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How does RA affect ESA?

Hi All,

I'm new to this site and have only just been referred to the Rheumatology Dept after suffering with pain in hands and hip.

Anyway, I wonder if anyone may have any thought to my question as regards ESA.

I have been claiming ESA for approx 18 months due to Depression and Anxiety. And normally go along to one of the medical assesments every 6 months. This time round however, just as I got the form I had had my blood tests done and Doctor advised he was refering me to Rheumatology.

He said I should include this information in my assesment form which I did.

I had to return the form by 16thSept and have heard nothing since!

Has anyone else had this happen? Is it because of the RA? And do you think I'll be called up anytime soon?

I know I could ring them, but I'm not good on the phone at the best of times and everything is such an effort at the moment.

On another point....I can't believe the tiredness and fatigue I feel, as well as the aches and pains!

I know there are others out there (after finding this site) who are suffering more and hello to all of you, I hope you're having a good day :) x

Thanks for taking the time to read this

4 Replies

Hi Suz,

The delay won't have anything to do with RA specifically, they've probably contacted your doctor for more information, which is what's causing the delay. I'd give them a ring.

I filled a form in in May and hadn't heard anything by July so I rang DWP, they said it was nothing to do with them and up to ATOS to contact me if they wanted me in for a medical.

One week later I got a letter from the decision maker advising me I'd been put in the support group.

Give DWP a ring and remember if your put into the support group you need any extra money backdated to the date of claim.

Cheers Beth xx


whats the support group for esa mean ? ive been in incapacity and they are changing me over now i have an interveiw on dec 8th just wondered what to expect ?




Everyone currently claiming Incapacity benefit is being migrated to ESA. You'll be assessed by ATOS who currently hold the contract for carrying out DWP medicals. After your assessment you'll either be told:

1)Your fit for work and have to claim JSA

(in this case you can appeal against the decision and put another claim in for ESA which will be paid at about £67 for 13 weeks. But this is where things can get complicated)

2) Your placed in the WRAG (Work Related Activity Group) this is where you have to attend 6 work focused interviews at Jobcentre or you can be referred to a work programme provider like A4E

3) Your placed in the Support Group which is basically where your left alone but you can take part in the work programmes if you choose to.

My advice to anyone filling in DWP sickness forms or claims for DLA should check out the website it's filled with lots of useful informations and advice about form filling.

Hope this helps clarify things for you.

Beth x


I would also suggest that if you need any help, you should contact your local CAB who are used to these forms and the problems associated with them, particularly the tick boxes used for ESA claims. At present, CAB are doing a number of appeals against refusal of ESA and winning them!

LavendarLady x


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