Endometriosis UK
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ESA assessment, fit for work ????

I suffer from severe osteoarthritis of both knees and find walking so painful I could cry, I also have it in the neck affecting my left side more, causing muscle weakness and muscle deterioration. To add to that I have had several spinal pain blocks because of lower back pain, arthritis again..

Recently I attended an Esa assessment, which was miles from where I live. Anyway after a few days I got a letter informing me I was fit for work and would benefit from obtaining a wheelchair so I could look for work. It was also noted that I managed to get there by train, I was able to take my jacket off and could use a pen ??????

Who the hell are these people that sit and make judgment on sick people, certainly not doctors and if they are they should be ashamed of themselves and ashamed of the profession they insult.

So what now, not fit to sign on so no money and at 64 years of age who gives a toss.

Not the government that's for sure.....

7 Replies

Appeal all the way hun and don't feel bullied into not. I know it's hard but at these assements you need to stress how much your illnesses affect your daily life and show them in the building don't be nice and feel you have to talk to them like your in a interview. Show them your not capable of such things show them it takes you time to do things. It's out of order this system but unfortunately you need to show these people exactly how it is for you at home and if you have support to go with you then that's better. It seems to me as long as you can have a normal conversation with them your deemed fit for work.

Appeal and get all your medical evidence together get hold of welfare rights to help you.

Take care hun hope you get it sorted.


Thanks for your reply. I did take medical evidence with me but she wasn't interested in it


They are very intimidating the one thing they look out for is your communication levels and how your illness affects you in front of their eyes. If you don't show them this firsthand they basically not interested in anything else. According to them that hour you've spent with them is you showing them what your capable of or not capable of don't forget the waiting time aswel to get in assessment. They are watching you all the way. It's tough but you need to focus on your bad days and let them see that x


Thanks again for your reply. You mention the length of time spent with them, luckily I was the first in and could not have spent more than fifteen minuets with her.

The doctor wrote in her report that I had no problems with taking off my jacket, (I was roasting) and that I could touch each finger with my thumb, both hands and that I managed to get to the centre under my own steam. My GP told me that if I didn't go they would stop my ESA so off I went.

At 64 and crippled with this condition I am now looking for work, but only doing so via the internet. I don't hold out much hope but you have to try xx


You really must appeal. Do you mind me asking does your illnesses affect your mental state ie depression anxiety if so are the doctors aware of that. There's something called the black triangle read into it it may be of help. Please don't just accept this and get on with looking for work that's what they want you to do. You need to try and fight this x


Thank you for your help, Take care xx


It's disgusting, horrendously stressful and demoralising. I went through it this time last year after losing my job due to PTSD and Endo. I'm so sorry they have decided you are 'fit for work'. I was convinced they would say the same to me but I was fortunate and they awarded me ESA. By that time the stress from it all had affected me so badly without a doubt it set back my PTSD recovery by at least 6 months. The pain I experienced from Endo doubled and I nearly lost my home as it took 8 months to get housing benefit due to all the ESA complications.

You really need to appeal. Do you see the same GP each time? I've found that invaluable as he really fought for me and sent lengthy letters. I know I was dealing with PTSD but I imagine practically everyone being put through this horrendous system ends up suffering with symptoms of depression and anxiety. If this is the case for you, speak to your GP about this. The more reasons your GP can state for why you're unable to work the better.

Have you spoken to Citizens Advice? Unfortunately my local office had their funding cut and so no longer had a helpline. Instead you needed to queue up from 9am with no guarantee you'd be seen by the end of the day. It just wasn't physically possible for me to do this but I hope in your area the services are better. There are forums online for people who are appealing/have appealed. Do have a look and see what advice you can get.

Do you have someone close to you who can help you appeal? I was in such a state with the ESA application I had to get a friend to fill it in. With hindsight this probably 'added points' as it showed how unfit I was. She also accompanied me to the interview and we got a taxi and she did a lot of the talking from notes I gave her as I was a sobbing, shaking mess. It is utterly disgusting that you really are judged by every tiny thing from the moment you arrive. The ESA questioner is abhorrent. Yes, on my better days I can fill a kettle and big wow I am able to set an alarm clock. How is this in any way relevant to me being able to get out of the house and work all day? It's dignity-stripping and the opposite of how you really try to always cope and do your best when you have chronic illness but you really have to show them how you are at your worst.

Please don't give up. Please stay angry rather than defeated. That is exactly what they want you to feel so you'll go away. If you research it you'll see that the majority of people who appeal are awarded ESA. It is a sick, twisted system that goes out of its way to find unwell people fit to work. After 20 years of working full time it was an horrendous shock to me.

Good luck and please appeal. Xx


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