Fibromyalgia Action UK
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ESA WRAG v Support Group

Last year about September time I was awarded ESA and placed in the WRAG, I appealed against that decision I waited and waited for a reply, meanwhile I have been called up in May (about then) and told that I was no longer on the contribution based ESA that I would be moved over to income related ESA. Heard no more until this November when I had to fill out another claim form. I phoned the DWP in Newcastle, about a separate issue, I needed to find out if I was getting a Disability Premium, so that I could claim a rebate with e.on - they helpfully informed me that I was not on a premium so I couldnt get help.. this is why I phoned DWP. I was told "While we are waiting for an answer, let me tell you the good news, you have been placed in the Support Group for ESA. The relief I felt was enormous.

I get a call from the same office, I am entitled to SDP. Good, send off the form which arrived next day, along with a letter from ESA. I have been placed in the WRAG. I phoned immediately, and was promised an appeal form by Friday.. It didnt arrive, but what did arrive was a letter spelling out why I am not in the Support Group, the letter argues with itself and it also states that I went for a medical assessment and could do all these things, walk 50 meters with one crutch. put a hat on, put something in a top pocket, lift a 1.5liter carton. Wow, this nurse states that she examined me! NO SHE DIDN'T. I never went for any assessment medical or otherwise. Now what do I do... they are lying or they have the wrong person. I was also told that I had been placed in the Support Group in MAY!

4 Replies

How I know the feeling,was placed on WRAG appealed got on to support and the went to my DLA appeal,guess what.................they have deferred my case until a judge decides as , the doctor said I could walk 400 yards and the support group said I could only walk less than 50 yards, outcome is that the doctor is to be believed ( retired doctor over 75 and a GP ) and not the Rhuemotologist who is the expert...............I feel so important lol and they think I have problems , its like the blind leading the blind, only they seem to be having the upper hand.


I have no idea where you go from there with all that conflicting stuff. I think I would call again and get them to clarify just what the hell is going on. I got no point from ATOS and I was gobsmacked to put it nicely. Appealed, no points. They drive us insane do they not xxxxx


Hi Milly, I have just been through a similar experience with DWP Stratford. I was beginning to think that Stratford was run by a bunch of primates. I then realised that primates were far too intelligent to be put in the same box as DWP staff. With this in mind I am still mystified!

Anyway, back to the point in hand. I recently won my ESA tribunal and went from an original score of 0, or nil pont, to quickly reminded me of how much of a fix Eurovision is! I was so relieved to have been placed in the support group. About 10 days later I received an overwhelmingly contradictory letter from my friends at DWP Stratford. I use friends very limply. The letter first of all said that I had been under paid and the first page was just made up of confusing dates and numbers. On the second page the first paragraph said that I had won my tribunal and had been placed in WRAG. Well this was wrong to start with, as I was looking at my tribunal letter that said I had been placed in the support. It also said that I would have to attend work focused interviews to keep my benefit as I had been declared fit for work. (Now I was getting extremely worried) The next paragraph said that having looked at my claim again it had been decided that to change their original decision and that my appeal was not being passed on to HMCTS. Funny that I went to my tribunal 10 days ago, won it and was placed in the support group. The Tribunal letter also said that I should not be reviewed for a minimum 24 months.

Then I opened the rest of my post and low and behold there was a letter for me to attend the jobcentre the following day for a work focused interview. I was enraged! I rang the Stratford office to sort this out. A couple of hours later I was called back. The guy I spoke to confirmed the mistake and that I had been put in the wrong group. He tried defending his colleagues but I was not really interested. When I said about my work focused interview he told me I should still go. I was horrified!!!! Their previous decision had been overturned by a judge and he was saying I should go to inform them of the mistake. I argued the point that I was in the support group. He said that if they didn't look at the notes properly then I could be put down as a DNA and have my benefit stopped. I could not believe it, this was typical DWP.

Fortunately that afternoon a lady from the jobcentre called me to confirm my interview. She was brilliant when I told her the mistake she looked it straight up on her screen, confirmed the mistake and said that I did not have to attend. Excellent news!!! but couldn't the guy from Stratford just have rang the jobcentre, of course he couldn't that would have been helpful!!!

Milly get straight to your local welfare advisor or the Citizen's Advice. I could not have gotten through the last few months without them. They have so helpful and a great support. We all need to fight for our rights and stop the DWP from walking all over us!!!

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Thanks Zeemo. I left this with my Advocate, she has taken over all the legal stuff. I havent heard anything yet, the date is now 8th February. They do take their time. By the way I was told by the Jobcentre that I don't have to attend any work focused groups because I am deemed unable to work in the long term.


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