Chucked off Sickness benefits and forced to sign on, but not fit to look for jobs let alone do them

From the facebook page ‘the People vs the Government, DWP and Atos

A bit of advice for those who have been chucked off esa and forced to sign on, but are not fit to look for the jobs let alone do them. Well last week was my first signing on day, as I’d been for interview there the week before. At the interview I told the guy that I dont wanna sign to say I’m fit for work when I’m not!

He said a few times that if I want any money I must sign it. So I said, well I aint gonna look or work! So he told me I had to apply for a certain amount of jobs per week or I wont get paid. So I told him I aint fit to work and nobody will employ me unless I lied at my interview. Then I’d get fired straight away cus I wouldn’t manage to get there on time it at all. Well he was keeping his cool just looking blank at me. As we started to fill his on screen form in, he asked, so what job would u like to do. So I said, one where I can turn up when I want and go home when I want n get paid while I’m off!
He said u can’t say that! So he suggested things n I said after each one, well I cant do that because of…..and gave him the reason. I was there over an hour cus I just wouldnt play this stupid game. In the end we wrote some things down just to go home. So while at home I wrote on here saying how could I get out of doing job searches for a job I will never be able to do ( ive got fibromyalgia and cfs severely, so get brain fog, have sleep probs and of course the pain).

I was advised to get a sick note. So, I turned up on friday with a sick note for two weeks, as this is the longest they allow u, and only 2 in a year, or you will get signed off jsa. So iI gave this different advisor the sick note, which the doctor had included the third friday, making it 15 days, and I was told that because it was 15 days I dont have to sign on next fortnight either, so av to go in a months time, but need to bring along a two week job search list. So I told the man I didnt want to do it. I said I think I will bring another sick note in.
I said, how can I be asking esa to do me a reconsideration and if not successful an appeal, if I’m signing on to say I’m fit for work. I said its ridiculous. Writing to tell them I’m not fit to work. I said its stupid as I cant be both.

So I asked what would happen if I  brought in a second sicknote straight after, making it more than a two week one next time too. He said they will close your case and make u sign on esa. I said, how can that happen if I’ve been chucked off it?

He said , what happens when esa say your fit for work and job centre wont except u because they say ur not fit to work is……..wait for it………. They put u into a group called the holding.
Its wherepeople  are put that don’t seem to belong in either group till its decided through reconsideration that u can go back on it, but if it goes to appeal and u lose your appeal, which will be months and months away, only then do u have to def be on jsa and abide by the rules!

So all u lot, get to doctors on ur signing on day and get a sicknote for more than 2 weeks and get chucked of the jsa that we didnt want anyway, and join the holding group instead. Thanks the nice Job Centre Plus man. Xxxx

213 thoughts on “Chucked off Sickness benefits and forced to sign on, but not fit to look for jobs let alone do them

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  2. This is me too,I have the same illnesses too, did you still get benefits?
    Thanks for your story, a great help!

    • I think the government has carefully worked it out so large numbers of people get thrown into the void so they do not have to pay them anything at all. If you are too unwell for work yet they have a flawed test that says you are fit to work then you are screwed basically, and that is my situation.
      Hitler could have used a man like IDS!

      • Agreed. I go for my ESA Health Assessment this afternoon and I have worked in counselling, for Macmillan Support and all manner of jobs supporting people with physical and mental health problems, Careers and Advice and Guidance etc, yet I am dreading this interview, as I just see it as a “catching you out” exercise.

        Have pulmonary embolism in left lung, a variety of serious gynaecological illnesses and have just had an operation and have had ill health since my sister passed away with cancer, earlier this year. Severe back and neck pains and very exhausted and on long term medication for the clots.

        I think this is just an awful process and makes people who are normally confident, active individuals more ill and fretful.

        Good luck to all those going through this horrible process…

    • I was on Incapacity Benefit earlier this year. ATOS lied to the DWP about my assessment. I got sanctioned. So, made a fresh application for ESA. Not been paid for 7 months now. Cannot get JSA or Income Support because I have a ‘live claim’ for ESA. Also have sick notes from my GP covering me since I was sanctioned.

      This makes Iain Duncan Smith a barefaced liar (but we already knew that). My only income is via my wife who is the carer for my aged mother. We get £61.35 a week. If it wasn’t for my mother’s Attendance Allowance and extra US pension, we’d be homeless by now.

      Sincerely, Chris,

      • What is the answer to get out of this mess..i’m not fit to work and have a jobcentre interview in two days..there are ways around everything so surely theres a way around it

        • If you’ve recently been pronounced fit to work, put in for a mandatory reconsideration. You will still have to go to the jobcentre but tell them you are appealing and there’s no point in signing any sort of commitment till you have the results of your appeal. If the mandatory reconsideration fails, then take it to tribunal

            • Yes, you can claim JSA. If the mandatory reconsideration fails and you take it to tribunal, you will be put back on ESA support rate – same money as JSA but you just have to hand in sick notes.

          • thank you argotina i am at my wits end with the job centre they ve got me depressed my doc just gave a 12 week sick note but they say im fit for work otn know how im oing to get to the job centre by myself as i have arthritis in my hip

    • ive been in same boat was chucked off sick and had to sign on even though am too ill to do jobs and search for them they have sent me on volantary shop work which i only lasted 2 weeks cos of my arthritis was in soo much pain was told to get sick note n hand in i done this for 13 weeks their limit for sick notes then told me to claim esa they signed me off i tried to claim esa four weeks waiting to hear to told they have declined my claim…sooo had no money for 6 weeks cos i had to sign back on again and now im still sick with a sick note and cant hand it to jsa as told cant do it twice! they are sending me on a two yr course so how can i do it if im sick?? im finaly getting jsa they wouldnt back date my money as had no proof ive been looking for work!…i wouldnt be if im waiting to go on esa would i?? they have got ppl always so dont have to pay them! i had to borrow off ppl to get through those 6 weeks! maybe ppl havent got anyone to lend them?? this system is all wrong leaving ppl destitute and sick ppl forced to work even thought not fit to do so! so im a predicament ive got a sick note and gta start 2 yr course 2mora what do i do?? any suggestions!!!

  3. hi with the greatest respect I find it strangely comforting that other people are going thru the same ridiculous garbage as I am, The whole process is a joke, I appealed my esa and failed as fibromyalgia and cfs/me at moderate levels are not good enuf to not work, Jsa say why you here and esa say they don’t want you.
    But with a dr who won’t help me I have to jump thru the jsa hoops for now

    • I am in this exact situation but as no inome since march 1st I am about to be made homeless, I just dont know what to do I feel so lost & just want to find the right people in dwp to sort it.

      • I think it’s unfair what they have done.ive just been told I’ve lost all my money and I’ve dislexia learning problems I have social anxiety and social photo stopping me traveling on transport and they just call up saying that’s it you lost it all.would not mind but they never even offer me any help


  4. I last received an ESA payment on the 7th February, but like you couldn’t fathom how I could claim JSA while being unfit for work, I haven’t bothered with JSA as I knew I could expect to go through what you have. I didn’t even get an assessment by ATOS, when I called to arrange a home visit I was told it wasn’t possible and to await a response from DWP. I’ve appealed and gone to tribunal and just had an acknowledgement letter from them. I have been informed I can now receive the assessment rate once I can get a new note from my doctor. I have been living off £20 a week that my nan has been putting into my account. Who by the way has terminal cancer and her husband has had to go back to work, even though he just retired because of the issues with benefits. I have worked consistently for the past 10 years, my previous 2 job both spanning 2 years. I’ve struggled with depression since I had an operation when i was 15 and anxiety has escalated over the years. I’ve really tried to work and be well but it has gotten too much. I finally got an appointment to see a Psychiatrist on the 30/6 after counselling failed. Fed up of being made to feel like scum 😦

    • Daniel.i know exactly how you must be feeling reg your nan, if been there with a loved one, so I’m sorry to hear that, that alone is going to be stressing you even more and the fact her husband has had to go back to working again, I’d go back to your gp and tell him or her how your feeling again, does your gp know the situation about your nan I’m only asking this because if he was already aware your suffering depression then he would know its got to be far worse than is was. under these sad set of circumstances, i saw 3 different counsellors before i felt comfortable talking to the very last one my gp sent me to, do you have other family members to talk to about this. or someone close, you can open up to

  5. I’m just deaf, have more trouble with speech rather than just general noise. So because I can hear some things they think I’m not really deaf enough, so I don’t get help with using the phones or even face to face. Making one mistake in work is risky but I make quite a lot every day. I can get manual work as because of that same genetic condition I am not physically strong person and so I can’t keep going all day everyday, its just impossible. Can’t even ring employers up to communicate with them to find work, so not fit for JSA but well enough not sick enough for ESA. So my elderly parents keep me because it would destroy them to see me on the street, they get into debt to do this and when they do go, that’s it for me, on the street as I’m deaf I won’t last long in that situation won’t be able to get back off. I’ve actually asked them to help me find work and keep it and give me support, but they say I’m not deaf enough or you will only get it when you find a job. Without support I’m nothing.

    • There is supposed to be a disability advisor at the jobcentre (though not all have them) They never seem to bother telling anyone about these people. But if such a person exists at your jobcenter, make an appointment, they should be able to tailor a job seekers agreement around your abilities. They are supposed to take physical and medical conditions into account when drawing up the jobseekers agreement, but again, advisors often don’t seem to know this. Can’t lose anything by trying.

  6. I am currently going thru all this carry on. I had my assessment and was told im fit for work so have to claim JSA. I played along with the charade as I couldn’t be without money but I have to sign every fortnight until my appeal has been processed. I was at doctors today and he gave me an unfit for work certificate for 6 weeks. Should I hand this into JSA or just let things run their course with my appeal.

    • Not sure about this. If you are not fit for work full stop then you don’t qualify for JSA. If there is a disability advisor at your jobcenter, (yes, some do have them) you can make an appointment and ask. Is there a maximum length of time for a sick note before you get chucked off JSA? You can get JSA if you are fit for limited work, but you need to speak to an expert. Have you tried the facebook forums like DPAC and 4UP? Good advice from knowledgeable people there.

    • I am in the same boat, my doctor gave me a sicknote for 8 weeks due to stress/depression/anxiety i suffer after a physical assault and numerous other historical events, they asked me to aksk my gp to write to the jsa that i can not fulfill the criteria for looking for work….my gp re-issued me a sicknote which was sufficient enough as per herself to state that….i presented this at the jc appt and they suspended my claim…i am almost encouraged to work when i am not ready to work yet or close off the claim and live on nothing. Bearing in mind i have 14years working history

  7. If someone turns up at JSA with a sword and stabs staff to death as they have no money to live, do you think that will change the law, at least in prison you will be looked after.

    • No, and making what could be perceived as threatening statements online is not going to help you either. Yes in prison you would be looked after but even the thought of hurting jobcenter staff is very unhelpful – they have families to support too. The jobcentre staff are not the problem, the problem is what they are being forced to do by this government.

      • Maybe they do but some of them are right cnuts and if they don’t care about your welbeing it’s very difficult to care about theirs.

        • Yes what would they do if they are forced to kick their mum dad sister etc off their income I got told they get a bonus they don’t give a shit doing this to people would they do this to their families



      • I fully agree with this. The cruel way in which this government is traeting people, such as yourself maybe, are fomenting these kind of thoughts. But, as the above responder just stated, the job center staff are just trying to put bread into their own kids mouths. They definitely do not deserve to be on the end of any bad feelings from us. WTF is going on in this Country of late that we cant even help out the sick, the cost of doing so is a tiny fraction of what government spends each year…I despair, I really do! Mark

      • If you imply that a wage check and looking after family relatives, is being forced to do bad things to other sick people, i do believe your definition of force a tad warped. Could the NAZI use the same excuse?

    • Not something I’d recommend. Jobcentre staff are just robots doing the Government’s work. They are not trained to be human or understanding, they are programmed just to get results (a bit like double-glazing salesmen). Perversely though, the only way to get Legal Aid is to commit a criminal offense. Stabbing a Jobcentre employee means they’d just be replaced by another ‘clone’, so don’t even think about it. Best thing to do is to pop down to St Mary’s Abbot church in Kensington, and you may catch a glimpse of the false prophet Cameron pretending to be a Christian. What you may say to him is entirely up to you, but a few well-chosen words may inspire the Gestapo-like boys-in-blue to ask you to calm down.

    • Anonimouse
      About 7yrs ago I entered the local jcp with a knife and slashed my wrists and spread blood all over their counters ‘coz they hadn’t paid me in 5 months and one of the staff gave me a bolloking outside 4 drinking a can of beer that somebody else had bought me. I went in and shouted that they weren’t going to starve me to death that I would go out a bit quicker than that! I had already blunted the knife(I’m not tottally stupid and didn’t want to die to prove a point, once I had caused a big scene I walked out telling an ambulance driver that someone was cutting himself up in there,and walked to the bus stop where I was promptly arrested for having a weapon in a public place.
      Spent a week in jail went to court where I was fined,Ha Ha!! Explained the situation to the judge who said that they would get their money somehow.also got 1 yrs probation. Thanks to a very sweet lady there who eventually sorted my giro out after a lot of work which flabbergasted the lady in question,I was also banned from the jobcenter so I didn’t have to sign on,bonus!!
      I wouldn’t recommend this route as the jcp think I’m crazy as I’ve also told them that I’m willing to set myself on fire on more than one occasion after letting the local newspapers in on the story. This may seem like a lot of work to get what I should be entitled to,my sickness benefit isn’t all that I’m not living the life of Riley with helicopters flying me on shopping trips to Harrods from daily thanks for reading my short story all the best.

    • im litterally thinking about doing this because the JSA cunt wont even accept my sick note n ive had no income n a 2 bed house to run since may n jail i wont owe anything n my family wont have to cover my finances

  8. Briefly, in exactly the same boat. I am actually going to sue both the DWP and ATOS because I have evidence of fraud and maladministration. I tried ICE (Independent case Examiner), but they will take far too long to help. So, off to court I go.

    I shall also be requesting the court to enforce a criminal investigation into ATOS and the lies they tell.

    • BRiLLIANT, I am myself trying to find ways to highlight these issues. I got to this page looking for ways and making sure it’s not me whose the only one going mad inside my own brain box. Please email me at, with your results. Thanks and good luck x

      • Hi Bal.

        I’ve been told it will likely be before mid-July when I get my Tribunal Hearing. But this hearing is for a contradiction in the laws about benefits (specifically Income Support) which the Government has created. Chances are it will lead to a Judicial Review and force the Government to change the law.

        I have submitted my main argument, but also all the evidence of maladministration and corruption within the system. Once the Tribunal has dealt with this particular case, then I can move forward with all of my arguments against the DWP and ATOS.

      • Hi my name is Joanne I also got chucked off ESA and forced to sign on they made me do voluntary work in a shop anyway had enough off all the bullshit from them I decided to get a job even though I had a drop attack seizure pulsatile tinnitus plus 3brain MRI,s my last one I hope was 2wks ago I still don’t no if I have a slow growing Tumor or not that’s why for the last 6mths they have been waiting and watching for any changes on scan I don’t know what’s going on am tied all the time taken 500mg paracetamol all the time to try I make me feel ok the job centre the all need to be sacked there crap that’s what I think they don’t care about people if anything happens to me it’s on them I wish everyone well who,s taking them on going all the way to court good luck I wish everyone well 😊

      • Got a reply from the DWP and said they would defend their decision with all the legal force they could muster.

        I was not in the position to do battle due to my own illnesses. So it all came to nothing.

        NB. I did get to a tribunal though, but this was to do with being swindled out of benefit. That came to nothing as well. Lost out by more than £1,000 due to those crooks at the DWP.

        As for being a civil matter, that’s what it would be. There’s certainly nobody ‘out there’ who sees it as a criminal matter. That’s because the law is so screwed-up.

  9. i have been off sick from work since feb this year with ptsd/depression/ following a violent mugging ,which took place across from my work,, my gp gives me sick notes on a monthly basis i havnt left my house apart from twice this year as i just carn,t , my work have paid me sick money up untill 16 july , on the 17th i sent in a sick note for another 4 weeks , they havnt paid me for 3 weeks when i rang they said they carnt and i need to wait for them to send me a form to claim from job centre ,which they havnt sent , but as im physically fit im worried what will happen if they say i have to go on esa , which they suggested ,as its not a physical illness but a mental one im going through , and i have red so many stories about the esa , this is the first time ive been of work in 26 years my work are keeping my job open for me ,and how long will it take to recieve any money , never claimed any benefits so im a real worried novice, and will i get my sick pay backdated , thanks for any advice but im really at the end of the line hear .

    • It’s perfectly possible to get ESA for Mental health issues, but it’s helpful to have a paper trail of proof for the beaurocrats to see when you apply. You have been to the doctor. Have you been referred to any clinics or specialists or other treatment? Doesn’t really matter if you can’t actually go to them because of your condition, the fact you have been referred means a lot. You need to apply for ESA as soon as possible because it is not backdated past the original date of application. Once you apply they will send you a form to determine your financial elegibility and then, if you are deemed elegible, you will get an ESA50 form where you have to explain how your condition affects your daily lkife. It’s imperative at this point (especially with an invisible illness) that you get experienced help in filling in this form. You need to say things in the right way and include things you don’t want to talk or even think about.Nobody should be filling in this form alone.

      There are many facebook self help groups that can help you work out what to do.. Many of the people on these groups suffer from anxiety, panic, PTSD: many have got ESA, and from the sound of it you need not only ESA but ESA in the support group (so they arent trying to force you to go to mandatory training sessions). You can post on these groups anonymously by contacting an admin. It’s truly amazing how much positive, useful and sympathetic support is there for and by people who cannot leave the house for mental health reasons. You can try ‘ATOS Miracles’ or DPAC or Benefits and work, or ‘The people vs the Government, DWP and ATOS’ or a number of other sites. If you don’t like facebook there are boards like Mumsnet that can help. You could also try contacting the mental health charities Rethink and Mind.

      The quickest way to apply for Employment and Support Allowance is by phone. But just ask for the forms by phone. If they try to ask you questions about your daily life or any other attempt to get personal information relating to your symptoms and limitations, just tell them your anxiety means you cant talk about this and they need to send all requests for information in writing. ALWAYS note down the date, time and name of the person you are speaking to whenever you speak to the DWP or jobcenter on the phone. And always keep copies of any documents you send them.

      Contact centre numbers
      Telephone: 0800 055 6688
      Textphone: 0800 023 4888

      I know the situation seems very difficult and uncertain at the moment, but the people who lose their ESA claims unjustly are generally those who have not reached out for help at this stage. Your conditions and symptoms qualify you for ESA.

        • im in the same situation Beth.ive been signed off since June 2015,my gp gives me sick notes every fortnight,,,,i have arthiritus and am in a lot of pain, my last visit to my gp he said you must look forwards and doesnt want to sign me off physio said only to do light work if im able to..i should of been retiring in 18 months but now have to work another 7 years,,im not fit enough…

    • Your employer has to pay you statutory sick pay for a specific time, after which you can apply for JSA or ESA. Not sure about the details of this but you could try a phone interview with your local Citizen’s advice Bureau who should know the answers to this. If you have a period of no income, you can apply for housing benefit on the basis of no income, if you are worried about rent.

      • Hi I lost my son to a brain tumour last year he was 20, I started to claim esa for berevement and depression , I have been on medication since 2010. Today I lost my tribunal, I have a two month sick note from my doctor. I do not know what to do. I can appeal it only on a point of law at the upper tier tribunal chamber . I think was reg 59 . They said because I could find my way around and take my kids to school and buy food I was fit for some type of work ……I feel so lost right now….can anyone help please . I’f i have a sick note does it become invalid and mean nothing …..???

        • You have to score 15 points on their system, even at the tribunal. There are no points for a sick note as it doesn’t say WHY you can’t work, just that the doctor says you are sick, so it doesn’t score any points at all. Please go to the CAB for help.

  10. thanks for your advice , my employer has paid me for 28 weeks , and is keeping my job open for me , thats my main worry if i dont get this esa i carnt get jsa as technically im still employed ,but once again ty for help ill look into them groups , i have a councillor but only managed to go once to see her and she wasnt very helpfull tbh ..

  11. After having 3 heart attacks my doctor had said he wont give me anymore sick notes even though im in pain,tired breathless and due another heart opp,its a disgrace I CANT GO ON JSA and tell them im fit for work even though the doc thinks I am im bloody well not,have docs been told to sign people of the sick ? I bet they have

    • You sound in a terrible situation. I think really the whole objective of the politicians right from them introducing Atos until now with the likes of ID Smith and Estor McVey is that – apart from enriching themselves and their business buddies of course -is that they want everyone who is ill or seeking a job to be living on a hardship payment. Stop and think: the amount of money that everyone on this website is having to fight tooth and nail to obtain doesn’t amount to very much in real terms. It might be more healthy to stop fighting for it and accept that you’d be better off physically and mentally living on a basic hardship allowance. Of course the only danger then would be that the nazi politicians would start trying to stop paying even that their fellow countrymen and women in need.

      • 15 points gets you ESA wrag
        once you have been on ESA for 12 months ( that included time ewaiting for tribunal )
        you will most likely be migrated to Income Related ESA
        This is 100 % means tested
        have a ill health retirement pension BYE BYE BENEFIT
        any other household income partner works 16 hours BYE BYE BENEFITS
        savings above £16 k ( not sure wether this includes property

  12. Staff at my jobcentre don’t have a clue what the Holding is and tell me if i hand in 2 sicks notes im off. I was looking forward to handing in the sick notes but now i’m afriad to.
    I have just had an assessment from Capita for PIP so with some luck that will be my next sick pay.

  13. I went for the medical to see if I had to stay on ESA/I, not ESA/C. I got the letter in the post after a few weeks. I phoned my GP and ask’d him for a sicknote, he gave me one for 6 months. I went to Jobcenterplus and gave them the letter saying I was NO longer able to get ESA, I then went to give them the sicknote that was for 6 months. I was told that as I was NOT on ESA and also at that time I was NOT on JSA, the sicknote was NO good ??????
    So now I have to play the stupid game of JSA.

    FYI. ESA/I is that in the past you have NOT payed any money into the country, and you can get FREE dental and FREE medical.
    But ESA/C is that you have worked in the past and you have payed money into the country, but you are NOT able to get free dental or medical.
    Now onto JSA, ESA/I and ESA/C and also JSA, the amount that you get a week is £72.40p a week.
    Yes, all three are for the same amount of money ????
    To me, the only ones that are getting any money out of this are the ones you go to see for your medical and say you have NOTHING wrong with you. Also them at the joke shop (jobcenterplus) have a bit more work to do.
    My problem was down to an industrial accident when I was in my 20’s. I did do a few other jobs after that, but in my heart of hearts, I know what my limitations are. Been on Morphine is not given to someone with an in growing toenail.
    Well that is my rant over

    • Actually ESA IR (income related) is also paid to those who have paid tax and national insurance in the UK for many years but who have not had national insurance contributions paid in the most recent tax years.

  14. I had a letter 31st january saying from 28th january i will no longer be entitled to esa but im due a payment on tuesday 3rd feb will i still get it

  15. Well my doc wrote me a sick notefor a month and I took it to job centre. She told me that I then had to claim again for ESA , which I had just been thrown off of! So, I claimed again for ESA and enclosed sick note and they sent me a letter telling me I am not entitled to claim for ESA within 6 months of coming off it! So I am now on NOTHING!!! I have no income at all !

    • So, today I rang ESA for help and the girl at the call centre didn’t even know you couldn’t apply again within 6 months of coming off it! Great system eh? Eventually she said that I could apply for something called PIPS. So I have done. Meanwhile it’s been weeks since I have had money. And probably a few more weeks to come. That’s if I even Qualify for PIPS. How am I supposed to buy food and pay bills? Very very desperate! 😦

      • I hope you are getting Housing benefit at least. You need to check this if you haven’t done so already, because if they’ve closed your claim, they will have informed the housing office who may have closed your housing benefit claim. You can get in touch immediately with your housing office and claim housing benefit on the basis of no income. They don’t backdate this so it needs to be done as soon as possible.

        • I got a letter saying they cam no longer pay me ESA because i never went to medical meetin i never received a letter at all o told them this when they asked the first time the last medical i went i sat for 3 hours to be told sorry there is no one to see you we will send another app out so now my rent as been stopped i got the letter Fri at 2:30 was to late to do anything ..any advice please

          • Call the DWP immediately and explain, the phone number should be on their letter. And get straight in touch with the Housing department and explain, too.. YOu can ask for housing benefit on the basis of no income whilst this is being sorted out.

          • Sask for a mandatory reconsideration of the decision giving your reasons, and tell the council you have no income, they will cover your rent.

      • I’d like to talk to you to see if there’s anything i can suggest to help. I’m going to send you an email from argotsgirl with my phone number. If you’d rather I phone you then please reply to the email with your own phone number.

  16. i suffer from emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder, aspergers and menier’s disease Atos did the assesment and the dwp ran gme and told i recived 9 points ( you need 15) because i can not go out alone there was nothing about how the conditions affect me ( emotionally unstable borderline personality disorder ) is quite basically the border of both scitzophrenia and bi polar, i have dla for now but was assesed to see if i still qualify fore that again by atos ( not holding out for any hope) my partber is my carer and he went with me to both assesments while there we found out that the dwp had not sent any of the letters that my psychiatrist had sent them so basically it was a et up from the beginning, i was due to be paid today but there is nothing in the bank and now i have all the stress of having to ring the dwp up in the morning and finding out what has happend ( my partner has a hospital appointment for himself )
    really feel like i am a waste of space, really do not want to be here anymore, maybe every one will be better off with out me . well done dwp, atos and any other gov beurocrats yet another person you have screwed over and made to feel like rubbish , bet you can sleep better knowing that all of £159.70 is cutting the deficit

    • Only just read this, hope you are ok. If you are not fit to work you should be on ESA. You are not a waste of space and it is just horrible that this government has set up a system that makes you (and many others) feel like this. You are not alone. You can appeal, please contact Mind or the Citizen’s advice people to get them to write a letter explaining why you are sending your appeal late.

    • You r defiantly not a waste of space even though I don’t know you I can say that as you are a human being with all the emotions and garbage that entails.the pittance that the job centre gives you when they can be bothered along with evry1 else doesn’t really amount to much but they know how much pain and suffering they can cause by not giving that massive giro every 2 wks and they enjoy doing this to the poorest members of our society hope you can work it out,all the best.!!!

  17. This is good to know.
    My partner was chucked of esa (thanks to a made up ATOS check), appealed, sadly lost the appeal due to ‘lack of medical evidence’ which they said they didn’t need.
    He’s been signed off for two months straight.
    Atleast this will be able to help him as it’s getting him really depressed.
    Thank you 🙂

  18. I hope this maybe of use to people, i have ME/CFS and find daily living hard enough or near impossible so need to appeal after Mandatory reconsideration was turned down. I found it hard to gather information without help. This is the link to lodge appeal to the court of appeal Also get as much info on your condition past history. This link maybe helpful as the people there are used to dealing with things like this They can pay ESA whilst the appeal is lodged.

    • Update on this is after 3 months i have finally after a lot of heart ache been placed on the appeal rate pending the court appeal hearing on my case. I have instructed the company in the link above to act on my behalf, also provided support letters from my GP of my abilities & also using the Atos comments of my daily abilities the court has asked the DWP to answer questions of why i have been refused support…! whilst these questions are being investigated the court date has been cancelled by the judge. In the mean time i will be in receipt of £73 which is the ESA appeal rate. Yes the DWP departments have given me the run around telling me i have no choice but to sign for JSA & look for work or get nothing, also had one guy at the DWP telling me i am fit for work & will get nothing unless i look for work as he is the decision maker who said i am fit for work… lol I told him he is nothing but a puppet pushing buttons & as he is not medically trained his words mean nothing so he may as well crawl back into his box. Yes i had to take out a loan to tide me over, but that is because i had no choice, it was either that or starve & risk losing my home before this was sorted out.

  19. HI ALL
    don’t give up hope
    here is my story
    in 2006 an ankle problem recurred and i was diagnosed with tendinitis. after 6 months of pain and 3 steroid injections later i was only then sent for an xray which revealed i needed an operation which finally took place in feb 2008 and was told it could be the case that it re accusers and i will need the op again but in any case it could be up to two years before it became better. (as a side note i have high blood pressure and low thyroid and on going depression all ready diagnosed and an arm injury for which i have had around 16 surgeries and am getting industrial injuries because of it. i was also telling doctors in 1996 and 1997 that i was having trouble with my sugar levels during my pregnancy’s but was told i did not have a problem also believe i have aspergers)
    being in the hospitality industry i was told meant i would be on my feet all day so i probable be of long term (i have to say the company i work for at the time a large multinational understood but unfortunately they put our dept’ out to tender and in 2011 the new company made me redundant fair enough as i had not done a days work since feb 2008) . if that was bad enough in jul 2008 i was in hospital as an emergency with pancreatitis for 9 days which is life threatening and can require a person being admitted to itu as they run the risk of multi organ shut down. the dr decided after i had to run backwards [or rather limp] to the hospital for both it was due to a stone in my gal bladder and in my pancreatic duct so 2009 saw me in hospital again for two septate procedures (if you are keeping tract with out my arm that’s 4 times in hospital in 15 months three for op’s [still employed by my original company but off sick]and my gp was suspended at this time due to a mistake so my gp was gone and since then my nurse also so we are now running on agency staff even today i even have to travel 1/2 hour to a walking centre at times even though my gp is only 2 mins away). and i was still having problems with my foot!
    come late 2010 i found i had a hernia due to the 2 op so was booked in for that march 2011. i was also concerned about another problem which required an op yes op [june 2011] = no 4 and 5 times in hospital in 40 months!
    still employed same place but new company and off sick as foot and still have problems with stomach also by this time i was told yes your are diabetic and anaemic no surprise to me i had been saying it for a long time!
    the dwp decided during all this i was not ill and i had to appeal my ib which i won the dwp only gave me 3 points i walked out of the tribunal with 20 [take note i had had another appeal in regard to child tax which i won also and also after a dispute with the council in relation to it i won against them too was about to be made homeless and they finally admitted their mistake the night before i had to appear in court against my housing association. you can imagine what this was doing for my depression i was a wreck. and so with the dwp told to go and sit on it for 3 years i could finally settle down
    then came the esa form filled it in (cant even remember it being done in 2013 at the time our benifit advisor said to go for pip which i did that i remember doing
    we now come to 21 jul 2014 atos yelled i of course new what the out come would be
    and a letter arrived as expected no esa claim jsa as of sep 2014 because you are not ill so like a good little girl with a noose around my neck as i have a child to surport i do as i am told and i put in an appeal for reconsideration the decision was made on 25 sep 2014 the person phoned me next day and i was a bit short with her hardly surprising as 2 hrs later i was in hospital once again with pancreatitis this time for 8 days [7 time in 6 years as an in patient as well as all the associated tests and appointments and pre admitions in 6 years and i still have trouble with my foot arm and now my knee on the other leg] and i was promptly kicked of off jsa and put on to esa as i was not fit for work dah!
    and so i went to tribunal on march 5 2014 (they even tried to say i had put my appeal in late but we had proof it was not] and walked out with the 4 points i had been reduced too on the appeal from 6 but an additional 15 points [although i like to know why the question about moving a empty cardboard box makes you fit for work when i have held a cert by the then dss since 1994 that states i have a 30% disability with my arm; grip, lifting, included i can not write comfortable due to loss of mussel and nerve damage and have pain and cant turn my arm fully over i cant even lift a one person china tea pot and poor from it properly with out risk and add to that as my above will show i am dyslexic my rangers are between those of an 10 – 16 years despite being in my 50’s so cant do office or manual job!]
    any way that’s where we are now with the eas i just got you need to send a sick note which i do not as they should not conciser me fit for work for 1 year from the 5 march but i will be a good little girl go to the dr and send it in as i head to see the advisor again as i have not herd from then since the tribunal and my money is not correct
    i was receiving ib of £101 until 11 sep 2014 when i was disallowed esa received £57 jsa there after until 6th oct then i was put on the assessment rate of esa £23.30 so a huge drop and it still has not been sorted to the correct rate of at least £74 grrr! there fore have had to use food banks all this time

    i just received a packet saying dwp want my pip appeal that was supposedly late [herd that in regard to my esa appeal too remember; second time no way; was assessed in nov 2014 14 months after i submitted my pip application and only after the benefit advice officer told them they needed to pull their finger out. they did not even call me as they said they would] again we have proof it was not] dismissed.
    they are deficiently playing games we have an atos located in the town i live in yet which i went to in-regard to the ib and esa assessment yet they sent me on a two hour journey across our area by public transport at a cost of £14 for an 08:30 appointment thankfully i knew my way as i had previously worked with in the area during which the so called professional had to be asked to ask about my ankle she ignored every thing else prior to that too. she than asked wait for it drum roll please …………..
    and i quote the actual conversation at this point
    ‘you are dyslexic’
    ‘what tablets do you take for it’
    [i picked my jaw of the ground]
    ‘i don’t’
    ‘why not’
    ‘because there aren’t any’
    ‘how does it affect you ‘
    [there was only one other instance she asked this of any thing and that was in regard to my pancreatitis and she failed to record that correctly the fact i was only just in recovery for my second hospital admit weeks early is missing]
    ‘my base leavels are between age 10 – 16 years’
    ‘you are not answering my question’
    ‘yes i am’
    i then gloss over the problems i and other persons who are dyslexic have as she already said it will be only a 40 min consultation with her i got the impression i could have beat my head against the brick wall and she still would be none the wiser as to what dyslexia is all about.
    she asked about eating i said i have difficulty with making fresh food she then asked can you hake a sandwich considering i don’t use butter and use precut meat or cheese i said yes i now know the fact that i have to use microwave ready meals would have scored me points but she put in her report that i can make simple meals grrrrr!

    anyway there were other things that were not discussed and which i have not said here and yes she cut the interview when it become apparent to her i am sure that i would not be completed within the 40 minutes she stated as she quit the questions and done a quick physical exam and i was dismissed after exactly 45 mins in her company! and i made the journey home and went straight to bed utterly exshorsted knowing it would mean another appeal!

    bring it on dwp i am here and ready and waiting to go though this until things change unless u can find a job for me where the employer is willing to put up with my stomach problems (i pass alot of unpleasant wind and need to go to the toilet and eat regally or i feel ill which have been around since the early 80’s my physical tiredness and my nausea i have asthma too which is becoming worse with the pancreatitis i was in critical condition in September but only avoid ccu due to my ability to cope but they said i had the worst lungs in the hospital at that time and ccu dr were down as well as my general surgery team regularly and had to be on o2, and is willing to over look i have had 7 admitions to hospital in 6 years two with lengthy stays plus the 16 on my arm but to be fair that will not be operated on again but nor will it resolve and neither will my ankle which still causes problems and to date they are stumped as to why i keep suffering from pancreatitis as i dont drink nor do i have stones anymore! ‘cuse i hate having to go cap in hand to my local council for a food bank ticket apart from the fact i should not have too but it is difficult for me to get there so i tend to go with out plus i have to get it home again and what i hate most is not being able to give to my daughter things she would like even extra for her school diners. i had to even go to the school and ask them to pay for her university application fees and as she has just turned18 it really hurt not to be able to even by a card!
    so if the dwp give me a job i can do i will willingly do it just like you all but until then we will be in court each year no doubt
    help let me off this merry go round its making me ill!

  20. Hi need help was on esa for a number of years as i suffer with hemiegic migranes and cervical and lumbar disc disease my migraine attacks happen 3-4 times a month leavin me paralysed to the whol left side of my body,throwin up and bedridden for 3-4 days. I have suffered fro cervical and lumbar disc disease for over 18 yrs meanin i cant sit or stand for long and can not walk without aid . I have been chucked off esa as atos said i was fit for work ignorin my gp letters and ignorin the fact i passed a medical for pip i have appealed the decision twice and still say im fit for work so am on jsa there is no job or employer that i can find to suit my medical condition who would employ someone who has to have weeks off at a time due to illness? My gp has sign a sick note for a month which i have given to jsa cos i can not get to sign on cos im in so much pain will they stop my money all together? I am thinkin of goin to tribunal with esa any advice would be helpful thank u lesley

    • You should definitely go to tribunal, you have a good chance of winning. The tribunal is completely independent, its run by the court system, not the DWP. You need to write to them within a month of your decision, but if its longer than that they do make exceptions if you have good reason. You can get good advice from this facebook page “disability and benefit support – don’t go alone” where people who have been through the exact same thing as you help and support each other, there is a lot of expertise there. If you dont like facebook there is good information on the fightback forums here, and you could try the benefits and work website for excellent information on tribunals too.

  21. Received a phone call today telling me that atos has said I’m fit to work which im not.They want me to sign on jsa Friday.How can i sign on jsa when i know I’m un-employable.Am in shock.What do i do now.

    • Received a phone call today telling me that atos has said I’m fit to work which im not.They want me to sign on jsa Friday.How can i sign on jsa when i know I’m un-employable.Am in shock.What do i do now.

    • I’m in exactly the same position now. Have to go to job centre this morning, but have sick note for 6 months. Really don’t know what to do. Will be appealing definitely but in the meantime I need to survive somehow, and that requires at least a little bit of income.

      • Hi, I’m in exactly the same position and have to sign on in the ‘interim period’ while waiting for mandatory reconsideration.
        Just wondering how you got on or if you have any advice?

  22. Hi been chucked off esa 2 months ago waitin to go to tribunal been on jsa since and now been told thats stopped due to sick note bein longer then 13 wks told to apply for eaa again ! There not gonna except me as been thrown off who do I contact for help dwp not helpful

  23. I am in a simialr predicament, i have been ill for about 5 years and am just starting to get to the bottom of whats wrong with me. My advisor is being a prat and trying to put me on courses that he KNOWS im not able to do. He says i have to get a sick note but my hippy new age doctor has told me i’m fine and can work.. I am seeing neurologists, just been diagnosed with epilepsy, still under investigation for other things, got cat scans and mri scans to go to, STILL havent been given my medication for my epilepsy (thats taken 4 and a half years to diagnose) and sometimes i’m “out of it” for 30 mins at a time. Ive been told if i cant do courses im not fit for work so i explained this to the doctor. She says tough! So now i’m being told if i dont attend the courses that i cant go to due to scans and appointments with my neurologist, then i will be signed off jsa but i cant get a sick note to go onto esa! WHAT CAN I DO? I have a daughter (single mother) and need money. I would work today if i could get a suitable job!

  24. Same thing is happening to me…ive been suffering with chronic whiplash…depression…incontinence…bowel problems . Back problems…and a few other things ..some mornings i cant even lift my head to get out of bed…if im walking around within an hour i have to lie down i cant carry or lift anything …cant dress myself or do my own hair and now im expected to sign on…i got esa stopped as i missed a medical…. appointment as i moved and didnt get a letter….its disgusting my medication i take makes me so tired i cant hardly stay awake ….what job could i honestly do…id be sacked straight away

  25. Hi I just been taken of ESA and put on jsa .. I in pain with my feet and can’t walk and have difficult get up the stairs .. I have polymyalgia and very tied .. I had sick notes of doctors but ESA say I fit to go to work .. I can’t nearly lift my head of my pillow some days ..

    • Put in an appeal as soon as possible – it tells you how to on the decision letter. Sick notes don’t work as evidence, they just show that you are sick, but not WHY you can’t work, so they dont score any points for you. You need letters from your specialists, explaining how your condition affects your daily life. Best place for online advice is, but there are some really good facebook communities that help eachother through these ridiculous injustices. Try a page called Atos Miracles (you have already had an Atos miracle when you walked into the assessment too ill to work and walked out ‘fit to work!) Don’t give up, you are not alone.

  26. Appeal against it and even try claiming ESA again with sick notes if your condition has got worse, or if you can claim with another health condition.

  27. I am a single mum with one child I have cfs and am so weak I can just about walk to my local corner shop but if there is a queue I have to sit on the floor..yes the floor of the shop as the dizziness is unbearable!! So humiliating and now my thyroid last week went out so I cant even leave the house I am now housebound.My GP sent me a sick note this week stating I am housebound. Esa said I was fit for work too and that I was even after the mandatory thing. I am at my wits end. I read above that you cannot apply for esa until youve been off it for six months??? but I applied over the phone last Friday. So how do I feed my son with no income if I cant get to the jobcentre as I closed the claim for being too sick.??

    • I have never actually heard or come across a case of any decision being overturned during their ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’. It seems to be basically designed to make people give up their appeal. But you can now take this to tribunal where you stand a very good chance of winning, and if you win you should get a backdated lump sum, too. Have a look at Benefits and Work who have clear easy to follow guides on how to go about this.

    • Contact these people they don’t take any money up front & can help with your appeal if you don’t have the energy to face doing this yourself. I have CFS/ME & just found out i have FM from requesting GP & previous consultants records on my health. sounds like your GP is willing to support you & having a child to support should help you to receive some financial support whilst the appeal is going to the court of appeal. Try not to worry, just do all you can to get the help you need.Once you win your appeal you can claim all of your fee’s back from the DWP to pay for the legal help you have received. My friend did the same thing & now i am going through the same process. If you cope with a chronic health condition then you are a strong person, so use your strength to fight back & get your appeal started. Good wishes to you…

  28. Ive been unable to work for a while. Ive been on esa and after their assessment they decided im fit for work? My doctor has given me certificates etc and ive been told to go and sign on jsa. How can I work?? I am unfit and like other people I have been penalised its so unfair.

  29. Had my results too. 0 points. It must be for someone else as the description of events is nothing I recognize. firstly I have 3 fused lower vertebrae. This curves my spine causing me pain in the lower, middle and now recently upper back. I also have a knee joint, elbow joint and shoulder joint problem.
    I received the telephone call first advising me of this. Was asked if I had any changes to report. -I told her that my neck problem has got a lot worse.
    -The later letter says “there have been no significant changes”

    i was asked if I could drive. I said “I can but I don’t anymore as it is too painfull”

    – Mr xxxxx walked 22 metres normally to the examination room and was able to sit in a chair for 35 minutes.

    After waiting 40 minutes to be seen. i was in agony. constantly moving in my chair to relieve the pain but feeling self conscience as there were many people in there as well. Finally getting called in I hobbled in as my back was now bent forwards and it takes me a while to straighten it up. I asked if there was a different chair for me as it was the same uncomfortable one as in the reception but was told no. So I sat on the edge and shifted position often to relieve the pain again.

    i won’t bore you with the rest although it is equally and entertainingly wrong.

    She had finished the “exam” and I was the one to mention that I have the embarrassing problem of needing to be near a toilet or I cannot always control my bodily functions (this is common with lower back problems and also taking lots of pain relief). She relectantly opened up her notepad again. This did not fill me with confidence. I told her I but “adult nappys”
    They wrote in the decision- “You do not need to change your clothes because of difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels”


    I have noticed that they have answered a different set of descriptors it would seem!
    Using the last as an example. the descriptor is clear.

    Activity 9: Absence or loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting) despite the presence of any aids or adaptations normally used

    (a) At least once a month experiences:
    (i) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or (ii) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing.
    15 Points
    (b) At risk of loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder, sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing, if not able to reach a toilet quickly.
    6 Points
    (c) None of the above apply.
    0 Points

    but they have answered
    “You do not need to change your clothes because of difficulty controlling your bladder or bowels”

    I was not even asked this question! ?Yes I do would have been my answer.

    Basically I think they will mark virtually everyone a 0 unless you have no head so I will of course appeal.

    • sounds like you have a good case for appeal. Put as much detail as you can in your mandatory reconsideration letter, with photocopies of any specialist reports that mention individual problems. Mention these specialist letters in your mandatory reconsideration letter. They dont give much space on the form but you can add more at the bottom of the page, and extra pages too. I hear that it IS possible to get the right decision at mandatory reconsideration if you present a good enough case. If you are lacking in specialist letters, then ask the doctor for a printout of your medical notes for the last 2 years, which should summarise everything you have been talking to the doctor about.

  30. Don’t have specialist letters but I’ll ask the Doctors receptionist for a copy. I have a hospital appointment with the physiotherapy dept in august. does that count for anything?

    • Its a matter of what the physio’s report says. It is likely the lack of medical evidence is a key reason why they made such a wrong decision. Sick notes are NOT considered evidence. When you get your printout it should mention all the letters your specialists have sent. Would be good to get printouts of these letters too, if the doctor is prepared to be cooperative. You have a right to them, but the doctors sometimes charge too much money. Also if you havent already got one, you could really do with a letter from your doctor explaining the ways in which your conditions make it impossible to look for a job. NOT just saying that you are unfit to work, but why.Unfortunately they may want to charge you for this as well. Also, if you havent done so already, a photocopy of your prescription. In your MR application you basically need to go through the decision with a fine toothcomb pointing out everything that they got wrong. If you can get this and your evidence together to send with your mandatory reconsideration letter I think you stand a fairly good chance of overturning this decision at the mandatory reconsideration stage. Dont send the originals of anything, send photocopies.

  31. I had a interview today at job centre to sign on as I was chucked off ESA 2 days ago.. I don’t know what I’m doing all I do know is I need money to live.. I am also still signed off by doctor until end September.. Iv been sick for 2 years.. 2 prolapsed discs that causes me extreme pain 24/7 carpool tunnel in both hands liver problems endocrine problems an 3 holes in my heart had 2 closed up last year.. But my back is the worsed pain.. Please help me!!

    • Please tell the jobcentre you want a mandatory reconsideration of your ESA decision. Theres excellent help available for this on the facebook page ‘Disability and benefits support – dont go alone’. And have a look at the ‘benefits and work’ website for advice on what to do next, if you arent on facebook. You need to move fast as you only have a month from the date of your decision letter to ask for the mandatory reconsideration.If you get turned down again you need to apply to appeal at a tribunal. You also need to gather medical evidence, did you have a letter of support from your doctor? You can also ask for letters of support from your specialists or any clinics you have been to, physiotherapists etc.. These letters need to say exactly why you cannot work, ie what it is about your medical conditions that makes job hunting out of the question. Theres also good medical evidence on your medical records which you can ask the practice secretary to print off for you, you have a legal right to these. Also you can go to the CAB for help, some of these are good, others less so. Good luck..

      • Thank you so much for your reply and yes I send my letter today requesting the mandatory reconsideration.. Along with a letter from my daughter explaining what she does for me, ie helping with bathing and dressing etc.. They have had every bit of medical evidence and other than me asking for letters from hospital which I will now try and do before the money is up.. But to be really honest I’m so worried I won’t be getting any money and ad I’m still signed off.. I’m also going doctors tomorrow as Iv not been sleeping at all due to being I. Pain and worrying.. I feel sick I’m so worried! I wish I could work but even typing this is hurting my hand.. Thank you so much for being in the other end of this page!

  32. I have emphysema which causes me breathing problems so not able to walk far and due to shortness of breath i become dizzy and have fallen a few times cause of it so now i no longer leave the house unless i have appointments i have to go to which i have to take my son with me my 2 boys do all the things i use to do outside of house eg shopping and taking dog for walk, i was on esa but thanks to atos was given no points so had to go back on jsa whilst i did a mandatory reconsideration then an appeal but cause my condition was not as bad as it is now was told i didn’t pass on the appeal as they could only take it from when my assessment was done at atos, now had to go back on jsa and still been signed of not fit for work by my doctor but jas has told me they can not accept my sick notes and i have to hold on to them til i reply for esa due to illness getting worst and having to go through it all again as i was told to do by the appeal panel, now im suffering with anxiety and feeling depressed due to it all.

  33. Had medical they said am fit for work but my doctor said am not I have tinnitus both ears I had a drop attack had 2brian scans changes seen in hippocampus need another MRI in a years time I went from 50mg to 100mg to 150mg to 200mg sertraline have to get counselling for depression I cart sleep tied all the time fill dizzy and sick and they said they have stopped my ESA payments even though I have a sick note for the next 2mths can they do that

    • The sooner you put in an appeal the sooner you will go on to assessment rate, which is the same money as JSA. Ask them for a statement of reasons for their decision. Go in to the jobcentre and sign on for JSA but tell them you have asked for a statement of reasons and that you are going for mandatory reconsideration. The jobcentre should leave you alone then apart from signing on occasionally. The only way you can get money at this stage is through JSA. When you get the statement of reasons, go through it and write down all the things they have said which are wrong. Use this as a basis for writing an appeal to Mandatory reconsideration. Add any medical evidence you can find. If you are refused at mandatory reconsideration then you can put in an appeal to the tribunal, at which point you go back on ESA assessment rate.
      Meanwhile, and as soon as possible, get in touch with your housing benefit department and let them know what is happening as they may have closed your claim when the original decision was made. You can get this reinstated, but it wont happen until you contact Housing benefit.

      For more information on the appeals process, have a look here.
      And here:

      I know this seems rather overwhelming, but lots of people have done it successfully. You can contact your local Citizen’s advice Bureau for help going through this process.

      Good luck!

  34. I am in the same position.. I cannot even walk n they are saying I’m fit for work. Even though my doctor clearly states I’m.not. Having to appeal. I’m a single mum with a daughter to care for. But they really don’t care.

  35. you guys need to get jobs. at least 9/10 of you are just weak willed ninnies and you’ve convinced yourself you’re ill because you’ve been propped up for so long. trust me, working is easier than claiming benefits now (and claiming benefits it’s only going to get worse). plus pulling your weight rather than sucking off others makes you stand tall. it’s the right thing to do.

      • The governments own statistics say that the benefit fraud rate is 0.7% overall, and 0.3% for sickness benefits. I realise from your comment that you may not understand this. So in other words, thats 993 out of a thousand who are NOT frauds, and 997 out of a thousand disability benefit claiments who are NOT frauds. But you wont be reading this information in the Sun or the Mail, so how could you know, eh?.

        • “Worker” is obviously an idiotic troll. As people with SENSE know, we can all be fine as anything one minute and hit by bereavement, serious illness, anything the next.

          Worker should hope and pray that he/she does not get struck down by an illness which is unseen and has to crawl cap in hand for benefits – as probably too stupid to know how to go through the process.

          I despair of the stupidity and cruel, pathetic nature of people like “Worker”. I would not wish illness on another, knowing how it is when you have always worked and helped others and your life changes in one fell swoop; however, maybe people like Worker need to experience life on the other side of full health, to stop them passing their pathetic, sick nature on to any unfortunate offspring they may be blessed with, yet not appreciate.

          Severe fool!

    • Would not bother going on sick if as was well enough to work right now am not saying I will be on sick for life ok off course when am feeling better in my self I will be working not staying on job seekers or ESA for life but right now am to ill do you think I want to claim any benefits no I don’t am when am feeling fine I will get a full time job ok so unless you are in my position right now keeps your thoughts to your self thanks my name is Joanne and am sick off people like you who don’t have a clue about life

  36. I have been chucked off my incapacity benefit because whoever does the medicals didnt send me any notification for my appointment again.The previous time they sent it to my old address as the DWP hadnt told them id moved but now the DWP are lying about the dates of my previous appointments so it looks like iv missed 3 this year when it was only the 1 because iv been rehoused 3 times by my council in 18 months.Im on PIP until july 2017 and would like to know what other benefits i can apply for and if JSA will affect my PIP although bearing in mind i havent had or failed any medical.I phoned to complain when i received notice of my benefit being stopped but the decision makers are standing by what they say i have no faith in the system even more now the fact of the lies on my file being wrong by a year to make it look as bad as possible for me.

  37. I cannot believe after having had shoulder surgery two days ago and having had esa since December due to Frozen shoukder and fibromyalgia. I have been told I am fit to work

  38. Hi I’ve been reading these comments and wonder if anyone can advise me, I am 25 and suffer with a degenerate disc disease (facet joint arthrosis), fibromyalgia and 2 disc protusions, I have limited mobility and can’t do a lot of things for my self. I’ve had problems with my back for many years, and since may 2015 have been out of work again, as I was out of work in 2014 for 10 months for the same reason but had steriod injections and was cleared fit by my doctor, the inject didn’t work and he has signed me off long term again from may 2015. My current sick note runs till 25th December 2015. I was on ESA but after attending my assessment (before my scan results to confirm my conditions) I was told I didn’t score enough points and was fit for work and told to apply for JSA. JSA and universal credit said i didn’t meet the qualifying questions as I am covered by a Dr note. My Dr sent a letter to ESA for a mandatory reconsideration explaining why I can’t work and again this failed and they have said I now have to appeal in court. But I am still signed off for 3 more months and can’t claim ESA or JSA and don’t know what to do. My partner works for an agency as couldn’t work full time as cares for me each day and in order for us to pay bills he is having to increase his hours as housing benefit have said we don’t qualify for help with rent/council tax due to his earnings even though I have no benefit or income. I’ve never been in this situation before and don’t know what to do, has anyone been through this who can advise please. X

    • If you apply for the tribunal you should be put on ESA assessment rate whilst you are waiting. Ask the jobcentre about this, and also ask them to make an appointment for you with the disability advisor.Meanwhile, read up about how to prepare for a tribunal. You have a good chance of winning at tribunal, this is not part of the DWP and makes fully independent decisions.

  39. My situation is extraordinary. I have had fibromyalgia for 8 yrs. Then had a frozen shoulder for 3 years resulting in surgery a week ago on my.shoulder.As I had failed my assessment a month before having given them all the sick notes gp .Medical notes about what I have. On the day of day surgery which was 1 1/2 hour long keyhole under general anaesthetic. I am discharged by the hospital saying I should not work for two weeks. As my last sick note ran out on the day of surgery they stopped my esa . Although my gp,surgeon and nurse said I can’t work for 6 weeks after surgery. I am then told I have to go on JSA when I already have a job waiting after I am better.I am furious at how I have been treated by DWP when I am clearly entitled to ESA

  40. It isn’t easy to fight for what you are entitled to, I was rejected at the MR and quite clearly I wasn’t listened too, my mother in law was visiting and I was going to see my dad and take my mother in law to see her brother who she hadn’t seen for 5 years, he lives close to my dad. On my MR it said my mother was visiting and we were visiting my dad. That really annoyed me as to somebody who didn’t know us they would think my parents had split up, my mum died suddenly 2 years ago. That was just one error on my MR. My job centre is amazing I see a disability advisor and went on JSA 4 weeks ago with a valid sicknote and still have a sicknote as GP won’t sign me off. Job centre has copies of both sick notes. I saw a specialist who is referring me to an orthopaedic surgeon. My advice is to as MP for help sending every correspondence to them as I have done, I have now sent in an appeal and I have received a phone call from the complaints resolution centre which the MP has contacted and asked them to help. I suffer from spinal pain syndrome which was diagnosed at the pain clinic, caused from an accident at work. Fight for your rights.

  41. Wow, I am so glad that I have found this website. I have a Health assessment for ESA on Monday. I have been on SSP since Nov 2014 for stress and anxiety ( I was the Head of English at an Academy) and in the year since then I have been in admitted to hospital for Kidney stones. I also have Lumbar Spondylosis at C4 / C5 and I had an operation (epidural spinal injection 2 days ago) and the post op is considerably painful. I also have cervical spondylosis at C4 / 5 / 6 and I am on a waiting list for spinal fusion. Furthermore, I am due a cortisone injection and possible surgery on my right thumb for acute tendonitis. Oh and I need a biopsy for a growth on my tongue and a recent MRI has identified multiple cysts on my liver for which I need another biopsy.
    Currently, I take 50 mls of oral morphine per day, 1200 mg gabapentin, 600 mg Naproxene, 10 mg Diazepam, and sertroline for anxiety. But no doubt I will be deemed fit for work judging by other people’s experiences here.

    In my opinion, I cannot really teach and deliver lessons when I am completely spaced out from the morphine and the other meds. I will probably come across as a space cadet during the assessment because the morphine makes me want to hug everyone whilst wearing a bizarre grin!

    So, anyone, what do you think of my chances???

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.


    • The fact that you cant teach means little to them. They will assess you for being able to do ANY job. Its not your medical conditions but how they affect your daily life that counts, though you need to have proof of the medical conditions to show you aren’t just making it up. You need to read up about the assessment. Read their descriptors, look at the points system, see which ones apply to you, and make sure that they hear about the ways they limit your daily life. There’s plenty of good info online, ‘Benefits and work’ is an excellent site. Or have a look here: Prepare as if for any other exam. If you dont think you will be coherent at the assessment, write down what you need to say and hand it in on the day as part of your evidence. The people who fail unjustly are generally the people who haven’t prepared. Best of luck!

  42. i suffer from copd only 50% of my lungs are functioning, i also suffer from hip and lower back pain have had a mri on scan nothing found but i am in severe pain every day n my hip is worse when i walk so my doctor thinks i have oesteoparosis, i was hit of esa in september after an atos medical in september claimed job seekers for two weeks then i was hospitalised with copd excasserbation now i am back on esa but have to have another atos medical on the 23rd of december so afraid they will knock me off again as i get so out of breath n got a job to walk

  43. I have just found myself in the same predicament. Iv been on long term sick leave due to my medical condition being coeliac and having severe IBS and a frozen shoulder. I am a nurse so can’t do my job. Claimed ssp then that was stopped so went on ESA. Now that’s been stopped following a capability health assessment as they say I am fit to do something. Iv just resigned from my current job due to my condition and my Gp gave me a sick note until end of March. As I’m recovering from a recent shoulder hydrodilation procedure. I am still in pain. I don’t feel fit enough to do any type of work right now but iv been told I have to claim for job seekers allowance and have my job focus interview on Monday. I have no clue what they think I will be able to do tho. So I’m glad to hear there is a holding place which I will bring up. The person I spoke to on the phone at jobcentre plus said the health assessment decision overrides my Gp medical certificate. I’m so confused.

    • My job centre did not know what a holding is they said your rather on job seekers or ESA there’s no such thing as a holding place that’s what they told me hope this helps am in the same position as you my name is Joanne

  44. I have had a knee replacement in may can’t walk very far walk with a stick my knee is very stiff all the time plus I have a fused ankle I have a mobility car registration disable yet I have to go back to work it fucking making

  45. I commend argotina1 for replying to all these people. What a lovely person you are. I’ve been claiming ESA since 2010 because I was dismissed from my job as a Training & Audit Officer in mental-health services across different parts of the country due to my own mental-health problems. I failed the WCA to no surprise and it took over a year for a hearing with the Tribunals Service however I won and was backpaid over £2k. I was asked to go for a further WCA in August 2015 and the HCP terminated the assessment because I was asking too many questions. DWP disallowed my claim stating that I did not attend my appointment. I am still waiting for another hearing with the Tribunals Service. I will not claim JSA because under the ESA Regulations (2013) a person who claims JSA is not entitled to ESA. It’s a trap. I sent three letters to the Director General for Operations at the DWP and to no surprise they’ve ignored me. However, I obtained a contact list of senior officers at Caxton House and they were surprised when I phoned them. I received a letter the next day stating that my complaint will now be investigated. This is the Tory ideology of private investment and how everyone must be a debt slave. David Cameron has said on record in the Commons that ‘borrowed money is simply taxes that are deferred’. Tory ministers believe everyone should be working for nothing and if you are not fit for work then you should be dead. They are Nazi scumbags. I took a case to the Police about misconduct in public office but they refused it. I’ve had no benefit since my last payment in September 2015. DWP staff and Tory ministers don’t know what it’s like to not even have any toilet roll. I’d cry if I wasn’t laughing at their disgrace. Mindless automatons with no conscience. I note the comments by the “Worker” above who is nothing more than a debt slave. ‘Friends’ of mine have said to me in the past that I am claiming their taxes. I laughed derisively and had to explain that taxpayers money pays the interest on the government’s debt. Life as we know it is a con(servative condemnation). If I don’t get any money soon I won’t be able to pay my outstanding bills and my phone and internet will be cut off. This means I will be isolated and sat staring at the walls. It is the government’s intention to cause benefit claimants absolute despair so like those that already have will take their own lives all for the purpose of ‘reducing the deficit’. The Chancellor is a psychopath much like his colleague IDS. If anyone watches PMQs look at Osborne’s face – he is definitely on drugs and he looks possessed. These ministers are truly evil but they think they’re ‘doing the right thing’. Right wing may be more accurate. Just make sure you all consider voting to leave the EU. I went to CAB recently and couldn’t help but notice the gentleman in front of me had written on his request form how to get a NI number and how to claim unemployment benefits and free prescriptions. His spelling and grammar compounded by his ethnicity suggested that he was not a British national. I was told that I could not wait to be seen. Cheap labour and mass immigration is driving down wages and destroying social care in this country. A once proud country that set an example on welfare to the rest of the world since the end of the last world war. How can we help refugees and economic migrants when we can’t even help ourselves? I asked The Queen this question in 2013 and explained that I am trying to take legal action against the Chancellor. Her Majesty replied that ‘I was quite correct’ but she could not intervene as a constitutional sovereign. This basically means she has no power to stop the government causing its citizens harm. This is now a corporate state and our rights count for nothing. We need a British Bill of Rights and a Prime Minister with social care values. I’d prefer Nigel Farage than Jeremy Corbyn. I sent Nigel a letter about welfare benefits and social care values before the general election to which he replied and those values were included in the UKIP manifesto including scrapping the WCA and the ‘bedroom tax’. I sent Corbyn a letter about my situation in October 2015 and what the PLP will do to fight austerity measures and welfare reform but he has not replied. Fascist. We need to sabotage the machine. Keep on keeping on. Never give up the good fight x

    • If you have completed mandatory reconsideration and are waiting for a tribunal you should have been put onto ESA assessment rate whilst you are waiting.

      With regards to UKIP, abolishing the WCA is consistent with their last manifesto, in which they planned to do away with ESA/ incapacity benefit/ sickness benefit altogether and put everyone on jobseekers allowance regardless of their medical situation. This would mean there was no need for WCAs. They planned to keep DLA/PIP, which is how they can say they plan to protect the disabled.

      With regards to Corbyn, I have been to a few lobbies and demos about disability issues in and around the houses of parliament. Jeremy Corbyn is one of the handful of (mostly Labour) supporters who could be relied on to attend these actions.

      • Thought I would provide an update on my situation. I had to sign on in January 2016 because I was getting no money. I was lucky and had a very supportive adviser and was never put under any pressure or sanctioned. I’ve had a total of 3 job interviews this year, all unsuccessful. My ESA was ultimately disallowed because I failed to comply with the assessment. I am currently pursuing a complaint about the CHDA with the Independent Case Examiner which has been listed for a full investigation.

        I also made a new claim for ESA in January and backdated it to within one month of the end of my last claim. My JSA was backdated after exhausting their complaints procedure and amounted to over £900. I also complained about maladministration and received compensation over £350. My new claim for ESA was disallowed after the assessment and I requested a mandatory reconsideration. The decision is now revised and my claim will be backdated again which amounts to over £1500. It should go some way to replacing some of the things I’ve sold to get money to buy food in the past.

        The point of the story is don’t give up. Think of the DWP like an insurance company – the burden of proof is on you and they will do anything not to pay you. Always complain. Nothing beats satisfaction. The ICE also reports to ministers annually.

        I would also like to retract some of my previous statements. Tory ministers are not Nazis nor are they evil. They are very sadly misguided and do not necessarily understand hardship. It is up to us to tell them they are wrong. Don’t give up and don’t give in to despair. I’ve read my comment above again and I was in a very different place when I wrote that. A very angry and desperate place.

        I have been keeping an eye on this discussion and I am pleased to see argotina1 continuing to reply to everyone. Well done. I am also saddened to see how other people are still suffering.

        Labour are in denial and UKIP are well placed to replace them in the Midlands and the North of England. I am an active member and I am proud to stand up for disadvantaged people and social care values. There will be a new battle for the centre ground of British politics between the three major parties, even Blair could return for the fight. Red+Blue=Purple.

        One thing I am pleased about with Brexit (and the election of Trump in the US) is that the little people have broken the machine.

        Keep on keeping on. Never give up the good fight x

  46. I have been off work sick for 6 mths arthritis in my.thumbs so can no longer do my job as a career been turned down for e.s.a not paid enough ni stamps for previous 2 yrs as I worked 24 hrs week can’t claim on income base e.s.a hubby earns to much .still of sick employer wants me to leave .iam 62 yrs old I know I can not claim j.s.a but it’s my pention contribution which is worrying me can and body help. .

    • Your first port of call should be the citizen’s advice centre, or your local welfare rights office, if your council still has one. I belive you can still go on JSA without receiving any money, but signing on so your National Insurance will be paid. But I’m not sure, please check.

  47. I have nothing but admiration for everyone who has posted on here their most personal disabilities, frustrations at Job Centre and those who have given great advice.
    I was also thrown off disability by Atos whose assessor was a physiotherapist looking at a mental health issue and arthritis. It was three years ago all this took place and I was mentally unable to go through the Appeals process, having helped many do the same as an Adviser, fortunately I found work in a school part-time as I am unable to do any full time work as any stress related job would put me in a mental institution having had a mental breakdown. I had asked the Atos assessor what qualified her to assess my ability to work and she said it was six weeks training (for which she would have got paid a salary more than her own job would have given her). That in itself was disgraceful as tax payers were paying her over the odds. I am academically qualified to degree level but any professional job I could pursue is out of the question because of the high stress levels invoked and it would eventually kill me. I am worse off financially by going out to work even though I get limited benefits as I have a teenage daughter. This Government’s policies to save money from benefit claimants is an outrage as most claimants are genuine and have been targeted for political reasons. Their idea that if you are working you benefit financially is rubbish for anyone who is very limited in what they are able to do. It is in my opinion the Governments way of making their figures look good but actually it only masks the real problems that our society is facing, especially those who are vulnerable, elderly, sick and disabled for whatever reason.

    I don’t know how much longer I can continue as I am after nearly three years part-time working at the age of 56. It’s too late for me to Appeal my case but I say to everyone keep fighting if you can, don’t let those paper pushers see you as a statistic, you are all human beings with very real health and disability issues. Keep fighting.
    P.s. If you are signing on for benefits you should get your national insurance contributions paid so there are no gaps for pension purposes.

  48. Thank you for your advice. I will follow the links you have given. Wasn’t aware of a supersession. Thanks Again.

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