Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Does it really matter what group ESA I am in?

Like every one else on here who is suffering from Fibro and just worn out by it all I ask this question. I have been on IB for 6 years through various problems. It's only 4 years I have been diagnosed with Fibro. So I got the forms like everyone else sent a letter to say I was on ESA work focused group, as opposed to support group. I appealed and have been turned down and now face a tribunal. They do say on the letter i will not be able to return to work for a long time. I have told them I look after my mother who is 84 and very frail now, when I am able. My Son lives at home and is there to help when he can. So even if I was fit to work I can't as I am a career for my Mother.

So at the end of the day does it really matter? The way the appeal is worded you have to be in almost a coma and literally can't move to qualify for the support group! I have already been to a work focused interview and just explained how thing are then she said she would be in touch in a few months.

Love to know opinions I also get dla but am waiting to hear off them to see if it's granted again and to be honest it's more important to fight for that, as I have my car and middle rate attendance . I am so worried it will be taken away and I will become house bound.

Let me know what you think? Thanks for listening xx

4 Replies

Hi Sue, I too am in the work related esa group although my gp has told me i won't work again due to spinal problems and ME. when i said this to the guy at the dss he was sympathetic but just said he had boxes to tick and quotas to fill! I was awarded dla last year after waiting nearly nine months for a decision - it was very difficult living on £67.50 a week and the extra money makes all the difference between keeping your head above water and going under completely! I don't know if others will agree with me but i've found it easier just to go with the flow unless it's to your detriment, sometimes adding stuff about being your mums carer will just muddy the waters, i'm afraid.

i hope you get the dla reawarded Sue x


Hi not sure if I am totally on the wrong track here but if they insist on putting you into the work group and you are getting money from that all be it annoying that they are trying to find you work in principle.... Can you not claim attendance allowance for your mother and carers allowance for yourself as dla etc isn't supposed to count as income... Does careers allowance come under that umbrella and would that affect your benefit.... If not its extra money and from the sound of it you deserve it could that help.... Just a thought I may be totally wrong....

Hugs VG xx


I don't know if this helps or not, but here goes:

If you are placed in the Contribution-based (ie you need to have paid enough NI payments just prior to being unwell) Work Related Activities Group you can only claim ESA for a maximum of 365 days. You will then be re-assessed for the means tested (Income related) ESA which means if you have savings of £16k+ or an income of £7,500 or a partner who works more than 24hrs/wk you get sweet F A. In this WRAG there's no limit but you can expect to be re-assessed on a frequent basis to make sure you're still entitled.

The Support Group means you won't be expected to work but eligibility will be still be re-assessed, though not as frequently as WRAG. You can work on a voluntary basis if you want to. You receive a support component in addition to the basic rate of ESA. There are some special circumstances which will automatically get someone into the Support Group (including dialysis as an in patient, cancer treatments, terminally illness & pregancy) but otherwise you need all of the minimum 15 points to come from a single criteria rather than spread across two or more. It's not means tested.


I agree with Lima , it very much depends on your circumstances. If you're single, with no savings and have paid enough NI contributions then you can continue to get ESA in the WRAG group after the 365 days . You will be expected to return to work at some point and JCP will be working toward preparing you. You may find you are re-assessed more often too .

However if you're married, living with someone, have other income or savings then ESA will stop or be dramatically reduced after 365 days .

So it depends on your personal circumstances and frankly how much energy you have to fight it .


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