Are you in the Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)?

If the government’s plans go ahead then from 2017 anyone making a new claim for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) will receive just £73.10 a week. That’s £30 less than the £102.15 that people in this group receive now.

We are very concerned about the effect this will have on people with lung disease.

People in the WRAG have been independently assessed as being too ill to work and need proper financial support. We’re working with a number of charities to ask the government to urgently reconsider these plans. This involves briefing MPs through written documents, meetings and a Parliamentary event.

The most powerful tools when communicating with the government about issues like this are your stories. That’s why we’re looking for people who currently receive Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) who would be willing to share their experience of receiving ESA WRAG.

I know that this is quite a sensitive and personal issue, so we if you are interested in getting involved then there would be no commitment at this stage and we can talk you through what level of involvement you’d like to have.

Ultimately we would like to use their story in written briefings for MPs and Peers. We’d also like to present some of these case studies at the parliamentary event where you would be welcome to join us.

If you are interested then please let me know, either on here or by calling me on 020 7688 5557 or by emailing

thank you for reading!


24 Replies

  • Is a disgrace what the doing more than illegal actively killing people dhss are and are committing crime i.e under coroners and justice act people traffing and forced labour

    You only have to see the NEW fit notes to see what the think of the sick disabled EVEN blue badge people take mick

    Refuse first then ask question

  • yeah we are punished for dying a slow miserable death .....well done governments.

  • A few years ago one of my sisters, who has severe osteoarthritis, walks with a stick whose hands and feet swell up alarmingly and is on strong painkillers, was placed in the WRAG instead of the support group. When she went for her Jobcentre appointment they immediately said that she couldn't work and sent her home and never called her back.

    She then appealed and within 5 minutes the judge had overturned this and put her in the support group. She then has to go for regular assessments! Why? Osteoarthritis doesn't get better does it? It only gets worse over time. This is disgraceful as not only does she have to live with awful continuous pain but has the stress of these uneccesary assessments. x

  • apparently, the excuse the DWP is their concern that you may need more help in case your condition worsens.

    (Sarcasm alert)

    Of course I believe them

  • Yeah that Priti Patel is such a softy isn't she, well known for it

  • This Government are starting to resemble the Nazi party, they only want fit and healthy people (The master/super race) and demonise the rest.

    Lucky the Lords are on our side and can see the wrong people are being targeted to pay off a deficit that had nothing to do with them.

    Are there any plans to change things with people in the support group?

    Thanks Bethany :) . Tony

  • I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that one Tony - I've only been given information about the Work Related Activity Group. I hope that if they were to change things with the support group then there would be a similar consultation, which we could again respond to.

  • Who knows Bethany, they may give those of us in the support group an increase Ha Ha.


  • Yeah right, dream on Tony, that comment actually made me laugh out loud ;)

  • I would like to see the assessment for ESA changed for people like us changed our condition is not going to improve so can we please get the government to only use this assessment system for people who DONT have a long term chronic condition

  • I had a form to fill in and a time to have it back to the DLA to be changed to pip but I was in hospital at the time so they stopped my Dla and no they are coming to see me so I have to do with out my DLA that depended on until 12 Feb iv lost about 4 months money so I'm struggling with with gas and electric so my copd is playing up because of the cold as I Can not afford as I did before I think it's rong

  • It's worse that wrong - it's awful that you are suffering so much, so unnecessarily. I doubt you're the only person to be hospitalised at the point when your paperwork is due in, so you'd think there would be a way of sorting it out much more quickly. I really hope this gets sorted soon and your COPD stops playing up.

  • Omg thats awful you been in hospital hope you are feeling better...terriable situation for you...why do these people make it so long winded .for seriously ill people my heart goes out to having a game with i know were you are coming from ...them are saying i need a DOCTOR to access i thought the place was full of doctors...oh am i misundastood they are health professionals.....thats why its all a mess...they dont know there frontend to there backend RANT OVER....I REST MY CASE

  • I know thank you for your comments it's getting me down so much I'm not sure how to survive my money at mo is covering rent top up an some food and gas and electricity but not near enough but il have to manage my DLA got stopped because the pip form was late but I'm still not walking very well and not be able to breath so why stop my DLA I don't understand them

  • I'm so sorry to hear that. I really don't understand them either.

    If you haven't called them already, I'd suggest talking to someone on our helpline. The number is 03000 030 555. We have specialist advisors who know a lot about benefits and might be able to offer some advice.

  • Thank you il do that now

  • There going to ring me back later so fingers crossed

  • Hi Bethany

    I 'signed on' in January after difficulties with local outlets e.g liquidation & lacked the energy to find new markets for my home baked food. My exhaustion & constant chest infections now make sense. After 4 courses of antibiotics, 2 x rays & blood tests, II had a CT scan last week & am awaiting results. The respitory consultant is sure it is bronchiectasis. Obviously it is too early to know what the treatment plan etc. will be but I am interested in keeping in touch with you about benefits.

  • I'm so sorry to hear that. I am glad you're getting all the tests to find out what is wrong now though.

    If you want to talk to someone about benefits then I'd suggest calling our helpline. We have specialist advisers who can tell you all about your rights and help you if you're not getting what you should be. You can reach them on 03000 030 555.

  • Many thanks Bethany.

  • To Bethany Bateman - re: ESA/WRAG.

    I am interested in learning more about your plans concerning the above "benefits".

    Please email me or respond on HU.

    Thank you.

  • Hello. The person who sat on this group is on leave at the moment but I'll get you an update as soon as he's back in office.

  • Thank you BethanyBateman.

  • Hi Bethany can u pls keep me updated with this post as I was on the support group & after a medical was put on work related. I was too poorly at the time to appeal it. Also I just wondered if u can claim esa & pip for COPD. THX again x

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