Oh no my ESA letter has arrived!!!

Hi gang, believe it or not I’m still on old incapacity benefit… but the day I’ve been dreading for 3 years has dawned.

The letter came!!!

They will phone me in the next 2 weeks and then send the form.

I’m a member of Benefits and Work so will follow the guide… can anyone tell me what they ask in the phone call?

Oh dear I feel in such a state…

Hope you’re all doing ok?

Pat xx

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Oh Pat, what a bummer, but please try not to worry, I know that’s easier said d than done, but I don’t want this to make you ill, or more I’ll I should say.

I have not gone through it yet, cos I was changed from incapacity to retirement on my 60th birthday, so can’t help with your question, but am sure someone will be able to answer it for you.

This b****y government has a lot to answer to, and I just hope people remember this next May, and send them packing.

(((((Hugs)))) keep us posted.

Pam x


Thanks Pam. I’m trying to stay calm. I’m starting to get the evidence together. Because I live in sheltered housing I get a ‘care plan’ every 6 months which says quite a bit about how MS affects me so I got a copy of that from manager this morning.

I have letters from neuro, physio and speech therapist (about my swallowing problem).

I’m 61 and don’t get my pension until 2 months before my 65th birthday. Just my luck that they changed the pension age!

I’m sure I’ll get through it ok… at same time I’m trying to get into a sheltered housing scheme near my mum and sister… so 2 big things happening at same time!!!

Hey ho… I will survive,

Thanks again Pam and hope you’re well.

Pat xx

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Hi Pat

Surely with that information it has to be a good outcome, everything crossed for you.

Will it be a long way from where you are now, if you can get near your family? Makes sense I suppose if you are all close, easier to help one another, makes visiting much easier as well. Hope all goes well for you, and is sorted quickly.

I am ok,'wish, fatigue is never far away, much the same boat as we are all in, so whilst we don’t wish it, its nice to know that others understand. Hope everything is OK with you, been some nice sun here today, but I notice the lights are going on earlier, Autumn is just around the corner.

Pam x

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Hi Pat, im dreading mine arriving too,im still on IB but know i wont be for much longer,dreading the day the forms arrive…but im trying not to get too strssed over it,it might not be as bad as we fear… good luck with getting a new home nearer your family… hope your succesfull with both… the ESA transition and applying for a new home too…

J x

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Hi Pat - I have not been through this as I am now on PIP. If it is anything like just break down everything you do into small steps, and also only mention bad days, not what you can sometimes do.

It is not at all fair that you have to wait for your pension. I am 63 and have had mine for 18 months now. My sister-in-law was just a year older and got hers when she was 60. She was just in the dateline!!! So I feel for you.

Good luck with this and your change of accommodation.

Love Jackie xx

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I’m still on ESA, Pat. I first went on it in the Support Group four years ago while I had cancer. That group is the one where they’re not expecting you to work, and is not time limited. Then after I finished chemo and was in remission they put me back in the Work-related Group, where they support you while you get back into work. That’s the three year limited one.

Last year it became obvious to me that I couldn’t really work (I had tried, I was self-employed) so I asked to go back into the Support Group. It took them a long time to process this, by which time I had my PPMS dx, so they put me into the Support Group but said I’d need to be interviewed. The interview was a doddle really, it was clear to the guy that I could not expect to work.

They back dated payment to when I first applied to go into the Support Group. By the way I’m also on DLA Higher Rate Mobility and Medium Rate Care (which means my wife gets Carer’s Allowance).

I don’t know what they’ll ask in the phone call, but I think you should ask to go into the ESA Support Group. Tell them what the situation is, don’t ever for one minute think you’re a scrounger, and as we said on another thread the other day, don’t over estimate your capabilities. You’ll be fine, don’t worry.

Finally if they do refuse you, appeal. Get help from CAB. You’ve already got your evidence together. It’ll take ages for the appeal to happen, but they should pay you in the meantime,or at least back date all payments when you finally get your decision.

Kev x


Good luck, I hope it’s simple for you but I can imagine your anxiety levels. You know the drill, try not to stress as that just knocks everything off kilter. It sounds like you’re as organised as anyone could be.

Sonia x

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Hi Snow Leopard,

Kev has hit the nail on the head the face to face interview is no problem, I was put on ESA and that was before my full dx! And as Kev explained there are two groups, I was put straight into the support group. The person you see is very used to deciding who is really ill and who is exaggerating or putting it on.

If you feel that a telephone interview would not be good for you write a letter or get someone to write a letter on your behalf to say that you are not good on the telephone, my speach and memory and loss of conversation is so poor I can not hold telephone calls of importance, but the DWP now knowk this.

I seen a doctor who didn’t even make me do all of the physical tests as he could see I was incapable, they also purposfully give you a chair with no arms, I became so sore sitting in it the doctor had to get the pillow of the bed for me!

when we are actually ill in promise you there is nothing to be scared of, just relax, it will be okay, I’m just so sorry your going through this, hugs hon

Polly xxx

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Hugs from me Pat, you will be Okay XXX DON

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Hi gang, thanks you all SO much for fantastic responses!!!

I’m feeling much better about it this morning. All I have to do is go through the process… fill in the form … send it off with my evidence. And thankfully will have the benefits and work guide to help with the form.

I read through my evidence yesterday (letters from neuro, bowel nurse, speech therapist about swallowing… and ‘care plan’ from where I live) and thought blimey nobody’s going to expect me to look for work after reading that lot.

So I feel much more confident about it… AND if I’m unlucky enough to be found fit for work I will of course appeal.

So I picked myself up, dusted myself off… and started over again!

Thanks again for all your support… it really helped a lot.

Pat xx


Well done Pat, that’s the spirit.

Pam x

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Go get 'em!

K x

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Hi Pat; hope it all works out for you. Chin up,


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Pat I’m on ESA and had a nightmare with it until it got sorted properly. If you want I can e mail you the info I got from my union rep, it got me sorted out. Also though, when you send evidence even appointment letters help as they show you need continuous care. Good luck and try not to get too wound up. I did and looking back it felt worse than it probably was as I had no dx and nobody was taking me seriously at the time either, or it felt that way anyway. If I can help in any way just shout.

Cath xx

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Hi gang, an update… I got the phone call this morning.

Quite a nice Welsh chap. Explained the process and said I would get the form in the next 2 weeks. It was mainly confirming my address, phone numbers etc, date of birth… and then explained what might happen…assesment!

I’ve just bought a new cartridge for my printer/copier on Amazon so I can copy my evidence, and I emailed my MS nurse to ask if she could write a letter as well.

So nothing to do now but wait…

Thanks for your lovely supportive replies.

Cath thanks for the offer of info from union rep. I’ve looked at the guide on Benefits and Work and it looks very good and detailed (as usual with them) but if I need more help I’ll be in touch.

Nervous of Wood Green (aka Pat) xx


Well Done Pat,

so far so good! Really hope you don’t have to go to an assesment though. Keep us all posted …we will all be rooting for you!

love Nina x

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Pat your positive attitude is amazing, well done for being so strong. You’re right though, what’s the point of getting worked up. I can’t help doing that and kick myself every time as since I got my dx I can’t fault the help I’ve been given. Take care and shout if there’s anything we can help with. Please let us know how you get on, every bit of positive news makes the rest of us a bit more confident at our renewal times.

Cath x

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Thanks Cath… yes I can assure you’ll I’ll be updating at every stage!

I am much calmer about it now… but fatigue is very bad as a reaction to being so nervous last week! They really have no idea how these things can affect us.

The form isn’t here yet but I’m all ready for it. I’m going to spend a day doing it as soon as it comes to get it over and done with.

Hope you’re doing well,

Pat xx

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