Cloudy with a Chance of Pain
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ESA Support Group- what does it mean and is it a positive thing?

Hi All,

After years of heartache and being told I am fit for work. I got told today I am not expected to look for work and they have put me in the support group. What is one of those and what does it mean and entail? Is it a positive thing?

I would love some advice. I hate fibro I had to really think how to spell advice then. I used to have a good memory and be a great speller.

9 Replies

Yes it is a positive thing it means that you will no longer supply sick certificates from your GP and could be entitled to ESA at a higher rate. I think it's also possible to be assessed for means tested ESA but to be honest I never really got my head round this bit.

It means that you have not been found fit to work at present. It's just a name for the group of those 'supported' by ESA.

It is with looking at the website for all the details or see a benefits advise worker or Citizens Advice.

Does that help at all I know I've explained it badly but didn't want to read and run


Your explanation makes sense, thank you. I appreciate it.


i had the same for years being told by ATOS medical I was fit to work and kept having to go to tribunals which gives more stress I finally got put into the support group under the old rules you had to preform various tasks eg pick up a pen and put it into a pocket I was told I could work as I would be able to hold an empty box over my head for 20 mins also any evidence you put forward to them was dismissed after much outcry and costs to the taxpayer ATOS Medical were dismissed the plus side is you don't have to keep sending in sick notes and you get paid at the higher rate and get NI contributions credited

has I worked all my life I can only claim contribution based ESA


It seems to me that the new persons aren't any better. The main problem is they ask people to assess us who aren't specialists in the field of invisible illnesses such as fibromyalgia and hypermobility.

Sounds horrific what you had to go through to prove you were unfit for work. I don't like the fact they put us in the same category as people who have no interest in working. I wish I could work again. I am going to try everything in my power to try to get myself to that stage but at least I now have the opportunity to pace myself. It also gives me the opportunity to get my pip correct too, and hopefully I won't have to fight so hard for it to be correct.

Do you know how long you're in the support group for? I am guessing it's not forever.


Hi there , I am the same it like crazy being punished for working , when my partner was payed off work as a new company took over and used there own men , he was told that he was not entitled to anything as i earn too much as I still get 2 thirds of my salary from my employer even though I have not worked in about 15 years , and they still expected him to sign on and provide proof that he was looking for work, but not give him any money yet he had payed plenty of national insurance contributions . some people get money left right and centre and have never done a days work in there life , the system is all wrong or we just don't know how to play it, being hard working and honest doesn't seem to pay .

Thats my rant for the day . Lol.x

1 like

I totally agree with your rant as you say we don't know how to play the system and all the benefit's are loaded against people who have worked all their lives an paid into the system

my little rant for the day to .lolx


i have been in support group for about 2 years now as you say they are not used to invisible illnesses also what work you did I was in heavy engineering for 40 years in steelworks copper refineries die casting plant so the years of climbing up onto cranes furnaces etc as took a heavy toll on my joints more so if I had been working in an office some days its an effort to get out of bed and they wont operate as I had a stroke due to my high bp causing a bleed on the subject of the ones who dont want to work I attended once and there was a bloke out of his head you could have got high on the whisky fumes and the smell of weed


I am finding it hard to decipher your words due to my fibro fog, pain and the lack of sentences but from what I gather, you used to work in heavy engineering and it's taken a toll on your body. I can see how that would be the case. It's great you're able to work at all especially after a stroke. You sound like you're trying your best to cope with your disability.

(Not trying to be nasty, I wanted to respond but had to read it many times before I could understand any of it. My mum used to send text messages like that and I never understood them. I would have to read them over many times to gather what she was trying to say.)


don't worry my two daughters know my messaging skills and have a good laugh over my typing skills I get brain fogs to some days I think I need a lighthouse in there I have days when " The Lights are On But Nobody's Home" had a neuro trainee in stich's when I said this you don't need to apologise


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