5,441 members7,836 posts


Hi my son has just received his sick line for esa from his docs, the doctor informed him that this may be the last time that he can provide a sick note as due to government "cracking down" on benefits he believes my son may now be capable of some kind of work. My son had a severe brain injury 3 years ago and although he has made remarkable progress and even passed his driving test again, he still has right side weakness and is unable to use his right hand and arm. He also has chronic fatigue and cognitive problems, such as, difficulty with left and right, memory and numerical problems. I am worried sick about this, he just takes what the doctor says and is unable to explain his problems to the doctor, I am so scared he will lose his benefits in three months time as he would not survive without them. Any advice would be appreciated.

6 Replies

Hi Bonnie I would advise you to go and get as much advice as you can from Headway and citizen's advice . There's also a site called benefits and work you can find online. It's very hard these days with ESA claims especially if you take on the system without help. It's all about the wording and how you answer questions posed on the forms or over the phone. If in the worst case scenario he loses his benefits, take a mandatory reconsideration and then appeal.

I wish you all the very best and take all the help and support that you can. The system is very difficult to navigate and sadly at the moment can be very cruel . People do succeed though so take heart xx


benefitsandwork.co.uk Do try this site Bonnie ; it's the best place for clear, straightforward advice on all benefits including disability. And for a small subscription you can get one to one advice.

Best wishes xx



Echo the advice to go and see CAB and of course give Headway a ring.

One thing to be assured is if your son doesn't get ESA he will move to JSA which will be around the same amount.

I know it is difficult but it may be a positive turn for your son. He will get an assessment by the disability advisor at the Jobcentre and then they will probably make a referral to some one like Remploy (the still exist) or Shaw trust etc. Once there they will do some further assessment and work out, what his needs and capabilities are and make some recommendations for training and support or if he is up to it something like a work placement. Sometimes these are only a few hours a week but could in the end be good for him.

If your son goes on and takes a placement for 16 hours a week, he will get a further working benefit and his money could actually double.

If at the end of the day, he tries the JSA route and it fails then he will have the evidence to go back onto ESA or its new replacement PIP.

I know the doctors decision may seem harsh but probably has a lot of faith in your sons capabilities even though he was some impairment. And as you have said he has made some considerable improvements and passing his driving test is quite a big one.

Just view this as another step in your sons recovery


That's excellent advice above. The mistake I made was to try to negotiate the system alone. As a result I didn't make use of the help available and indeed offered.

Those of us with cognitt and memory issues often underreported our issues in interviews which doesn't help so try to have him accompanied when poss. For all it's negative reports, when I had my Work Capability Assessment I was considered capable of LESS work than I believed. Some of them do know their stuff so use them. Best wishes


bonnie i aggree, also if your son was willing, he could also write a note giving you permission to support him as well at doctors appointments, my wife comes with me.

also contact the dwp theyll speak to you if son gives his permission, explain the problem, because the way isee it, by now he shouldnt be sending in cerificates.

they will be the best people to get advice from

good luck

1 like

Do you still need sick notes? My sister was in a similar situation and a medical assessment failure meant she went onto Universal Credit. It was awful and there was no sympathy for her brain injury. After an unsuccessful work placement, where it was too much for her with her fatigue, she is trying to get back onto ESA. Is your son in the support group? I thought that after the initial assessment period, you didn't need sick notes any more for ESA.


You may also like...