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Thread: Local Service compliance officer house calling

  1. #1

    Local Service compliance officer house calling

    Hello, I've had a letter from the DWP telling me that i have a Local Service compliance officer calling at my house on Tuesday. I rang the DWP and asked them what it is about. Apparently, someone has reported me for claiming ESA for depression and anxiety yet i play in a band. I did not earn any money, at all, from this band and i only used to play maybe 2 gigs a month...........i left this band around 6 months ago.

    What right do the DWP have to say when or how i go out, or what kind of hobbies i should persue???

  2. #2
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    The problem isn't whether you earned any money, it's that the DWP may consider that being able to play in a band, in public , isn't consistent with the reasons for your claim (i.e. anxiety and depression). At the moment they presumably don't have the full facts, just a report from someone that you have been playing in a band so will need to investigate further as they may feel that if you are able to play live gigs, you are also able to work.

  3. #3
    yeah, i understand that, but how can they come to that conclusion? Can a person suffering from anxiety and depression ever go to the cinema or cafe, for example. I have always being advised by doctors and therapists to do something i enjoy and try to get out of the house and they have all recommended something like this. I have played no more than 2 gigs a month. I know that there is a general consensus to drop the number of claimants, but coming to the conclusion that 'because you've played some gigs you must be cured' is ridiculous.

  4. #4
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    Only the DWP know how they view things. All I can add from a personal perspective is that I couldn't go to a cinema, or café and certainly couldn't put myself up on a stage - I can't even go to a shop, or spend time in my own garden when the neighbours are out too.....but that's me. I think you'll just have to explain to them why you're able to do the gigs but couldn't work......only you know your own situation, but without all the facts it must seem odd to them that you can do that as many people who are perfectly well would struggle with performing in public, which is why they need to talk to you and find out the facts.

  5. #5
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    I've received one of these letters also, to say I have to go for interview there. It says me circumstances may have changed. yes they have changed, I had to give up caring for my disabled daughter as I was too ill to carry on. So I'm now having to live on £45 a week since giving up being a carer. It sounds like they are thinking I should be going to work, or lose this meagre £45 a week. I really don't know what's going on, no-one else I know has had one of these letters. I had already been granted ESA, but its still going through the process. I've not been to ATOS medical yet. But yes, I think they expect you to not go anywhere at all when on ESA

  6. #6
    tobyratter
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddevilggg View Post
    Hello, I've had a letter from the DWP telling me that i have a Local Service compliance officer calling at my house on Tuesday. I rang the DWP and asked them what it is about. Apparently, someone has reported me for claiming ESA for depression and anxiety yet i play in a band. I did not earn any money, at all, from this band and i only used to play maybe 2 gigs a month...........i left this band around 6 months ago.

    What right do the DWP have to say when or how i go out, or what kind of hobbies i should persue???
    It all depends on the descriptors and points gained by you when you qualified for ESA. Could it be said that working in the band contravened any or all of those descriptors and points?
    I have always worked p/t in bands, but had to give it up years ago when I fell ill. For the past 3 years I felt that I could go back in a small way, but the ESA descriptors would have precluded it. Now that my ESA has ceased, that problem has gone away. However I still feel that my DLA (Mid Care & High Mobility) would cause a problem. Not because I am no longer entitled to DLA, but it is what an ordinary person would think - how can he play on stage yet be entitled to those rates of DLA? Not worth the risk, although for my mental health problems, working back on stage would certainly give me some of my self worth back.

    Healthwise, working in a band could well be the best thing for you in helping you get better, but benefitwise it may well be the last thing you should attempt to do.
    Last edited by tobyratter; 11-07-14 at 19:46.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by tobyratter View Post
    It all depends on the descriptors and points gained by you when you qualified for ESA. Could it be said that working in the band contravened any or all of those descriptors and points?
    In general, you cannot work at all whilst claiming ESA. However, you can undertake "permitted work", which is subject to limits on the number of hours worked and the amount earned.

  8. #8
    tobyratter
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Flymo View Post
    In general, you cannot work at all whilst claiming ESA. However, you can undertake "permitted work", which is subject to limits on the number of hours worked and the amount earned.
    The OP has stated " I did not earn any money, at all, from this band and i only used to play maybe 2 gigs a month."

    Earnings here isn't the problem that the OP faces.

    The OP could argue that playing in the band was therapeutic for his condition - maybe even voluntary work?

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