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Thread: ESA Notification of Office Interview

  1. #1
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    ESA Notification of Office Interview

    Hi

    I've been on contributory ESA for nearly 12 months. My benefit ends on 27th November. Today I received a letter from Jobcentre Plus which is a 'Notice of Office Interview' the interview is tomorrow - Saturday so basically I have only 24 hours notice of this. I have no idea what it's about. I have read lots of forum messages but they all talk about Customer Compliance interviews. My letter does not mention compliance anywhere and is just signed by a TEAM MANAGER. I called them and the person I spoke to was quite rude saying that advisors had given up their Saturday to clear the backlog (that was the explanantion for the interview ), I explained that I was supposed to be helping out a charity as a one off for their Christmas Bazaar and his reply was 'how very altruistic of you but it's not an excuse for not attending and you will have to cancel'. I suffer from mild bipolar, anxiety and severe depression. For obvious reasons I am now having the worse panic attack I've had in months. Is this short notice request normal, the fact that it doesn't state anything about compliance should I be worried? I would also say that despite being contacted by ATOS 10 months ago and filling in the form I have never been assessed and I am still in the assessment phase payment wise.
    Last edited by Bekia; 07-11-14 at 14:26. Reason: more inforomation

  2. #2
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    Are you eligible for Income Related (IR) payments, if so your benefit will continue after 27th NOV, if you don't know ask them for form ESA3 fill it in and return it to find out.
    Even in assessment phase you have to comply with their request for interviews, if you don't you risk sanction and having your money stopped.
    Sadly it's anybodies guess when you'll receive an assessment, I have answered one on here who was approaching 2years !!!.

    NB: Compliance is something totally different, that's when they come checking up on you to see if your claim is in order.
    Last edited by Jard; 07-11-14 at 14:46. Reason: Adding text

  3. #3
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    Thanks Jard

    The reference on the bottom of the letter is CCOI1 which when I searched goes on about compliance which is why I got confused. I know I'm not entitled to IR because my husband works more than 24 hrs and earns too much so I have accepted that my benefit will stop. It's just the suddenness of the letter and the short notice for the interview attendance that makes me think I'm in trouble about something (though I have no idea what my brain doesn't work that way). If it was a compliance interview would they have to mention it or, despite the letter reference on the bottom is this more likely to be routine? I'm taking my mum with me because I will be a quivering blob by the time I get there. I'm just trying to mentally allay todays ensuing panic attack. Sorry if I'm rambling...

  4. #4
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    That's so unfair to receive it today and attend tomorrow. For goodness sake you could have been visiting family for the day/night/weekend.

    I thought I was hard done by I received a letter a few weeks ago on a Saturday to say I was having a face to face assessment at home.

    It's all nerve racking and stressful without these additional 'caught unaware' problems. So sorry, hopefully someone will come along and offer advice.

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    Thanks Amy

    The implication was that I should be grateful that they were doing overtime on a Saturday to clear a backlog. Unfortunatley I didn't have the mental strength to come up with an answer to that which would have been along the lines of 'receipt of overtime....still not assessed...surviving on £73 a week for the last 12 months...ends in 3 weeks...waste of paying you overtime....reinforced all the beliefs I have about myself...oh well NHS can pay for dealing with the fallout at my weekly visit on wednesday' If it is just routine my manic side may boil over with full force!

  6. #6
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    Just thought I'd give you an update. Saw a lovely guy who was so understanding (totally different to the one on the phone). It was routine, apparently as they move towards Universal Credit they are trying to see people on ESA once a month. He even put a note on my file to say always call me and never send a letter because of my issues. I will always see him, he will make the appointment when I see him for the following month and will call me the day before to make sure I'm up to it. He was absolutely brilliant and really apologetic about everything. Thanks for all your support yesterday when I was in total meltdown. I will keep in touch.

  7. #7
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    Great result, you know we are if you need anything, all the best for the change over.

    NB: Whereabouts are you located Bekia ??, this is the first one we've seen like this regarding the UC change over.
    Last edited by Jard; 08-11-14 at 14:38.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AmyS's Avatar
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    Really pleased for you.

    We all have meltdowns every now and again when these things pop up out of the blue.

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    Thanks for the replies. Monday started badly with student loans taking a totally unauthorised and illegal payment out of bank account but as I still officially 'work' for the bank itself I got the money straight back and then called the company up and vented all my frustration etc on them. Not sure they knew what hit them and after reading the horror stories about the company on the internet and their underhand tactics hope I've done enough to warn them off messing with me.

    I'm in Birmingham, Jard. It was the Erdington Jobcentre Plus that I was called into which is interesting because that's not the Jobcentre I'm under but it's the nearest, some stupid postcode thing where my office I'm under is 5 miles away whereas this one is only 1/4 of a mile away but that's the DWP for you. I have to go for my next apppointment on 24th November because my cont ESA finishes on 27th Nov and he wants to discuss whether I can apply for anything else instead although it's doubtful. He did say though that he was going to check out if I could reapply for cont ESA in Feb (after 12 weeks) because I have a group income protection plan monthly payment from work which has NI deducted each month so he thinks I probably can which is great and a little bit of hope. Fingers crossed it carries on in such a positive vein

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the response Bekia, it keeps us abreast of what's going on just have to wait and see where they pop up next, strange though how they picked you for a UC related interview given you're circumstances.
    As you have GIP I wouldn't think you qualify for anything other than Contributions Based (CB) ESA, but as your NI is being continually paid I don't think you'll have any problem (continually) reclaiming/reapplying while in the WRAG.

    Anyway, all the best

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