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Thread: New ESA claim- Work Coach?

  1. #1

    New ESA claim- Work Coach?

    Ok, so I applied for ESA about 2 months ago after failing miserably at keeping a job or being an effective human being for a few years. At the moment I've sent off all the forms and am getting the assessment rate. Today I got a letter saying 'We've set up a meeting with your work coach. They'll tell you how we can help you while you're getting ESA'
    'Your work coach can help you think about the types of work you might be able to do at some point in the future.'
    Okay so the letter also says that 'Your payments won't change if you decide not to come to this meeting.' I wanted to make sure this was the case so I rang and checked. After being on hold for 15 mins a guy confirms I won't lose any payments if I don't attend, but also that this interview has nothing to do with work. So:

    A- if it's nothing to do with work why is it a meeting with a work coach?

    B- I haven't been told if I'm even going to receive ESA yet, yet alone what group I might be in. I thought I might be asked to go for a medical assessment, but nothing else really until it had been decided whether I will continue receiving ESA after the assessment period. Has anyone else had this work coach interview before a decision was made?

    C- what can I do to stop freaking out about this? The reason I didn't claim or so long despite lots of people telling me I wasn't capable of working was because I'm so anxious about all these letters and phone calls and interviews etc. On top of this my DR is playing roulette with my pills because we haven't worked out what works for me yet and I'm just a ball of nerves

    Thanks for any replies guys, and sorry this is so long, it's my first post

  2. #2
    Since you have been told that this interview is not mandatory then you can telephone them to say you will not be attending. Follow this up with a letter. You can simply say that your medication is being reassessed and you feel attending at this time is not appropriate (or words to that effect)

    Do you have a CAB near you? Did anyone help you complete the ESA form?

    I feel it is always helpful to have support when you feel overwhelmed about the benefit system. A simple telephone call to someone who can answer your question makes the world of difference. So, try to find an organisation to support you.

    You seem to be able to speak to someone on the telephone so you may want to start getting into a routine when making calls to the DWP.

    So, always have a note book with you. Write the date and time when you make a call. Make a note of the name of the person you are speaking to. Write down what they say. Repeat what they say a few words at a time so they know you are writing it down - say you are writing it down! Just good practice.

    The 'work coach' title covers a multitude of different aspects from helping improve your CV to going on a course. It can be helpful for someone with a physical disability but is often quite useless for those with mental health problems. In any case, they cannot make you look for a job, just 'prepare' you.

    If your medication is being adjusted and you do not feel able to attend this interview just let them know.

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