Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Recent letter to my MP

I wrote a blog a couple of weeks ago about the letter I'd written to my MP . He contacted Chris Grayling on my behalf regarding changes to the welfare system and I have today received a forwarded reply sent to my MP from Chris Grayling .

It's too long for me to type out on here but is a pretty standard letter , and it appears to me that he must have been deluged with similar letters.

The letter basically states that these changes are taking place because the present welfare bill is costing the UK tax payers 13 billion a year , that many of those on incapacity benefit want to the opportunity to work , that it is a fair and equal assessment and that claimants who are found capable of work will be " invited " to claim jobseeker's allowance.

The last paragraph reads :

" For those who transfer to ESA , we will ensure that benefit payments are not disrupted . No one moving from their existing benefits to ESA will see a reduction in the level of their benefit entitlement at the point of change

Chris Grayling believes that the majority of people claiming Incapacity Benefit , Severe Disablement Allowance and DLA are capable and indeed want to work . He believes that with support " many " of those on these benefits will be able to do some form of work.

He includes a link in the letter to professor Harrington's reviews of the process and the Government's responses to these . Which can be viewed at :

He also says :

" We are committed to ensuring that individuals with the most severe disabilities or health conditions will not be expected to undertake any work-related group activity and will get the extra support they need as part of the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA ) . Additionally , claimants who need extra support to prepare for work will receive it as part of the ESA Work Related Activity Group regime ".

I am going to formulate a reply to my MP and ask if he has any knowledge of exactly what the current ATOS assessment entails , I'm going to detail my personal experience of it and ask him if he thinks this method is fair.

Basically this letter is a standard reply that indicates that the government have no intention of changing course and fully believe that the majority of people claiming disability benefits are fraudulent and are in fact fit for work.

It also indicates to me that this is purely a money saving exercise with no regard to the actual needs of ill or disabled people.


5 Replies

Interesting blog Helen would you ask a question for me please, if you do manage to get a job will they then take all of your benefits from you and then if you become to ill to work as most if not all of us will how long do we then have to wait to be eligible to apply again, I want to work and have tried in the past and usually last about four to six weeks before my body gives up the ghost, These new laws really scare me as it has been a long battle to get to this point with the Benefits people and now they want to find ways to take it away. I heard also that most people in our position will work for reduced wages or none at all but the employers will get subsidized for employing us. sorry to be such a doom merchant on a Friday


Hi Brian,

My understanding is that DLA is not awarded ( or removed ) dependant on your ability to work but more on your capability to manage personal care and mobility . So in theory should be available to people in work. However whether that will change with the introduction of PIP is something I'm unclear on.

ESA which is replacing Incapacity Benefit is as far as I know only available for people who can't work due to illness or disability . I'm not an expert on employment law and benefits but I would imagine that if you are on the same job , but unable to work through illness then you'd be entitled to some form of sick pay, but if you have to leave your job through illness then you'd have to claim ESA . There are two forms of ESA, one is a supported work group which is limited and there as a help until you're able to get back into work, and the support group which is for those unable to work at all permanently .

I think it's true that some employers will receive government money to provide work for those claiming ESA Work related ., but as I said I'm no expert and that's only what I've read .

It is a scary time and the ATOS assessment for work capability isn't geared toward people with multiple or variable conditions or those with mental or both mental and physical problems .

I'd urge you to write to your own MP , the more people who make their voices heard , the better .



this also annoys me i worked yesterday im an estate agent so its not exactly taxing as most of the time im sitting in an office taking calls ,but i wake up at 11.15 today exausted bodily and mentally i can only do 3 days if that and then bang ! so what about when people like us who do try but cant ? the gov is a sham ! i am just filling out my dla now and to be honest scared of the outcome because if i dont get help by next year after my rents due every month i dont know what im going to do ( i payed a whole year in advance having ha money to at that point) but the worry of it is making me ill again, my point being i suppose im not saying i cant work but i cant be relyed on because of the tired pain days ? so what happens?


Fairytails ,

I doubt the government have given much thought to this to be honest . DLA is awarded based on your worst day , so that's what you need to put , but the forms are sometimes impossible to fill in on that basis . Variable conditions are really hard to describe .

According to the government , the new benefits are being put in place to help people like you who can do some work, some of the time... in theory I doubt that will be the outcome.

All you can do is fill in the forms, think of it from the perspective of your worst day , get as much evidence as you can from any specialists , GP's and anyone who provides you with care and send it in and hope for the best.



not wee enough to type today helen................... but good for u.... we need to keep fighting x hope ur well xxx


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