Fibromyalgia Action UK


Hi all I received a letter recently stating my esa contribution based is coming to an end and to expect a letter telling me of the next steps switching me to none contribution based. Will I need to go for that dreaded interview assessment??? I'm so stressed out with the uncertentity as I'm in so much pain. Taking naproxen cocodomal gabapentin amytryptiline and morphine of which I need daily to get through my days as best I can. If they deem me fit to work how on earth am I supposed to work with all that medication which if I don't take I'm virtually laying in bed all day, any input would be greatly appreciated x

9 Replies

Hi there not 100 % sure but I think after the first year on benefits it changes over but they are legally bound to inform you. Probable a standard letter but giving them a call may help relieve your stress. x


Hi, I feel for you. I presume you are in the WRAG group then rather than the support group? Contribution based ESA is given rather than income based when your income is over what is allowed. Contribution based ESA as you probably know is payable based on NI contributions. As far as I'm aware this is only payable for a year if you are placed in the WRAG group and therefore capability to work is assumed. Your initial year should continue if in the support group until they choose to reassess.


I can imagine this is a worrying time for you. You don't say in your post whether you are in the Work Related or the Support Group. Copied this from the Gov.UK site for you:-

"Contribution-based ESA

Contribution-based ESA lasts one year if you’re in the work-related activity group. You may be able to re-apply at least 12 weeks after your contribution-based ESA ends. You may qualify again depending on:

National Insurance contributions you paid in different tax years

whether your health deteriorates and you’re placed in the support group

There’s no time limit on how long you can claim contribution-based ESA if you’re in the support group.

Income-related ESA

You may qualify for income-related ESA if you no longer qualify for contribution-based ESA.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. There’s no time limit on income-related ESA."

If you health has detiorated since your last assessment there might be a chance even if you are in the work related group of being transferred to the Support Group. Good luck with it all.x


I have never been through anything of this nature but I want to genuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck with the outcome. I can see that you have been given some good replies and hopefully you will not have to be assessed.

All my hopes and dreams for you


1 like

Thankyou all for your input. I did receive a letter in December stating as I have been on esa for just coming up to a year I would receive another letter by end of January when my esa contribution based would end. And then I would be placed in a support group. I currently pay for my prescriptions and have been told I won't have to when I'm placed into a different catagory. It's now been over the year with still no letter. My health has deteriorated over past few months but apart from my own Dr I haven't seen anybody from esa to actually do their own assessment. I'm awaiting pain management clinic along with rheumatologist and neurologist appointments all in next few months. Again thankyou all I'll just keep plodding on until I'm sent for. Don't really want to call anybody as last time I did i spoke to Atos where nobody seemed to know what was going on. I wasn't even in the system even though I receive esa every 2 weeks. I was passed from one department to another and in the end I just gave up. Oh well moan over bye all x


If you are in support group do you still have to pay for your prescription Iv been on ESA 16 month no with no end date x


Hi there, as I am now on income related ESA I no longer have to pay for prescriptions dental or eye tests. I'm not sure you have to pay prescriptions regarding if a person is placed in a support group. From what I gather a person is placed in a support group after they have had an ESA assessment and depending on ESA decision of which I have still not had any and now been on ESA for 13 months. I was on the contribution based ESA for 12 months and paid the £10.40 a month fee allowing me as many prescriptions as needed filling which has just ended as apparently a person only receives this for 365 days and then you're placed in a different catagory. Hope I've been of some help x


Iv been on it for 18 months now not sure if I am still on ESA con or the other so Iv been on it over a 365 days witch they sed that but on surport group now with no end date xx


Free prescriptions below pension age are based on low income. Receiving a means-tested benefit like income related ESA or income related JSA or Income Support qualifies you automatically. For people on a low income not receiving a means tested benefit, there is a form to fill in to find out if you qualify.if you do qualify, you get sent a certificate that enables you you to tick a box on the reverse of the prescription so you do not have to pay.


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