The Joys Of Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

For those of us who were fortunate enough to have been deemed unfit for the work, yet able to work soon by ATOS we were placed into the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) as part of receiving our Employment Support Allowance (ESA) benefit.

This mean our futures were in the hands of work program provides and I was blessed to find myself in the (in)capable hands of Seetec.

Not content with being spoken to like shit, being forced into attending degrading training sessions, being ignore when emailing my adviser it seems impossible for someone to actually change me from being on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) onto the correct benefit of ESA.

Today I had to go into their office for a “mandatory” appointment, by mandatory it simply means if you do not attend your benefits will be sanctioned for 4 weeks! yep 4 weeks of zero money!

So getting myself into a state, as normal when I have to attend appointments with Seetec I made my way there. Thankfully a friend took me as I did not have the £3 needed for bus fares! I walked into the office…

No talking to an adviser, no suggestions of how to get back into work or anything helpful like that….

It turns out I had to attend the meeting to collect a fucking letter!!!! yes the type of letter than can be sent in the post for the price of a stamp! but hey fuck doing thing easy for people, lets make them panic and spend money on travel instead!

Taken from Seetec’s website –

Seetec is one of the UK’s largest and most experienced providers of Government ­funded employment and skills training programmes, helping thousands of individuals find employment or gain qualifications every year.

Seetec employs hundreds of dedicated and experienced staff across a national ­network of training centres to ensure that our customers and business partners benefit from an innovative and high quality service.

With a reputation for integrity, innovation and quality, our vision is to work with you to aspire towards, achieve and sustain your objectives through our training, employment and consulting services.­

if you put a shirt and tie on a piece of shit is it not still a piece of shit?

Now bare in mind I have been on  ESA since March 28th 2012 and we are into May 2013 is it really too much for me to have expected someone to notice that I am not on JSA? not forgetting the number of times  I have told them!

So now having picked up my letter I am being told that if I don’t attend on the following days I will have my JSA sanctioned!

14/05/13 1.00

16/05/13 1.00

20/05/13 1.00

22/05/13 1.00

24/05/13 1.00

28/05/13 1.00

30/05/13 1.00

03/06/13 1.00

Despite the facts that

  1. I am not on JSA
  2. I am deemed unfit for me
  3. I am not supposed to be searching for work

but lets not get the truth involved in this when we can instead make someone with mental health issues suffer!

Thankfully before I had even opened the letter I made the point of once again mentioning that I am not on JSA so I have been asked to attend at 12 next week to try and get this matter resolved with the job centre. History tells me I should not bother holding my breath.

Still as I am a benefit scrounger I can afford £3-£5 a day three times a week for bus fares!

Just another success story in the work related activity group that Ian Dickhead Smith swears by!


56 comments on “The Joys Of Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

  1. I’m sorry this has been such a nightmarish situation for you! I really hope it gets sorted soon! It seems ridiculous that they expect you to spend a load of money on travel to pick up a letter!! Good luck with your appointment next week – hope you have more luck with it then!! xx


    • Hi. I have recently started the work program – had my first meeting with my adviser (well he didn’t tell me that’s who is was, but he has been arranging my appointments etc) I went today (Monday) for a job search session, although as I do all my search at home, fill out the log and showed 2 job spec letters, he logged all that on the system, ticked off that I had attended and sent me on my way – all over within 10 minutes………so I had to travel best part of 17 miles from home, just to hand in job search proof………wouldn’t be quite so bad if that was just weekly, but I have to do exactly the same thing on Wednesday as well……..not much is going to change in that short space of time, although I have applied for more jobs. I will have the 2 week gateway coming up soon (haven’t had a letter yet) but was told a possible start date…….and if it is on that date, I am unable to take part in those 2 weeks, as I have to care for my elderly Grandmother……..she is 92 and needs someone to assist with her medications, sorting meals and other assistance around the house. My Parents usually help her, but they are going away for 2 weeks, and there isn’t any other family who can help or any other arrangements. If I was in work, then we would have to make some kind of arrangements (probably respite) but that costs money my Nan doesn’t have, but as I not currently working, it was arranged between myself and my Parents, that I would care for her. I am very worried about telling Seetec this, due to some of the horror stories I’ve heard from some people. 😦


      • are you on ESA? maybe speak to the job centre as well as seetec before telling them about your grandmother. I would advise speaking to the manager at seetec and not your advisor


      • Hiya. I’m on JSA, not ESA. My Job Centre aren’t too bad, as things go and have been quite understanding in the past – i.e. When my boyfriend was rushed to hospital with Appendicitis, I couldn’t go to my signing on day, so I rang them to explain and they were very understanding (much more than I’d expect from Seetec) Am going to the Job Centre next week, so will ask then.


    • I’m not on ESA, am on JSA. I will talk to my Job Centre when I go next week. I have to say, they aren’t too bad as Job Centre’s go and have been quite understanding in the past, like when my boyfriend was rushed to hospital with Appendicitis and I was unable to go for my signing on day, I rang them up and explained that I wouldn’t be able to get there, and they were very nice and understanding and even asked how he was when I next went in to see them. I have to say, that I cannot imagine Seetec being like that!


  2. Why all the 1pm appointments? Why are they demanding someone attend that often?

    As for the ESA/JSA mix up, I’d suggest each time you attend you leave a letter demanding to know why it’s taking them so long to address their mistake and ask for written response….


  3. My partner has just signed off JSA and is unfit for work at the moment, so is now claiming ESA, but was advised that no matter what, he still needs to attend! at the moment, we are still waiting to here about what moneys are due to us as its only been a week since applying for ESA, but these Seetec people dont seem to care…they give you a few forms to get on with and leave you to it.. my partner has no computer skills, and i am the one who writes all his letters for him, emails for him, and looks for work online for him… this is a pointless peice of practice as if told unfit for work…why on earth ishe having to search and apply, if he cannot take on the work if it is offered to him??…it is wasting both their time, and my partners time as the end result will be nil!!… no work, and this person who may well offer this job oppurtunity to my partner after all ‘MY'(his) hard work online doing CV’s and letters etc… to just say ‘Sorry but cannot accept your job, due to ill health’… its a pile of crap!!!


  4. Hi. I am on ESA in the work related activity group from March 2013. I was told I have to go for a mandatory group induction at Prospects (similar to Seetec). Amoungst the other main problems why I was given ESA, I have big social anxiety which I try to address to some extent with the other problems at the pain clinic.

    They agreed to do an induction as a 1-1 after trying to get me to a group induction 3 times with people on JSA. They have now said I need a doctors note to state I cant do things in groups of people and can take the interviews on the phone. This was a big part of my claim for ESA, surely they know I passed a medical 2 1/2 months ago?

    Im really worried about the induction tomorrow. Its hard enough on the bus as I get panic attacks where I have to get off. Certain times or at busy times I cant travel.
    I have already done maths and english courses from home before my problems and had a cv done what else can they make me do? Even with a doctors note they said they want to ‘encourage’ me to start coming in in the future.

    From what I can see getting me on the program is just a way for them to make money and there is no care whatsoever for the individual. They have already mentioned the sanction word more times than I can remember.


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  6. I was given an appointment by Seetec scum one time, it was an extra one on top of my usual “review” appointments and weekly job search appointments. When I turned up, the man just gave me this sheet of paper with a 13 week action plan on it. I’d already been given one of those a few months previously, total waste of time. Just seems like it’s all done to make you jump up for no reason and hoping you won’t so they can stop your money.


      • Yep, stupid thing is, they sent a letter for that appointment when they could’ve just sent the sheet of paper thru the post in the first place, the sheet of paper that was given to me once I got there. Well, if they wanna waste stamps on this clap trap… It makes you feel like you’ve slipped through into a parallel universe where no logic exists. Thing is, you catch on to what they’re up to and it’s just a game of psychological warfare they’re playing to either wear you down or make you angry to bring about your own termination.


  7. LIES! ALL LIES!!!!!!
    No, not you: them 🙂
    I’ve been on the ESA rollercoaster since 2010 after being injured at work and as is typical with anything governmental, it’s a whole case of dealing with bureaucratic, idle, worthless pieces of shit who break their own laws and lie through their arses.

    I’m due to begin the WRAG programme and have been trying to find out exactly what they offer as ‘support’. From what I can see, it’s nothing.
    Given the nature of my injuries, I told the ‘advisor’ at the job centre that travelling to another town would aggravate my condition, but she said that she couldn’t offer anywhere local. I then mentioned that by her sending me to this other town she would be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, but she mumbled something about her not knowing anything about that (a breach in itself), as typical a defence as at the Nuremberg Trials, no less.

    Where are the Police and HSE in all this? licking the arse of the DWP?


  8. I have a meeting set up by seetec tomorrow and apparently will have to attend every weekday for two weeks or they will stop my money, well I have a trapped nerve between my brain and my jaw and although am still employed I am unfit for work….if I am unfit for my job I employed to do, then how can they expect me to attend every day, in fact I can’t that is why I am unable to do my contracted job.
    I am not going to attend and then appeal the decision to take away my benefits and see what the papers say, also, how dare they treat ill people in this way, with threats and intermediation. What on earth would my work say about me attending, if I could do those hours I would return to my job on reduced hours, they are bureaucratic assholes with no understanding of what it is like to be unable to work through disability.


  9. i am disabled since 1998 i was on dla for infinity having gone through all the humiliating tricks for various doctors that a monkey with the io of a chocolate bar could do, but they need to humiliate and embarrass you, wouldn’t be a good day at the office if they didn’t humiliate someone, im now placed on work activity, WTF????what part of i cant feckin walk or get there do they not understand, so off i trot this week at 1pm to attend a interview coz if i dont my money stops, i couldn’t give a shite really but as a diabetic is it worth going into a coma for posh git cameron to think oh well thats another drain on the NHS. how im going to get there, walk in??>?fuck knows,? wish i had a fit twin? anyhoo top and bottom of this crap is some little bitch in glasgow after reading all my appeal papers still under some gawd forsaken reason with her one brain cell and knowledge of any medical condition NIL decided to find me fit for work, ???


  10. well ive been disabled since 1997 up until this year atos health have deemed me ufit for any work i use a wheelchair and only have the use of 1 arm and no volentry movement below the knee i have difficulty reading and writin my maths are not good but this year they placed me in a work related activities group oh and i have a heart condition thats made worse by stress before all this i had managed to keep the stress to a minimum maybe suffering chest pains once a month if that now its once a week or more the lady at the job centre sent me to see a careers adviser the 1st 1 i saw to be quite honest was fairly nice but couldnt think of a job i could do 2nd 1 told me all these things i could do to find a job but since she couldnt think of anything i could do couldnt advise a specific career now is it me been brain damaged from the stroke i had but its their job to know these things 1 of them said also that 16 years out of work is a battle enough to find a job and with my disability probably impossible so now its upto me to find a job i can do and all the qualifications i got at school and collage mean nothing after a brain injury (polite way of saying brain damage) and the work place for none physical jobs require computing skills i dont have its taken me 2 and 1/2 hours to write this post so i ask you has cameron’s been smoking something to alter his reality or is he trying to kill the disabled off with stress i have an open ended award of dla i agree with jann’s comment at the end of their post the 1 brain cell but i think it was on a work release program the day it read mine and janns forms


  11. Your claiming free money, be grateful. If you don’t like, don’t claim. Some of us have to work extremely hard (and yes, I have severe mental and physical barriers) as I’d rather not sit on my bum all day.


    • What a dick! He made it clear he can’t work properly, and if stuff like this was worked into the mainstream, more on the news and all, this shit wouldn’t be happening, so truth and justice fighters are doing more valuable work than you can imagine; securing our future from these tyrants who don’t care about anyone, even themselves, to be keeping fluoride in the waTER DESPITE RECENT SCIENTIFIC STUDIES,, ASPARTAME IN YOUR DRINKS, CHEMTRAILS IN THE SKY!


  12. It really doesn’t matter to them what your medical problems are ,my hubby has stage 4 chronic kidney disease ,bordering on dyalisis, periphal vascular disease (from which he has twice had toes amputated from gangrene) and is unable to walk any distance or stand for any period of time .high blood pressure , he has had a previous stroke which left him with communication problems (speech,reading writing) , he is an insulin dependant diabetic who injects 5 times a day , has diabetic retinopathy which cause bleeds in the backs of his eyes and has just been diagnosed with a lung disease ……..BUT according to the DWP and ATOS he can soon get back into work!!!(like his kidneys will grow back by magic!) (and a new pair of lungs )..he has been put onto the WRAG group from seetec who have sent him a letter telling him he has to attend EVERY DAY between7th April until 17thApril …despite the fact he has recently had bleeds in both eyes which means has blood clots in both eyes and he cant see ,these could take up to 6 months to clear….so what on earth he is supposed to do when he gets there is anyones guess …or how he is supposed to get there ,he cant see to drive or even get busses (he would need to get 2 busses there and 2 back!) and the walk to the bus stop is too far for him to walk…BUT he HAS to attend or be sanctioned we have been informed …..his various consultants and GP are furious but the DWP don’t want to know … WORKED AND PAID IN FOR 30 ODD YEARS ..BECOME TOO ILL TO WORK TOUGH!! According to them you are just scrounging !! sorry for the rant just feel so angry ….


  13. oh and to add insult to injury the seetec office is on the 15th floor of the building !!! only hope the lift works!!!!


  14. thank you Moose ..we will plod on through ,,but it just makes me so mad that they treat people in this disgusting manner .. hubby has to go to see consultants on 16th April to get definite diagnosis and prognosis ..even the woman in the jobcentre just sat and looked at him in horror …she even emailed them telling them in her opinion he is unfit for work but no joy …seems once they have their claws in you they wont let go ….all we are is money in the bank to these people


  15. My Seetec office are recruiting for an Employment Consultant………..shall I apply?!?! 😀 Oh……..wait a minute, they wouldn’t want to employ someone who isn’t in work! Could be an interesting scenario though! Have to laugh, or I’d cry!


  16. I may do……….could be interesting, although I wouldn’t really want to be a part of their scheme…….I’m too nice a person! 😀


  17. I don’t know whether different Seetec centres follow different rules? (Surely they should all be doing the same?) But as I’ve read so many different stories about people’s experiences, it would seem that every centre does as they please – i.e. some attending once a week for a job search meeting and some once a month for a review. When I was told about the Work Program at the Job Centre and asked how often I would need to attend, I was told once a month, although it varied from person to person, but as my adviser at the Job Centre said I good proactive Job Centre, I shouldn’t need to attend more often than once a month. So why this week I have had 2 job search sessions, one on Monday and one tomorrow, just to hand in my job search evidence, which is more annoying when I have a 17 mile train journey, which I wouldn’t mind if it was for something constructive, but I could be using that travelling time for doing useful job search at home………don’t see why you can’t email your job search proof in several times a week and then go for a weekly or monthly review……..guess that would too sensible a system! I rest my case!


  18. *at the Job Centre said I have good proactive Job search*
    (I apologise for mistakes, serves me right for trying to text at he same time!) 😀


  19. Well…..of I went again to Seetec today, for a job search session, which as I do everything at home, just consists of having a random chat about anything and showing my job logs, which they don’t even keep for their records, as they put something onto the computer. So there is me printing off any letters, applications etc that I can and they don’t even keep them or take copies!
    Now……..I am actually starting to find my advisor a little creepy……….today whilst talking to me, he looked like he was really studying my face (did I have a big spot on my face or something!) how intimidating did that feel! He then went on to make some random comment about my earrings (which are perfectly normal and not outrageous in any way!) and then continued to study my face! This felt very intimidating :-/
    Once again, I questioned why I had to attend two of these sessions just to hand in my job search, with only one day inbetween – ‘it’s so we can help you with anything and keep an eye on things’. And this is costing them nearly £8 for my travel expenses, each time I go to them! I am down for two days of the same next week as well, but on one of the days I also have to see someone to talk about CV’s. My advisor asked me today, do you already have a CV (yes I do and you aren’t having it to keep matey!) What does he think I’ve been doing all this time when I’ve been applying for jobs??! Anyway, he gave me the appointment times for next week………I looked at them and noticed that on the day I have the CV meeting for 4pm, he had me down to see him at 10am…….err…….hello……how does that make sense! So I pointed that out and he was like ‘oh yeah, I’ll just change that to 3pm instead’. Bearing in mind, that only a few minutes before, he had asked me when my CV meeting was! Heeeeelllllppppp!!!!
    With the CV meeting, I know I will probably be shown different ways to set out a CV etc, but I really do not want them to have my information, so could I do a ‘dummy’ one?

    He also printed off a job for me…….now I believe they can’t make you apply for jobs that are unsuitable for you, so I am going to email him and explain politely why it is not suitable. But he was going to have me log onto one of their computers, forward my CV to him (as he said I should have it saved in my sent emails – how does he know what I do and don’t have saved!) I said, no I only have it saved on my computer at home…….I had to think quickly there, because I could have fallen into a trap and it would have meant that he would them have a copy of my CV, which they are not entitled to have. So he just said fine, send if when you get home, which I am not going to do anyway, as the job is not suitable and I can’t get to where it is. But I actually found that particular job through the agency it is with, so if I had been going to apply for it, I would have done it that way.

    I am going to my Job Centre next week for my signing day, should I tell them all of this, to see what they say? It probably won’t help in any way, but I can only try. I was also under the impression from the Job Centre, that I should only need to attend Seetec fortnightly or monthly (once a week at the most) as they have always been pleased with my job search and they said that attendance varies from person to person.

    Sorry for the essay, but need to talk about this with someone 🙂


    • Hi Kitty,

      I would certainly speak to a manager about the advisor if they make you feel uncomfortable, worth speaking to someone at the job centre as well.


  20. Hi Peeps.

    Went to Seetec today for a job search session, or rather just to hand in my job search proof, which apparently is perfect, but have to go again on Friday morning just for the same thing………but I guess they did refund my travel expenses back without any fuss, so that is something (£7.20) a time for them. Although travelling there and back, takes a big chunk of time out of the day, that I could be making use of at home to continue my job search.

    Am due to start the 2 week Gateway next week, my letter saying the sessions would be 10am-4.30pm every day, which after I have queried why I would need to be there all day, they have said I can attend the mornings for job search, which again they said I can do at home and bring in the proof. Once again, that just proves to me, that the whole thing is pointless in the first place.

    My main concern is regarding CV’s. Are they entitled to get your CV details from you? I know they ask, and I’ve had all sorts of questions from them, trying to worm it out of me, but I do not want them to have those details on their system, for the fear of them sending it off for jobs behind my back, or passing on my details to other parties (and it does happen) As I have already refused to let them have these details, they have said they will have to book me another appointment for my CV, which they are not having. I told them I have a CV I am using to apply for jobs and it was actually done by a professional. So I asked them to show me some CV layouts and templates, but still they want my CV. Any advice around this guys? I’ve had a headache all day, which for me is unusual, and they normally ease off with tablets, but this has been lingering all day, so I know it is down to stress from them.


  21. I haven’t found anything so far that states you MUST give them your CV. People have said it’s your private information and that you are entitled to privacy. I just want some answers to throw back to them when they keep pestering me about it.


  22. Hey Peeps. I am coming to the end of the 2 week Gateway course, which has been a complete waste of time (nothing new there) I have been told and shown things I have known for years and today this was proven again, as my advisor said she didn’t think I need to attend the group sessions, so I got parked on a computer to get on with things myself. I do all my job search at home and am very careful about what I do on Seetec’s computers, as I am concerned about security issues and that they may track what I have done, so I don’t log into anything with my details and passwords. I thought after the Gateway finished, I may be attending weekly for a review with my advisor, but today I received a letter, saying I have to attend every Monday and Friday 9.30am-4.30pm for 4 weeks for job search sessions, workshops, interview skills and techniques (we’ve already been doing that) and on-line training??? – what on earth is that all about??! On top of that, I am still being harassed to give my CV, despite me putting in writing that I do not give my consent for them to have his……..and I have today been booked another appointment to see the CV person and to take my current CV. Has anyone else been through these motions and if so, what have they done to overcome them? I will continue to refuse to give them my CV, but know I will be considered as ‘odd’, because all the other people in my group have given their CV’s and are allowing it to be sent off for jobs. Why do I seem to be the only one concerned about this? Is it at all possible, that me not giving them my CV, may eventually lead to them reducing my attendance to reviews only? For they only want your details so they can claim they got you into work and then make money. If they do not have my CV, surely there isn’t much they will be able to do with me? Plus they are hindering my job search and my availability to go and see agencies I am with, for possible job leads. Help! 😥


  23. I’m on it too despite arthritis asthma and a bad heart , leg nerve tumour, had a letter today , seetec sanctioned me as I’ve just been in hospital having a new hip ,and not being able to go out for six weeks means not being available for work , no money for me now , and not enough NI credits for hardship payment , nothing I can do about it as only my adviser can overturn her own decision , and she’s already seen all the hospital letters . I’m already filing the bills, I used to pay with what now goes on bedroom tax , I’m in too much pain to be able to move , I physically can’t do it , and have no money to pay someone else to, I only have one small meal a day now , just don’t know how I’m going to survive .


      • Yes I have he just says it’s up to my adviser. 😕Just wish this would stop, so many people are suffering now.


      • That’s a good idea thanks , I’m also going to try to sell some of my things at least try to get by, but this is happening to so many people now just doesn’t seem fair , I worked really hard through my life often with full time and a part time job at the same time I’m not lazy , illness can happen to anyone at any time .


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