

County Post Code

Date

Ref: NINO

Dear JCP Manager

I received your letter of <insert date> stating that you have arranged an interview for, without my knowledge or consent, on <insert date> at <insert time> because my circumstances may have changed and the DWP need to ensure my payments are correct.

The DWP is aware that I have been placed in the Support Group for Employment and Support Allowance and therefore exempt from any work‐related activity. S.19 of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 specifically forbids the Secretary of State from imposing any work‐related requirements on anyone allocated to the support group.  It also makes no provision for people allocated to the Support Group to be summoned to attend random benefit interviews.

On the .GOV website the DWP states:

You’ll then be placed in 1 of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA:

work‐related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser

support group, where you don’t have interviews

In fact the DWP has the Benefit Centre network that contains benefit integrity centres and performance measurement to undertake this type of review by appropriately qualified officers. Therefore, this interview appears to be incompatible with the DWP own processes.

In respect of payments the DWP knows that I am in the Support Group and the amount I am in receipt of. Therefore, it can easily determine if this amount is correct without recourse to a face to face review.

To the best of my knowledge my circumstances have not changed. If the DWP has evidence to the contrary please address them to me in writing as I find the benefit system far too complex and distressing to deal with on the telephone or face to face. I also rely on extensive support from other people when dealing with the DWP.

This letter has caused me considerable distress and has exacerbated my illness. Given that the proposed review is incompatible with the DWP own business processes and published guidance I can only assume that its purpose is to cause me alarm or distress.  Should the DWP persist in sending me further letters of a similar nature I can only conclude that it does so with the same intent. Such actions are a criminal offence under section 2 of the protection from Harassment Act 1997 and I retain the right to make a criminal complaint to the police.

Please regard this letter as notification to cease and desist all such activities immediately.

I will not be attending the interview and in doing so I will not be placing my entitlement to ESA at risk. Any suggestion by the DWP to the contrary will be considered harassment.

I remind the DWP that I will continue to comply with all lawful requirements in respect of my ongoing claim for ESA.

Yours sincerely

A. N. Other

Templates can also be downloaded at the links below

Correct Detail or Support Invite Reply Template (1)

WFI reply template

[suffusion-the-author]

[suffusion-the-author display='description']
 Posted by at 19:20

  20 Responses to “Template letters for ESA Support Group harassed by Job Centres, again”

  1. You quoted “support group, where you don’t have interviews”. Unfortunately this doesn’t extend to “compliance” and “fraud & error” -type “interviews”. This is the DWP’s way of getting around the legislation in order to beat sick and disabled people.

  2. i have just recieved a letter of the D.W.P.stating that they are going to phone me on the 20th of April to carry out compliance telephone interview,i have problems with talking on the phone,so im getting more ancious in my manner and shaking,i will worry that i may have to leave my current address as if my money gets cut i wont be able to pay,I am bad with mental health problems.so i am worried

  3. Hi, has anyone received one of those vague letters from DWP to come in with your bank statements and ID to “check that your claim details are correct” and give you a time and date of appointment? That is all they state. They do not state that it is mandatory and they do not threaten that benefits will be removed although it “might/may affect them” if your “details are not up-to-date/correct”. We are wondering if anyone has used that second template successfully and purely as the template said confirm that everything is still correct in a letter to the DWP. Thank you for any input on the results as as the template and their website state, there are guidelines/rules for both parties to follow. Thank you for any input.

  4. I am on the support group of ESA and PIP enhanced rates,I have been on ESA support group for a bout a year now,I have just received a letter from Local service Compliance Wythenshawe jobcentre Wolverhampton.
    Telling me I am having a review of my Benefit claim I have to show some form of financial documents ie bank statements if I refuse the interview my benefits will stop.
    I am so distressed about this and don’t understand why I am having to be reviewed after only a year and why I have to have my benefits reviewed.
    I would appreciate any feedback regarding this matter why they have selected me I have long term mental and physical disabilities.
    Kind Regards Jacqueline

    • Hello Jacqueline
      I understand that these letters and interviews are very traumatic for people, but unfortunately you do need to attend this type of interview. You should take all the documents that they ask for to the interview and you may wish to have a friend or relative with you for it for support.

    • Sorry I meant to say they select people at random for these interviews so it won’t be about anything that you have done, or haven’t done.

      • Random assessments after being place in a support group??? this doesnt sound correct. IF they state you dont need to have an assessment etc for x amount of time then you shouldnt be required to… sounds very suspicious to me like they are trying to use a review session as another way to stop your benefit.

  5. they did the same to me by saying they needed to see a bank statement to see if i was getting the right amount of housing benifit i’ve been disabled all my life i am one of many victims of thalidamide but as i cannot prove i am as they distroy all medical records after ten years you can clearly see that i am physically disabled and in lots of pain i went from the incapcity benifit to the esa support group after filling the forms in when i got this vist he said i should fill in a new form for change of circumstance as i would be entitled to more money as i made enquires i found out they wanted to put me into wrag i didnt fill it in and i am still in the support group i have many medical problems so i belive im in the right group and i think this is just a ploy cause they think its all about money it is not it is just trying to get on with life without the difficulties you have been delt with but now there trying throw more at us

  6. I am in the support group my wife has just received a letter to go for a work focus interview. I have not claimed for her she works already but saying she has to go. Or they will stop my esa payments.

    • How did you get on with this. I’m in the same boat, as I’ve got a letter for an interview on Monday. I’m not on my partners claim. So I’m very confused. Many thanks Rob

  7. hi i recently just got a letter asking me to come to a meeting to talk about changes and to provide with bank statements and to make sure im getting everything i should,and ive been reading all the comments ive been disabled for 20 years after a accident at work, i want to no where do i send the template letter to and do i still need to ring them,please let me no as get very stressed thanks

  8. I’m in the support group of ESA I didn’t even have to attend any face to face reviews either ..My carer applied for me ..I have Low functioning autism spectrum disorder & a learning disability & mental illness and I’m physically disabled I’m also a vunersble adult & I’m on section 117 Aftercare Responsibility .I have a autism solicitor maxwell Guillot solicitors as My Case is going to court over my care ..I can’t Even Catch a bus or train and I’m a virtual prisoner in Leicestershire

    I have to rely on family and friends to go out and about …And help To eat and take meds ..I’m epilepsy too .I had a letter today from the DWP we are reviewing your benefit claim ..Dear Mrs Hodgson we’ve arranged a time to talk to u about any changes that which would affect your benefit claim we need you to provide us with information on page 2 like bank statements Bills Premium bonds ..if you miss your meeting and haven’t told us before your payments will stop ….I’m supposed to be excempt from any form of face to face reviews or assements as I’m in the support group it had caused me Alot of worry and upset and I had a melt down tonight I just can’t cope with all of this ..It has upset me Alot ..I didn’t apply for my benefits my carers did as i don’t understand them ..I find it really worrying that Genuinely sick people with high support needs on support group are being targeted and bullied by the DWP to attend These reviews when It’s not the Wrag group group but the support group of ESA It had left me feeling really distressed ..

  9. Normally the ones about bank statements are from compliance, and means there is a low level fraud allegation has be made I would advise people to go to that but you are entitled to take a witness with you and they do try to bully you have been to quite a few with clients.

  10. Used, got letter back from jobcentre, no more hassle.

    Thanks

  11. Used this & just got a grovelling letter from jobcentre saying they won’t do it again! 🙂

  12. Sent the second of these letters today alongside the two medical reports warning that the actions and harassment of the DWP was making my daughter severely ill and pushing her over the top. They rang her on her mobile just minutes after I hand delivered the letter, before I had got back home to her, having another go at her and threatening her ESA Support Allowance If she does not attend an interview on Wednesday? It is one of the letters saying about checking she is on the right benefit, and the harasser says the interview is abour her day to day living? They were asked to put it in writing and refused! Sick individuals won’t be happy until they push her over the top!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about what is happening to your Daughter. You might find this story interesting and helpful.

      https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/disabled-womans-life-at-risk-after-dwp-harassment/

      As you have sent a cease and desist notification (the letter) to the DWP and it ignored it your Daughter can make a complaint to the Police for harassment, especially as your have medical reports. You can use the name of the person who called your Daughter or the JCP Manager to make the complaint against.

      You might consider writing to the DWP explaining that as a result of further harassment a criminal complaint has been made to the police (as long as you have done it).

  13. Cheecky bastards they are!!

  14. Received one of these letters for 26th March.

    Supposed to have my assessment 25th March.

    Postponed it requesting home visit till 13 April, have to submit letter from GP and they might consider home visit?

    So not assigned to a support or work group yet

    Sent them an email notifying them of their error, stating 3 chronic conditions and highlighting booked of sick and prone to blackouts/passing out. Requesting them to confirm this. So that should be sufficient to justify to DWP that I made the attempt?

    FYI

    You have been invited to attend Seetec’s High Activity day on 26th March 11 am. Please dress smartly and bring your CV and ID.

    Address

    “Branch”

    “Your fares to attend this appointment will be reimbursed upon production of your ticket/evidence of travel (please note that fares will be covered for the cheapest travel method available”

    If you are unable to attend this appointment please contact the centre to discuss prior to the date of the meeting.

    We look forward to meeting you.

    Seetec “branch”

  15. These template demonstrate a very practical and effective way to fight back against the insidious action of this government and its agents. What is currently happening to disabled people in the UK will eventually be exposed Nationally as deliberate systematic and illegal. DPAC is providing a crutial role in distributing widely the different ways disabled people are being attacked and offering practical strategies of support. These template are one such example.I talked with a disabled person today, who is in daily fear of losing his benefits. In addition he is now afraid of loosing his adapted vehicle, which is a lifeline. He is being pressed to undertake a third assessment, since he enquired about a minor vehicle adjustment. Is anyone being subjected to the same harassment and can anyone recommend a similar letter we can use to Fight back.

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