Benefits claim

Hi Everyone
I wonder if anyone can help me. I have just been diagnosed with primary progressive MS. I have been on universal credit for about 18 months but due to Covid etc I have only just been diagnosed. Because I didn’t have a diagnosis DWP have insisted that I am fit for work. I have been through all the appeals to no avail . Now when I tell them I have been diagnosed they say that I should have changed my claim and I have already had my assessment. Please help I am really struggling.

The benefits system is very complex. Have you considered speaking to the MS Society Benefits Advice helpline?

Hello Ian, welcome to the forum.

It’s really not about a diagnosis. It’s about you and how your health is affected. Having a PPMS diagnosis (for which you have my sympathy), may not have affected your claim.

The decision maker might have given more weight to your symptoms given a label to hang them on. But actually they shouldn’t. Their rules are about activitie; whether a person can do X, or Y. Not whether they have a specific name to their illness.

You can understand it when you consider just how many illnesses there are. DWP staff aren’t doctors.


Thanks for your reply. I understand that they are not doctors but the Health Care ‘professional’ that undertook my appointment totally lied about what I said. Now I am having to go to appeal. My mobility has been really poor for the last year but now other problems have arisen. I have supporting evidence but they are saying that because I didn’t have these problems when I had the telephone call i cannot use them in my appeal. It really is getting on top of me at the minute.

Thanks for that is it a free phone number?

Another thing you could consider is joining They charge about £20 per year for membership, but their members only guides are excellent. They include appeals tribunal submission writing for UC/ESA in their guides.


Hi, this is what can cause problems…DWP arent that interested in a diagnosis…although we know they should be…but how it affects you.
If you now have new symptoms/difficulties in carrying out any tasks, try submitting a new claim.
I got great help from SCOPE…they give free advice.

I don’t know about a new claim wouldn’t that mean that I had to go through all the waiting time etc? I am and have struggled walking just a few for about a year but now my tiredness is really kicking in and I am having massive problems with my emotions

Ah, the health care professional lying! Yes, been there, had that. I did win on appeal - took advice from CAB. The DWP has been described as the Disability Denial Service, with good reason. It is pot luck whether you get a decent human being or a vindictive sod who is wanting to get promotion by surpassing the claim rejection target. Those targets used to exist. I expect they still do.

I learnt about those targets from my GP - this was a few years ago. A GP friend of hers sat on the appeals board. When she asked him why so many of her patients who had been on ESA support were now being found fit for work when they had no hope in hell of being able to work, he told her that it was all about meeting targets. The percentage of claims that were to be rejected was set much higher for Sheffield than for the nearby leafy Derbyshire because there were more people in Sheffield on ESA than the national average, so it needed to be reduced! That Sheffield had been the centre of very dirty heavy industry for many years and was the cause of high levels of illness and disability was ignored. All they were interested in was reducing the figures.

Hi All
I haven’t been on the forum for quite a while but I hope that if anybody is struggling with the benefits system then my story may give them hope. Firstly I was advised to contact my local MS advisor and he did nothing only pass me on to another organisation so I had to do it all myself. The DWP work assessment was the hardest to crack after the HCP lied about what I said I had to really work hard to get this sorted. The problem is if the HCP lies then this is taken as true right through the appeals process. I will say you can never have enough evidence everyone I saw I got them to write me a letter. Make sure you get all the paperwork from the DWP and go through it with a fine tooth comb. I found that because the HCP (I know her name but i won’t use it because on one of the sheets the DWP didn’t blank out her name) lied she wasn’t intelligent enough to keep track of her lies and tripped her self up. Don’t be afraid of going to the tribunal. Just make sure you send off all your supporting letters and also write a statement that chronicles what you are appealing and why. I must admit my MS nurse has been brilliant writing me supporting evidence. Yesterday the judge upheld my appeal I I have now been put in the LCWRA category. I have also won my pip appeal once again you just need to take your time and look at what you are trying to achieve. As I said because the MS advisor was no help I had to do it all myself. I think that there should be better help available. If anybody does need any help I’m here to help.