Hi all,

I got my letter today saying I’ve been put in the WRAG (contribution based). It was without a medical so I’m pleased about that!

I’m going through the medical retirement process at the moment and was just wondering what the work focused interviews are like and whether they’ll want me to be actively looking for work. Of course, I would much prefer to be continuing work rather than have PPMS but that isn’t really an option!

Sarah x

Hi Sarah, its all a bit of a minefield when I read about ESA. Ive been on Incapacity benefit since 2000. Ive read well all be moved over to ESA by next year sometime.

I can`t tell you anything about what you ask, just wanted to wish you well in your retirement. i finished in 2000 on ill health.

luv Pollx

Thanks Poll for your kind words. I have loved my job (special needs teacher) and it is with deep regret that I can’t go back. I know it’s the right decision but it doesn’t make it any easier.

Sarah x

Hi Sarah I was put into the ESA WRAG in 2010 and had to attend 5 work focused interviews, one a month from April-August that year and my JC+ advisor coudn’t have been nicer, so please don’t worry as I’m sure they can spot the genuine cases and are only going though the motions because they have to, at least that was the strong indication that she gave me. She even arranged transport to pick me up and take me home again and I was never asked to look for work or go to any interviews and after my 5 sessions with her had finished I was left alone. In August 2011 I was automatically sent another ESA50 to complete (because the assessments are an ongoing process whichever group you are in) and so I sent that back with full details of how my condition had progressed, with Doctors’ reports to back it all up and I fully expected to be moved into into the Support Group. However, when I eventually got a letter in October I was still in the WRAG so I asked for a copy of my ATOS medical report and when that arrived I was able to challenge various inaccuracies about how far I could walk, bladder issues etc. Another concern I raised was that my ESA form had not been assessed by a doctor, only a nurse! I also challenged that fact and said I was very unhappy that a nurse had been allowed to assess me when she couldn’t possibly have the necessary expertise to make an informed judgement on such a complex neorological disease as MS. Plus for good measure I also threw in that I would be contacting my MP, which I did, and I have to say her support was brilliant and she (her office) also wrote to our regional JC+ Manager to ask that my claim be looked at again. By the way I didn’t appeal on a GL24 I just wrote a letter asking for the WRAG decision to be looked at again and after about 2 months had passed I got a call from a lady at JC+ to tell me that I had been moved into the Support Group and backdated to last October! I have posted all these details partly to reassure you about the interview and also to let everybody in the WRAG know it is worth challenging the decision, it took a while and a fair bit of effort but it was worth it. It’s such a relief to know those dreaded brown envelopes won’t be appearing for at least another 2 years. I hope everyone is well as can be and managing to keep warm in this icy weather. xxx

Hi Susie.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I don’t know yet when my intervies will be but I’ll be a bit calmer now and notworry so much!

Take Care,

Sarah x

Well what a wonderful reply! it was very good of you to let us all know how your particular case was handled and your appeal letter, with the final outcome.

it takes a lot of guts and stamina to do what you did and you have given us all food for thought, if we find ourselves in a similar situation.

Many thanks once again, bless you!

luv Pollx.