I am new to this forum and have been diagnosed with Aspergers. I work part time and have avoided claiming benefits previously as the whole system terrifies me, but I am struggling with my finances and I finally have my first appointment next Wednesday as I can't avoid it any more.
Is there anybody who can tell me what will happen and what it might be like? I know I have to bring ID with me. I am worried that my anxiety will completely overwhelm me and their expectations of my ability to work will be too high. I currently work 20 hours a week and find it very overwhelming. I am not looking to work more hours than that, perhaps just slightly better pay in a job I can cope with but I have read that many of the people there don't really understand Asperger's so I'm scared they might tell me to find any full time job.
I am getting more and more anxious the closer it gets and considering cancelling my application. I know that would cause problems, but it honestly feels so much less stressful. Any information from anybody who has been through this process would be really appreciated.
I find that most of the time it is impossible to be polite with the Department for Work and Pensions.
They all the time keep pushing you over the edge.
One has no choice but to be rude and say ''NO!''. This is very difficult for me.
Have you had similar experience?
Learn there game and play them at it.Never forget they can be as late as they like to see you but if you are late by 1 minute they can be total %$$.
They seam to think that they able to remove issue's of your Autism by using threats of sanctions.
If you play their game though the game will never change and those who can’t stand up for themselves will always be at risk. I just told them straight, at my first appointment with my work coach at the job centre, after they moved me to universal credit, that I absolutely was not going to be looking for work and that I refuse point blank to be made to do a job I don’t want to do just to satisfy some government tick box. The coach brought the manager of the job centre over to reassure me this would never happen. They’ve actually gone out of their way to help me and even when I didn’t turn up for one of the appointments they didn’t sanction me. They’ve been so helpful, even when I turn up late they will make sure they see me even if it’s only for a minute, to make sure I’m ok and to ask me if they can do anything for me. The arranged support for me via the local social services, which they didn’t have to do, they’ve been great with me because I was honest with them and didn’t play their game. I’m not against playing their game, sometimes you have to but ultimately, I’ve had far more help when I’ve been honest. I told them I’d rather crawl like a sewer rat on my hands and knees and eat food off the floor like a scavenging dog before I looked for a job or did a job that wasn’t suitable for me. It seemed to convey the message pretty clearly. I even told them the other day that weekly visits is not working for me anymore so now I just have short visits every three weeks or two weeks and they said they’d arrange for an assessment for the support group so I don’t have to go in at all because it’s not really doing me any good anymore going in there. I want to get on with my life and having to go in there so often is very distracting for me. So they’ve been really helpful to me, I just told them what it’s like for me. I do have a coach who has worked with autistic people so she has some awareness but I bet you could ask for someone like her as your coach if they give you someone who doesn’t even try to understand you. I would find that unacceptable and demand a different worker or that I am removed from an obligation to go in there at all.
Now it intresting there are going down the assessment for the support group. Now I might be wrong but are you in UC/ESA - Work Activities Group? Now if they change you from UC/ESA - Work Activities Group to Support Group. That support group it not really a support group. It they not expecting you to look for work or even work. Now you can look for work if want to and if you get work you have to tell them. But there be no requiement upon you to go down to the Job Center.I was going to say Google it but I found this website, sounds rather informedhttp://www.autism.org.uk/esa
I had a look and yes, I think that’s what they’re putting me on. My support worker knows all about it and said I don’t need to worry, so I’m not, I’m just looking forward to not going into the job centre even though I like my work coach and she’s helped me so far, I just don’t like going in there especially when it doesn’t a tily help me.