Fibromyalgia Action UK

Unfit for Work Indefinitely ?

Hi All

I have read some posts on here in the past referring to the person being told that he/she was considered Unfit For Work Indefinably by there GP, can I ask is this a decision the GP decided or did you have to ask him to consider you unfit for work indefinitely.

I would really welcome some feedback from you, thanking you all in advance & wish you all well.

Jay x

18 Replies

Hi jayjay57

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? I am so sorry but I have no experience of this coming directly from a GP, so I genuinely hope that somebody can answer this question for you?

I have experienced where somebody has been assessed by the DWP and given their DLA for an indefinite period, although this always comes accompanied by the caveat that your claim may be looked at from time to time.

However, receiving DLA or PIP does not mean that you are unfit for work, as it is a benefit that pays you an allowance for having a disability and not taxable, so you can work whilst in receipt of this benefit.

I sincerely hope that you can find the answers that you are looking for.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


I have been declared unfit for work indefinitely but that was through ESA. However I had cancer 21 years ago and the treatment I had, radiotherapy and chemotherapy has seriously damaged my heart and lungs and all the symptoms that come with it, the damage done is progressive without much specialist knowledge knowing how to stabilise me. I have also been diagnosed with Fibro because chemo compromised by immune system. I have good days and bad days and this was all explained by my GP (who is very supportive) to the ESA. I have also won a DLA tribunal for mobility but again I had to fight them for over a year. I do not think there is any hard or fast rule but if you get your GP to support you in your claim for ESA then it is helpful - you will always have to fight them though and be prepared to be questioned and not believed because that is what ATOS are paid to do. I have been fighting ill health for the last 21 years so ATOS were a breeze compared to cancer and gave me something to do through the winter months when I cannot really go out and get cold.. I hope this has helped you and I wish you good luck and good health.

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Hi onthescrapheap

I just wanted to say that I truthfully find you very inspirational after reading your post, and how you have come through all of this. I have the deepest respect and admiration for you.

Take care



Yes I also have an indefinite award of ESA - presumably because there's no real prospect of my condition improving, but not sure that my GP had anything to do with that decision, more the nature of the illnesses I have. Am not sure how much difference it makes however - they will still look at my claim from time to time, and I will still have to move from DLA to PIP with everything that entails.


Hi Artyrosie

I sincerely hope that you are feeling well as you possibly can be today? I had a letter from the DWP saying anybody on DLA for life will be reassessed no earlier than 2015 for PIP. I think they are being very over optimistic as they cannot service the clients they have now?

Take care

Ken x


Hi all ,

I am in the same boat as Artyrosie above and at present I am due an assessment and will probably have to apply for PIP in the near future - so no real peace - and still so much uncertainty.


I was classed fit for work by ATOS when I claimed for ESA but won my appeal. My GP was not really supportive to me at all and I have had a battle to get tests done with regards to my breathing problems, even after my cardiologist sent a letter to my GP explaining his concerns to my breathing problems which he confirmed were not connected to my heart condition and was not helping it. I got the tests after nearly a year of asking! I have now had it confirmed I have Restrictive Lung Disease which means when upright I have 57% Lung function which drops by 12.5% when flat. along with all my other problems I am not improving. My Lung consultant has told me to use slip on shoes and I will have to look at a serious lifstyle change as I am going to be finding things more difficult to do over time. If I am going to fly I will have to have a test before to see if I will need oxygen while at altitude?

I should be having an ESA review this March but with ATOS looking to run away they have suspended it until they find another cold hearted company to take it on.

I wish you well

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Hi my doctor has said I am unfit to work indefinitely but that was after a long time trying to keep down a job I was in pain no matter what I tried to do. I am 60 years of age so I come under the people to old to retrain and to old so after a talk with my doctor pain clinic and the job centre I was told I will not work any more but may be able to volunteer for something


My health deteriorated in 1999 , I had a major spinal operation in 2000 , went back to work , but my health was bad , I had a private medical paid for by my company , the doctor who did the assessment came to the conclusion I would never work again , and was pensioned off , a few months later in 2006 I had medical done by the DWP , and they come to the same conclusion , I had my assessment for ESA done by ATOS and they said I was fit for work , the result is ATOS is corrupt , any firm doing medicals to pay shareholders isn't going to be honest .

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Hi i was deemed unfit for work indefinitely when i was on Incapacity Benefit which was awarded by the DWP. However not sure what the situation is now since i was moved from IB to ESA support group without an interview (I do have a complex & extensive med history). I joined the Benefits & Work website which takes you through every step of the questionnaire pack and cannot recommend this site more highly.

As a point of interest IB was not taxable however ESA is and it has also been capped for the 3rd year running which is not helpful when I have a large mortgage to pay as well as supporting my 2 daughters through uni.

Hopefully you may find some answers and extremely useful info on The Benefits & Work website.

Love and hugs to all of you out there suffering

Cezzie x


Hi Cezzie, are you sure IB wasn't taxable? I was on IB before transferring onto ESA and I always gave my IB income info for Working Tax Credit along with my hubby's income. Please could you clarify.




Hi cazzie5

I think you will find that Incapacity benefit has been taxable for years..

Also that it has been capped before ESA came into play too, for everyone.

But it is fixed so that you wont get less than you were receiving, you just wont get any extra when its uprated.

Re being unfit for work indefinitely, I think this would be an individual thing that will differ between everyone you speak to, as most of our health conditions differ so widely.

From my own experience, i don't really remember discussing it with any GP, as I don't think there are very many conditions where a GP would commit themselves to declare that someone would be unfit for all employment, they would have to be seriously ill, cancer etc or disabled in some way, paralysed etc

GPs today are very reluctant to make the commitment on this type of question.

This is coming from someone who has been physically unable to work since 1996, but I have been signed off since but I never actually asked the question if they thought I could work ever again. Its highly un-lightly now though.

But, given the chance, i would work tomorrow if i had the energy!

It would be so much better for my mental health....


That sounds like normal practice , there is no time definition to an illness like fibro, i had it for ten years,went into remission and returned to work for six, have got it back again and and was given that very analysis. If the person has fibro - its constant pain, on a good day im great! Race you to get everything done before lunchtime.Today i just want to cry or die.

Most fibro patience are high acheivers, all on the good day. On a bad day they just need some kind gentle care. - And a hot tub!


i think you will find it doesn't really matter what the GP has said it all comes down to what your assessment with the DWP says and even that is about to change I hope this helps


i kept getting sick notes for work then they politly asked me to leave as i wasnt making their team look good on their absentee record... but i got to claim incapacity benifit. still with sick notes until my doctor wrote on the last one that i was not going to be able to work again as i had a condition that wasnt going to improve. later i also claimed disability living allowance and got it for two years then for three years and then after a number of docs visiting me to assess me i was awarded it indeffinatly.... which is why the gov had to change the benifits names. as if there are no longer incapacitiy ben or dla then we cant still keep having it. and have to apply for the others. they made the equivilant of the incapacity benifit only payable for one year instead of indeffinatly... and i dread to think whats happened to PIP as i havent been asked to change yet but i await the brown envelope....


Hi, I had been signed off work by my gp for 6 months plus a couple of extra months whilst they trying to find what was wrong with me. I had been working from home during this time on an 'as and when capable'. Eventually personnel dept asked me to see the Occupational Health, who ruled in conjunction with my GP I was unfit for work indefinately. Shortly after leaving work I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, as I was still in contact with work they were happy to know it was indeed serious enough and they had made the right decision. The terms of my 'early retirement due to ill health' in my pension forbids me from working. I was awarded Incapacity Benefit, then it turned into ESA, I am now in the support group ie. unfit for work, but I still have to have ATOS assessments every 18months. The DWP asked me to see their Disability Work Advisor, who arranged to see me at home, her mum had Fibro so she was very understanding and again declared me unfit for any type of work. Hope this helps.


Thank you to all that replied to my question re: Unfit For Work Indefinitely, have had a chat with my GP about this yesterday & he feels I cannot work & has advised me to get in touch with Social Services as they are the people who sort this in my area & they will send me the necessary forms for me to fill in, Gp also said he will back up my claim when SS get in touch with him to for confirmation, so wish me luck please.

Once again many thanks to you all x


never asked my GP..but he has signed my sick note INDEFINITELY unfit for work,came as a very big shock !

i asked why,since i was hoping i'd improve some.his response,your not going to improve and you have gotten worse in 6 months,with Autumn and winter fast approaching,physio is best choice try and give me some comfort,acupuncture and hydrotherapy are booked. gabapentin increased ,trying to pace myself. thats the difficult part.

how quickly do i tire,omg to quickly.still trying to get my head around all this.its come to me as a massive shock,to come on so quickly in 2 years.i was very active running etc.

now getting up in mornings is tiring inits self.pain .i wont mention how bad.we all know what its like.keep your chin up small steps,dont try and do or go through this on your own..;)


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