Just watching Britain on the sick. I sent my form back on Saturday and I am worried sick in case I lose my benefit. This programme is doing nothing to reassure me. Sorry for the moan.


Hi Mary Do you have dx? Have you just applied ot ESA? If you have don’t worry.13 week assessment phase. Gather evidence- doc, neuro, ms nurse of ms. Apply for ESA. Pm me and I send you good linke Mike

Hi Mike. I have had ms for 22 years. Secondary progressive for the past six. Have been on incapacity benefit but being assessed for esa. I understand that they need to weed out the shirkers but the genuine people are getting hit in the crossfire. It just makes me so angry.


Hi Mary, I’m on incapacity benefit and so will be called in for ESA. I know the programme was scary, awful… not at all reassuring, but thank goodness that Atos and the flawed system are being exposed through programmes like this.

The more publicity it gets the better. It’s disgraceful that so many people are going through this and up to now it has been mostly ignored.

Yes, makes me very angry too.

Pat x

Hi Mary If you need advice I will try and help. I haven’t seen all prog yet will watch on bbm player. It will all be fun & games when they bring in PIP. Enclosed fact sheet. There are links in some of the docs for more info Hope this helps Mike

Is this Britain in 2012. Weeding out the shirkers, more like keeping to low numbers so the budget for benefits of all colours are cut. Even the doctors cannot believe those who are being refused as it takes away their authority when it comes to deciding if an illness is real or not.

Didnt they say 30+ were killing themselves per month whilst being assessed for ESA and its been up and running for 4 years. Doesnt that make 1,440 per year less to receive benefit. At this rate then double it next year when PIP strips people of DLA, that will make approx 720 per year, not counting those who would die anyway - this figure was suicide through the stress of these degrading examinations and being found fit for work when in fact they couldnt cope mentally nor physically (and Im sure their gp’s would have backed them up but being ignored when placed into categories). Is the idea death by stress, which in itself solves the government aim of getting less people on benefits?

Sorry if Ive upset anyone, I just pose the question, then shudder at the thought and REALITY.



Very distressing - and wasn’t it infuriating watching Chris Grayling lie so easily?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was swearing at the telly!

More reactions - and this:

"We call for the immediate resignation of Chris Grayling.

Neither he, nor the WCA is “fit for purpose.”


Let’s pray it all helped,

I’m even more terrified of my ESA outcome now.

Hi You could see that Chris Grayling was lying, his lips where moving. Who is going to pick up the pieces of the mismanagement of the welfare system and are genuinely disabled people going to become scapegoats for gross mismanagement. How can people who are genuinely disabled and not fit for work be placed in the WRAG group, how are these people going to be supported? It is abundantly clear that targets have been set and within the scope of the original contact with ATOS, KPI’s would ave been set or there would ave been no measure of efficiency. Now with the phase introduction of PIP, it is no doubt going to get worse. As stated 30+ per month are committing suicide add this to the figure of people deemed ‘fit for work’ and multiply this by the number of months left to run until 2015 and this could be 850+ individuals. This could potentially increase to over 1200 when PIP starts. Watching the program made me sad for all our futures, and the futures of all disabled people. There is no doubt we have been delt a bum hand.

I resisted applying for anything because I have been so scared I wouldn’t qualify and it would be one more stress. But after over 6 months sick I had to apply for ESA. I thought it went quite smoothly, until I could not get my sick note back from work (they still need one as I get occupational sick pay, not much but a little). Because they sent it out to me without putting a stamp on and so it had to be sent again I then couldn’t give them a sick note for a good little while. even though they had given me a month to send in my paperwork but had approved it in principal I got one payment, after that I haven’t seen anymore.

I am going to try to go back to work next month on very limited hours and duties. I will be back at work before its sorted.

My MS nurse reckons I don’t qualify for DLA as I can walk more than 100 metres (on a good day yes, on a bad day going from the car to school wears me out), so I haven’t even applied for that. My work wants me to get a blue badge to ensure I can park every day as they have some green transport policy that means if you get a permit you still can’t park every day unless you have a blue badge, but the walk to the bus stop and changing buses means that its a good 10 minute walk to bus stop, and then changing buses. it means that what should be a half hour journey takes over an hour.

They’ve made every one scared to do anything. I sometimes worry someone will see me in the supermarket and tell me I am too well to be off sick and report me. We have to eat, and going to the supermarket is for my sanity, I get to interact with people.

I watched it on BBCi player, because my dad rang me to say the stories sounded just like what I had been through.

Four years ago I felt I was reasonably fit in a very physical job then six months later dx with ppms, within six weeks I had to stop working for my own safety and the customers I was serving as a waitress in a busy well known family restuarant.

Applied for ESA in July 2009 after the sickness benefit finished and was placed in the wrag after 1st medical…then in May 2010 had another medical… again placed in the wrag…this time I appealed as the report was full of rubbish. I went to the tribunal in June 2011 and was placed in the support group after about 10 mins in the room. I then found out I had been reassessed six months earlier and was back in the wrag…I apppealed again and in November 2011 placed back in the support group.

In Feb 2012 had yet another ESA50 to fill in…this time placed in the support group no problem, but November 2012 is mentioned at the end of the letter, so I expect yet another review then…are they expecting a miracle cure??


The ESA fiasco was almost exposed for the sham it actually is last night. However the media did not go far enough. I have E mails on a regular basis telling me of the horrors this system is actually producing. Suicides being the most cruel of all these.

My own story. First applied for ESA in 2009, placed in WRAG, did not mind, as in my foolishness I did actually think I may return to work one day. Then in Oct 2010 got another ESA 50. And was placed in the support group on Xmas Eve 2010. I felt at this time my MS had progressed to such a point where a return to work was nigh on impossible. Had another ESA50 about two months ago. So am now awaiting the dreaded decision.

I am a betting man, and if you asked me which way I would place my bet, it would be on a continuation of the support group. I do not see how I can be moved from support to the WRAG when I have a progressive illness with no cure, but stranger things have happened. However my main gripe is the stress this is putting me under whilst awaiting the decision by whoever makes it. As we all know, stress is possibly the worst thing for MS’ers. So as I am not a relapse/remitter, any change in my condition is not going to help me. No remission you see.

I do feel the MS Society were very impotent on this, the most important of issues facing every person whose life has been changed beyond all recognition, due to MS.

My only hope is that we are better represented when it comes to the nightmare of the new PIP benefit.

Good luck to anyone attempting to claim ESA… as it is like I always say… why would someone wish to claim 100 quid a week if they could work… That nowadays is basically a days pay. Surely only the genuine would go for that poor payoff. And that is why only 0.5% of invalidity/ESA claims are fraudelent.


Know how you feel and lastnights documentory wouldn’t help.

I had the dreeded phone call a few months ago which I thought was very threatening, if you don’t do this and you don’t do that we will stop your benefit.

3 weeks after receiving the forms a letter telling me I didn’t have long to send it in and if I didn’t my benefit would be stopped.

I was buisy gathering evidence to suport what I had written.

Two weeks after I had sent them in I got the dreeded brown envolope behind the door.

I though what have I forgotten.

So you can imagine my suprise when I realised it was a decision and I had been placed in the suport group.

I went yipee I couldn’t belive it, then thought s*!? I must be bad, it was so quick.

The only worrying thing is it says that it will be paid from 6 June to 27 November.

I called them and asked would I have to reapply after this period but the person at the other end said no at lot of people have that date and not to worry.

I don’t feel realy well assured by this and think I will give them another call.


@ggmarsh Please find enclosed links All these may be of help to you and others. There are links to follow on socuments. ESA is non means tested it goes on your ability, it does not matter if you work or not. The form can be a pig. Mike

@Mary @ggmarsh This may shed light on ESA Mike

Hi Ronin,

I was put straight into the support group without a medical, Sept. last year…and I’ve recently had to fill the ESA renewal form in again…wondering if I will have to have a medical this time. I did phone them up when I got the form and told them that I had been placed into the support group, so was the new form a mistake and they told me that renewals can be sent anytime from three months onwards…Happy Days!

Take care,