Asthma UK community forum

I am so angry right now

For the last few months, I have been in a really severe episode of depression due to my bipolar disorder. Things have been starting to improve, and I am trying to get to a fit state for work. I have been applying for very part time jobs, I don't want to be out of work, and I knew they were going to kick me off ESA at the first possible opportunity due to their ridiculous ""medicals"" so I'm pushing myself to get back to work, ready or not.

So since January I have been on ESA. Last month I was called to the dreaded medical assessment.

At this appointment, I tried explaining to the ""nurse"" I saw that while I'm in an episode like this, I am really struggling to take basic care of myself. Getting washed and dressed is regularly a huge problem. I'm not eating properly - my partner has been taking care of that to make sure I get some food. I tried to explain all of this, and more - the fact that at times I can be a danger to myself.

I got a phone call yesterday to tell me that not only had I failed to get the required number of points to remain on ESA, but actually I hadn't been awarded ANY points as in their opinion there is no reason for me to be out of work.

When the guy who rang told me this I actually burst out laughing. Because clearly someone who is in the grips of a severe mental illness actually has nothing wrong with them.

So now I have to claim JSA and jump through all of their hoops, being forced to apply for jobs however inappropriate for me they may be.

So I'm angry and tearful. It's so insulting, and reinforces the part of me that tells me that this illness is me being weak and pathetic and should just pull myself together.

Sorry for the rant. I know this sounds confusing because I am actually looking for work, but I'm doing it in the least pressured way I can to stop me from going backwards. I'm following my Dr's advice by doing things this way - she didn't want me put under the pressures of JSA either. But now I have no choice.

9 Replies

Wow, that's absolutely horrendous!

I'm not surprised you're angry, it just doesn't make sense :@

What was their justification for this? What's the criteria?

Can you contact an organization like Mind fir help and advice on this?

I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this piglet.

Big big hugs and keep doing what you're doing, you will get there :-)



That sounds awful. I can't believe they would withdraw their support when you need it. I hope things improve for you. Hugs, Lou


Hi Piglet it is just awful what you have gone through I do not understand what they mean by this point scoring why on earth should we have to earn points to decide if we are ill or not I think its pants please PM me any time I do not understand what your going through the medical and point side but I do with the mental health side take care and please appeal against there decision xxx


That is absolutely shocking, doesn't give you much faith for further help with the system does it! I have to go for that assessment soon, just waiting for the letter to come through with the appointment! I have pre looked at the point scoring system to see the technicalities of it, and the point system is actually rather shocking! if you don't know what it is people here is the list:

To be honest, with your situation I would defiantly appeal their choice, as just at a glance at the points, your bound to come under many of their points and for you to have none that is shocking!

Defiantly appeal!!!!



If you feel up to it, you have one month to appeal the decision. To see if you can get enough points to get into the WRAG or support group. Not sure what your asthma is like but could you score any points on mobilization? If you score 15 you can get access to the support group.


I am so very sorry that this has happened to you because it is so very wrong! My son suffers from attacks of depression and is obviously not as ill are you but it is a very frightening illness. Do they not understand that at times you simply cannot function? Even getting out of bed is a massive effort never mind going to work!!!

You have done so very well even to apply for jobs that this must have been like a kick in the teeth! Can you find help to appeal against this stupid ruling?

I do hope someone sees sense soon and it gets sorted for you.


I decided I'm not going to appeal - we always knew I wasn't going to get the required ""points"" to remain on it. I've started to claim JSA, and they are being horrendous about it. The woman I saw was a cow about me only wanting to apply for part time work (I just don't think I can cope with more than 25 hours per week) and she was funny with me about my voluntary work. To say I was hacked off is an understatement, and I left in tears. If they make me feel this way again I will complain.

Anyway, I've applied for some jobs, I've seen my GP to get her endorsement of my decision to only work part time, and we'll see where we go from there. But really, I might not claim anything if they keep upsetting me as it isn't worth how they make me feel, especially as I've lapsed back into a really horrible place.

Right, positives.

I am finding some mental health support. We have financial means to support us if we decide the benefit claim is too much. I am applying for my MA THIS WEEK. I will keep finding positives, no matter how dark it gets, I'm determined.


Piglet, I would be so angry and frustrated in your shoes! But then given people seem to have trouble understanding that asthma can make it hard to work for some people I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that they are so awful about mental health issues. I've also heard bad things about these assessments (though luckily have no personal experience) and that they get it wrong way too much including saying people who are terminally ill are fit to work, which just goes to show how they don't seem to apply any sensible criteria or use their brains! I know that you probably know this anyway but thought it might help to have another person say that it's them, not you, they clearly have no idea what they're talking about and you're not being pathetic at all. Though it still is massively stressful for you and they shouldn't be able to get away with treating people like crap, especially when they're ill!

Glad your GP is being supportive though, that must help a bit, and hope the other support you get is useful. And best of luck with the MA application; I really hope that goes well for you as it sounds fascinating!


My experience of people who work in the behefits or job seekers departments is that they are mostly arrogant jobsworths who consider those unfortunate enough to need to come into contact with them as scroungers who are too lazy and / or stupid to deserve respect or common courtesy. You don't deserve such treatment and are entitled to complain. Can you take someone with you for support if you have to do again?

You've done really well to find a list of positives. I'm sure your determination will see you through and I hope it helps a bit to know that you can always get support on the forum. Sending hugs. xx


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