Fibromyalgia Action UK

If your GP fills in page 20 (back page) of the ESA50 form to apply/continue with ESA benefit does this actually count for anything?

When I submitted my ESA50 form in January I completed every page with all the usual information but was also very supported by my GP & Oncologist who completed the back page on my behalf. They each stated clearly that in their opinions I would never be fit enough to work ever again.

Probably due to the upheaval with ATOS at present I haven't heard back from them so don't know where I will stand with this - & I'm certainly not about to ring them to ask as I would much rather retain a low profile... At present I'm in the support group & haven't worked since my treatment for a grade 4 breast cancer nearly 13 years ago, which has virtually destroyed my body & thrown it into chaos on many levels.

I was a neonatal nurse & bereavement & birth trauma counsellor at the time of my diagnosis & it is a great sadness to me that I will never be fit enough to do this sort of work again as I loved it. Indeed I'm not fit enough to work anywhere - it's as much as I can do to get out of bed, wash, dress & do a few small chores each day but without going into all the specifics of my condition (yawn) I just wanted to ask if having the back page filled out DOES count as I was told it would? Or is this yet another waste of time? I just don't understand how a GP can sign a person off from work as being "sick" yet their word apparently does not count in relation to claims. To have this form filled in by your GP should be enough, otherwise why bother?

Sorry for the long account - thank you for reading.

With sincere thanks, CM xx

9 Replies

I would hope it does. they are supposed to seek additional info from your gp. If there's enough on that page, it might speed things along.

1 like

Thank you for your reply Sandra

I've just lost all faith in this system - there's no fairness or transparency about it & so many awful accounts of people who have to live with the results of being treated so unjustly... I just have to hope that this WILL indeed make things easier. There was plenty of evidence on that page to place me into the support group but I'm not under any false sense of security that this will be the case. Here's hoping though. :-)


I can't say for sure wether it will help or not. What I have learnt about this system is don't stop fighting, I know it seems like an up hill struggle at times and very unjust the way they r treating people who have worked all their lives and when they need help its a fight. But do not give up throw everything at them, doctors reports, occupational health reports, day to day diary etc. If this fails go to tribunal I know it's stressful but the more of us who fight and win means the more the system proves to be unworkable and unjust and surely in time we will win the fight for fairness.

Good luck and all my love. Xxx


Thank you Ktatmolehole... I do, at times, feel like stopping fighting but then know we would really struggle. I also feel that the more of us who do continue to fight for what is just and right the more likely it is that we will get a fair hearing (one day hopefully...)!! I am prepared to take this as far as tribunal but that's a long way off right now but then know I will equally have another struggle for PIP when that comes up for renewal. Thanks for the encouragement - always welcome. Warmest Wishes, CM xx


Hi Celticmoon

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? I would have thought that the answer is 'YES', as it will count and be considered during the processing, so I think it must be.

Good luck with this and please do not give up as you have an illness and are entitled to the benefits.

All my hopes and dreams for you

Ken x


Thank you Ken - it's been very encouraging to hear that others feel this should support my claim and to be reminded that I am not asking for the moon here, just my entitlement!! Very Best Wishes, CM xx


Hi Celticmoon

I am so sorry to hear of all the devastation you have endured, my heart goes out to you, honestly it does!

The last form I (hubby filled in for me) sent in, I had immense support from my GP and she filled in a Report, told me it took her the best part of a day to do it, alongside support Letters off various Consultants I"m under (I have other conditions but none as serious as yours). My GP did encourage me and told me that it does help immensely a detailed report off GP in particular, as they are in direct contact with you!

I did"nt ring, even after a long spell of no-reply! They have a huge back-log of these forms and lets be honest you have to be basically a Philadelphia Lawyer to be able to fill one in, they are just so complicated.

I can empathise how you are feeling, it is as if something has stolen our lives as we once knew them!

I was fortunate enough after waiting over 9 months for it to come back in my favour!

I pray, with all your conditions and detailed Reports off GP & Oncologist, yours also will return in your favour! It does seem rather unfair I agree that we almost have to go "begging" what is rightfully ours to claim! It is immensely difficult to live the way we have to without this extra pressure, which in turn aggravates our Fibro, any kind of stress does!

I am wishing you all the luck in the world for a positive result. In my thoughts & prayers.

No use me telling you not to worry, if you are anything like me!!

Sending you lots of positive healing energies & (((gentle hugs))) & GOOD LUCK!!

Lynn XX


Hi there Bettybaby

Thank you for your kind support and words... All of us experience different challenges in life and I'm sure that your conditions are every bit as much of a pain to you as mine are to me!! It's great we have this resource to spur each other on and share our experiences though.

Like you I have a wonderful GP and appreciate just how fortunate I am in that. I feel we are extremely lucky to have that kind of support and contact. I cannot imagine anyone at DWP or ATOS being supportive or helpful and GPs fill a vital role in an area where it's all too familiar to feel alone. I also find it interesting to hear that you haven't telephoned either - I feel this is the fear factor that is perpetrated and that it highlights the fact that many of us are trying to "work in the dark" with a system that is all to happy to keep the lights out!!

I am delighted to hear that your husband's claim was successful, that is greatly encouraging even after sooooo long!! This gives me some confidence to just keep hoping and waiting... Every time I receive a payment I breathe a sigh of relief and while that is happening I'm grateful. As you say, the stress and uncertainty are not good friends to FM but I'll try to stay cool over this and just ride it out. Just makes me annoyed when the form had to be back by a certain date (& NOT A DAY LATER!!) then they don't do anything with it for months and months. I really feel for the people trying to get ESA in the first instance. Waiting while you are being paid is one thing but waiting with no money is another entirely.

Wishing you well. CM xx


Hi Celticmoon

Thanks for your reply, yes this is a wonderful Site where we can relate/identify and support each other. I have found it to be immensely supportive with invaluable advise & kindness off Members!

I am so glad that you also have a good rapport with your GP, they can be of tremendous support to us, especially in times of need. Such as waiting for Decisions & supporting us with letters ect.

After all they are the ones who see the devastation Fibro brings to our lives!

I had a form once when I was in Intensive Care Unit & hospital for a month. When my husband rang up to see if we could extend extra time to fill out the form because of extenuating circumstances, his request was denied! Unbelievable, as you rightfully said, our forms have to be returned to the exact date, not even a day later. You would have thought the person would have shown a little empathy for our predicament @ the time! He had enough to worry about! Alias not! I don"t think they have an empathetic bone in their bodies!

I also agree with you about the fear factor of not ringing and working in the dark.

No News is good news @ moment, as apparently they have a huge back-log of these forms!

It is bad enough to have such a wretched illness as Fibro, I like you have lots of other serious health conditions, trying to cope with on a daily basis. Without having to justify just how ill we are!

I always say if I/we could "plug" our pain into these people who assess us and they had to live just a day of our lives, they would be soon signing the forms in our favour!

I sincerely hope that yours comes back in your favour soon.

Thinking of you. Sending positive healing energies your way & ((gentle hugs)) XX


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