IBS Network
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Anyone else been Disallowed ESA for IBS?

Back in September 2013 my Dentist had to give me antibiotics for 6 weeks, while waiting for dental surgery and for a further 2 weeks after it. At the same time, following a separation from a long term partner and problems relating to seeing my children and social services not acting on information as my ex was putting them in bad situations since I moved out, I was diagnosed with depression.

In the October I started to get stomach cramps, pain and having to rush to the toilet 20-60 min after eating.

After a couple of samples was sent to be tested, my GP has said I have IBS.

10 Days ago I had a medical with ATOS, and their Doctor told me I need counseling for the family issues and a referral to the hospital for my IBS (the 8 weeks on antibiotics might have caused a problem) and to go back to my own GP (who I had seen at end of last month, and she had gave me a sick note until end June).

Today DWP have told me my ESA has been disallowed.

Has this happend to anyone else, and if so any tips on doing an appeal?

5 Replies


From what I understand you don't get ESA for having IBS even though you are rushing to the loo. If you are rushing to the loo and don't make it in time and have to change your clothes/shower etc and this happens frequently e.g. weekly then you could qualify and it is worth appealing. If you are having accidents but not as often mention it (I know its really embarrassing but you have to say otherwise you won't get any points in that criteria). Your depression may also mean you might get points in the mental health side of the criteria. I know you have to get so many points just to get in the work related activity group.

There is a website called work and benefits - you have to pay to become a member but they have information booklets that might be helpful if you want to appeal. By reading their info you should understand ESA better and if you are likely to be successful at appeal. CAB (Citizens advice Bureau) may also be helpful and their advice is free.

Good Luck.



When the ATSO Doctor asked me about "accidents", I made it clear that from when I get pain I have no more than 30 seconds before it comes, and that the only reason I have not had any is due to me making sure that I am near a toilet after eating until it happens. I rent a room in a shared house, so share a bathroom with 2 others, 1 works long hours and the other goes out at lunchtime and often does not return till the early hours, so I have more or less exclusive use of it.

The mental health requires counseling (this come from the ATOS Doctor). My own GP is giving me 40mg of Citalopram and was reviewing my case every 1 month, but 2 weeks back she gave me 2 months of them, and asked me to go back end of June.

I have spoke to my Dentist this morning as well, as I am still getting pain on the left side of my face due to a gum issue (I was also getting it a lot more till the Wisdom Tooth was removed back in October), who is willing to confirm this in writing.

From my understanding (on reading online), a combination of the IBS, Mental Health, and the reduction in concentration caused by the face pain and stomach pains would reduce productivity at work by over 20% so I should be on ESA.

DWP tried to tell me to claim JSA pending appeal, but they have now decided that I can make a new claim for ESA following a deterioration in condition.


My mandatory reconsideration is now in (this has to be done before you put in an appeal).

I had to claim JSA during this process, but they have agreed I can restrict what type of work I am able to do, taking into account my IBS, Depression and also new Dental issues.

ESA sent me the report, and they had awarded 0 points. You need 15 to be on ESA. However, there is several things wrong with this, what is why I am posting here, so all can see what you get points for.

Control of bladder, bowels or stoma, they say I do not need to change clothes after "accidents", but the report makes no reference to how I was managing it. In my appeal I am pointing out that I could not manage it the same. At home you can eat when you want, knowing when it comes on I am near a toilet, but in the workplace, there if often set meal times. Also, eating before going to work could be an issue, part of my appeal is inability to undertake the journey to work, no toilet access on bus, and it takes 40 min to get to nearest town. In under 30 min walk from where I now have to live (due to my housing benefit stopping when ESA did), there is 5 employers, who all employ under 10 people, and they have no vacancies. It is a village on the Beds/Bucks boarder. A taxi to the nearest Bucks area with vacancies is £10, and the the nearest Beds area with vacancies is £18.50, as they do not have private hire, its Black Cab prices, each way. JSA are happy for me to restrict looking for nearby work.

Dealing with other people, They said I can deal with people I do not know, BUT they Doctor put on my report I was tense and had some difficulty coping at the assessment but had not awarded any points. The main thing with this, is it was a good day.

Behaviour with other people, they say I behave in a way that would be acceptable at work. This is the main point on my appeal. Is it acceptable in the workplace for someone to have to stop what they are doing, and get to a toilet in under 30 seconds. Interestingly my JSA adviser is allowing me to exclude any work involving customer contact (or colleague) face to face, or by telephone. They have also excluded any "stressful" jobs.


Hi Mark,

I suspect that because you are able to make adaptions that are effective so you don't have an accident - I think might be why you have been declined. I am no expect but have fallen short of the criteria. Also its not how much your work is reduced by but how many hours you could actually do. I think if you can work 16 hours or more you will not qualify - I might be wrong on this but I remember being asked the question and its 16 hours for any job - not the one you are doing and no allowance is made for commuting/the type of job you do etc! Life is tough if you are poorly in the UK these days.


I'm on e.s.a have been for about 12 months now not once have I had a medical I've rang and asked them why they said my referral got sent to a.t.o.s in Dec last year my GP puts stomach problems on my sick note they accept it. But I am under the hospital as none of the medication works for me and I've completely lost bowel feeling.


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