about the dreaded brown envelope... incapacity into esa

hi just received that horrible coloured envelope telling me i am getting swapped into esa well if i get it.. i am currently on incapacity.. can anyone tell me what happens next.and what kind of questions they ask when they call or i am taken in for a interview.. also.. is there anyone with fibromyalgia/me get top rate of esa???????????? i much appreciate if u can take some time out to help me with this xxx

14 Replies

  • I think you go through the same process as first time applicants for ESA. Probably don't have to fill out the application form but you will have to undergo a medical examination with ATOS.

    Unfortunately I can't get ESA as I don't have enough national insurance contribution (seems i'm too young *laughs). Would have loved to have been more helpful though. Hopefully someone else will be able to help. =]

  • I have FMS ..... i went and had my medical with DSS doc last month... Now i have been moved from incapacity too ESA also i have to report every month to DSS back to work thing will know more about what they want from me when i have my first appointment on the 14th Dec... Will let you know what they say .... as far as i can see i am on the same money as before....

  • You're assessed on your symptoms, not on the name of your condition.

    You're assessed on your contributions and if your household already have an income, (partner, husband, wife) then you probably won't get it, but could apply Tax Credits to top up the other income.

  • You may not need to have a medical. I didn't have one and I am now in the support group (I was on incapacity before). I completed the questionnaire and well I guess I scored above 15 which means you do not need a medical. Have a look online for help to complete your form. If you cannot find anything online, let me know and I will see if I can find the site I used.

  • Best get advice from CAB - they have all the answers and will help you complete any forms you are sent x good luck

  • yes definately go to cab for help they want people to do this as they are really worried about how all the benefit changes are affecting people. They know exactly what you need to put in order to be successful i have a friend who went with depression and they got the esa for her and dla on top whilst another friend who is very physically ill with chrone's disease did the form herself and was refused . good luck

  • This is the form you will be sent, its only a practice form. You can get an assessment sent by email, but its only a GUIDE . But it may help you decide what you need to put as your answer. Good luck !!


  • My medical was a chat with a nurse from ATOS, lost of questions on how you cope and what your day to day life is like and how your disability affects your life, who helps and what ou can do... I was terrified but they are nice .... well mine was.... good luck x

  • Age uk also help with foms too,they helped me with the dla form,which was sucessful

  • Even tho I am so I'll I haven't been able to work and even had to be home schooled, I cannot get 1st rate on anything, I was basically told that the only people who can get that are those terminally I'll and who are expected to die in about 2 years! And even tho they can clearly see that even with pain management, physio, other meds and seeing a specialist I still am not well enough to do anything I have to still go for about 2 interviews a year for different things , which of course makes me I'll with the stress :| and they have recently changes me from income support to esa i believe, its all madness

  • It is all terrible but there is a slight hope that the Atos assessments are getting better as the appeals are slowing down a bit and the proportion of people who win their appeals is getting less. I don't have any facts about that, I have just heard it on the grapevine. I had an appeal against an Atos decision today and won. I had some help with the appeal from a friend who used to be a trade union rep. But I had been so brainfogged when I went for the Atos assessment (I have ME) and I just let them award me 0 points. You really need to do your homework before you go for any assessment and you need to get letters from any doctors you see. I got through on exceptional circumstances as the consutant I see said it would be detrimental to my health if I had to work or seek work. So go see CAB, I have heard they are very good, or join some of the groups on facebook that will give advice and support. Just ask if you are interested and I will point you there. for instance this group: facebook.com/groups/dabsdga/ Which used to called "don't go alone". and it is vital that you don't go alone and you don't turn up looking "well-kempt" or get there by public transport. Get a lift or a taxi. they just assume you are fit for work, not that you are trying hard to do the right thing or to save money. The assessors may be polite but they are not there to look after you they are there to save the government money.


  • Suppose I was lucky my GP & Rheumatoid Specialist wrote to them and I got a letter to say that I did not need to go to be re-examined & I stay in the support group ........

  • Put all your symptoms and how they affect you in detail, get supporting evidence from doctors, therapists, occupational health etc, I get ESA and have a monthly meeting about work at the job centre but even my advisor thinks this is stupid, she can see will all my illnesses and medication work is virtually impossible and would make my condition so bad I would have to give up my kids. But it's a process that the powers that be state have to happen. Don't just answer yes or no. You must put details, times and help you have.

  • I suggest you join benefitsandwork.uk (sorry I have no idea of how to do a hyperlink) as they can help with everything to do with the brown envelope lot. You have to pay £17 ish a year, but they provide guides to everything they can throw at you, including appeals. They also send you bi-weekly bulletins on what the DWP are doing to make things worse! I have no remit for this group, but have found them excellent!

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