Asking work coach for a phone appointment — Scope | Disability forum
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Asking work coach for a phone appointment

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Luna23
Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
Excuse the rant I just need to share this and ask what you would do in my situation.

So I've started my claim for UC, had to go to a face to face interview to confirm my identity, they insisted it was the only way to do it and it really triggered my anxiety I was really panicky. I still haven't calmed down 10 hours later. It's made me feel a bit paranoid. I'm working with the mental health team at my local surgery and things like this really set me back. I'll probably have extreme fatigue tomorrow but they won't see that of course.

Now I've got my next interview in 2 weeks and I asked nicely in my journal if they could do a phone call instead but they replied it's face to face, can't be done any other way and I have to go or get a sanction. It really really impacts my mental health to go there and I don't know what to do.

On the CAB website it says "If someone doesn’t cooperate with their duty to make reasonable adjustments, the Equality Act says it’s unlawful discrimination". Does this apply here? I don't want to tell them that because I'm worried they will treat me more harshly if I upset them.

I think maybe I just have to do what they say but it does seem unnecessarily cruel. Is empathy not something you find at some  jobcentres?

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  • StillIRise
    StillIRise Community member Posts: 178 Pioneering
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    Luna23 said:
    Excuse the rant I just need to share this and ask what you would do in my situation.

    So I've started my claim for UC, had to go to a face to face interview to confirm my identity, they insisted it was the only way to do it and it really triggered my anxiety I was really panicky. I still haven't calmed down 10 hours later. It's made me feel a bit paranoid. I'm working with the mental health team at my local surgery and things like this really set me back. I'll probably have extreme fatigue tomorrow but they won't see that of course.

    Now I've got my next interview in 2 weeks and I asked nicely in my journal if they could do a phone call instead but they replied it's face to face, can't be done any other way and I have to go or get a sanction. It really really impacts my mental health to go there and I don't know what to do.

    On the CAB website it says "If someone doesn’t cooperate with their duty to make reasonable adjustments, the Equality Act says it’s unlawful discrimination". Does this apply here? I don't want to tell them that because I'm worried they will treat me more harshly if I upset them.

    I think maybe I just have to do what they say but it does seem unnecessarily cruel. Is empathy not something you find at some  jobcentres?

    Are you providing them with sick notes?

    Do they make people go in even if they are sick?
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,189 Disability Gamechanger
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    Do they make people go in even if they are sick?

    A fit note isn't proof that you have LCW. When claiming UC you're classed as a job seeker until a decision on your WCA says otherwise.

    A work coach has discretion to either turn off or reduce commiments, some do and others don't. A reasonable adjustment can be put into place for phone calls, instead of in person appointments.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    I see, thanks Poppy. And @StillIRise yes it seems they do  :(

    Well I guess I got one that's using their discretion to force me to go in when I'm already ill and it makes it worse. If the stress of this causes a relapse and puts me in hospital I guess I'll add that to my journal as well. Honestly it seems so wrong. An employer can't make you go in when you have a fit note from a GP but DWP can. I've worked the last 25 years and never knew the system was so unfair and designed to cause stress and basically punish people for daring to be diagnosed with a lifelong condition (MS).
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Luna23 I'm so sorry this is causing you so much stress. I wanted to check in that you are getting support with your MS? 

    If you are able to, it may be worth asking if they do a video call assessment? 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,189 Disability Gamechanger
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    If you are able to, it may be worth asking if they do a video call assessment? 

    The appointment is a work focused interview and i'm not aware of the job centre doing those by video call. Usually phone or face to face at the job centre. Work capability assessments can be by video call.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    Ahh, I thought that would come under a reasonable adjustment! Thanks Poppy. 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,189 Disability Gamechanger
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    Ahh, I thought that would come under a reasonable adjustment! Thanks Poppy. 
    A telephone appointment would but not video. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    Thanks I'm coping, I just got a bit stressed. I'm waiting for a response at the moment, they didn't reply today.

    I'm lucky to have an MS nurse in my area so can get support when needed.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Luna23 That's great, that the nurse is so close :) I hope you get a response soon. I have seen how it is so stressful to so many on the community. Have you got any hobbies or interests to help keep your mind of it? We play games in the Coffee Lounge if you'd like to join in :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    Just an update, they still won't let me have a phone appointment. I know that technically it's discrimination if they don't make adjustments but I'm worried that if I complain I will annoy someone and they won't reduce my commitments while I wait for WCA.

    I think I'll try to go there and get through it, they might not like what happens though I'm likely to be very distressed. These people can be quite cruel
  • messym
    messym Community member Posts: 9 Listener
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    Luna23 said:
    Excuse the rant I just need to share this and ask what you would do in my situation.

    So I've started my claim for UC, had to go to a face to face interview to confirm my identity, they insisted it was the only way to do it and it really triggered my anxiety I was really panicky. I still haven't calmed down 10 hours later. It's made me feel a bit paranoid. I'm working with the mental health team at my local surgery and things like this really set me back. I'll probably have extreme fatigue tomorrow but they won't see that of course.

    Now I've got my next interview in 2 weeks and I asked nicely in my journal if they could do a phone call instead but they replied it's face to face, can't be done any other way and I have to go or get a sanction. It really really impacts my mental health to go there and I don't know what to do.

    On the CAB website it says "If someone doesn’t cooperate with their duty to make reasonable adjustments, the Equality Act says it’s unlawful discrimination". Does this apply here? I don't want to tell them that because I'm worried they will treat me more harshly if I upset them.

    I think maybe I just have to do what they say but it does seem unnecessarily cruel. Is empathy not something you find at some  jobcentres?


  • messym
    messym Community member Posts: 9 Listener
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    I had the same issue   
    I asked many times for telephone interviews or a home visit with refusals

    I have an ongoing complaint and this is one of the subjects I raised 

    My advice is to log in your uc online account journal anytime you make these requests because they are trying to not take responsibility by saying there is no record I asked for this 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 54,189 Disability Gamechanger
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    Deppi said:
    So when a work coach force someone to go, and that someone doesn't (because they cant), and they get sanctioned, and then that someone does get LCW, and I read many times it counts from the moment you send the sick note, what then? once you get the LCW they pay you the money they took with the sanctions?

    If found to have LCW this means you do not have to look for work. You may need to attend appointments to prepare to work in the future but what is expected of you at that time will depend on your claimant commiments.

    You need to be found to have LCWRA and then you won't be expected to attend any appointments. If you were sanctioned for not attending appointment at any point up until the decision was made then you'll be owed money from that sanction.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    @Luna23 Have you thought about reaching out to Citizen's Advice to see what they could suggest?
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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  • messym
    messym Community member Posts: 9 Listener
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    I got my cap for work backdated ,2 years but they wouldn't give me the money back they'd taken in sanctions 
    I'm currently at the stage of my complaint going to Parliamentary ombudsman 
    If its been 14 months or less def put in a mr
  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    @Luna23 Have you thought about reaching out to Citizen's Advice to see what they could suggest?
    Yes I did and they said put a message on your journal. I'd already done that 3 times and it was just ignored. The only message I got on journal was come in for your appointment or your UC will be stopped. I did end up going and it was horrible, made me really ill and I just had no energy the next day really bad fatigue.
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'm so sorry to hear that @Luna23 I hope you are feeling more rested today?

    Did they mention whether you'd have to go for an in person appointment again? 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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  • Luna23
    Luna23 Community member Posts: 24 Connected
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    Oh yes forgot to say they have made future ones phone based which is a good result. They could have done that through the journal though
  • Hannah_Alumni
    Hannah_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,912 Disability Gamechanger
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    They should have to begin with, but I am very happy to hear everything in future will be phone based for you :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
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