Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Esa advice

Hi all I'm new to this so bare with me :-) I'm 32 and have 4 beautiful children ages 14,12,10&8 I've suffered from anxiety and depression since I was 19. I'm under a secondary care mental health team and see a psychiatrist once a month or so. I was diagnosed with a prolapsed disk in my back 3years ago after being admitted to hospital for 10 days because I literally couldn't move. I'm in constant pain with it and it makes life so hard especially when it flairs up and I can't move out of bed for a couple of days at a time taking oramorph as pain relief. On the 21st of April this year I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I currently take about 8 tablets a day, and I use crutches daily to help me walk. A wheel chair and commode when necessary. I was awarded Esa from January this year and also pip from around the same date, I've just had the work capability form posted this morning. My heart races when I see it. The reason for my post is that I went on holiday with my children and my mum a couple of weeks ago to Spain for 7 days. It was a lovely break but the anxiety was at a high, my depression lifted slightly and my back and fibromyalgia felt not as bad. Absolutely exhausted by 8 O'clock though. Anyway sorry for rambling. Will they use my holiday against me? Thank you so much xxx

14 Replies

Hi Jennifer2017buddy welcome to our wonderful forum ☺ I'm sure you will come to find the forum invaluable in chatting to others who are going through the same experience as you, talking to others at different stages of their lives with Fibro and learning from their experiences.

It does help with the whole process and I wish I had found the site years ago. I have had Fibro for nearly 30 yrs and I'm still learning about it, like we all are.

I'm sorry you have been diagnosed with fibro on top of all your back problems. I love Spain and lived there for a few years & my health definitely improved but I have arthritis also, so the sun and always being warm and nice warm pools to excersize in, made all the difference to me.

In answer to your question, do they need to know ? You are allowed a holiday and I'm pretty sure they don't need to know about 7 day holiday and as far as I know, this should not effect your benefits in any way my friend.

Go and check out the Mother site where you will find lots of useful info and links on Fibro and i look forward to chatting with you on the forum.

Peace, luv n light

Jan xx

Ps Its a good idea to lock your post, so your information is only open to the forum and not the rest of internet. If you look to right of your screen you will see under "Pinned Posts" simple instructions on how to lock it.


Thank you so much for your lovely advice. Jan. I'm intouch with Mind UK maybe they will assist me with my form and get an advocate to come to my appointments.

Much love xx

Ps can't find pinned posts 😩


Hi there

I just wanted to wish you a very warm welcome to the forum :)

I am sorry to hear that you have so many issues and have been diagnosed with Fibro.

The Pinned Posts that our lovely Jan Janet28 was referring to are on the right of your screen in blue.

Here is an easy to follow guide I have written on how to lock posts:

If you still need some help, please do let me know.

MIND should be able to point you in the right direction for an Advocate to help you.

For anxiety I find that Lane's Quiet Life really helps take the edge off my anxiety. You can buy it in Boots the Chemist.

Once again a very warm welcome :)

Wishing you a peaceful weekend

Lu x




Good your with us but then not great there are health issues related .

Lots of experienced people on the site ,so ask what ever you want someone will comment.

ESA will not penalise for short holiday. If you are in support area of benefit you can take as many breaks as you like since they have already made the decision you are not fit for employment.

Holidays are important even if you just go a few miles from your home say to a seaside or similar.

If you have the thought try looking for a support group near you. The face to face contact can be very helpful ,again see mother site

A smile a day keeps the blues away, just look at the flowers and trees blooming amazing!

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Hi skit,

Thanks for you help. I am in the support group of Esa and I'm now up to my 6 months that's why they want to check again.

In my last interview they asked when was the last time I went on holiday and just felt like they where trying to catch me out (if you can get on a plane then you must not be bad) kind of way. I have all the evidence to support my diagnosis this was the only thing that was worrying me.

I'm currently having a rest on the settee looking into my beautiful garden.


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Negative about getting on a plane I have the lift truck to get me on off planes and wheel chair to get around airports. Keep all your appointment letters regardless as PIP submissions you can give them info going back years if still true.I need to leave 'puter and get in my garden as in hospital for minor op tomorrow.

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I'm on ESA too (support group) and absolutely love my holidays. My mobility is extremely bad and take my travelscoot everywhere with me (it's given my freedom back). The first few times I went away I contacted the DWP to let them now but now I believe it's not necessary for short trips. I have never had problems with it affecting my benefits so try not to worry.

I'm planning a trip to Iceland next. I'm just traveling at a slower pace nowadays (and factor in plenty of rest days) but really looking forward to it. Don't let your fear for your benefits stop you enjoying life!!

Take care x

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Thanks for your reply,

Great to hear your out and about. My anxiety is terrible and anything to do with benefits sends me into over drive it's just the thought of everything being affected.

Much love xxx

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I understand, the whole benefit system is really stressful. But try to still do fun stuff once in a while (on your "good" days) otherwise life becomes very small and depressing. I'm single and don't have kids. It must not be easy for you going trough all those health issues and being a mum at the same time. Hope your weekend will be as good as it can be!!


Hi and welcome, I wouldn't tell them about the holiday if it was me, they lie in there reports and use whatever they can against you, not that your wrong for having a holiday we all need a break at times, but because the way they twist things means you can't say anything that will hinder your claim, all the best 🤗🤗xx


Hi Jennifer2017buddy

I sincerely hope that you are feeling as well as you possibly can be today? Welcome to the forum and it is wonderful to make your acquaintance.

As the others have said, I do not think a 7 day holiday amounts to much my friend. They do not really need to knwo about it? I am truly sorry to read of all of your medical conditions.

I want to sincerely wish you all the best of luck and please take care of yourself my friend.

All my hopes and dreams for you


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Hello Jennifer2017buddy,,,,,you only put in these forms how you are on your worst days,,,and your holiday only helped lift your spirits for the duration,,,,,have all you medication lists,,and any letters,,and send photo copies,,,they are mainly interested in how you are affected by your conditions on a day to day basis,,,,take your time filling in the form,,and have a cup of tea while doing it,,,,I have to go for an esa medical assessment as I am on wrac and this is to see if I go to support,,,,,good luck with your form filling,,,ttfn from karen.


Thanks Karen,

They just make your nerves go, horrible being judged when they haven't got a clue how much we all struggle Day to day xxx


I think they use a holiday to justify another assessment. Likely you must be feeling better? Recovered? You 'just' have to get all your up to date evidence ready to support your case. Hopefully your GP wont charge you for this.

It is pretty tough, you make the effort to have a family holiday which are important I think, and I'm sure you are suffering for it now you are home. Travel is pretty tough I think and being away from home and routine too.

Years ago, people used to go away for recuperation after illness. An opportunity to be cared for, fresh air, beef tea etc. Now the DWP think the only reason for a holiday is for Jolly Japes.

The alternative reality is us, likely drugged to the eyeballs for the journey and then waited on by family and/or restuarant and hotel staff etc. I find holidays exhausting but lovely to spend time with my family that I see so rarely. I can only go because they understand to look after me and not to pressure me. And having time to recover after.

I'm dreading my next family holiday now because I'm now convinced there will be yet another horrid assessment after. I think that is sad.

Try not to get stressed over this. They probably wont even ask about your holiday, they just are looking for evidence of how you have recovered.


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