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National Migraine Centre
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Appealing against ESA disallowance - can anyone help??

Hi Everyone, :-D

I have chronic migraine without aura and this fluctuates depending on how much I am affected and whether I can dodge triggers and keep symptoms in abeyance by various means!

I've been disallowed ESA, (Employment and Support Allowance), and am having to go down the road of appealing the decision. The mandatory decision has finally come back and I'm still disallowed. So it's now the prospect of a Tribunal Hearing for me. :-(

I'm struggling to write an appeal response as my migraines, when one symptom is considered in isolation, is slight. But as symptoms are seldom in isolation it's their cumulative effect that makes it difficult to live with.

I am able to do short bursts of full-time work, can work permanently part-time, but I can't work full-time, permanently without becoming so ill I have to stop working. the situation is made worse as employers have consistently failed to make reasonable adjustments, or have the attitude that migraines are just a bad, episodic, headaches. It looks like this extends to DWP as well! :-(

Is there anyone out there that has had to go through this process that can point me to any guidance for this for chronic migraineurs with fluctuating symptoms?

Many thanks for any help anyone can give... ;-)

4 Replies

Do contact your local CAB office for help in constructing your appeal re evidence and documentation as there is a "format " that it needs to take to stand best chance of success ; CAB staff are very knowledgeable & experienced in this area.

I have accompanied a couple of people to ESA tribunals - ( as a volunteer providing emotional support , not legal expertise )-and its clear to me that people engaged in appeals to tribunals re conditions that are not" straightforward " are disadvantaged if they have not had "expert " help to prepare their evidence according to the issues the system will focus on .Tribunal members may be personally sympathetic/unsympathetic to the people appearing before them but they have to proceed according to very strict regulations re what they may take into account re allowing /disallowing appeals . (I should say the people I accompanied were not presenting cases involving migraine but re disabling mental health conditions )


I've not fought for ESA but I managed to get PIP, the new DLA as I still work. I am self employed and have reduced my hours and work around my migraines.

When filling in the forms and going to the assessments you have to concentrate on your worse days and then your not so good days ... If you're aanything like me, you probably don't have good days as you will be in pre or post migraine state, if not in full blown dying state!

The CAB is good and there are also some free law societies that can help.

On the net there is disability action. Remember it is all point scoring around the descriptors



The Migraine Trust might be able to help too. I got DLA for Chronic Migraines, i get them over 50% of the time but I still have to go to tribunal, but I did get it after the tribunal so it is worth a try. I am expecting to have it taken away when they eventually get round to removing DLA just because they are getting rid of all the lower rate bands. Goodluck!




I'd highly recommend a website called benefitsandwork.co.uk

They have written fantastic guides about claiming ESA and will have advice about tribunals too.

All the best, it's a horrid process. x

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