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Thread: Check your appointments - make a note, set an alarm.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Check your appointments - make a note, set an alarm.

    Tomorrow I have a WFI appointment.

    This appointment was made at my last WFI on 16th August last year, so just 6 months ago, and I was told a reminder would be sent nearer the time.

    However I have had nothing to remind me of this appointment, no letter, no text, no phonecall, no email. (They have all these contact details).

    Imagine if had mental health problems, or just a poor memory.
    I could be facing a sanction for not attending a WFI.
    An appointment that I could easily have forgotten about because it's been six months since it was made.

    This would not count as 'good reason' for not attending, because I was notified (in writing) - 6 months ago.

    The Decision Makers Guidance says as an example at paragraph 53041:

    Example 1

    Karis is in receipt of ESA and her incapacity is sciatica. She is required to attend a
    WfI appointment and is adequately notified of the date, time and place of the
    appointment and the consequences of non compliance.

    When asked for her reasons for failing to attend the WfI, Karis says that she made a
    mistake with the date and ringed the wrong day on the calendar. This was a genuine
    mistake and she phoned up to arrange another appointment as soon as she realised
    her mistake.

    A claimant has a responsibility to attend to his/her affairs with due diligence and care
    which equally applies to cases where the claimant makes a mistake about the date
    and time of an appointment.

    Karis therefore cannot show good cause for failing to participate in the WfI. She had
    a duty of care in the claiming of and receiving of benefits and it is reasonable to have
    expected that she should have taken care to correctly record the date and time of
    the relevant appointment knowing that a failure to participate could result in a
    sanction of her benefit.


    Karis could provide no evidence to suggest there were any mitigating or exceptional
    circumstances that contributed to the mistake.
    Luckily I had put the appointment into the calender on my phone, with an alarm set for 3 days before.

    I'll be complaining about this tomorrow, just deciding whether to put it in writing and make it official.
    (I need to check if the legislation says anything about the timing of notification for WFIs).

    So as the title says - Check your appointments - make a note of them all (circle the correct date on your wall calander), set an alarm somewhere (phone/computer).
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  2. #2
    For those that do attend WFI, could I ask, were you notified verbally by the DWP staff, or were you handed a letter/note with the details on it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzmps View Post
    For those that do attend WFI, could I ask, were you notified verbally by the DWP staff, or were you handed a letter/note with the details on it?
    They are allowed by law to notify you in any way, the legislation and guidance does not specify just how. (apart from giving letter and telephone call as examples).

    In practice they usually print off and hand you a letter with your next appointment date as your WFI comes to an end.
    That way it is logged on to their system that an appointment has been issued on the correct template, with all the warnings, etc.

    They also usually send a reminder letter nearer to the time, I didn't get one this time hence the post above.

    I am aware from other threads/posts that some jobcentres will also send reminders by text to your phone.


    I've been looking through various legislation and guidance, and information on what is too short or too long a notice period for a WFI is conspicuous by it's absence.
    It seems that there is no law on how much notice they have to give for a WFI appointment.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

  4. #4
    I just wondered, as if only by them saying when it is, those of us with, the cognitive, mental health, psychological problems, only being informed by word of mouth, would not necessarily be aware, if only told. Even those whose first language is not English, or Welsh for example, living throughout the UK.

    It is just some of the stories you hear, if by word of mouth, they tick a box without doing anything. I asked the question as I am in SG (ESA), so have never had to do one.

    It is strange, that with the diverse clients they will handle, that Regs. and guidance, do not make regard, of the diverse needs of those clients. Mind you just another example of institutional discrimination. Of course there is always the 2010 Equality Act and Civil Service Code, which guides how the DWP staff should operate, that's even if they have heard of them. My experience of the sector, was handbooks, guidance, instructions, as an ongoing matter reminding staff of their responsibilities, on the matter of the departments saying they would not carry out, discrimination of any type, with the consequences of such actions.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    I had my WFI this morning.

    Nothing special, here's the shortened version without all the chat:
    Are you any better/closer to work? Nope, I've been in a grotty patch for the last fortnight.
    Is it still your heart? No it never has been,that's new and I'm pretty much recovered, it's my hypersomnia that's the main problem, and as I told you last time my epilepsy is back.
    Your epilepsy is controled though isn't it? No, I told you last time I can't take epilepsy meds because they clash with the cardiac meds and I could have another cardiac arrest. So it's a choice between fall over and thrash about now and again, or fall over and possibly die.
    Are you still doing your voluntary work online? Yes, it's pretty busy with all the DWP errors coming to light. LOL.
    Anything else you want to tell me? Yes, I sent in an ESA50 3-1/2 months ago, nothing back yet.
    (She then started to tell me how a WCA appointment worked, as usual I knew more/better than she did).
    Right I'll see you again in 6 months, if you've not been put in Support Group at assessment.
    (Odd comment that, she obviously thinks I should be in SG, but she's not the assessor/DM).

    To go to what we were talking about above:
    She did print off and give me a letter for the next appointment.

    When I brought up the fact that I had not got a reminder for this one, she explained that she had been off work herself till this Monday following surgery.

    She then asked if I was 'signed up' for text messages, I said I they had my mobile number and I wasn't aware that you had to request them specially.
    She said she would 'sign me up' for them.
    (I'll have to look into this 'signing up' business, I think it's probably a tickbox on your initial claim. Which means that if you first claimed before they did text messages then you're probably not 'signed up').

    She then said, and I quote-
    If you had not turned up then I would have phoned you and we could have done it over the phone.
    That is an option for safeguarding of Vulnerable Claimants, but I know that I'm not down as vulnerable.
    I believe her, but would not rely on it happening if she was not there and someone else was taking her appointments.
    Last edited by nukecad; 02-14-2018 at 01:06 PM.
    I'm intelligent enough to know that I don't know everything.
    But I'm good at searching for, and finding, stuff.


    Migration from ESA to Universal Credit- Click here for information.

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