Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Advice needed please! How to use the Benefits and Work guides?

I am really struggling at the moment! My ESA form needs to be in by 15th october I have got the benefits and work guides to help me, but my heead is so frazzled at the moment that I cant concentrate on anything, I dont seem to be able to remember anything that I am reading in the guides, Im scared of starting to fill in the form in case I mess it up, but it has got to be in soon! Has anyone got any tips for using the guides which makes it simpler, ESA is so complicated, I know that I am definitely entitled to it, but I fear that I'm going to ruin the liklihood of being successful because I cant understand the questions. Help!

30 Replies

Hi stockpile

I cannot help but I known someone who can

If you. Go to there is a section and Emma is excellent I haven't seen her on tonight but I . Will leave a message. X gins


do you mean ?


well spotted Sandra we sorted it as the page progressed wasnt it a stupid mistake (it was a bad day for me ) xgins


I realised it as I read on - oops!


Hi Gins,

Thanks for your help again! I will take a look at the website you recommended. As is I need any more reasons not to sleep, these forms are certainly not helping matters! Oh well, look on the bright side eh? If my ESA app isnt successful, I can just get a job cant I? Easy! Honestly! Do they really not think that if there was a job that I could physically do, I would have been doing it for the last 24years! Anyway, Im going to stop moaning now, I dont think Im making much sense antway, and moaning about it definitely istn getging forms filled in!

Thanks for listning xxx


snicky methinks dear gins computer spell check played up (no offence gins,). it's and you can also take a peak if you google benefits and work and use the first one at the top of the page, they are very useful. I think you are doing exactly the right thing going to the CAB, they have handled so so many forms and they know exactly how to word them to your best advantage.

Here's wishing you loads and a loads of luck :-) :-)

Foggy x


hehe cheers I couldn't figure that out, of course it is :-o


Hi Foggy!

I did go on that website, quite a bit about steel and art? lol I should have realised really, my doctor gave me this website to go for info when I saw her last week! Emma has emailed me the benefit and work guides and although they seem pretty straight forward, my brain just wont absorb the info! Zeb advised me to take deep breaths around her rosemary and eucalyptus fluffies to help reduce anxiety so I did and inhaled the poor little blighters! Its Ok though, catastrophe averted when I sneezed and sent them catapulting around the room like jet propelled cotton wool balls, ping ponging off walls and furniture until they eventually landed in a big fluffy heap on the floor!! As if things aren't bad enough, I dont want to be getting in trouble from the R.S.P.C.F (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Fluffies)!!

*whispers* dont tell Zeb!

Oh well, back to reality! Thanks for your help Foggy x


Ok hush, hush, nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse (goodness only knows where that one came from ! :o ) I was heading towards the RSPCF last week at some point, can't remember what I did, but I averted a cat-Astrophy hehehehe :D :D

Seriously though, the CAB really are the way to go, and with the notes Emma sent you, that will make it all a bit easier. I loathe filling in forms and it sends me into a right old spin, I had help from the CAB doing mine and they really were great at getting things across, they advised me to answer each question from an "on your worst day" basis, so I told the woman and she wrote it all in for me worded brilliantly. I hope you get the same level of help.

Chin up, smile and carry on snicky, you will get it sorted I don't doubt :-) :-)

Foggy x


Thanks Foggy!

I'm going to go and trawl through Emma's notes again and see if anything sinks in this time! Like you say, it will get sorted, I'm trying to keep my chin up, but it;s not easy when your head feels like a weighs a ton! Hehehe!

Going to have another good old breath on my eucalyptus fluffy and see if that helps! Oh dear! Stop the world, I want to get off! lol

Thanks again Foggy I'm sending a (((hug))) for you xxx


Awwwwwwww bless you snicky, I'm v. achy today, so am very grateful for your hug.....back at you (((snicky)))

Foggy x


Thanks Foggy! Here's to hoping that tommorow brings a less achy day for all of us! Big (((HUGS))) to all xxx


Aw! :( hope you ok hunny? wouldn't like to think you got hurt


Hi snickypoo :D chuckle

There are also places such as citizens advice, welfare rights and even the DWP who offer help with filling forms in.

The good thing about usine such a service provider (NOT DWP) is that they'll follow the claim through to the finish so if you need to ask for a reconsideration or go to appeal you will already have a support person in place.

That's what I do now because I can't handle the stress of it :)

Let us know how you get on hun

fluffies for you need to be focussed fluffies with rosemary and eucalyptus to stimulate the mind and reduce anxiety headaches... deep breaths my friend smell that freshness... yummy!



Hi Zeb!

I might have to take your advice and see if I can get someone to help me fill them in, but, I'm panicking now, I think I might have left it too late to get help! Everyday I get the form out with good intentions to at least make a start on them, but, everyday, I stress myself out with them so I put them away and promise myself to sort it out tommorow! Oh dear! I'm alreadt stressed with it today and Ive not even looked at the form!

Anyway I'm going to go and contact CAB and see if they have anyone who can help with the dreaded forms!

Thanks for helping!

I must say, eucalyplus and rosemary fluffies are my favourites! They smell bootiful!

*groan* back to the forms. *sniff sniff*


good luck hun hopefully you'll be able to rest easy soon knowing its done :)

glad the fluffies are to your liking :)


Thanks love!

I'm looking forward to the day when i've posted the darn thing, then its out of my hands!

Que sera!

Fluffies are great! Thanks again xxx


hugs to you too :)


has any one looked at fabrication. org (giggles oops silly me ) Thanks for sorting Foggy



Hi Gins!

I looked! Hehehe! Its a good job Foggy knew what it was all about Gins! Goodness know what I might have put on my ESA claim! LOL!! This is the reason why I love coming on here, a few hours ago, I was worried sick and panicking because I couldnt get my head around these forms, now you lot have cheered me up and again and the silly ESA doesnt seem quite so daunting now! So thanks everyone for lifting my spirits again! (((((((HUGS TO ALL))))))) xxx


Hi snickypoo

Sorry, not been on much lately ~ not coping too well.

I'm sure someone has already mentioned this, but I have a raging migraine and can't read all of the posts above, but I would definitely suggest that you get your form photocopied when you are ready to send it off.

I know it's extra cost, but send it by Recorded Delivery. I've read that a lot of people's forms have gone missing! How mysterious hey?!

I didn't photocopy mine, but I remember it took me weeks to complete. I really regret not copying mine.

Just a suggestion anyway. Up to you?

Good luck


Hi Coz,

I'm sorry too hear your having such a bad time, I didnt think I had seen you on here for a while, I hope you will be feeling stronger soon and a bit more able to cope. xxx

Thank you for your advice, and what brilliant advice it is too! I would be devestated if my form went missing after it took me such a long time and such a lot of pain to fill it in! I will definitely copy it and send it recorded delivery, I dont think my poor wrist could take filling it in again(I only got to page 5 as it is) and thats bad enough!

I really appreciate you taking time to help me when you are feeling so unwell x

A big (((HUG))) for you, I hope you soon feel better. xxx


Thanks hun.

That was such a lovely message. You've made my day :)

That form really did take me about 2 weeks to fill in.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. It feels good when you've helped a fellow Fibro sufferer.

Take care

Coz xx

Hugs much appreciated x


Hello Snickypoo,

I found personally it was easier to download the online copies as you can type & delete if until the wording is a) an accurate representation of your day b) so it is easier for people who have trouble writing, wrist pain or dyslexia with spell check etc and c) it is easier to read when printed etc. The links for the downloadable forms are here:

Don't worry it may take a couple of times reading the Benefits & Work Guides before they are of help and if you want to talk to someone at the CAB or see if there is an advocate in your area this may help too. Please see link below;

Best Wishes

Emma :)


Hi Emma,

Thanks very much for the advice, I will have a look at the links you have sent me, I think I have at last got my head around the Benefit and Work guides, its taken quite a while, my silly head just wont retain information, its in one ear and out of the other!

Thanks again Emma xxx



Hi Hun I just dropped by I wondered how you are doing have you taken Emma suggestion and filled it on line?

Thinking of you xgins


Hi Gins,

I have just got the messages,Coz alerted me via private message, I've been all day filling in the form, I got as far as page 5! The part where you have to say what your 'illnesses and disabilities are and how they affect you', I ended up filling 4 pages of A4 paper before I had to give up through sheer exhaustion and wrist pain, I actually feel like my hand is hanging off its so painful!! I think I will redo the form online, I can get one of my sons to type it up for me, then I can just dictate the rest, while I lie back and rest my aching arm!!Hehehe

Sending you a big ((((HUG)))) xxx


Hi snickypoo what a good idea get him to help I am sure he will be pleased to do something for you. Glad you are coming along all the best xgins


Always photocopy ANY forms before you fill them in so that you can go through them and tweak wherever they may need it and then they can be put into the original form in some sort of semblance of order. Then photocopy them again before posting so that you KNOW exactly what you said to which question, in which way!


Thanks everyone for all the help and support, I really appreciate it and it makes a big difference knowing that there are people out there that care. Thanks again xxx

Love and ((((((HUGS))))) to


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