Fibromyalgia Action UK

ESA letter for use by those in support group (2nd attempt)

Sorry about the problems people are having reading the link about ESA which I posted earlier. I've no idea why it won't work, but I've now copied and pasted the contents of that link in the hope that it will now show. Please let me know if this still can't be seen as I'll have to think of any way to show it.

Here it is:

For a while DPAC has been aware of ESA claimants in the Support Group receiving letters from the DWP asking them to attend a Work Related Interview. Although the letters say that attendance is on a voluntary basis, these letters have created much anxiety and uncertainty among claimants.

ESA claimants in the Support Group do not have to attend these interviews, and DWP should not send claimants any communication likely to cause them distress.

DPAC has now learned through a Freedom of Information request that this practice is undertaken throughout the country:

You will find below a template letter you can send to your Job Centre BEFORE being invited to attend an interview or a group session, to make sure DWP is aware that any contact initiated by DWP is damaging to your health and is a distressing experience .




Post Code

Name of Person or Organisation




Post Code

Date: <DATE>

Ref: <Your NINO>

Dear Sir/Madam,

ESA Support Group – Invitation to Attend Work Focused Interviews

I understand that the DWP has decided on a national policy of inviting people who have been assigned to the ESA Support Group (“SG”) to attend meetings or interviews that obviously qualify as Work Focused Interviews (“WFI”), as defined in the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (section 12(7)). Section 12(1) of the Welfare Reform Act 2007 specifically forbids the Secretary of State from imposing WFI on anyone allocated to the SG.

Please accept this letter as formal notification that I do not wish to receive any invitations to attend meetings or interviews that could reasonably be considered to be WFI.

Any interaction with the DWP or its contractors is invariably a distressing experience for me and usually exacerbates my medical condition. Therefore, should the DWP ignore this letter and contacts me, I shall consider it to be harassment as defined in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and reserve the right to make a criminal complaint to the police. I also reserve the right to take legal action against the DWP should its actions, in respect of WFI, result in me sustaining any loss or suffering.

I also wish to make it clear that I will always comply with the legal obligations arising out of my ESA claim.

Please confirm, in writing, that I will not be invited to attend any WFI activities. Please do not attempt to contact me by telephone as I find the benefit system far too complex and distressing to deal with on the telephone.

Please be aware that I have retained a copy of this letter (including the address used) and proof of postage.

Your faithfully

Your Name

You can download a copy of this letter to amend with your details and send to DWP here: Template Letter – Regarding Invitation to Attend Work Focused Interviews

5 Replies

Thank you, I was able to get it, I look forward to a good read later on x

1 like

This is excellent because getting the words, in the right order and in a way that they will understand is what is needed. I get so mucking fuddled and then give up :o) Then again I think that that is what they want.


Im so glad you're getting some benefit from this. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I think they DO want us to be muddled and give up.


It is so important NOT to do ANY communication at all with the benefits system on your own, especially if you suffer from brain fog or memory problems and don't have a natural affinity for dealing with a lot of complicated and confusing stuff. That would leave out 99% of us, I think.

Get expert help from Citizens Advice Bureau or another advocacy or disability charity. I joined Benefits and Work which is under £20 for a year and you will get a lot of information and constant updates about all the latest twists and turns and stuff to watch out for. Or ask one of the Moderators here and they can show you where to download the guides to help you understand how to deal with things.

The DWP often change the rules without telling anyone about it. Then you can get penalised for not knowing. So best to have someone who understands and stays up to date with it all to advise you. I would suggest to everyone that you tell them you will not discuss these things over the phone. I read that they were writing down that some of the people appealing had decided not to go through with the appeal. Then the time to appeal was up and they heard nothing. When contacting the DWP to find out why, they were told something like 'we have it on record that you phoned on _______ date and said you had changed your mind.' If they phone you, I think it would be good to say you will not discuss it on the phone, as you want to have an advisor to help you, and make sure you get all the details straight. And I would ask them to send it to you in writing.

As with this form you have posted, it's best to do that BEFORE such a situation happens.

My guess is that if you did voluntarily attend one of these sessions, or even if you went because you thought you had to, they could use the fact that you were able to get there and sit in a chair as some evidence to reassess your condition and say you ARE fit to work after all, or at least to be put in the WRAG. :(

When I requested reconsideration to increase my DLA amounts, I sent a letter telling them that I do not wish to be contacted by telephone regarding any of these matters, as I feel these matters are too important and to complex to be discussed over the phone, and also that I wish to have the advice and help of a benefits advisor when dealing with any forms or decisions. They never did phone me after that.

I am shocked to hear that they are 'inviting' people to attend work related interviews when they have already been assessed as unfit to work and put in the support group.

It looks like this is another one of those ways in which the government is 'helping' people get off benefits and into work. I feel it is despicable and it does make me feel threatened about their various methods that they continually come up with, even after we have received a decision and are getting paid benefits that THEY said we have a right to get.

I am just past retirement age now, but I worry that my DLA and my Social Services care fund will be cut next. Without them I don't know what I would do.


All good advice. There is also an organisation on Facebook called Fightback, who are absolutely brilliant at helping people with forms, letters, etc. They can be emailed or telephoned and I'd recommend people have a look at their page and see what they think.


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