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I would like some advice on how to deal with what I believe to be discrimination by my daughters job seekers adviser.
My daughter is 18, unemployed and has suspected learning difficulties, that she is waiting assessment for. She has difficulties with memory, organisation and communication, she forgets things, gets dates mixed up and misses appointments.
I feel that she may have aspergers or another communication disorder and she shares some of my difficulties as I myself have dyslexia and dyspraxia. As soon as I recocoginsed her difficulties I have been fighting for a diagnosis for her and 18 months later she is still waiting.
My daughter dropped out of college as she failed her exams and she as not given the correct support by the college and I am in the process of an official complaint about this.
My daughter would like a job and is actively seeking employment and volunteers, but her self esteem and confidence are low as she failed her exams and keeps being rejected for jobs.
Due to her memory problems she missed one of her appointments with her job seekers adviser and her benefit was stopped for 5 weeks. I appealed against this and advised the job centre of her difficulties in writing and requested that she saw a disability officer, however this letter that was sent 2 months ago has been ignored. I have telephoned the job centre, but as my daughter is now 18 they will not discuss her case with me, despite being told of her difficulties.
Last week my daughter unfortunately missed another appointment with her job seekers adviser, who has informed the job centre of this, therefore she has received another letter stating that her benefits may again be affected.
I have contacted her job seekers adviser and asked him for help as I had previously made him aware of my daughters difficulties. I was shocked to receive his reply to me that stated:
"If ****** is that ill it maybe a good idea for her to change her claim to ESA (Employment Support Allowance) instead of JSA (Job Seekers Allowance) because she obviously isn't ready for work because if her memory is that bad she wont be able to hold a job down."
I was offended by these comments and my daughter was upset, I replied to this message, stating that my daughter was not “ill” but she has some memory and learning difficulties, that I had previously advised him of and that I had asked the job centre for support that has been ignored.
I advised him that all she needs is some help organising herself and her appointments and that he wrongly has this attitude that Joanne "isn’t ready to work because her memory is that bad she couldn’t hold down a job" In fact my daughter had only missed 2 appointments in the past 6 months, I feel that this does not deserve her job seekers adviser writing her off!
I have had a reply back from him, stating that I had taken his message out of context and to visit him with my daughter to help her.
However I feel that he was discriminating against my daughter and should not continue to advise her and I am extremely offended by his comments that show ignorance to any understanding of learning difficulties.
I would like some advice on how to deal with this and to get my daughter the support she needs. I think my daughter also needs to see a disability officer at the job centre for support, however because of the job centre system, this is impossible for me to arrange as my daughter is 18 and they will only see her and speak to her on the phone and she finds it difficult explaining her difficulties.
I cannot find any other way of contacting them and they have ignored my letter, requesting support. Please could anyone advise me of a contact email address for someone who could help. Many thanks for taking the time to read this
If you go on the website you find the helpline no which is Mencap Direct ax
0808 808 1111
Lines open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
Charity number 222377 (England, and Wales); SC041079 (Scotland)