Failed ESA tribunal. What now? - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Failed ESA tribunal. What now?


Well, I waited 12 months for my tribunal and didn't get anywhere. I was almost in tears in front of the panel, couldn't think straight and almost walked out. The doctor was fine, but the judge was acting as if he was in court. I just felt as if I was on trial. I don't think they even listened to what I said. It left me in terrible pain and the fatigue afterwards was unbearable. What do I do? I have no money and don't know whether I sign on for jobseekers ( although I know I can't work ) or if I can apply for ESA again. If I do apply for ESA again do I have to wait or can I do it straight away? I really am so down now. Why can't anyone, except those of us that have it, understand about fibro? I'm tired of being asked what I can do in a day, or how far I can walk.How many times do I have to tell them it is a fluctuating condition and I can't possibly say about these things as each day is different. What never changes is that there is always pain and fatigue which always has an effect of some sort on our daily lives. They are supposed to recognise fluctuating conditions, but they sure as hell don't understand them.

Sorry for the rant, but I just feel so depressed. If anyone has any advice I would be grateful.

27 Replies

No advice but just sending you a gentle hug.

Oh Deefer afraid I have no advice we are all the same boat. When we go in this tribunals we always feel guilty - why should we - we have done nothing wrong- save to be ill with fibro - yet we feel we are chastised and viewed with hostility. All we can do is tell the truth..

Hold you head up be brave and dont let them get you down. xgins

So sorry Deefer, haven't been to Tribunal yet but CAB have said am unlikely to win because they just don't understand fluctuating pain levels etc. I asked what would happen to me in this eventuality and was told, I will have to apply for Job Seekers allowance, then I will be assessed for what I can do, and then... they will realise I am not capable of work and will put me back on ESA. Round and round we go; it makes no sense whatsoever. Its like climbing a Mountain, only to get to the top and see that there is yet another to climb. All good wishes Deefer, don't give in because that's what they want - regroup and believe in yourself - none of us asked to be ill.

I have been to hell and back again with the DWP. Having been thrown off esa on the day of shoulder surgery based on assessment done a month before with frozen shoulder and having been allowed to do permitted work and told 3 days later I should be going to a wca I then go for mandatory reconsideration. Also having qualified for two years for pips To be told I failed the ATOS assessment even though my circumstance have changed with the surgery and having given DWP fit notes etc from surgeon and GP I am finally reinstated but from two weeks after surgery. My new claim is for the 29/10 to the 16/10. Have now discovered that the same DWP depts are independent of each other. I have discovered now why things are going so horribly wrong for claimants as these different depts do not communicate with each other at all. Is anyone else having this nightmare? ?

Ahh hun,big hug to you.It's awful you practically have to be dying now to get it.I was talking to someone the and they have had cancer,and there now on JSA.She knows a employer not going to employ her,cause she's not 100% in health yet,but it's this stupid evil government.No employer will put themselves at risk by taking someone on that is ill,like yourself,so the system is


There is a site on facebook called fightback that helping people win this and doing a bril job its free jusst loom up the name or link with me a d i will send youbtheir link its run by specialts in war o dla pip etc etc its free help one to one the new Esa 50 is tricky trust me they r fantastic

BOOIE in reply to Hidden


Vancallo12 in reply to Hidden

Can you please swnd me the link to this pleae thank

Sherbet in reply to Vancallo12

Did you have any medical reports to show the panel? You may get an MP to listen if you have any medical evidence such as x rays and hospital reports. I have read over and over again that just saying you are in pain and cannot do this or that means nothing without medical evidence. I am so sorry this has happened to you. x

If its more than 6 months since your last WCA medical, as they have stopped your money, you can make a new claim for ESA. You will be paid at the assessment rate until the next WCA medical, then you can appeal again if you fail the WCA, and so on.

Meanwhile ask the tribunal for a statement of reasons, see if you can find an error in law that allows you to continue your appeal to 2nd tier tribunal.

Hi Deefer,

You will need to apply for what is called the Statement of reasons and also the record of proceedings by writing to the tribunals service and asking for them Once that you receive these you will need to look through to ascertain if proceedings have been completed correctly and also to look to see if there has been an error of law.

Once you receive the document please feel free to give me a shout and I will be only too happy to go through matters with you.

Hope that helps,

Liam Carter

Senior Case Manager

My Benefit Claim

Deefer in reply to cjw064

Thanks for you reply - I was busy typing and only saw this when my post came up! I may need to take you up on your offer - thanks again.

WeAreDoomed in reply to cjw064

hi can you help with my questions below ? i am living on fresh air now or will be VERY soon ty.....

Thanks for all your hugs and replies guys.The minute I walked out of the tribunal room I was hit by fatigue so bad I could hardly move. Since then I have been in a flare - all because of these people who think they know us better than we know ourselves. The judge even suggested that I take a drug for my RA ( it was in my notes) which I refused to take when offered it by the rheumy because it is strong and has horrendous side effects. I was amazed that he could get away with suggesting something like that - I have reactions to many drugs and there are loads I can't take because of side effects. I prefer self management. I already have some prescription painkillers and I should have asked him how he thought I was going to pay for more meds if I don't have any money!

I'm starting to feel a bit stronger now and ready to start fighting back, so after the bank hol I'll get my statement of reasons and get in touch with the CAB. I will put in a new claim - I have never been on ESA, I was on IB. My medical was in Jan 2012 so I can start thinking about filling in the dreaded forms again.

cjw064 in reply to Deefer

Hi Deefer,

I am glad to hear that you are taking a stance with this, be strong and keep trying and don't let matter grind you down. I am here to help if need be.


Liam Carter

Senior Case Manager

My Benefit Claim

Hi, I've just been through the same today. The panel made me feel like a fraud. I have to function because I'm a single parent with two boys. I just stood there crying then had to return to the room to be told I'd lost my tribunal. I now have to sign on weekly knowing I'm not fit enough to work. I never want to go through that again. :-(

Darren1976 in reply to Mans67

Mans 67 u gota keep fighting if you think you and ur doctors are right who's to tell both of you your wrong this is what they want for people like you to run away and hide get up dust ur self down and go for round 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 if needed chin up things will look up and may I ask did you go on you own if so that's was a mistake if you feel like a chat reply back laters

i came under attack in oct 2012 thats when i went atos centre then failed like most others, i then appealed & 10 months later or so i went trubunal & also felt like a fraud in a law court so i knew by the ''doctors'' attitude i had failed & also he said 2-3 days result by post confirmed the fail imo.......dwp have strangled my money to 71 pound since late nov 2012 i am just over one thousand in debt now, i failed on the 16th sep (last week) will i get anymore payments? also what form do i need to get to reapply for esa? & where do i get it from? i still have bills to pay inc tax..water..gas..lecky...i feel like suicide BUT i don't want dave cameron to beat me with his vile antics but its murder atm with this hellish treatment of the vunlerable can anyone answer my questions pls? do i get a questionaire straight away or is my old account still in the system? i am dyslexic & any help will be good ..........

Please go to the Citizens Advice Bureau or Welfare Rights if you have one locally. They are the best people to help sort you out. You can't do it alone, particularly if you have debts. You can fill in a new ESA application online or phone the DWP for a form by post. I know how awful you must be feeling, but try and keep strong and please,please get that help. Hugs x

i went job centre a few days ago she said i am not eligable for the dole i am to ill, i got a number & rang it i filled a application form on the phone took about 30 mins, she also said i need a docs ''fit note'' otherwise i can't claim esa again, its weird i thought to myself cause they don't listen to docs much anyway but they demand a fit note, but my last nightmare roller coaster has come to a end with a fail cause i don't understand the traps & i had no representative at tribunal, i let council know i lost & pls don't render me homeless with no housing benefit, he seemed sympathetic so time will tell on that, dwp have posted a letter saying 71 pound only i was hoping 2 payments, so now i need a docs note then a recorded delivery to dwp headquarters then a esa50 minefield to fill in given time,then atos & a fail then i hope a good few months of peace b4 i head to tribunal & fail....oh boy i only blame david cameron for setting this nonsense up, i wish i was born with a silver spoon but no,i have 9 pound to pay council tax..water gas & lecky...

I go for my tribunal next Monday and already getting panic stricken I am not well at moment an cant. be bothered with anything I just feel as though everything is mounting. Up if I fail don't know wat I will do

Sorry to hear been this morning to tribunal originally had 6 points now up to 12 points but still not enough didn't see that coming not since the assessment my health has worsened but they didn't give a toss. My question is if your own gp says you are to ill how can somebody that doesn't no you can say different. They are all a bunch of liars and don't give a toss.

I also had to wait a year for an ESA tribunal which failed it was an awful experience felt it was a "kangaroo court " they were trying to trip me up all the time the Dr on the panal was really unpleasant , I have been really depressed since ( I have mental health issues ) Im just trying to get up the strength to to start the whole ESA process again .


I know exactly where you are coming from. I failed my esa assessment as a month ago. I had had Fibro for 8 yrs and a frozen shoulder with full tear tendons . They knew I was about to have surgery on it a month later. Two days after surgery they have stopped my esa and I am fit for work although they have sick notes from my GP and surgeon saying I should not work for another month .They have based this on me being fit to work on the assessment they did a month before the operation.i am a single mother and am desperate. I have just been told my Mandatory Reconsideration has failed too.i have now told my local MP about this. This system is a complete shambles

What did you do in the end

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