Taking support to Jobcentre appointments

[Important update about this site: http://refuted.org.uk/foi/august/]

There are reports that Jobcentres are refusing to allow people attending Jobcentre appointments to be accompanied by representatives, including family members or friends.

Below is a draft letter based upon DWP policy on ‘Working with representatives‘ and a DWP FOI response about being accompanied at Jobcentre appointments.

If you have a health or disability related reason for needing to be accompanied at a Jobcentre, you can also add to the draft letter below something like:

‘I am making this request to be accompanied and supported at the Jobcentre under the Equality Act as a reasonable adjustment, due to my health and or disability related needs’

It is recommended to attach a copy of the DWP FOI response: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/taking_support_to_jobcentre_appo#incoming-486014 to your letter.

—– draft letter——-

Dear Jobcentre Plus,

RE: Support at Jobcentre appointments

I am writing to advise that I want my representative [name of supporter/organisation] to attend Jobcentre appointments with me for support and act upon my behalf with regards my benefit claim(s).

This request is in accordance with your own ‘Working with representatives‘ policy, which can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/355740/working-with-representatives.pdf

Attached is a letter from the DWP [Your Ref: 634] that gives a summary of your ‘Working with representatives’ policy, which confirms I can have a representative “accompany” me at Jobcentre appointments, for sake of clarification your policy says a representative can be:

– advice or welfare rights organisations
– professionals such as social workers, community nurses or doctors
– family members or friends

Yours faithfully

—-end——

Notes: When possible it is highly recommended to make a formal request, to be accompanied at a Jobcentre appointment, in advance. You could do so by phone or email, or at an actual Jobcentre appointment and follow up the request with a letter, including a copy of the FOI response: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/taking_support_to_jobcentre_appo#incoming-486014.