refused esa o points awarded

i cant believe the letter today from esa saying i scored 0 points needed 15 points to get esa my medical examination was done my a nurse and when she took my blood prerssure i was in pain,then she was tapping on my joints causing swelling the next day and so spent a few days in bed as struggled to walk. in the report i looked well tohe and well kept whats that got to do with my health i suffer inside with pain fatigue get upset when i cant get on the floor to play with my kids. after all the stress of going to assessment and worrying about the outcome my hair hass started to fall out again just grown back as well thanks to them i feel worse than before.

24 Replies

Hi Charmaine,

I hope that you will appeal the decision. Make an appointment at your local citizens advise bureau and they will assist you in filling out the forms in the best way possible. We can also provide a supporting letter about lupus in general.

Many people living with lupus manage to get ESA after appeal. It is much harder work than it should be, but there is support there for you.




hi thanks for you reply paul i am going to appeal got an appointment next tuesday at cab to help fill forms i would be grateful if you could provide a supporting letter anything to add to appeal will help . last time i appealed i got it straight away as i was on chemotherapy and in the report they said no evidence of having this so doctor sent a letter saying i was having chemo and should of not been made to appeal . this time i told them i still suffer from joint pain,fatigue etc they put i looked well and have a good knowledge about my illness to be it sounds like they saying i know too much about my illness so shouldnt be on esa.


If you send an email to my colleague Christine with your full name and address and outlining your situation she'll get a letter sent to you. You can contact her at


hi just reading this i really now how you feel i also got 0 points and got my appeal end of july and this doctor also said that i looked well and well kept . yes i might look well but thats not how i feel on inside . my doctors surgery does not give out support letters so cant see how im going to get anywhere with this appeal . hope everything works out for you .



Is it possible for others to get hold of a supporting letter.

I got the ESA points I needed but I,m expected to do "work related activity" and get back into employment - I was retired due to ill-health due to my lupus. I'm currently awaiting an appeal to be put in the ESA "Support" group where you are not expected to return to work


No problem. We're happy to provide them for any lupus patients that need them. Just email Christine and she'll send one out for you.


No problem. Just send Christine an email and she'll send one out.


Hi Charmain,,Hey i am due to have my medical for Esa this coming Monday and i am dreading it.

Your experience here you have gone through is aweful!!How do these people decide what is what when it's on the inside we are suffering!!

Get your appeal in asap and don't give up,,i expect pretty much the same treatment!(((hugs))) for you.



i hope you have a better medical on monday than me and good luck with it . let us know how you got on .

charmaine . x


Unfortunately the quality of assessment by ATOS can be very poor. If you feel they did not represent what you told them fairly, you need to make a complaint (the more complaints made, the more they will do something about individual poor staff). If however you didn't know the important things to communicate so she got a wrong impression, the best thing you can do now is (a) make that clear in your appeal letter and (b) get a supporting letter from your GP or consultant that says how much worse you are than the report seems to imply. They are very unlikely to change the decision any time soon unless you provide medical evidence that says their own medical report is wrong. You really want to try to avoid waiting for an appeal hearing, which can be many months away - currently I think the delay is 7 months. Your medical evidence needs to be as specific as possible, hopefully referring to particular descriptors you have a problem with. The ESA points are scored from a list of 'descriptors' which are here: On pages 17 to 23 you will find the descriptors that will get you onto ESA, into the Work Related Activity Group. Pages 24-26 are the descriptors that get you into the Support Group. You do need to understand that they are quite tough about where they score you, so they won't apply if you just occasionally have a problem - but they are supposed to score what you can achieve reliably, repeatedly, safely and in a timely fashion - if you can't do something 51% of the time, it should apply. Lupus fatigue is hard to pin down, but it often means you can score because you either might not be able to do something in the first place, or it would cause such a serious after-effect that you couldn't repeat it or do anything else for the entire day. Be aware that the mental health descriptors only apply if you have a diagnosed MH condition such as depression - if you have been prescribed anti-depressants for example.

Paul can this document be put somewhere on the site so that people have easy access to it?


I'll discuss putting the file up.

Generally we personalise them by adding the name and address of the person. We also include one of our booklets. I'll see what Christine says when she is back in the office tomorrow.


I don't mean including it in the letters you provide for people on the site. I mean have a link available just on this website.


I'm afraid I'm not entirely sure what you mean?


I meant perhaps to have a pinboard on this site where you can leave links to documents that are repeatedly useful to members, so you can just point them to the location and they can easily find them, rather than have to give a hyperlink every single time. Maybe there is no facility for this on this website?


It's a good idea. I work very closely with the development team at HealthUnlocked, so I will put this idea on the wishlist for their next round of developments.


The link to the detailed doc re ESA work capability assesment (

including what points you may "score" often ends up giving error message after a few days.

The link can be found on the direct gov web site

under money,tax and benefits, Ill or injured benefits, then Employment and Support Allowance Introduction page - There is then a option to click on

Employment and Support Allowance - Work Capability Assessment - This brings up the Work Capability Assesment page

This is the link to the page directly and this link usually does not fail like the other link

Once on the work capability assesment page a further link can be found at the bottom of the page (under Further details)

eg page says

"Further details

There is a very detailed guide to the Work Capability Assessment (ESA214) in PDF format. It is published by Jobcentre Plus and is aimed mainly at professionals, but you may find it useful. Because the information is detailed and technical, some of it can be quite hard to understand.

See the link 'Guide to Employment and Support Allowance - the Work Capability Assessment ESA214'.

Download 'A guide to ESA - the Work Capability Assessment ESA214' (PDF, 154K) Opens new window "

Just click on the PDF, 154K download link to get your copy of the doc

Lupus UK folks - how about thinking of an article in Lupus News & Views with this info The detailed doc in particular has really helped me so far


I'll forward details of this suggestion to Christine, our publications editor to include it for consideration for the next issue.


this makes me so annoyed, someone i know has just been awarded X2 top rate d benefits, he has no mobility problems, can cook his own meals yet receives nearly £200a month to buy his pot and go gambling, this is on top of unemployment, housing council tax etc. How he got it because he says hes depressed, and this prevents him enjoying a normal life apparently,


I'm not suggesting that every single person's benefit award is correct, but you might like to know that there is a very low level of fraud in disability benefit claims. I'd rather spend my energy helping people understand the very complex rules and achieve what they are entitled to, than worrying about the very small minority of people who may exploit the system.

I've written a guide for Lupus UK before, some of which was on the website and one page on DLA was in News & Views - probably a couple of years ago now. If Christine gets in touch I can do an update in the next few weeks.


Hi Charmaine

I just want to wish you lots of luck with your appeal. I too am waiting for my ATOS appointment. I didn't realise it was invasive as yours sounded...a nurse...I just thought we turned up and spoke to a dr confirming how things are with medical support. What an awful time for you. Good Luck & Take Care...the stress will do you no good either....tell them that!x



thanks for wishing me luck i hope your medical goes better than mine .

good luck x



Paul I've created a blog post with some information about ESA - maybe if more questions come up, you can direct people to it?


I'll definitely do that. Thank you.


I have also today received my ESA letter telling me i have scored 0 out of 15. I am going to appeal and send them a letter back telling them everything about Lupus and how i suffer on a daily basis. Does anybody know where i can get help with a letter to send to them to help me with my appeal. This as really knocked me for six, the stress this as caused is unbelievable.


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