Posted , 7 users are following.
I'm on ESA and PIP due to severe mental health problems. I live in England and am single. A friend typed this up for me as I'm unable to manage this type of thing usually, but I'm really worried and desparate for some advice.
A week ago I had to attend a Compliance Interview at the Job Centre. When I got there it turned out they thought I'd had too much savings in the past, and they wanted to see bank statements. Turns out it was their mistake and the bank statements show I'm in the clear. However, during the interview the Officer became extremely unpleasant and aggressive, questioning me about my living situation. They then insisted that I'd have to come back for another interview.
I'm presently homeless, only just got a raise in benefit which will enable me to sort out a place, so they are having a go at me for having too much savings to be homeless- even though I haven't had a chance to sort anything out. They then started to rant about how a friend who I stay with occasionally and am very close to must be my partner (even though we're a male and female and both gay), and then insisted I must return for another interview. The whole process took a big toll on my mental health and has set me back majorly both in terms of my recovery and sorting my living situation.
My main question is, do I have the right to bring a friend into the interview with me? Just to provide emotional support. Do they have the right to refuse that? I am trying to get an 'advocate' from Mind sorted, but it might be too short notice.
Also, although I've got nothing to hide (as the evidence in my bank accounts shows), I'm very worried about how confused I get about details and keeping track of things- in my last interview it seemed that they were trying to trip me up constantly. I don't want to be in trouble for fraud because I get confused! Can they take my benefits away?
Any advice at all would be so helpful.
Thankyou very much
0 likes, 8 replies