Fibromyalgia Action UK
39,132 members51,325 posts


Hi, I have been on incapacity benefits for years.

They have now moved me to Employment & suppoert allowance.

I sffer from Agrophobia, Arthiritis, Asthma,Depression, Anxiety attack & inflamitory bowel.

The job centre have rung me to say i have to go for the work interviews.

I am so worried & sick.

I'm not fit to work or go outdoors.

I really don't know what to do.

25 Replies

It sounds like you've been put in the work related activity group , you need to appeal and try for the support group.

I have similar conditions to yours and have my ESA assessment in January . As I am unable to leave the house I will be asking for a home assessment and will be making it clear I can't attend work related interviews.

You only have one month to appeal so do it quickly , ask CAB or similar to support your appeal.


Hi, I have sent them two letters & had no reply.

I just got the phone call & i was so sick & shocked that i would be sent for interviews.

I really can't go


You need to write and say you want to appeal and send it by recorded delivery- that way they can't say they haven't had it. As you're agoraphobic ( as I am ) phone CAB and tell them you want to appeal against a DWP decision and see if they will do a home visit . If not ask them to provide a number for a welfare charity that will.

Ring DWP and say to them you want to appeal the decision, if you don't say the word " appeal " they will just ignore what you say.

Unless you are put in the support group you will only be awarded ESA for 365 days and after that you will then be assessed for non contributory ESA , and if you have any other income at all, such as wages, a partner who has any income, income support or whatever it will be stopped. The only way for this not to happen, and for you not to have to attend work related interviews is to be placed in the support group and sadly for that to happen you do have to appeal as they've already placed you in the work related activities group.

Don't let them get away with it , unless you fight back they will walk all over you.




Thank you. I have just rung the cab & they said ihave to go & que for appointment.

I don't have the energy to do this.

They said I could ring the council but they wouldn't be able to help.

Why do these people not understand your illnesses.

i'm @ my witts end


That's rubbish, you can have a telephone appointment with the CAB . I did .

Can you ask your GP for help ? They can refer you to mental health services where you can arrange to have an advocate .

That all takes time though , to be honest it is really difficult to get help and much depends what area you're in . I'm in the New Forest in Hampshire and I found it really difficult to get any help.

Go onto Google , have a good search through for help in your area. Failing that ask at your GP surgery .



I'm in Rocdale near Manchester & there doesn't seem to be much help here either.

I am on DLA also.I would have thought that would stand me good stead but obviously not.

I will try the mental health service in my area.

The cab said if i had a child under 5 i could get app in my area.

But i don't.



Well I certainly don't have a child under 5 Collette ! I told them I was agoraphobic and so couldn't attend in person and they arranged me a telephone appointment with my local branch.

I think you're being fobbed off . The CAB is inundated at the moment because 70 % of people are appealing.

I think your best course of action is to speak to your GP and see if there is anyway you can get an advocate service and write that appeal letter and send it recorded delivery.

Don't give up, it's what they want you to do .



Unfortunately as DLA is classed as an "in work" benefit being in receipt of it won't necessarily prevent you from being found fit for work.

If your local CAB have an email facility it may be worth sending them some information about agoraphobia to help explain why you need a home appointment.


I got put into the WRAG group even though I am 60, haven't worked for 10 yrs and am 2yrs off my state pension. My husband wrote DWP a letter to say that he wants the reasons why they think I am fit for work and a reconsideration - if get nowhere with that then will go to a full appeal, which is totally bonkers as it will probably cost more than just giving me another year of so of ESA.

I did get sent a letter asking me to go to the job centre and we tried to call them with no luck so wrote a letter saying I wasn't going as my condition has deteriorated and I have been having more tests done. I was in a right old state last week when I was supposed to be there and they rang the day after. Hubby answered and whoever he spoke to said she was sure she had rung to say my appointment had been deferred! (Had she****) It's hopeless.

So now waiting to hear back from DWP from letter of 15th July, which I know they received.

I hope so much that you get some help - it is disgusting the way the government is treating people and putting them under such appalling stress.


Your so right it is disgusting.

I have recently lost my Dad & don't need all this hassle.

Feel like I'm getting nowhere fast.

Every phone call I make no one can help.

I hope they sort your soon.



Do you have the address for work & pensions please?


They should be able to help Collette , if you are entitled to legal aid . It's worth giving them a ring anyway to find out . I appealed my last ESA decision with help from Coventry Law Centre and they were brilliant.

Even if you're not entitled to legal aid ( which you should be if you aren't working and don't have a partner who works ) they will be able to give you info on any support and advice available.



Thank you for your reply.

my Husband works so i don't think I would get help.

I will still try

Thank you


They will have info on other support available in your area so it's worth ringing them to find out .

The DWP WANT us to give up, that's why they make it so difficult.

If you know you're unable to work then you have to keep on trying with them, even though sometimes I know you just feel like giving up.

Please be aware as well that as you're in the WRAG group and your husband works , your ESA will stop altogether after 365 days . You probably won't be entitled to the non contributory ESA ( because you have a working husband ) or any other assistance financially . So being placed in the support group would be the only way you would continue to get any ESA .

Sad but true.



I am feeling so drained & in a dark place. And not got anywhere today

I am seeing my doctor friday.

I can't eat or sleep.

I wish these people knew what they do to us.

They disgust me


Sadly Collette I think they do know, they just don't care.

They are disgusting , they pick on those least able to defend themselves.

I hope you can find the help and support you need.



Thank you Helen.

My head feels like it is going to explod with all the emails & phone calls.

I hate speaking on the phone.I'd rather email. I'll see tomorrow if I can get anywhere. I hope all go's well for you. When you are assessed.

It's good to speak to someone in the same position



It's part of agoraphobia Collette , I'm exactly the same with phones , that's partly why I have had so much trouble finding support here in Southampton . They are just not set up for people who can't get out and can't use a phone.

In the end I had to ask my husband to deal with them . I'm going to have to ask my GP for a mental health referral to Southern Mental Health team . I HATE talking by phone to people I don't know.

The problem with e-mails is , it takes so long to get a reply . It really is discriminatory .

If you want to chat please feel free to message me , or if you're on Face Book let me know and you can add me. I find of lot of information from disability campaigners on there .




It's good to know it's not just me.

Yes I'm on facebook

Collettetinkerbelle schofield

Look forward to meet you on there.

I have emailed the welfare advice service & they want to ring me.

What is your facebook name?



sorry name for facebook collette tinkerbelle schofield



Helen Southwell , I'll go and see if I can add you.

That's great that they want to get in touch and I know it's difficult to talk to them , but it's a first step to getting some help . Let them do the talking and explain how difficult it is for you on the phone .



I can't add you Collette it says not found . Here's my FB link :

Hopefully you should be able to add me .



Thanks Helen. Never thought of sending link.

Yes I hope they ring early or i will be on edge all day



Hi there

You can ask for someone to come and do the interviews at your home.

Also you get put in the work group for on average 12 months, the interviews are to determine if you could work, if they say definately not then you should be moved to the support group.

You have 3 interviews and they will come to you each time so you don't have to worry about leaving the house.

Hope this is of some help.


Thank you .


You may also like...