Benefits confusion

After searching the forums … Probably incorrectly I haven’t found any posts able to answer my query. I place bets in not the only one experiencing this but I’m finding the situation really worrying Basically it’s this . … Very unfortunately I have been unable to work for about about 8 years due to symptoms of the ms . I claim incapacity benefit and get higher mobility and I think mid care of disability living allowance dla . Today I recieved a letter about the change from incaptiy benefit to another benefit .it says I may have to attend a capability for work assesment . My question is this isn’t qualifying for higher dla proof enough of inability to work ? I’m totally bemused and worried by everything . Any information experience or advice would be welcomed ! X

Hi Annasor. I will try to keep this simple. Everybody on incapacity benefit is being changed onto a new benefit called ESA or Employment Support Allowance. You will have to fill in a form and you may be called to a medical. You will be put into one of 3 groups. Support group means that you will not be required to find employment. WRAG or work related activity group means that jobs and benefits may call you to assess whether you are able for some sort of employment with help if needed. The third group may say that you are capable of work. It is possible that you will be assessed again in the future as this benefit is not indefinite.

The changes in DLA are totally separate. Everyone on DLA is going to be changed over to a new benefit called PIP or Personal Independence Payment. If you have an indefinite award you do not have to worry for now as you will not be assessed until after October 2015. If your award is not indefinite you will be assessed when your award comes up for renewal. Everyone on both of these benefits is being reassessed.



High rate dla doesn’t necessarily mean you are unable to work.

I get high rate mobility and am fortunate to be still working

Mo54 offdrs a good response

Take care


As part of the change from Incapacity Benefit to ESA you will have to fill in a form (ESA50). Some people have been placed into one of the 2 ESA groups (Support or WRAG) just on the basis of this form, others have been called for a medical. It is very important that you fill in this form carefully. You can get lots of help and info from a website called Benefits and Work. It costs about £20.00 to join but is well worth it.

The procedure is that you first get the letter (that you have already had) then a phone call and then the form. You get about 4-6 weeks to fill in the form, which isn’t actually very long. My advice is to do it a little at a time and give yourself chance to edit what you’ve put. There is a pdf version of the form that you can save off to your computer as you do each bit.

The key is not to get worried and stressed – just put your energies into describing your condition/difficulties as well as you can. Lots of us have already been through this process (myself included) and although it stinks it is possible to come through it unscathed.

Good Luck


I must thank you all for your super helpful replies . I’m going to take my time with the form . Is it worth getting medical evidence from drs and specialists?? Thanks again

I sent my form in without medical evidence as I was waiting for a letter from my neuro. I was placed in the support group without it but it can be helpful if it is “good” evidence. Some GPs damn with faint praise by not saying enough so make sure that you see it first by asking them to send it to you not direct to DWP. If it’s pants you can choose not to send it.


That’s a good point Jane I’m fairly new to the area so my dr doesn’t know me too well unfortunately all the specialists I see are new to due to moving . I think it’s a review point again I recall being put in the support group 2 years ago .

It sounds as though you already swapped from IB to ESA 2 years ago and this recent contact is to do with renewing/reviewing your application. I misunderstood your original post, thinking you were on IB now. However the procedure is not too different in that you still have to fill in the blasted ESA50 but you won’t get phone calls to explain the system because they will have already done that last time.

I hope that you kept a copy of your previous form because it was good enough to get you into the support group last time. You can use it as the basis for this time round adding any extra information as needed. (Fill the form in as though it is the first time but you will have a crib sheet so to speak)


Hi, I recently went through the changeover procedure.

Like everyone else doing this, I was very worried as to what the outcome might be.

I am 60, have been on Incapacity Benefit since 2000. As I dont get my state pension until I am 62.5, I was really concerned that I may be sent back to work!

I dont have MS, but a similar, incurable condition, so working would be impossible for me.

Anyway I got someone from a disabled charity to fill my form in and it took her 3 hours, asking me questions and we were both worn out by the end of it.

I enclosed 6 photocopied letters from neurologists, which reported my appointments.

I received a phonecall 4 weeks later, telling me i had been put in the support group and also that due to my age, I will never have to claim again. A letter followed a few days later.

It was a huge relief!

I would also advise you to copy the completed form.

Good luck.

luv Pollx

All wonderful advice . I take no pleasure in not being able to work and lately it’s been a bit a a scare claiming benefits witch hunt in the media . So this correspondence from them obviously shook me up a little . Not looking forward to the form but what ever needs to be done

When you get your form google ESA50 a guide to filling in this give you lots of info, or join The benifits and works at a cost of £20 fo the yr for mor help . hope this helps Barbara.xx

Hi Annasor I got my local CAB to complete the forms and was placed into the support group with no medical. I also enclosed my last neuro report and letters from my MS nurse, GP, speech therapist and CBT report which I think all helped. Catherine