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Thread: interview with work coach

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014

    interview with work coach

    Im on assessment phase ESA and have been invited to attend an interview with a work coach at the local jobcentre.

    I wasnt expecting to have to attend the jobcentre and am somewhat concerned about what i can and cant say to them. Can i refuse to consider work until after my medical on the grounds that ive been signed off by a doctor? I left my last 2 jobs as a result of my mental health on both occassions. I tried remaining in work by changing jobs and that didnt help.

    Ive always worked and prior to this have only ever had 2 spells of JSA in the last 14 years. Id like to work but know the problems ill face going back to work. Im also very worried that if i agree to try things then this will be used against me in my medical.

    Just really confused as to what is expected of me in this interview? Im guessing the work coach isnt medically trained, therefore may struggle to understand the medical side of things. Especially mental health which can be very difficult to understand for someone that has possibly never experienced it. Also is it reasonable for me to request changing the appointment if i cant find someone to come with me on that day. Its the same day as my girlfriends doctors appointment. She would have been the most likely person id bring with me. She also has severe anxiety about being in the town where the jobcentre is based, due to people she knows she is likely to bump into in that town. she moved into a small country town about 10 miles away just to avoid those people.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    Yes, it is normal to be called into the jobcentre when you are claiming ESA, unless you have been assessed and put into the Support Group.
    The first one is usually about two months after your initial claim, but timings can vary.

    No, they can not make you search for or apply for any jobs when you are claiming ESA, even when you are in the assessment phase and so have not yet been given a full award.

    Yes, you can ask for the appointment to be changed. Indeed they have guidance that says they should be lenient when considering requests from ESA claimants for appointment changes.
    If you find that you cannot make the interview then ring and let them know ASAP, preferably before the interview time.
    I have missed interviews in the past and a phone call got a new appointment made.
    You will have to go in at some stage. If you keep cancelling, or just don't turn up without good reason they can suspend your benefit.

    I used to go in about once a month, both in assessment and after I was put in WRAG.
    Others attended less often, they should take your condition into account when setting the appointments.

    The adviser will not be medically trained, but will be (should be) someone who only deals with ESA claims so is used to seeing people with all kinds of physical and mental health conditions.

    They will ask about your condition, what help you need to get back to work, if you are doing any part time or voluntary work, any training, that sort of thing.
    They may ask you to look at doing part time or voluntary work, but that is all they can do - ask. They cannot force you.
    They may offer some training courses, again you don't have to do this.

    They may ask you to do some Work Related Activities such as update your CV, while it's a bit of a grey area as to whether they should do this while you are still on assessment or not, its usually easy enough to do and it will help keep them happy.

    You may find it best to think of this interview as you helping them to do their job.
    They have to complete a form to say that they have seen you, talked about this, talked about that, come up with a plan, set a new appointment, etc. Help them to do this easily and you will be out of there in no time.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-11-14 at 04:34.

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