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ESA what do I do??

Hi everyone its been a while,as for all of us every day is a challenge and as I am sure many of you will be aware of incap benefit going over to esa! I have recieved a letter from dwp telling me to expect a phone call, followed by a questionaire and probably a medical. I was med retired 10 years ago with prematurely advanced osteoarthritis of my spine and other joints.I have since been diagnosed with Lupus,Sjogrens,spinal stenosis etc.As well as the physical pain I also suffer what I believe to be 'lupus fog'. I can and do get very confused which often leads to things I say not coming across as they should I am finding it increasingly more difficult to deal with being questioned even about the simplest things,asking me what I would like to do today? can result in a meltdown.the prospect of dealing with dwp has thrown me completely I thought that when my DLA was awarded indefinately that the pressure was off that they had excepted my disability etc.Any help or advice would be appreciated as the added stress is just making me more depressed than I was ( I am on all meds).Sorry to be so negative any advice will be appreciated.

Lillylou. X

8 Replies

Hi. The best advice i can give you is information information and more information. Get letters of support from your GP, consultants and anyone who is involved in your care. Also, a letter from your partner or anyone who has seen you in pain and suffering, By suffering i mean the times when you are so low and depressed that you cant face people or dont want to go out. I have been there and it is horrible, be honest about these times. When filling in the form give every little detail of how your Lupus affects you even if you have to continue on another piece of paper. they need to see the whole picture not just a piece of it. Also find telephone numbers and adressess for your consultants and GP and put these on the form.

I was successfully put onto ESA in the support group by filling in this form and bombarding them with info. What might seem trivial to you could clinch it by giving the smallest details of how your conditions affect you physically and mentally.

I know how you feel Lillylou, i was in a right state when i got the ESA form to fill in but persevere with it. I spent night after night trawling through hints from the Benefits and Work site, but all my hard work paid off.

I hope this has helped you, and you are in the right frame of mind now to tackle the dreaded form/questionaire. I wish all the best of luck.

caz59 x

p.s Photo copy everything


Hi caz59, thank you so much for your advice, I am pleased that you have been successful with your esa app.I will get all the information I can.

Take care

Lillylou. x


Hi CAz59

i have been told by DWP that i haven't paid enough contributions to go on ESA contributions based and cant go on income based as my husband works and we are living on the grand sum of £10.000 a year and the government says all we need as a joint income is £111.00 per week ! am really down about it but suppose thats life! x


Hi italiana sorry to hear you have been refused ESA, perhaps you could apply for a different benefit it would be worth asking at your citizens advice centre. I wish you all the best

Lillylou. x


Bless you Lillylou

am burnt out with the whole process i have SLE with cardiac involvement ( i had heart surgery nov 2011 ) sjorgrens an other issues , I have worked all my life until 4 years and feel as though I am being punished for having lupus!

Keep trying to have gratitude for things i have and looking on the positive things could be worse, this forum is such a helpful

take care



Hi Italiana. Sorry to hear you cant get ESA. Have you tried to get DLA ( Disability living allowance ) This benefit has nothing to do with what money you have coming in. There are 2 components to the benefit, care and motobility and each component has levels as to how bad your conditions and illnesses affect you. I must warn you though that DLA is being phased out and a new benefit will take its place called PIP (Personal Independent Payment ) and i think it starts in April this year. I understand that they have altered some of the questions for this new benefit as well, but hey nothing ventured nothing gained. I think you can get the form from your local jobcentre plus. Worth a try and the same advice as for Lillylou give as much info as possible and get GP and Consultants behind you also book an appointment with your local CAB.

Wishing you all the best

Caz59 x


Thanks Caz59 will give it a go...many thanks x


Everyone is being transfered from incapacity benefit (IB) to ESA. The forms are similar to the ones you had to fill out when you first applied for IB

I had help from local council social services welfare rights officer as I had to appeal which group of ESA they put me in - my GP refered me and they were a big help

When filling in the form this blog has some useful info .

In particular the link to how they "score you" to see if you are eligible for ESA (and which group you fit into) is very usefull to know and may help you fit your symptoms to the form/ what you can and can not do -

Looking on this web site uders Tag ESA should also give you more info

You may need backing of your GP/ consultant etc when it comes to getting ESA so make sure you see them, mention what is going on, and mention all your symptoms/disabilities so it is on medical record in case you need letters from your Drs to back up what you put on the form.

Be sure to mention to your Drs the negative effect the process is having upon your health - this may be usefull in getting put in the "support" group - as "medical evidence" to support a statement that there would be a substantial risk to your physical or mental health if you were found to be fit for WRAG, can be one way of getting support group rather than work related activity group (WRAG)

when they phone you if you have "brain fog" / confusion let them know, let them know if you can only talk to them for a short while, if there is a more convienient time for them to phone you etc. It may also be worth having someone in the room with you to "prompt you about things you may forget to say

If you are a member of the charity Lupus UK you can get free access to a range of publications produced by an external organisation - "Benefits & Work." The informative guides cover a range of issues relating to disability and benefits.

Good luck


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