Fibromyalgia Action UK
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On ESA told to do work program or loose money

I have been on sick for number of years and my health has got worse over the years I was told by job centre that if I didn't attend ingeus I would loose money I suffer from severe depression and have panic attacks which I told them on phone the lady told me it's mandatory I have told them I'm sick been signed off I lost my brother last year he committed suicide I hardly go out the house I don't socialize have trouble sleeping I have told them i have appealed gl24 form which I got a response from appeal saying someone is looking in to my case I cannot go to this and don't feel I should I'm sick but what do they care it's a joke how can they take your

Money it's wrong

16 Replies

I sympathise so much with you're predicament - You need to find yourself a Dr who will listen. Keep changing them if he/she/them aren't hearing what you're saying. Of course the first step is being able to leave the house to visit a Dr in the first place. If this causes you distress & you're having panic attacks call an ambulance & then tell the Dr u see what is happening & he/she will ask you to see a psych dr. Frankly this is about all you can do - . The powers that be don't care so care about yourself because you're worth it.

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It doesn't matter what your doctor says. I am in same position. Doctor has given me sick notes. Doctor said Im unfit to work. But seems these agencies know better than your doctor. So Im in the position doc says Im unfit for work, work programme says I must apply for jobs, and JSA says I cannot claim from them because Im unfit for work according to my doctor!?

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Hi I had to go to this a few years ago, I attended once a month....If you can at all attend the first interview and then ask them if they will do your interviews over the phone....if they see how ill you are they may do this. have you had an ESA assessment, if so how many points did you get ?

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I was seen by atos health care about 2 months ago which I passed so I thought that was the end of it how wrong was I this is getting me right down feel stressed to the max don't think they care if people r ill it's a joke thanks for your reply


What did u have to do I have been told u have to do a cv trouble is I haven't worked been I'll for number of years I have nothing to put on cv it says in form u r expected to look for future work but how can I if I'm ill no one will employ. Me because the amount of medication I'm on

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It's so wrong that the government don't care going through the same thing so bad just ya cant see the disabled people think ya talking poo will let them have this pain mean chronic pain that you can't move more then a inch and depression for one day.chin up


If you were passed as WRAG then you will need to go to an interview to see if they can get you a job but if you send in a sick note then they cannot ask you to but can reassess or send their doctor. If you are on Support then they cannot ask you to attend an interview but they are sending reassessment forms out every 12 months. the amount below will show what you are on.


Time period Circumstance Weekly amount

First 13 weeksUnder 25 £56.80

First 13 weeks25 or over £71.70

From 14 weeksWork Related Activity GroupUp to £100.15

From 14 weeksSupport GroupUp to £106.50

Be Well

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Offcut......perfect reply and it reflects exactly what I have gone through


I have been signed off by doctor sent med Certs in attended atos healthcare assessment was told few days later that I passed and would be seen again in six months these people have no understanding of our circumstances they don't see the real picture this country is getting worse makes me so angry and depressed I have done loads of research on this and not realy got far at all someone suggested citzens advice I'm not set anymore I thought if u was sick and had sick note and been seen assessed that was it u was sick is this even legal that they can get u to do this work programe surely there's something someone can do I have appealed gl24 form and waiting outcome but not holding breath

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Hi thanks for your reply what is the component rate

I'm still unsure what is involved with these work programe what is expected surely If I have appealed against work programe then don't I wait for this outcome I had a friend who said about the atos healthcare there was a website with people that had committed suicide because of them being turned down its disgusting how they can do This feel so let down who to turn to I'm at my wits end

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Was given 15 points by atos what I dont understand if u r not well enough to go work then how can u be able to go to work programe I have avoided three appointments so far but the advisor is telling me it's mandatory I can't face the outside at the minute so depressed its realy getting to me I have appointment

This week with them realy can't face it ain't sleeping feeling my lowest at min who supports us I'm not saying I won't be able to go back to work but I need time all they are doing is pushing me and it's getting me down I have tried everything not sure we're to turn now

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Even got sick note to they don't care about us it don't surprise me why so many people are commiting suicicide they feel like they have no way out I have read loads of comments with same situation and feel trapped how many more people is it gona take for them to listen to people this government is a joke

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I again phoned them today said I couldn't attend as I was ill she told me it's mandatory I said well breach me then if she wants to I need to call her again before next week and cancel again and say why I can't attend and see what she offers I think I should tape the conversation just in case even my partner dot understand it if u r sick and have med cert and passed atos then u was I'll not to be looking for future work it's a joke what is the component rate the women from work programe said I would lose all my money if I' didn't turn up

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How much Employment and Support Allowance?

The amount of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you receive will depend on whether your claim is in the initial assessment phase, which usually lasts for 13 weeks, or in the main phase that follows. Your circumstances, including your income and capital (such as your savings) will also be taken into account.

The amount you get will also depend on whether you receive contributory ESA alone or whether you also get a top-up of income-related ESA.

Contributory ESA and ESA for young people

In the 13-week assessment phase, you'll usually receive a basic allowance of ESA of:

£56.80 if you’re under 25

£71.70 if you’re 25 or over

In the main phase of ESA, if you've been accepted as having limited capability for work, you'll receive the basic allowance of £71.70 regardless of your age. You'll also get an additional component of:

£28.45 a week if you're in the work-related activity group

£34.80 a week if you’re in the support group

If you’re in the work-related activity group, you'll be required to attend work-related interviews (see ESA claims for more details). If you don’t do this, you may lose part of your additional £28.45. This is called being sanctioned. For more details about how sanctions can affect ESA, see the section on sanctions, below.

If you’re in the support group, none of your ESA can be sanctioned.

Contributory ESA is not affected by most of your income or capital, or that of your partner. However, if you receive a personal pension or payment from the Pension Protection Fund, this will affect your ESA payment. In this case, half your pension income over £85 a week is taken from your ESA. This doesn’t apply to some pensions and payments that are paid in respect of military service.

If you serve as a local councillor, any councillors' allowance you receive in excess of £97.50 a week will affect your ESA. For every extra £1 of allowance, your ESA will be reduced by £1.

Income-related ESA

The amount of income-related ESA you get depends on a calculation that compares your existing income with the level of income the law says a person in your circumstances needs to live on. The amount the law says you need to live on is known as your applicable amount.

If your income is less than your applicable amount, you'll receive a top-up of income-related ESA. If you have savings or other capital, this can affect your entitlement.

The starting point for working out your applicable amount is your personal allowance. This depends on your age and whether you're single or claiming for you and a partner. In the main phase of ESA, your personal allowance will also include an additional component of ESA based on whether you're in the work-related activity group or the support group.

Your applicable amount can also include premiums. These are awarded if, for example, you're disabled or a carer.

You may also qualify for a contribution towards the cost of interest on your mortgage, if you have one.

Once your applicable amount has been worked out, your income and capital are considered and the amount of income-related ESA you'll receive is calculated.

If your income is too high for you to receive income-related ESA in the assessment phase, you may be able to claim in the main phase. This is because your applicable amount goes up when you move from the assessment phase to the main phase. This is called an advance award for income-related ESA. The information you give in your claim will tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that this is the case, and your claim for income-related ESA will be treated as starting with the main phase of your ESA.

Even if the amount of money you get is small, it's worth claiming income-related ESA as it entitles you to help with other costs, such as full help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit, free prescriptions, free school meals and other help.

The government's official online source of information on benefits is Directgov.

Click on the bars below for more information on claiming Employment and Support Allowance.

Personal allowance show

Premiums show

Housing costs show

Income show

Charitable and other income show

Capital show

Receiving ESA payments show

Sanctions show


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Page last reviewed: 30/03/2012

Next review due: 30/03/2014

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Have you heard anything else Hun? I'm in the same boat at the moment


See my post Job Centre Moan, i attended the first interview, then i was asked to go infor 2 hours, to get used to a work environment, (i have worked more years than the advisor), now i have to go in on Saturday and take 3 months bank statements with me , it kills me to get there, i have been awarded the higher rate mobility, but they still expect me to go , i missed the appeal deadline but i have still wrote to them, my doctor says i am not fit to work but these non-medical people say i am my answer is B**********, i will tell them that my daughter (who is a DC) as recommended that i do not show my statement due to data protection, lets see what they do about that !!!!

Tell them your GP says you are not fit to attend, thats it , good luck xx


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