Fibromyalgia Action UK
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What is expected of unwell people in the Work Focused Activities?

Being placed within the ESA Benefits is stressful enough and a huge struggle anyway, then to be expected to participate in unknown Work Focused Activities and threatened that benefits will be sanctioned if not attending when too unwell is outrageous. Fluctuating conditions mean that if one is forced to go past limitations this will be detrimental to our health and exacerbate symptoms. Surely we have rights. Please could you let me know what is expected during the Work Focused Activities - It was recommended by the Tribunal that I not have a medical assessment for 2 years and apparently this can make a difference to what will be expected of me. Thank you I am very concerned about this and feel out of control on this as there may be no choices available to me.

5 Replies

. wHAT BENIFITS DO YOU GET? WE SHOULD HAVE rights but first thing is stress makes symptoms worse. Have you seen a welfare rights officer? the work focus activities are things to help you get back in to work, My partner had to attened when he was sick. But they cant force you to go to work. But working does have some benifits in helping with fibro Ive been off for 9 weeks but when im there it sort of feels like a relief i find. It myt be best to ring them and ask.


Yes, Stress very much makes symptoms worse. I have found it impossible to find a Welfare Rights Officer or even an Advocate. I'm not able to work and should be in the Support Group. That is why I am asking what is involved - when phoning Benefits they were evasive, so I am hoping that someone will be able to tell me exactly what to expect.


Personally i feel if your unfit then it should be made a law not to force anyone into anything! If you have proof of a medical condition and you have pulled yourself out of work you have enjoyed and unable to do (its not for fun of it)

From my own personal view if ok to say.

My job is a package being self-employed and so not wrking no income so i forced myself in so many conditions its unreal (if wrked for employer i would beout of wrk now for 2 and half years due to this) only i have had to fight fight fight and its crippling us financially as i decided get help to cover me i may get well (not wanting to lose what built up) i am progressing not improving and its almost costing me my home. I stopped physical side and concentrated organising (struggling) so what i am saying i have and am trying both sides of the fence as now 'Employer' and being ill a lot is extremely hard!! So i really strongly feel that ESA? Did you say and all these assessment places have to be in an 'ill' state to understand so they could turn and say 'well i suffer what you do so it is possible to wrk!!

I am a sufferer and believe me if for one moment there was that chance to give up i would as i seriously not sure i can cope any longer.

When your staff are watching you struggle walk or lose your balance, have no sense conversations and asking numerous times 'so what do you want me to do' plus other things, not find words, help take your boots off in customers houses ( what does this say)

I truly feel for alll that are trying and those that are made to do things.

I want to get into these benefit places and tell them its blo*dy hard stop causing more stress and anxietys and depression.

Sorry sorry had to say this lol xxxxxx has this made no sense


i have just won an appeal to be in support group have you tried this.i had to go to work focussed interviws 2 years ago its not as scarry as it sounds i was too ill to go one day phoned my advisor at RNLI and she just reseduled all we did was talk could not find a job i could do so my next appontment was made for 2 years later you go once a month for a year dont worry to much hope this has helped


Reflections do you have the Benefits and Work info sheets on ESA and DLA?

If you email us on we can send you them for free. Hopefully the info will be of help to you.

(((hug))) xxx



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