Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Failed my ESA assessment

I had my face to face ESA assessment on 9th July, i got my result first by telephone 12th Oct. Then in writing 15th Oct. I could not believe that i didn't score a SINGLE point. I have been so ill this last few months and on the day of my assessment i looked and felt like death. I have had fibro for over 20 yrs, i have asthma and reynauds phenonomen too. My daughter has read my report and says the only way it would be possible to score these points would be if i was in a coma lol. They have changed the goal posts so much i wonder what on earth i can do. If i can't even qualify for this how the hell am i going to qualify to keep my DLA. It is beyond a joke, i was told i can sign on, but i am NOT well enough to work. I had to give my job up because of my illness. Also you can only get Unemployment benefit for 6 months, then if your partner earns more than £16,000 per annum or WORKS for more than 24 hours per week you are basically stuffed !!! Cos they won't pay you he/she has to support you. I have appealed, well requested appeal documents. But how the hell i'm going to win is beyond me.

How can, for eg being able to lift an emply cardboard box or carton prove me to be well enough to work ?? This is just one of the rediculous criteria i apparently have met to be classed as leading an active life style. My god i can bearly move most days. It dosent count that my wrists are so weak that i have to have my food cut up for me and apparentley i am able to cook etc even tho on the day of the assessment i had burns on my hands and wrists from trying to prepare a meal. I have to use both hands to lift a cup because i drop them etc. I'm in constant pain, don't sleep, can't remember things from one min to the next. I am a liability but yet they say im fit .....yes i am, FIT TO DROP !!

Really need some advise on how to win my appeal, because my future looks very black.

24 Replies

firstly get the appeal in asap?and they can still pay you e.s.a on the assessment rate untill your appeal comes up?

then get legal help as much as yo can ?then take along as much evidence from docs,consultants,anyone who is helping you,and send them off as photo copys with yre appeal also any meds you are on,whos yre carer?

how this affects you day to day and worse days?

but you sre still entitled to e.s.a whiist its going through appeal so its something at least.

i got nil points at medical and then won appeal but got put in wrag group but its something right now.

you cant change this letter or call but you must act quickly to get the appeal can email them the details and also send it in too like i did to speed things up?

explain how urgent it is has you have no money?

im sorry i cant help more.xx


Hi Sammy,

Thankyou for your advise. How long did it take before your appeal was heard, and did you appear in person at your appeal ??



Hi Lianne

Please have a look at the post I wrote on the UKFibromyalgia Forum as it explains what to do if you fail the WCA:

Hope it helps


Hi Lima,

Thankyou so much.I have read your post and will copy and print it later. I booked an appointment with my GP as soon as i got the letter. I'm not going until next Monday as i'm hoping that my appeal papers will have arrived by then, and i can take them with me. I don't even know if my GP will provide the sick notes that Jobcentreplus said i will need. I havn't been registered very long as i have moved. Therefore the Dr dosen't really know me or how my illness affects me. I don't see a spealist anymore as this health authority wont pay for me to see the consultant that i saw for almost 20 yrs, who is in another county. I challenged this a few years ago when i was very very ill, but it was useless. So i won't have much evidence to back me up.

Thankyou again

Lianne xx


I am going to make a guess and a suggestion!

I am going to guess that on quite a few of the boxes you ticked "It varies"; lets face it there is some variation. However you are doing yourself a dis-service. Think of your worst days and then you will find that you will be ticking a definate answer.

My suggestion.

Send a message to Admin (the volunteers can't do them sorry) and ask for the benefits and work help sheets could be sent to you as you have to make an appeal - remember to include your email address.

Then you will need to work through the questions in a letter that you send in. For each question explain what you mean by "it varies", you need to emphasise that you do ment the criteria and that it is on just a couple of days a month that you get a better day and and this is why you said it varies.

I guess it will be a long letter BUT it is well worth pesevering to get the award you deserve.

If my guess about "it varies" is wrong sorry ... but the suggestion is still hopefully useful!

Good luck

Julie xx


Hi Julie,

I have been through these medicals and forms for years and i always fill them in as if it's my worst ever day. I even had a 'new' doctor tell them there was nothing wrong with me.... and i challenged his decision and WON. He hadn't even read my notes the cheeky >>>> DWP sent me a letter saying that they had over turned his judgement.

I will take your advise and request the work help sheets.

Thankyou so much for your help.

Lianne xx


Hi Julie,

I sent an email to admin, but they replied by saying i needed to contact the charity that represents my community. I don't really understand who they mean. Can you give me details of who/where i need to contact please ???

Lianne xx


You need to contact FibroAction's Admin (simon, Lindsey, Lexie or Liberty) rather than Health Unlocked's Admin - sorry I've only just noticed your post xx


I volunteer for a disability organisation who offers information and advice to people in your situation. All I need to add to what has already been said, is that new statistics are showing 80% of decisions are overturned at appeal, so you have a very high chance of getting the award you should have in the first place. Feel free to message me if you need any further advice. :)


Hi Mark,

Thanks for the info and support. I don't suppose you can tell me which charity ?? I need the benefits and work help sheets but it seems i've already emailed the wrong people lol. Any suggestions ??




I have started my own charity called the Disability Information Zone and we are based in Coventry and cover Warwickshire. We are about to team up with Coventry Law Centre and the City Council to train advocates for this sort of thing. Obviously you will need to be based in Warwickshire to use our services, but I am sure there are other organisations in your area if not. Where are you?


For some reason my response has dissapeared so if this comes as a duplicate I apologise! I currently volunteer at an organisation that unfortunately is in dire straights and may not last the month. However, I have launched my own charity, which was only registered on Monday called the Disability Information Zone (DIZ) and will be up and running very soon. Unfortunately we are based in Coventry and only cover Warwickshire and as you are up near my home city of Lincoln, I will not be able to give you any other support apart from on here. It is a real shame that there are not more organisations available to help in these times of reform as we all know the stresses of going through this farce, makes the syptoms of FMS worse!


Thankyou Mark. Sorry to hear that the organisation you currently work for are having problems. I'm sure your charity will be very popular and will greatly help people in your area. I wish you well.

Lianne xx


Agree with everything already said especially about decisions being overturned. I believe their hope is that not everyone will appeal.....and sadly that is what happens :(

Wish you luck with yours......I appealed when I was put in the working group yet again after reading a "fiction" of my medical assessment and I won.

Let us know how you get on.

E x :)


Hi Enazena,

Glad you won your appeal !!! Hope i do too, thankyou for your support.

Lianne xx


I have today eceived my GL24 and i've just rang Jobcentreplus, to request ESA85 assessors report. I've been told it will be put in the post either today or tomorrow. We will see. I have had more difficulty with CAB, earliest appointment is 7th Nov. I've contacted another support body, who will ring me back, but they are closed for 2 weeks from Monday argggghhhh. I am unable to send back GL24 until i know who will be representing me.

Thankyou to everyone who has taken the time to respond and offer words of assistance.

Lianne xx


I feel for you. I am deemed fit for work amd am signing on. Just keeping up with singing on and all the cv writing and employability things i have to go to are exhausting. I am at my wits end. I had an interview yesterday it took me days to get myself geared up for it. On the day i wasnt too bad and probably didnt do too bad. I am now really worried in case i do get it. I know im not up to it. Apparently though the successful ones have to have a medical assessment!! I do wonder if they will consider me fit for work. If not what will Atos have to say! I will let you know. Tina


Oh Tina i do hope that you don't get the job. I really feel for you. I had said i would just tell a prospective employer that i was ill, and therefore not suitable. But i have been informed you cannot do this, or your benefit would be stopped. Bloody crap in my opinion. Hugs Lianne xx



I have now got an appointment for 7th November at Brigg Local Link.

Hopefully they will point me in the right direction with my appeal. I feel such a shed head at the moment and things are just not sinking in. It doesn't help that i've had flu for the past week and feel so ill. Oh well i should be over it by the time i have my appointment. :)


Hi I am appealing for esa i failed the wca in december and was took off esa january i got 0 points for all of my questions even though i left work with something else 20 years ago and have been eligible and now have 3 others conditions including fibromyalgia yet i don't qualify. i have appealed on principle. My appeal is on Monday fingers crossed. but i wondered if you where aware that if you have a partner that works and earns a certain amount even if i qualify for esa contribution based i am only allowed 365 days of esa before it goes on my household income which basically if that happens i Have only til january to recieve esa contribution based anyway so either way i am stuffed. i wrote a covering letter and highlighted things on the points system that i disagreed with.


Hi Linksy, hope that you win your appeal. Yes i am aware that ESA is short term, according to my letter it's 6 months and then i wouldn't qualify cos my partner works 39 hrs, but earns less than £1600.00 per annum. The whole thing is a disgrace.

Lianne xx


Well, an update to my predicament. Had a phone call yesterday evening, apparently i did do well at the interview (oops) but was pipped to the post by someone more qualified, phew! Then for some inapparent reason got upset about it - bloody mood swings.

In a way i cant help wishing i could stop signing on and having to pretend i am enthusiastically looking for work - and just how many times can you improve your cv and covering letter?

I also wished i had been for the health assessment. I was wondering what the outcome would have been. The difference between employing someone with all the health issues i have vs deciding someone with all the health issues i have is employable!

That could have been an interesting addition to my DLA ESA applications/appeals.

Oh well back to the jobs section!!

1 like

Well i'm pleased that you did well in your interview but also that you didn't get the job, lol.

Yes it would have been interesting to find out how you would have done with the medical, but maybe best not to know.

Take care xx



I received my ESA85 within 2 days of reqesting it.

I had appointment with my GP today and he won't give me sick note. So i'm stuffed !!! Can't appeal without them.

I'm so upset, can't stop crying.



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