Hi Everyone.

Not to sure if this is correct one of my Facebook Friends have said this:

"A tip, when the DWP say you don’t need a Doctors cert anymore, get one away, the GP will have the same letter saying no need for a cert, the GP maybe not willing to do one, but remind them that, they signed you off before, so whats the difference! Without a GP’s cert as backup you’re open to the DWP/ATOS saying your fit for work! Remember a GP overules the DWP/ATOS. I have now refused any DWP/ATOS appointments because of this, they cannot overule a GP, the GP knows you better than anyone, so fight all the way!

Regards Debbie x

Hi Debbie,

Whilst I think it’s sound advice always to get as much evidence as you can, I don’t think it’s true that your GP’s opinion always trumps ATOS, and therefore you can refuse appointments, safe in the knowledge there’s nothing they can do. If it were that easy - just get your doctor to agree with you - why would anyone still be having trouble claiming benefits, even when their neuro has said outright they’re not fit for work?

I think the whole point is everyone now has to be independently assessed, and you can no longer rely on a “friendly” doctor routinely signing you off for months or years. I’m not suggesting that was true of most people with MS, but some GPs were afraid not to sign, because they didn’t want the inevitable confrontation with the patient! The new system was designed to put a stop to all that, and mean it wouldn’t depend on how sympathetic (or scared of you!) your GP happened to be.


Hi Tina.

There some really good pointers there.I will generate that feedback.

Debbie x

Hi, I tend to agree with Tina. I know of some people who`s GP said they were unfit for work, but the DWP stopped their benefit and said they were fit for work. I dont know the outcome, but it shows you it can happen.

luv Pollx

Hi Debbie,

This advice is erroneous in the extreme. Once upon a time the GP’s word was the route to ill health benefits but not now. Once an initial period of sickness is over and a claimant needs to move from Statutory Sick pay to Employment Support Allowance the GP is taken out of the loop. Eligibility for benefit is totally dependant on how many points you score on the ESA50 form. (Which is why you no longer need Dr’s certificates) If you get fewer than 15 points all the GPs letters in the world will not get you benefit. Your GP may provide medical evidence but it is only part of the picture and can be totally disregarded by ATOS doing the assessment for DWP. The only outcome of missing ATOS appointments will be to loose benefit altogether – your GP will not be able to reinstate it. A GP does NOT over rule DWP.