1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Work Focused Interview - Jobcentre

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by byrnedjp, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. byrnedjp

    byrnedjp Registered User

    Mar 21, 2013
    168
    London
    I am on Income support and have been since i became a Carer. I have received a letter from a Jobcentre regarding an Interview about work.

    I gave up work to care for my Uncle - I claimed Income support because i was told to by the Carers centre - I have no idea when i will return to work - train for work or look for work in the future.

    How do i go to an Interview that takes up to an hour - (i have no support during the week) and what to say about work ?

    Anyone had this and do i have to go?
     
  2. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    It's not a good idea to ignore these requests, and you probably will have to attend, but if you explain the circumstances, it may be possible to arrange a more convenient time or location for you, or do a telephone interview instead. Is there nobody who could sit with your uncle for an hour or two?

    You also ask what you should say about work. Be honest about the reasons you are unable to work. It may be that a different benefit (eg Carers Allowance) would be more appropriate for your circumstances.
     
  3. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    byrnedjp how weird, I just posted about this on another thread and attended my first 'Work Based Interview' the other week....

    And I used to work in the job centre.

    I presume you are on Carer's Allowance and are claiming Income Support as a 'top up', just like me.

    You need to contact the Jobcentre asap and explain your situation if you really can't attend the interview at all or need to postpone, otherwise you stand to lose benefits if you don't keep them informed.

    Basically if you write down how your day is made up of caring and outline your duties as a carer and the traits of your uncle's condition which demand you are on call 24/7 (as I expect is the case) that is as much as you can do. Email them with this info and explain that you desperately WANT to work but your situation dictates that, for the foreseeable future, this is impossible. It would be a very good idea to add what you are doing to keep your 'employability' up to date, ie accessing online computer courses to update your skills. Google things that might help you, document what you have done (dates, sites visited, results etc). If you haven't been able to find something suitable then ask them for ideas and links to skills that you can access online for free (food hygiene courses for example) and if they can't come up with anything that fits the bill that's their failure to help you - you tried.

    They cannot demand that you leave your uncle unattended to make this interview if that jeopardises his safety (be sure to use that terminology) so don't be bullied. You can insist they rearrange for a time that suits YOU if you are a carer (I checked this on the phone when I arranged my own interview). Please do message me if you need more help. It is too easy to be intimidated by these appointments when in fact they are SUPPOSED to HELP you.
     
  4. byrnedjp

    byrnedjp Registered User

    Mar 21, 2013
    168
    London
    Thanks

    Im 24/7 Mon to Fri - i sleep saturdays when my sister takes over and im back Sun evening, ive been to the dentist twice in the past 4 years and if i get sick - i just let it run its course.

    I believe its right to be accountable if you claim a benefit (i had never done so before) and i have no intention of ignoring them - i will call the name on the letter next week - there is no email to speak of, to be honest i was a successful freelance graphic designer for over 15 years before i quit to care for my Uncle.

    I havent looked at anything job related for a long while and have no idea what i will do when the caring ends
    I care for my Uncle 24/7 and have no time for "anything" with regards myself if that makes sense .
     
  5. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    It totally does and there is no way they should penalise you for not looking for work considering your obligations. Alas you should still document it all, just in case. They sometimes do 'spot checks' (although, in my previous experiences, not where they should! :mad:) so you may well be called upon to justify your claim.

    It makes me so mad because I KNOW what actually goes on...... grrrrr!!!!!
     
  6. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    It is very frustrating when it is obvious that the carers like the OP are absolutely genuine and fully entitled to their benefits. However, unfortunately there are some people who are not genuinely meeting the criteria for various types of benefits and there is no way of finding that out without carrying out some checks.
     
  7. byrnedjp

    byrnedjp Registered User

    Mar 21, 2013
    168
    London
    If the Carers Allowance wasnt a laughable amount i wouidnt have to claim income support - If i wasnt caring for someone 24/7 i would be working.
     
  8. byrnedjp

    byrnedjp Registered User

    Mar 21, 2013
    168
    London
    Called the Jobcentre - explained my circumstances and that was that. i guess i got lucky - the person i spoke to was understanding and realised that i couldnt attend an interview. They will check again in 3 years time.
     
  9. GarageDragon

    GarageDragon Registered User

    Jan 20, 2015
    28
    So glad that you have got this sorted - one hears so many awful stories that it is good to hear (see?) that it is possible for a sensible attitude to prevail!
     
  10. Sue J

    Sue J Registered User

    Dec 9, 2009
    8,041
    I agree, like a breath of fresh air:)
     
  11. byrnedjp

    byrnedjp Registered User

    Mar 21, 2013
    168
    London
    Thanks

    I got lucky - plain and simple

    ive been doing this long enough and i can count on one hand the amount of times a sensible approach has been taken

    From a "mandatory" appointment - to a "im so sorry for your situation" ...etc etc

    I hope all others who come across this have as simple a result as i have had
     

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