IMPORTANT: How to Gain Exemption from DWP/Atos ‘Fit for Work’ & WRAG decisions by Applying ESA Regulations 29 and 35 (see note for 25 and 31)

Important Update 22nd May 2013 

Legal correction and clarification

There are two sets of ESA regulations.

1. Exceptional circumstances 25 and 31. 

These regulations are only in force under Universal Credit Income Related ESA claims (2013 No. 379):

Citation, commencement and application


(1) These Regulations may be cited as the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2013.

(2) They come into force on 29th April 2013.

(3) They apply in relation to a particular case on any day on which section 33(1)(b) of the Welfare Reform Act 2012(1) (abolition of income-related employment and support allowance) is in force and applies in relation to that case.

Here is the relevant clause from the Welfare Reform Act 33 Abolition of benefits:

(1) The following benefits are abolished—

(a) income-based jobseeker’s allowance under the Jobseekers Act 1995;

(b) income-related employment and support allowance under Part 1 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007

For Contributions Related ESA the old regulations 29 and 35 will remain in force indefinitely.

The 2008 act has now been amended several times, but the exceptional circumstances regulations are still 29 and 35.

List of amendments:

Income Related ESA will move under the UC umbrella as Universal Credit is rolled out, and thus will when that happens, case by case, come under the 2013 no. 379 regulations.

Therefore please now revert to quoting Regulations 29 (in place of 25) and 35 (in place of 31). 

The legal principle (the law as quoted in the regulations) remain identical so you should not be concerned if you have submitted the documents signed by your GP using the numbering 25 and 31. The Tribunal will apply the law irrespective of this error.

We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

We have amended the numbering accordingly.

~ Black Triangle Campaign

UPDATED 9th May 2013

Leading doctors protest at ‘cruel’ disability assessments ~ Letter Posted on May 5, 2013

November 21st 2012 UPDATE

Two regulations ‘could hold the key to winning ESA appeals’ by John Pring Disability News Service:

UPDATEIMPORTANT! ESA Regs 29 & 35 (as amended April 2013) : What must be done ~ Welfare maze is overwhelming GPs and failing patients who are left ‘in limbo’ Posted on February 9, 2013 :

Black Triangle is currently lobbying hard within the medical profession with the assistance of our comrades from the PCS and Unite Trade Unions. We are currently receiving mass support from individual doctors and consultants.

We are calling for for the BMA’s leadership to publicise our ESA Regulations 29 & 35 Campaign among all GPs in the United Kingdom and to give full effect to the BMA membership’s unanimous demand that the DWP-AtoS WCA end with immediate effect by their full adoption.

We will be making an announcement in the coming weeks. In the meantime, please continue to make use of these very efficacious regulations using these templates


Edinburgh, Friday 1st March 2013 

November 16th 2012
Today, Black Triangle is launching our campaign to encourage the mass take-up of Regulations 29 and 35.
Working closely with all our members, supporters and our sister organisation Disabled People Against Cuts, we must rapidly ensure that every sick and/or disabled person in Britain facing the inhuman DWP/Atos WCA abomination and their GPs (and Consultants, where applicable) are fully up-to-speed on the use and application of these regulations which grant lawful exemption and immunity from adverse Atos WCA decisions.

We believe that, properly applied (we explain how is some detail), their use may save tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of sick and/or disabled people from untold suffering.  

Everybody can play their part in this campaign by spreading the word as far and wide as possible. Please print out the draft letters and explanatory notes and submit them to your local medical centres/surgeries as well as any local advice and advocacy agencies.

You may even save lives.   

Commenting on the recent case of Brian McArdle, 57, who died tragically just days after his Atos WCA the DWP issued the following statement:

“We encourage people to provide as much medical evidence as possible when they apply for ESA. Often, people found fit for work only provide the necessary evidence when they ask for a reconsideration or an appeal.”


From now on ~ Let there be no more excuses!

Let the DWP never be able to say again “we never knew – the necessary evidence was never provided”!

Please – in all cases – provide us with the feedback we need as to whether or not this has been appropriately applied by DWP Decision Makers to give the decision it was designed for. We are ready to pursue a legal case against them if they do not.


Black Triangle Campaign


Black Triangle Campaign


Explanatory Notes for Claimants and Advisers

ESA Regulations 29 and 35 ~ Exceptional circumstances

Important note from BTC: Please be mindful – possible confusion can arise between the terms having ‘limited capability for work’ as an exception/exemption (i.e. ‘Support Group) and ‘limited capability for work’ meaning being  placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) in the legislation. We may revise our guidance based upon your feedback ~ we have endeavoured to explain the legislation and its interpretation in as clear a manner as possible. All feedback warmly welcomed. Thanks.   

Regulation 29

29.—(1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant.

(2) This paragraph applies if—


the claimant is suffering from a life threatening disease in relation to which—


there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable, or uncontrolled, by a recognised therapeutic procedure; and


in the case of a disease that is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure;



the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.


Regulation 35 – Certain claimants to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity (WRAG)

35.—(1) A claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if—


the claimant is terminally ill;


the claimant is—


receiving treatment by way of intravenous, intraperitoneal or intrathecal chemotherapy; or


recovering from that treatment and the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant should be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity; or


in the case of a woman, she is pregnant and there is a serious risk of damage to her health or to the health of her unborn child if she does not refrain from work-related activity.


(2) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work-related activity as determined in accordance with regulation 34(1) is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if—


the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement; and


by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.


Legal advice – Statutory Interpretation of the Regulations

The Black Triangle Campaign has consulted with Senior Counsel regarding the statutory interpretation of these regulations.

“Substantial” or “Serious”

Regulation 29 (2) (b) and Regulation 35 (2) (a) & (b)

These terms both apply to the word ‘risk’ and not to a patient’s ‘disease’ or ‘disablement’ (illness(es) or imparment(s). )

Therefore, the question before the General Practitioner is:

“If, as a result of the DWP/Atos Work Capability Assessment, your patient was found either ‘fit for work’ or to have possessed ‘limited capability for work’ (and placed in the Work-Related Activity Group) is it more likely than not that harm would result?”

Counsel has advised the exemptions must be applied to all cases where harm is likely .

Counsel further explained that, as the first duty of any doctor is to “do no harm”; in relation to any question regarding whether or not the ‘harm’ caused would be sufficiently ‘serious’:

all that is required of the doctor is to make a simple clinical judgment as to whether or not ANY harm or deterioration to the patient’s condition would occur as a result of being found fit for work or placed in the WRAG.

To recap:

Any harm is itself sufficiently ‘serious’ or ‘substantial’ to warrant applying Regulations 29 or 35 in the correct statutory interpretation of this law because both words apply only to the word “risk

With regard to the degree of harm it need only be “more likely than not” that harm to the patient would result from being found either ‘fit for work’ or having ‘limited capability for work’. 

Explanatory Notes for Claimants

These draft letters are intended as a guide for the ‘exceptional circumstances’ regulations 29 and 35.

If you are in the process of applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) you can submit the letter ‘ESA Assessment Letter for Claimants’ with your ESA50 form or hand it to the assessor at the work capability assessment itself (keep a copy of the letter you submit for your records).

Additionally, if you have been summoned by DWP/Atos to attend a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) or Reassessment; or you are in the process of appealing against an ESA decision finding you ‘fit for work’ or having ‘limited capability for work’ placing you in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) you should arrange an appointment with your GP and supply them with a copy of the “ESA letter for GP “ along with a copy of the “Cover letter for GP”.

Before your GP appointment you should write down the ways in which your physical or mental health, or that of other people, may be harmed if you are not awarded the benefit.

The question to be answered is simply:

“Would it be more likely than not that your physical or mental health (‘disease’ or ‘disablements’ in the words of the Regulation i.e. illnesses or physical and/or mental impairments) would be harmed if you were found either ‘fit for work’ or with ‘limited capability for work’ “.

“In what ways would your condition be exacerbated as the result of an adverse DWP/Atos WCA decision?”

It is entirely at the discretion of your GP whether he/she feels that such a letter is appropriate and warranted. 

However, if they do support your view that Regulations 29 and/or 35 apply then we believe that these letters stating that fact will likely be very helpful indeed.


ESA letter for claimant to be submitted with ESA50 form or presented to the DWP/Atos WCA Assessor


To whom it may concern

Following this Work Capability Assessment I may be found

fit for work


placed in the WRAG (work related activity group)

In my opinion this will be contradiction of my own General Medical Practitioner’s knowledge of me over time, clinical assessment and medical certification.

My General Medical Practitioner is the custodian of my primary medical record which has been accumulated during my lifetime in the UK

My Past Medical History and current problems include:


I am of the opinion that exceptional circumstances Regulation 29 may apply:

‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work.’

Or with regard to the WRAG group decision that regulation 35 may apply:

‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.’

I am of the opinion that substantial risk exists because:


Yours sincerely


(Patient’s name)


ESA Appeal Letter to be completed by the Patient’s GP for submission to the DWP AND the Tribunals Service

To whom it may concern

I am this patient’s General Medical Practitioner and the custodian of the primary medical records they have accumulated during their lifetime in the UK.

Following a recent Work Capability Assessment this patient, in contradiction of my own knowledge of the patient over time, clinical assessment and medical certification was found:

fit for work


was deemed to have limited capability for work and was placed in the WRAG (Work Related Activity Group)

The patient’s Past Medical History and current problems include:


Although this person has been deemed “fit for work” I am of the opinion that exceptional circumstances Regulation 29 applies:

‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work.’


With regard to the limited capability for work (WRAG Group decision) that regulation 35 applies:

‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.’

I am of this opinion because:

I disagree with the outcome of your assessment and support my patient in their appeal against your decision.

Yours sincerely


Cover Letter and Explanatory Notes for the Patient’s GP

Dear Doctor

Your patient:

Is applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and has been asked to submit evidence with their ESA50 Form


has been summoned for another reassessment of their capability for work


is in the process of appealing a recent DWP/Atos Work Capability Assessment (WCA) decision that they are ‘fit for work’


is in the process of appealing a recent DWP/Atos WCA decision that they have limited capability for work to be placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

As a GP you may be at times inundated with requests for letters to support appeals.

This is a draft letter which you could amend in order to promptly assist your patient who is requesting supportive information for the purposes of a Tribunal Appeal for Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

The BMA Annual Representative Meeting in June passed a motion demanding that the WCA ‘end with immediate effect to be replaced by a rigorous and safe system that does not cause avoidable harm to some of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society’ thereby making this BMA national policy.

The WCA involves the administration of a battery of questions contained in the ‘Logic Integrated Medical Assessment’ (LIMA) computer programme that comprehensively fails to adequately and accurately assess a patient’s ‘fitness for work’.

The operation of the assessment system has also been universally condemned for failing to take into account the disproportionate medical, social and other barriers that sick and disabled people face in the job market as a direct result of their disabilities.

The recent GMC publication of Good Medical Practice 2012 states clearly that a Doctor must (overriding duty or principle):

“take prompt action if you think that patient safety is or may be seriously compromised by inadequate premises, equipment or other resources, policies or systems.”

This draft letter attempts to address some of the abject failings of the WCA by invoking ‘exceptional circumstances’ Regulations 29 and 35 to be applied where a decision adverse to your patient may pose a ‘substantial risk’ to his/her physical and/or mental health and well-being. We have included legal advice from Senior Counsel which sets out clearly the manner in which these exemptions Regulation 29 (2) (b) and Regulation 35 (2) (a) & (b) are to be properly interpreted.  

We wish to appeal to you make these regulations and their lawful application known to your colleagues, both within your practise and beyond.

Explanatory notes for General Practitoners

ESA Regulations 29 and 35 ~ Exceptional Circumstances

Regulation 29 (if found ‘fit for work’)

29.—(1) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work as determined in accordance with the limited capability for work assessment is to be treated as having limited capability for work if paragraph (2) applies to the claimant.

(2) This paragraph applies if—


the claimant is suffering from a life threatening disease in relation to which—


there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable, or uncontrolled, by a recognised therapeutic procedure; and


in the case of a disease that is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure;



the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement and, by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work.

Regulation 35 – Claimants to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity (WRAG)

35.—(1) A claimant is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if—


the claimant is terminally ill;


the claimant is—


receiving treatment by way of intravenous, intraperitoneal or intrathecal chemotherapy; or


recovering from that treatment and the Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant should be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity; or


in the case of a woman, she is pregnant and there is a serious risk of damage to her health or to the health of her unborn child if she does not refrain from work-related activity.


(2) A claimant who does not have limited capability for work-related activity as determined in accordance with regulation 34(1) is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if—


the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement; and


by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.

Legal advice – interpretation of the regulations

The Black Triangle Campaign has consulted with Senior Counsel regarding the statutory interpretation of these regulations.

“Substantial” or “Serious” Risk

Regulation 29 (2) (b) and Regulation 35 (2) (a) & (b)

These terms both apply to the word ‘risk’ and not to a patient’s ‘disease’ or ‘disablement’ (illness(es) or imparment(s). )

Therefore, the question before the General Practitioner is:

“If, as a result of the DWP/Atos Work Capability Assessment, your patient was found either ‘fit for work’ or to possess ‘limited capability for work’ (and placed in the Work-Related Activity Group) is it more likely than not that harm would result?”

Counsel has advised the exemptions must be applied to all cases where harm is likely .

Counsel further explained that, as the first duty of any doctor is to “do no harm”, in relation to any question regarding whether or not the ‘harm’ caused would be sufficiently ‘serious’ – all that is required of the doctor is to make a simple clinical judgment as to whether or not harm would occur.

To recap:

Any harm is itself sufficiently ‘serious’ or ‘substantial’ to warrant applying Regulations 29 or 35 in the correct statutory interpretation of this law because both words apply only to the word ‘risk’ and not to ‘harm’.

With regard to the degree of harm it need only be “more likely than not” that harm to the patient would result from being found either ‘fit for work’ or having ‘limited capability for work’ (WRAG).




350 thoughts on “IMPORTANT: How to Gain Exemption from DWP/Atos ‘Fit for Work’ & WRAG decisions by Applying ESA Regulations 29 and 35 (see note for 25 and 31)

  1. toni louise candy says:

    i have been taken off esa but wen i got put on incapasity benefit it was 1989 i was 19 i have only just come off it and they won,t put me bck on i have ostio arthritis i have underactive thyroid i have asthma i also have claw foot which is very painful i also have servere chronic deppression and my deppression is getting worse evry day as they have just dived in there an put me under a lot of pressure to do this now they have a new scheme out that u have to go college for a course of english and maths and if u donnot attend u will lose your rite to claim benefits for 3 weeks so u tell me wot i would live on for 3 weeks and its winter so i have no heating no food and no electric

  2. Wanda Haddow says:

    I have already had my ESA payments stopped and am on credits only ESA. I now have to find a job as cannot afford not to. However, both my mental and physical conditions are now deteriorating. Not one of my medical professionals feels I am capable of work, nor does my job centre advisor or employability program advisor think that they will be able to find me work, but have to go through the process anyway. Is any of this retroactive?

    1. JJ says:

      YES! It is retroactive. Ask your doctor(s) to write a letter stating that the regulation(s) apply. Just print out the lot and take it to them. Let us know how you get on. Good luck & STAY IN TOUCH! X

      1. david cameron the prime minister says:

        This is David Cameron, PM emailing, now please don’t get upset, we set up ATOS in order to encourage disabled people such as yourself to commit suicide, now one of the proposals under our party manifesto is to do this by means of cutting your benefits and leaving you with nothing at all to live on. Another option open to you is that of starving to death in Hyde Park. If this option doesn’t appeal to you, I appreciate you might have no arms and no legs and it would be nearly impossible, but without wishing to sound brutal, why dont you go and get a job carrying a hod / humping bricks all day on a building site.

        Best regards

        David Cameron
        The Prime Minister

        1. Ian says:

          Why focus on David Cameron? Atos was a pre-existing French IT company. It was the previous Labour Government under Gordon Brown that initiated these proceedings and oversaw the terms of contract between the DWP and Atos. That’s not to suggest that the current Lib-Con government is not guilty of crimes against the disabled, but don’t overlook that these proceedings were supported by Labour and LibDem MP’s too.

      2. JOANNA says:

        Can u help me please I have to go to a trubiual meeting and I can’t do it at all!! My doctor done this letter about the section 29 but there still saying I have to attend what do I do?

  3. The Infamous Culex says:

    toni louise candy
    u have to go college for a course of english and maths and if u donnot attend u will lose your rite to claim benefits for 3 weeks so u tell me wot i would live on for 3 weeks and its winter so i have no heating no food and no electric

    Toni, you are either expected to do as you have been told, or to beg and scrounge from your family and friends.

    Or you could just die.

    Either way, Iain Duncan Smith won’t care once he’s been absolved in exchange for a recital of the Rosary and perhaps the Lord’s Prayer.

    I wish you success with your appeal.

  4. Helen Roche says:

    What I’d really like to have, to take around doctor’s surgeries, librairies etc – is an eye catching leaflet which summarises the information and gives links to these documents. Printed out whole, they’re very long and wordy and people probably won’t realise what they are.

      1. Helen Roche says:

        Thanks JJ. In the meantime, I’m preparing my own A5 leaflet to take around my locality, and I made a tinyURL for this page – it’s
        So that people can check here when they take the leaflet home! (The existing URL is way too long to type into the address bar…)
        It would also be great if the information on this page could be organised better – sorry to quibble – but at the moment it’s a torrent of information. Ideally a link to a separate page for each document, as both .doc and pdf…
        Don’t ask much, do I? 🙂

        1. JJ says:

          No – you’re right. Just that I thought this was too important to sit on until it was ‘perfect to go’. We’ll be doing as you suggest over the coming week.

          1. Helen Roche says:

            By the way, I have sorted the stream of information into three separate documents and re-formatted them a bit – if you would like me to email those to you to save you doing the same all over again, just let me know where to email them.

            1. John Balmer says:

              Hi Helen
              , If you have the time , would you be kind enough to e mail me this information to, as my my wife has chronic fybromyalgia and recently had a stroke and is being called up before ATOS which is causing her a lot of stress at the moment,this would be greatly appreciated and give us a fighting chance. 🙂

            2. James Davies says:

              Please could you e-mail them to me as I Have just stumbled on to this site and am also appealing (but they place me in the wrag without even seeing me( and i also on dla (middle care and high rate mobility))) My e-mail is

            3. Annie says:

              Hi Helen, would you be able to email the documents to me please? I am now being put forward for a tribunal after waiting 6 months for an appeal. My doctor gives me “fit lines” for 6 months at a time! Thanks

            4. Barrie says:

              Hi Helen,
              Could you please send me the three documents if you wouldn’t mind?

              many thanks.


            5. Marina Hartley says:

              I would apprieciate a copy of these documents as I am in the middle of a ESA appeal only just found this site.

              1. JJ says:

                Download them – click on the links Marina

            6. Nigel Claxton. (Bradford) says:

              Hi Helen, if you could find time would you please e-mail me da 3 seperate documents .
              It would help my cause substantially, many thanks . Nigel

            7. Fran says:

              Hi Helen. I have only just stumbled on to this brilliant site. I was put into wrag after changing from IB to ESA didnt have face to face and I am appealing decision as I should be in support. would it be possible if you could email me the 3 documents please. My stress level already through the roof as have been unsure what I needed to do or send in. Really pleased I found Black Triangle by chance as it has been a brilliant help to read of other peoples experiences. Thanks

              1. kk woodk says:

                Can you email me the details please

            8. Tinytots says:

              Hi Helen,
              yes please email me the 3 pages you have constructed. As i am going through an esa appeal and need all the help i can get. As it is so confusing.
              Keep up the good work.

            9. Steve Roberts says:

              Helen , I am at the beginning at of the assessment process. Finding it all quite difficult as I suffer from anxietyand depression. I would be grateful if you were able to send me the documents . Thanks for your help ithe

            10. maureen says:

              hello coul you send me the rules of 29 and 35 and anything I can show my new doctor who has no previous history of my mental health issues he says I am fit for work I feel like changing to my old practice

            11. Paul says:

              Please could you email me copies of the documents as I have an assessment coming up.
              thank you


              1. Tania Stannard says:

                Hi Helen
                Im in WRAG but my mental health and anxiety has deteriorated significantly and Im seriously thinking about trying for the support group.
                The stream of information you have condensed into three separate documents and re-formatted could you email them to me also please?

  5. Jen says:

    Just wanted to add that my sister had a WRAG verdict overturned and was put in the Support Group on the basis on Section 35. We didn’t know anything about it and weren’t given any advice to appeal on that basis at the CAB (though CAB were very helpful); but to be honest we were not very hopeful about the appeal because her condition does not fit easily into the mobility catagories. Fortunately, the judge and doctor on the appeal decided that Section 35 did apply to her. Perhaps it would be useful to make sure that all CAB offices know about this route.

    1. Andrew says:

      Hi Jen,

      Was the successful overturn to Support group a result of the template letter of reg 35 as mentioned in this post?
      Kind Regards,

  6. Gen William Taggart says:

    Nice to see that other peeps are addressing the Legal issues contained within the WRA. There are other issues as well concerning the Data Protection Act (ICO considers ATOS healthcare to be a Data Controller) and the Right of Supersession. Social Security Act 1998 (DWP decision makers in the IBR team are not trained in this or the Social Security Administrations Act 1992, which are in fact the underlying legal support for the WRA)

  7. Gen William Taggart says:

    In respect of the Right of Supersession, this means that existing claims cannot be legally ammended or terminated as their is nobody qualified on behalf of the Secretary of State to do this.

    1. x279 says:

      Hi Gen,

      I was just thinking, would this then apply to those on DLA whom would be reassessed from autumn 2013 for Personal Independent Payment?


      1. JJ says:

        We don’t know yet. We’ve been on the case on that question for sometime now, so don’t worry. We’ll definitely keep everybody informed.

  8. Philhow says:

    oh we are going to have to start using this….as Helen has pointed out,we need to summaries the information a touch just to simplify the the letter use.
    bring it on

  9. jay says:

    re: the DWP issued the following statement:

    “We encourage people to provide as much medical evidence as possible when they apply for ESA. Often, people found fit for work only provide the necessary evidence when they ask for a reconsideration or an appeal.”

    The DWP HAVE BEEN GIVEN EVIDENCE from people and especially GP’s after ATOS fail them on the WCA.

    The DWP already have EVIDENCE they only need new evidence from new claimants, not those already on benefit

    At the so called assessment the Atos personnel use the evidence AGAINST you by asking how you get to specialist or consultant doctor appointments etc. If you say you drive or can get a bus that is used as evidence against you and you are declared fit to drive or fit to sit, travel or walk etc. No matter what your illness is or how severe it is.

    So it is a bit rich and facile of them to make this statement now. If they were serious, then it is time they experienced for themselves at first hand an Atos interrogation.

    How anyone can take this assessment seriously is laughable, created by college professors who should have the intelligence to know better – complete pyscho babble and nothing more.

    But this is all just the usual fluff, pass the buck, blame someone else. The ill or disabled should not have to prove they are ill. If the authorities believe a fraud is being committed then it is up to them to prove it.

    Certain diseases and illness have no cure, all that is available is pain relief and management, they know this but still subject patients to this inhumane test.
    They already have all the evidence they need from Incapacity Benefit & DLA forms etc.

    They have stated that they have the final decision over people’s benefit claims. Atos say they make the reports but the final decision is the DWP adjudicator. So DWP you cannot have it both ways. Do you really think someone with a chronic illness is suddenly going to become cured because a disability DENIAL analyst says they are?

    On a more positive note I would like to take this opportunity to praise and thank the efforts of all the wonderful staff and contributors to this site. You are all such a source of inspiration and have given people so much hope.
    Thank you.

    1. Karen M says:

      In my experience the DWP also like a “correctly” filled in ESA50. This means unless you are able to understand what they want you are stymied. I filled in the online ESA50 which allowed me to make any early start in April ’13 and keep changing it and saving it over 4 weeks until I got as much evidence as I could. Mind you I had support and help all the way through. The best advice I had was “remember the DWP employee reading this hasn’t got a clue about you so explain very simply what significant effect your medically diagnosed condition(s)have on your’s and others safety”.

  10. Humanity2012 says:

    This is an Important Matter Important that there is Social Justice and that Human
    Rights are Upheld Namely Not to Suffer due to Poverty and Collapse of Health

  11. karen mcgee says:

    I supplied all my medical evidence before my medical – when i arrived the nurse pushed them to one side and didnt even bother to look at them( this contained all my physio,spinal consultant ,pain management letters for the past 5 years) – i received zero points again – the report i got back especially about my mobilty does not reflect, what I recall during the medical – whats the point of suppling medical evidence when they ignore it ?

    1. Jo Yelland says:

      According to the WCA Handbook they *have* to look at the evidence and take it into account. If they have not you can request that this be marked on the assessment – they cannot refuse to do so and you have a right to bring this up with senior staff and with the DWP assessor. Not much help in regard to the zero points but this can help you at appeal.

      I’ve requested mine be recorded and am taking someone in with me to take notes – you can do this and they can ask to make a copy, but they can’t stop you from having notes taken. They *should* (if they are doing their job properly) advise you that you can take notes but that if you choose to publish it you have to omit their name.

      1. Karen M says:

        Very good and sound advice Jo. Request a CD recording though because the DWP have provided fairly useless “dual-cassette recorders”.

    2. Claire says:

      thats the same as what happened to me I have letters from consultants going back 15 years when my back injury started but didn’t want to know I felt like I got 0 points as soon as I entered the room. She wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain and then when I got the letter telling me I go no points I found she had lied about certain things. The whole thing is a disgusting shambles I now have had no money since 5th January when my incapacity benefit was stopped.

    1. Helen Roche says:

      Oops, I think this message got lost, it was meant to be after the leaflet text I posted further up the thread…

  12. jay says:

    You are very welcome, no one should let them off the hook, this site has made such a difference already.

    I’ve enlightened everyone I know as to what is going on and point them to this site, even my hospital consultant whose shocked look of disbelief I will not forget when I told him they had failed me on my WCA and stated I was fit for work.

    Whether you are sick, disabled, unemployed or in low paid employment we all stand together and must not be split into opposing factions by their propoganda.

    The struggle is never over, only last week we honoured those who fought and fell in two world wars.

    To give up would be to dishonour their valiant and heroic sacrifices

    They fought for peace and freedom. A freedom that was gained for EVERYONE not just the moneyed elite.

    Britain does not need a dictatorship for the poor (in health or finance)
    We will not tolerate it.

  13. MediaFerret says:

    An MP recently posted on Twitter that on a recent visit to her surgery there was a notice up saying GPs would no longer be writing letters to the DWP/ATOS for claimants. This was up in Scotland. No doubt a direct result of the massive number of people failing their ATOS assessments. If this is the case across the board, it’s likely that claimants will still be fighting these assessments and tribunals on their own, without the help of the people who know them to be unfit for work. Perhaps an inquiry to and a statement from the GMC would be useful, as otherwise everyone will be back at square 1.

    1. Dr Stpehen Carty says:

      Please let me know which GP surgery this was, I would like to look into this further


      1. Diane says:

        my GPs sick to his back teeth of ATOS and don’t get me started on ATOS, my husband’s consultant knows, I KNOW, MY GP KNOWS, EVERYONE THAT KNOWS HIM KNOWS there’s nothing that can be done for his legs, he was told that back in the early 1990s, the only option given to him was amputation. NOW HE HAS TO WASTE TAXPAYERS MONEY GOING TO SEE DOCTORS’ AND CONSULTANTS’ BECAUSE HE HAS “JUMP THROUGH HOOPS” TO APPEASE THE DWP AND ATOS. It really gets my goat seeing what my husband’s going through!!! Please does anyone know if anything’s going to be done about this ATOS/DWP torture soon? How many have to die? Why aren’t human rights lawyers helping us? or does it only apply to terrorists’? I’m sorry to rant I’m on my last nerve and going into meltdown with stress!!!

  14. theexpert4809 says:

    To clarify, I have been using these exceptional circumstances regulations for some time now in my capacity of Appeals Officer for a charitable organisation. They are not as simple to apply as we might hope and are hardly ever applied until a case reaches a Tribunal. The reasons are wide and varied but usually come down to statements attributed to claimants at the assessment. For example, a claimant might say they travelled to the assessment by car and that they drove themselves. This statement is interpreted as showing an ability to sit for the time period of the journey, use both gross and finer motor skills, have adequate concentration and awareness, not be at risk of dizzy spell/fits/fainting episodes, being able to complete personal actions and multiple tasks….the list goes on. Therefore, trying to argue for example that someone should be treated as if they have a limited capability for work because of a risk of fainting/fits, or because a back or spinal problem would worsen simply won’t hold water for many.

    The second issue I would point out is the DWP “decision-makers” stating they need the evidence at the time of the assessment. This again, is simply untrue and will categorically be ignored by Atos assessors and dismissed by DM’s with a standard statement such as, “The claimant has provided evidence from their GP however, the Atos HCP report is preferred because of the clinical findings.”

    Hell, I’ve even received a decision notice from DWP where the DM actually has the arrogance to state, “The Health Care Professional is an expert in the assessment of disability as well the claimants medical condition. He is therefore better placed than both the GP and Consultant to assess the claimant’s ability to work.” It beggars belief!

    My advice to all is as follows: get the assessment recorded, take a friend or relative with you, immediately dispute statements incorrectly attributed to you or taken out of context, in writing to both DWP as part of an appeal letter and separately to ATOS in the form of a written complaint, secure as much evidence as possible from your GP and Consultants to assist your appeal (which is where most decisions are changed) and opt to attend a Tribunal hearing.

    For those now time-limited and in receipt of credits only, you can still appeal against the decision to place you in the WRAG if your last decision was less than 13 months ago. You will need to show good cause as to why your appeal is late but I feel retrospective legislation is good enough cause in itself, unless you had a crystal ball at the time and could therefore appreciate the consequences of doing nothing of course! in addition, if you can show your condition has deteriorated since the date of the last decision, you can request a further assessment on the grounds of your deterioration.

    Hope this helps some in their appeals and hope it at least helps others to know you are not alone in this, there are many like me fighting for your rights too.

    1. An drew says:

      Is it the case that as a driver in receipt of Incapacity Benefit and undergoing migration to ESA I stand a big chance of being found fit for work ? When this hasd come up at appeals in your job have the tribunal taken great heed of driving. In my case I have OCD and severe anxiety but how the hell else can I travel being as I cant cope alone on public transport and can’t always have someone available to come to the GP etc., I’m so horrified at the idea that my driving could ‘do for me’ I’d think about surrendering my licence pronto ! I see that the DVLA medical disclosure form doesnt even enquire about concentration , it asks about meds and memory

      I’d be pleased to hear how the driving angle goes at appeals ? I’m horrified but I still have time to give up driving before migration is complete

    2. Karen M says:

      “My advice to all is as follows: get the assessment recorded, take a friend or relative with you, immediately dispute statements incorrectly attributed to you or taken out of context, in writing to both DWP as part of an appeal letter and separately to ATOS in the form of a written complaint, secure as much evidence as possible from your GP and Consultants to assist your appeal (which is where most decisions are changed) and opt to attend a Tribunal hearing.”
      The burden of proof is all important.

  15. Elaine says:

    Thought you would like to know that I have already won my appeal at the Reconsideration stage by applying Regs 29 and 35. I had been awarded WRAG but appealed to be in the Support Group using the Regs as I felt I had a reasonable case. I supplied plenty of medical evidence including a letter from my GP that stated that my condition might worsen by either work or work related activity.I wrote a letter to the Decision Maker pointing this out, with some extra bits of evidence. I give advice to people on an ME/CFS forum and advise people to use the Regs if they can too.

    1. mar says:

      Hi Elaine (I wonder if you could help me with advice in any way and/or point me in the direction of the ME/CFS forum you help with? I have ME Fibro Depression and severe Anxiety and have just had a letter today telling me to attend a ‘medical’ with atos on the 20th. I am already not coping with the stress they are putting me through and I don’t think I can cope with attending. I’d rather die. I’m struggling with my thoughts and anxiety even today as a result of the letter. (They just stopped my contributions based esa a fortnight ago without prior warning and left me wondering for a fortnight if I would be destitute but have now given me income based and although £9 per week less than before I was so relieved yesterday when I received the letter and now today I get the letter about the medical) My GP has already provided a letter with my ESA renewal form (which I was helped with by a welfare ben worker) stating that he thinks my mental and physical health will be worsened by being forced to attend any medicals /interviews but seems like they don’t care. The welfare ben worker was sure I met the requirements of several markers when we filled the form in and didn’t think I’d be forced to a medical. I was intitially (over a year ago) migrated over from Incapacity and placed in the ESA WRAG group without having been seen. I am so confused and exhausted with all this I feel hopeless. I’d appreciate any advice you or anyone here could give me …

      thanks so much

      1. ashug says:

        Hi, I also suffer with fibro,chronic coccydnia amonsgst sooo many more health conditions, and have little help and support frm anyone to protect me and my daughter frm the contant torture of atos etc…

  16. Dom Spens says:

    Okay, Atos, as expected, have cut me off, so what do I do now? I was struggling to live with no money or quality of life before they awarded me only 6 points and took away my ESA today. I had two rare lung disease (Legionnaires [nearly died] and Acute Pulminary Histoplasmosis [was bedbound for a year]) I now have PVFS and am in constant pain and am really weak, I am unable to move atall maybe 1 in 4 days… I wont be able to work as much as I need the money how can I hold down a job when I’m sick. what do I do. Wasn’t able to afford any christmas presents again this year, wont be able to live at all now?

    I’ve been linked to this site but I find reading hard and need someone to help me with this.

    Please someone help me.


    1. Karen M says:

      Contact your Local Authority Welfare Rights office and ask for an advisor to come to your home. This is vital if you are finding reading difficult. I wish you well and the best of luck Dom.

  17. Becky says:

    Thank you for the info. However I still find all this very confusing. My brain doesn’t work as it did and I have little support to help with the huge amount of paperwork etc that I am confronted with by the various benefit departments. I receive middle care DLA, which is reviewed every 3 years, however I have been placed in WRAG for ESA and that is reassessed annually. My condition is for life and will not change, although no one seems to be able to grasp that – even a change to 5 yearly assessments for both DLA and ESA would be wonderful. The constant form filling and jumping through hoops stresses and depresses me; it makes my condition worse. I live in constant fear that I could have my benefits taken away at any moment. What I really don’t understand is if I have been deemed to required care during the day by one benefit department, how am I supposed to have ‘limited capabilities for work’ from another, what do I do – take my carer with me to work?? (This being a technical comment/question as obviously the amount of DLA paid would never pay for full time day care anyway, I can only actually afford 4 hours a week!). None of it makes any sense whatsoever. I have another appointment at JC+ on 5th December to ‘discuss the support available to [me] through JC+’ – a statement that is rubbish to begin with; there is no support available at JC+!! JC+ is 6 miles away and there are no buses, so I have to go through the nightmare of trying to find someone to take me there and then wait up to an hour. I am sick and tired (literally) of this harassment, but can’t see a way out. I, like so many, do not have the energy to fight. Now feeling even more like crap about the whole situation, going to curl up in a ball in the corner and cry for a bit 🙁

    1. theexpert4809 says:

      An excellent way of showing the nonsense of the situation in your circumstances is to request all the evidence used on your DLA claim then use it to show your problems in your ESA Appeal. Think about the reasons you were awarded Middle Rate care (MRC) was it because you need continual supervision or because you need personal care? Think of the ways in which you require this care and the reasons you can’t do it yourself, do you need help to wash, bathe, prepare a meal? Is this due to a problem with manual dexterity? If so, you can score points on your ESA claim under descriptor 5. If its because of problems with your spine, which part, upper or lower limbs affected? If upper, you may score points on your ESA claim under descriptors 3 and 4, if lower limbs, then descriptors 1 and 2.

      In your case, you have already been placed in the WRAG so you need to concentrate your efforts on the support group criteria, which is notoriously difficult to satisfy unless you scored 15 points on 1 descriptor alone to be placed in the WRAG. Therefore I would agree that the best way for you to be placed in the support group is by arguing under Regulation 35 that there is a substantial risk to yourself (by virtue of a deterioration in both your mental and physical health) if you were found not to have a limited capability for work-related activity.

      For everyone: I know that many GP’s are not aware of what work-related activity actually means. It is absolutely imperative you let them know it means if you fail to turn up tp an appointment your benefit could be sanctioned, that if an adviser deems it appropriate, you could be forced to take part in group therapies, attend physiotherapy, engage with a “voluntary” work placement etc.

      In terms of reassessments, You need to ask your GP or Consultant to state how long he envisages your condition will cause the same problems. Don’t forget that decision-makers are not medically trained and will often take the view that even lifelong conditions may improve to such an extent that daily life can now be maintained with appropriate treatment.

      Finally, it’s not all bad news, at least a tiny step in the right direction is slowly filtering through. Tribunals are now stating how long the DWP should wait before reassessing a claimant. In agreement with DWP decision-makers, they are able to state a reassessment period of up to 3 years and DWP will abide by that finding.

  18. Jan Hamilton says:

    I was put into support group in July…19 weeks later i’ve got another ESA50 to fill in…because we assess every 6 months was the reply, i give up, i’m ready to give in, what the hell can we do to stop the repeated assessments. Oh you’re not fit for work….19 weeks later we’lll have another bite at the cherry and see if we can chamge our mind

    1. JJ says:

      Please see your doctor and get them to make a declaration that Regulations 29 and/or 35 apply to you and send it back to the DWP with your ESA50 form. Keep us informed of your progress. Hopefully they will write back and grant you exemption! If not, they’ll have us to answer to!

  19. Fran says:

    So many of the comments above could have been me: giving up, giving in, harassed, stressed, etc. This has to stop. All my hope is being drained and I can see there are so many others in the same situation. This has to stop – now. It is utterly inhumane.

  20. Fran says:

    Sorry, I forgot the most important thing, which is something I’ve wanted to say for a long time> Thank you to all at Black Triangle. You are incredible and perhaps we will all win through eventually.

  21. Lynn says:

    Hi. I did not receive my ESA 50 sent to me. Had money stopped then they reinstated it and sent me another ESA 50. I only had 2 weeks to complete it and didn’t know about getting your own medical evidence. I wouldn’t of been able too either because have been bed bound for 12 weeks. I not see my doctor when I am this ill as I can’t get to doctors.

    Could someone please send me the letters I need to take to my medical please. And the one for the doctor.

    Many thanks. These forms are making me more ill than I am!

  22. Fran says:

    Hi Lynn

    Have you checked on sister site of Black Triangle: dwp examination forum. In my view the best site, as it has REAL PEOPLE going through similar situations. You can chat to people and, hopefully, very soon, get well =informed information on how to resolve your situation. Post here again and ask if, for any reason, you cannot get on the site. 😉

  23. Mardem says:

    My girlfriend did not know about 29 and 35 when she had her WCA. She got 0 points when she should have received 36 points. Yesterday on Radio 4 I heard the Government claiming that the reason for all the successful appeals was that claimants were supplying extra medical evidence. Well, most appellants have to wait many months for their appeal, during which time their condition is likely to worsen, particularly if their benefits have been cut. My girlfriend found that Atos/DWP refused to accept her GP’s comments. When she received notice of her WCA she informed them that she was awaiting results of a Neurological test, AND that she had an MRI Scan booked for just a few days after the date of her WCA. It would have been VERY SENSIBLE for Atos/DWP to postpone her WCA until the Neuro and MRI reports had been received, but Atos/DWP refused and said that they would make not difference. The Government DOES NOT WANT TO CONSIDER MEDICAL EVIDENCE, AND IS CLEARLY IRRITATED WHEN PEOPLE DO SUPPLY EXTRA EVIDENCE. The Government claim that appellants are supplying extra evidence at appeal, but how many of these, like my girlfriend, DID try to supply evidence to Atos/DWP, but the inhumane Vogons REFUSED to accept it or postpone a WCA until the evidence had been provided? The Government STILL maintains that WCAs are “Caring and Professional”. Yes, and “Arbeit Macht Frei”.

    1. Karen M says:

      Mardem, please could I copy and paste your post to Michael Meacher’s blog ” Atos Nightmares”?

  24. hazel says:

    So with regard to the “ESA letter for claimant to be submitted with ESA50 form, do you quote both reg 29 and reg 35 or is it either or?

  25. Alice Garrett says:

    I am awaiting a tribunal. .. My gp won’t supply a letter this time round. .. He just shrugged his shoulders and told me that if and when Atos or dwp want info from him he sends them my medical records. .. I doubt if he would sign one of your documents in my circumstances? they are all in it together. …

    1. Dr Stpehen Carty says:


      Ask your GP for a copy of the ESA 113 form he/she completed. This is the information that the GP will have submitted to the DWP when asked. I assure you your GP will not have sent them your medical records. Had he done so he may have breeched the data protection act.

      See whether your GP has filled out the ESA113 comprehensively. If your health has not been accurately reflected in the ESA 113 form then write a letter to the practice manager asking for this to be addressed and copy it to your MP.

      Any further problems let us know


      Dr Stephen M Carty
      Medical Advisor
      Black Triangle Campaign

      1. Jo Yelland says:

        Please note – I contacted my GP, specialist and consultant and not one of them has been contacted by Atos. I contacted the Atos customer relations department and got this as a response:

        “Dear Miss Yelland,

        In response to your email below, I can confirm that we are not required to obtain medical evidence from treating medical professionals unless we feel this is necessary.

        Please refer to my email below for Ms Cuthbert’s qualifications.

        I am not aware of who the Decision Maker is. You will need to contact your local Benefit Centre for an answer to this question.

        Yours sincerely

        Gemma Fowler
        Customer Relations Manager”

        I had asked for the nurses’ qualifications – all they would say is she’s a qualified nurse who has a license until May next year. Nothing else.

        It’s unlikely that Atos will contact any medical professional unless they are on the support group list in the WCA Handbook, as far as I can see. I can be contacted at if you would like to speak to me or would like a copy of my emails with Atos to take to your doctors.

    2. Bluesky says:

      my GP said he couldn’t feel he could fill it in for me, but said i could send it to my consultant for him to do it, as he has more contact with me than my GP. So if anyones GP wont help send them to your consultants/physiotherapists etc. I hope this is of help to those who need it……

      1. Dave says:

        Hi all I wrote to the appeal tribunal seting out all my health problems and demonstrated how it fits into section 29 and 35!! I then took the letter to my Gp along with the letter you download from Black triangle!! I have a muscularskeletal disorder of which i was recieving physiotherapy up until an accident in august with a hand held power tool i nearly took my leg off due to pain and cramps in my hand!! My Gp charged 35.00 for a letter agreeing that section 29 and 35 apply to me at this time!! my leg still has not fully healed yet!! so physio is still a long ay off!!! I have not had my appeal yet at the tribunal but I am hoping DWP withdraw with the letter sent to the tribunal!!! we will have to see what happens!! My Gp agrees with this shakeup regarding long term Ib I wonder if the powers from above have spoken?? she said initially not to worry about Atos as she woul and could overide them when the time came??? what changed her mind??

        1. jo says:

          I think they have been told something from those above ,as I am now experiencing the same attitude,why?? Nothing with my health has improved or will improve!

      2. Bluesky says:

        Here i go again, consultant sent the form back, saying “Thankyou for sending me the form that you wish me to compleat. I note that it is actually for your GP to compleat as he holds the whole medical records and I enclose a copy of the letter that i wrote for you in August 2012 which outlines the situation and indicates that you are permanently not fit for work…I have an appointment with my GP in the morning (8th Jan 2013) so i’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will fill it in for me? The only fly in the ointment is that I have an interview with a personal adviser (WFI) at the jobcenterplus on monday (14th Jan) (Saction time here I come)……I will keep you all posted as to how things progress…(I did phone the jobcenter to tell them of my needs for the interview to take place, will be interesting to see if they implement any of them(more than likely they won’t, be it on their heads)…..ttfn..

        1. Bluesky says:

          Hello everyone. Had my appointment with my GP, I gave him a letter explaining everything that was going on with DWP/ATOS. ok he didn’t give me a letter regarding reg 35, he did the next best thing, he gave me an open ended ststement of fitness for work advising that I’m “not fit for work” as he assessed my case on 9/1/2013 and, because of the following condition Ankylosing Spondylitis (advanced). GP told me to take it to jobcenterplus, I eventually got there and the ‘little Hitler’ on the desk said that i “HAD TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO GIVE IT TO THEM”??????? while i was there ‘more security appeared??watching me very closely??? (I wasn’t dangerous to anyone there, i couldn’t knock the skin off a rice pudding in my condition), eventually got them to take the statement and photo copied it, at this point i asked “Do i still have to attend the personal adviser interview on monday, as i have a review/appeal on the go?? the only answer i got was ‘Do you have a payment due’. at this point i had to leave as the pain was too much………… will let you all know what happens in the next thrilling instalment of “DWP/ATOS/JOBCENTERPLUS WARSSS. I’m Lukepushover (does anyone wanna be ‘BATHEVADER’. lol)

          1. Bluesky says:

            Hello everyone, (A bit of good news for once). I had my appointment with the ‘personal advisor at jobcentre+ the advisor was agast that I had been called in for an interview to ‘help me back to work’ (placed in WRAG) as they could see that I have serious health problems. I had turned up ‘late to the interview’ and was helped to the other end of the jobcentre+ by a security guard (very nice person) helped into the chair, as i was starting to get into the chair ‘guess what’ my hip gave way with a ‘loud click’ followed by me mumbling something ‘naughty under my breath’ both advisor and guard were very concerned for me. interview eventually went ahead, with the adivsor putting me down as ‘vunerable’ and placing me onto the light caseload so i won’t get called in too often, The advisor will phone me instead of me having to go see them, the advisor asked if i was appealing the DWP to place me in WRAG, i said i’ve done so. i also gave advisor letters from GP/consultant etc, they couldn’t belive that i had been placed in the WRAG group. (the advisor was very good and very sympathetic towards me and said they would keep me on their caseload so i’m not shunted from one advisor to another. So at the moment i’m waiting to see if the DWP will overturn their oppinion to place me in the WRAG group. so fingers crossed 🙂 ther are some ‘good people at the jobcentre+’ I hope they don’t get moved onto another centre+. will keep you all posted as to any futher development in the ongoing ‘Saga of “DWP/ATOS/JOBCENTERPLUS WARSSS. this is ‘Lukepushover signing off till the next time……

            1. Bluesky says:

              WHOO HOO 🙂 🙂 had a phone call from DWP today (thurs 24th jan, 2013. 12:30pm) to say that they couldn’t belive that I had been placed in the WRAG group, when clearly I should of been placed in the support group, anyway they said that the desision has been overturned and that i’m now in the ‘SUPPORT GROUP’ 🙂 🙂 and that my appeal will no longer take place as the reconsideration has gone in my favour. I was also told that i should not be ‘reviewed for the next 3 years (time will tell if they keep to their word on this one) so thats another ‘anvil’ thats been removed from around my neck, as i said in my earlier post there are some good people in the DWP.. shame there are not enough of them to go round. keep your eyes open for the sequel ‘DWP STRIKES BACK’. lukepushover signing off till then, (may the force of the black triangle be with you)………:) 🙂

  26. maria says:

    wish me luck…am going to appeal(date not set yet) just printed the letters to take to my gp…hope hes going to support me…

  27. rp says:

    I have used these regs and although it has taken several months and many calls to DWP , I have had my tribunal cancelled and I have been put in the support group. I wasn’t aware of your campaign . I just made my way through all the esa regs and came across these exceptional circumstances regs. It took alot of work to gain the necessary documents to support this and I had to really chase the DWP because they wouldn’t even look at my evidence to start with. They were just going to send it to tribunal, but at last I have succeeded and I will have my money back-dated. I am so relieved.Good luck to everyone else . Its hard going , but it is possible.

  28. JOHN CURRIGAN says:

    Diana : Wanna WIN against ATOS :
    is the governments “healthcare provider”
    6-WHAT ABOUT 1000, 10,000, 100,000…
    10-FOR YEARS…

  29. cathy says:

    I have just recieved my forms for ESA and I am dreading it, I had my DLA for life but I suppose it wont be long before I get forms for that too. I am so down and depressed that I have jus had a mini stroke (TIA) I know my family are very worried about me, I am so glad I have come across this site.

  30. Boadacia! says:

    It might be best not to conclude that these alterations to the welfare rules/laws have anything to do with work, or the aiding disabled and sick, but purely a financial exercise in cutting benefit and feeding multi-million pound companies that the politicians have investments in.

    So, it’s pain for all, and gain for those that need to be on trial for their crooked manipulations, and the media moguls who lie every day to the public, and pull the strings of puppet-politicians.

    We must fight them, no matter how ill we all feel or depressed and suicidal! This is not the first time in history this has occurred, but we may be able to influence these particular cruel moron’s demise, and make the future a little more secure for those in genuine need.

    Remember that Labour initiated this, with another tax evading politician (allegedly) and as expected the Tories will make it much worse.

    One can call oneself any party, it is just a word, but we are at war with politicians that need removing from office, and preferably from any position of authority.

    1. Karen M says:

      Boadacia!, your words are prophetic. The ConDems refused a cumulative assessment of benefit cuts. Now we are “extremists” too (labelled as such by a disabled Con MP no less), but actually we are fighting for our human rights. I too suspect this present group of politicians (allegedly) have shares in A*** and other such companies. Thank you.

  31. JOHN CURRIGAN says:


    is the governments “healthcare provider”
    *WHAT ABOUT 1000, 10,000, 100,000… MILLIONS OF COMPLAINTS
    * “THAT’S” HOW TO WIN…
    1-The Parliamentary and Health OMBUDSMAN
    2-The Human Rights Commission-Europe
    3-The General Medical Council.
    M3 3AW
    TEL : 0161-923-6200
    FAX : 0161-923-6201
    EMAIL : on
    *Lets halt THEIR :

  32. Tim says:

    I thought this would have been common knowledge as it’s also contained within the DWP’s Guide To ESA which gives the points descriptors – which are kind of vital to read to tailor responses so that the relevant information about ones disabilities is related on the form.


    Anyway, since being moved onto ESA myself, I’ve specifically stated on the forms that, ignoring any points scoring (I ‘should’ have more than enough btw), I am applying under the “Exceptional Circumstances Rule”, supported medically, on both my original claim and 1 year reassessment and had both claims agreed without a medical…

    So I can certainly testify that this appears to work very effectively.

    Whilst perhaps not a popular belief – and I am certainly not suggesting that ATOS are perfect (particularly with regard to what I have heard anecdotally about medical assessments) – by giving all of the information upfront then, at least in this regard, they have been incredibly useful in my personal situation.

    1. Karen M says:

      Yup, if you can work out what DWP wants you to say. More difficult for people who have mental health problems and who find it difficult to put down in words what they know is wrong with them. Also people have to have access to the latest DWP digital assets through the internet.

      Your experience may help others Tim and I hope the whole process went well for you. I totally agree with you about giving the information upfront, it really helped me.

  33. jessica mccarnun says:

    Thank you for this, I have been away ill for past week but back 110% now. They won’t let me appeal point blank have tried. But I will pass this on to as many people I can. If there is anything else you would like me to foward let me know x

    1. Stevorch says:

      Hi Jessica, how do you mean that they “wont let you appeal point blank”. I tought that everybody has a right to appeal. (??)

  34. Sarah Dunbar says:

    I had to go to a tribunal about DLA in October and was still refused so have had to reapply for the DLA again. They refused that as well so, after contacting CAB, I have to appeal again.

    I have Hypermobility Syndrome, Depression, Stress, Anxiety and Panic attacks.

    During the Tribunal I explained that I need help to wash my hair and get dried after a shower and was told that I should use a terry towelling dressing gown and drip dry which I feel is very disrespectful. They didn’t give me or my mum the chance to explain anything including when we tried to explain about the Panic Attacks and how they affect me. I told them that I bolt into the road infront of traffic as I don’t pay attention to my surroundings but they didnt seem to want to know.

    My depression has got worse, as well as my hypermobility as I am so stressed out with all of this going on and now I’m having to go through this process again as well as the Incapacity Benefit thing!! It is completely stressing me out and I am finding it harder to cope with everything

  35. Stevorch says:

    My GP pretty much blankly refused to sign this document. I think he was scared by it. Sincerely hope other deserving people have more enlightened doctors than I have.

    1. oscar says:

      I’d change my GP and if enough did that the GP’s would soon take note as nothing like hitting them in the pocket

  36. Bob says:

    This regualtion thing isn’t explained that well at all.

    In 2010, I had my appeal rule that I was unfit for work and regulation 29b applied.

    Doe’s this now mean that because of that ruling, I am now immune from WCA decisions?

    1. JJ says:

      No, not necessarily. It depends on whether your medical condition has changed. If it hasn’t, we advise you to ask the GP to give you a letter saying so and that he/she believes that Regulation 29 still applies. Then send it in immediately and let us know the outcome. Cheers, Bob.

  37. Bob says:

    Trying to get a GP to write, or sign anything now is near on impossible as you’re probably aware.

    I support any campaign agaisnt this corupt system, but I think it’s misleading giving people false hope by stating “how to gain exemption and immunity” with those regulations.

    I had a WCA in january, which obviously went in my favour but not 3 months later, another ESA50 turned up.

    It seems if they want to get you off ESA, they will get you off one way or another.

  38. Bob says:

    Just to add, think of the headache the DWP would have if everyone covertly recorded their WCA on their mobile phones.

    It’s perfectly legal aslong as the other party is not publicly identified, as in you don’t upload the audio to Youtube with the name of the Dr or nurse.

    A campaign like this would certainly clench a few buttocks in the department, and if enough people did it, would gain far more publicity.

  39. graham haydock says:

    article 25 of the universal declaration of human rights. everyone has the right to a standard of living ADEQUATE for the health and wellbeing of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. 2 motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. all children,wether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

  40. graham haydock says:

    the european convention on human rights, article 4 states also, no one should be held in slavery or servitude. 2 no one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour. definition of slave, person who is the legal property of another or others and is bound to absolute obedience, human chattel, helpless victim to or of some dominating influence.

  41. Jo Yelland says:

    Question: I have uncontrolled Idiopathic Generalised Epilepsy. I am going to an Atos medical assessment (sic) on the 18th December. Would the section regarding uncontrolled conditions (they have already been repeatedly advised that it is uncontrolled) be suitable for me? My doctor, neurologist and specialist nurse consider me a risk to myself and others and that I’m not to go far from my own front door unaided as the seizures can be very severe. What do you think?

  42. Saxon says:

    Does anybody know what percentage of people actually pass the medical at the first attempt? also, what are the statistics per centre?

    1. lesley ashbee says:

      Hi …I was led to believe that there was a leaked document between the government and ATOS stating the governments directive to ATOS that they required them to fail 80% of all first time assessments…I think I am right…also large number of people getting the right decision at tribunal stage…so spending an enormous amount of tax payers money to a FRENCH company….just to weed out about 10% of original claiments …The rest of us genuinely ill people suffer and those without a carer or advocate…DO WHAT..suffer more stress giving our illness more of a grip and leaving us in a mess when we do finally get some money to live on…homeless ill people are an automatic risk to themselves by definition surely???We are becoming the third world country within a country of oppulance…is sickening that no one wants to be an advocate for us at a high level.Where is the outrage??? Where are our allies??…..Apart from good people like yourselves who gives a damn ???

  43. nasda says:

    My GP yesterday said that she was unable to give me a supporting letter to help with my appeal, she did however give me a print out of my admission summary. I think I now need to contact the hospital to ask for my psychiatric records.

  44. nasda says:

    Now I have just found out that they can refuse me my records because of my mental illness. What can I do now .

    1. Jo Yelland says:

      Have you requested a summary from them? They can give you a general summary. Also, I’m presuming mitigating harm has been the reason for refusal. If that’s the case (essentially, they worry that showing you the records may make things worse for you and your health) you can request they forward them to the Atos test centre under the date and time of your appointment, or that they send it on to the DWP decision maker, though you will need to ask the DWP who that is and get the address.

  45. Annie says:

    I have suggested to a few people that they try regs 29 & 35. One tried and her GP would not sign the letter. Another suggested it would look contrived to try and put the regs in for her Tribunal hearing.

    From what I know, it looks as though the regs could make it easier for someone to be accepted in the support group. However, I am getting feedback which suggests otherwise and am finding it difficult to know how to overcome the doubts people have. Any suggestions please?

    1. Jo Yelland says:

      The regs is an excellent idea and according to the WCA Handbook they can be raised at any time as they should be considered AT ALL TIMES. Thanks for putting this up Black Triangle.

      In regards to the letter being refused by doctors, there’s only a couple of things I can suggest, going on my own experience.

      1/ Rewrite the letter in your own words, then ask the doctor

      2/If they still won’t, ask them to look at the regs, see if you fit in and then to write the letter themselves.

      3/If they still refuse, ask them if they would be willing to put the reason why they don’t agree with the letter in writing, as you intend to use it at an Atos assessment/appeal and file a formal complaint against Atos to the GMC (last resort).

      I’ve found that most doctors, when faced with conditions, illness or disability, like to feel they have all the answers and are the font of all knowledge. A pre-written letter challenges their perceived authority and gets their backs up. Giving them the option to look at the information as you believe it falls in with their assessment massages their egos and is a nicer way to get them to do the right thing.

      My recent doctors have been exceptionally good and are more honest in regards to their experience and ability to treat my uncontrolled epilepsy. If only it was the same with more of them…

  46. Chris says:

    Hi all, like so many on here my family have had to endure the DWP / Atos torture regeime. My wife has been on IB since 2003 after being given permanent ill health retirement from work, and her health has only declined since. She got 0 points in her WCA then 27 at appeal but was put in wrag. We are just about to send in a supercession request due to evidenced decline in health and we wrote to her GP with thid info

  47. Chris says:

    He wouldn’t even entertain the idea of using the letter format. He felt it looked too legal and he was scared off. The only thing he was prepared to do was countersign a letter written by my wife. His statement simply read “I support her application” followed by his signature and his rubber stamp. Better than nothing but not carrying much weight.

  48. Annie says:

    I appealed against an ATOS decision in June 2012 stating that I was fit for work, although getting fit lines from my GP for 6 months at a time! Today I have received notification that the decision has not been overturned and it is now being sent to a Tribunal!!! I have been living off £71 a week since June, to keep me, a house and a 20yr old whose at college. I think Im going to have to stop eating as I cant afford it. I have fibromyalgia, copd, arthritis and disc bulges in my lower spine – I worked for 34 years and was paid off because of being off sick. There is no cure for this and I am in chronic pain constantly. How can they decide I am fit for work when my GP says Im not???

    1. Jo Yelland says:

      Couple of bits of advice – get your MP involved, they can bring this up directly with Atos and the tribunal for you and they hold alot more sway with them than they realise. Also, you can contact the DWP and Jobcentre in writing advising that you are appealing the decision and that due to this you feel you should not have to face financial hardship due to incorrect decision making. Ask them to confirm, in writing, that they will continue to pay your benefits whilst the tribunal/appeal is ongoing and that, should they refuse to do so, you request a full explanation in writing.

      Do not go to any of the meetings, assessments or similar on your own, take someone with you who can act as a witness should you require it.

      For those of you with non-visible physical conditions or mental illness, please watch this video – it is not a guaranteed way out but can be helpful in forcing Atos hand and proves that they *have* to obey their contract properly (thanks to dirtytrainers for this):

  49. Christopher says:

    I recently got my form to fill in which I finally got round to completing and posting yesterday so we’ll see how it goes.

    I have a number of ongoing medical issues which include severe depression, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, excessively High BP (180 +) and an unusual form of a condition called Hyperhidrosis which means in stressful situations or with the minimal physical activity I sweat so much it looks like I’ve just stepped out of a shower. I also had a TIA a while ago, and on top of all that was peeing blood over Christmas. ((Been to GP to get tests on my prostate)).

    Anyway, after a nervous breakdown many years ago during which I attempted suicide I was hospitalised and signed off work indefinitely and placed on DLA. After a review a year or so later however because as they said ”I had made no further attempts to kill myself” I was suddenly deemed to no longer be in need of DLA and was instead placed on Incapacity benefit. The stress of losing that extra money didn’t do much to help but I got on with it cos I had no choice.

    During my time on IB Ihad to undergo 2 medical assessments. The first one was won on appeal, the DWP’s case getting rejected in less than 2 minutes, and after having to struggle for a few months on half benefit it was reinstated to me.

    A few years later I was called in for a second one and was awarded the benefit without any problems. Even the doctor carrying out the assessment said he couldn’t understand why I’d been called in again as nothing had changed.

    Now because of the Governments re-branding of the benefits system I find myself having to go through it all and ”prove I’m ill” once again. This is immoral and seems to me to be nothing less than blatant harassment by ‘Mr I wanna make a name for myself Ian Duncan Smith’ because like thousands of others I’m an “easy target”.

    I hope I’m wrong, and I hope I’m strong enough mentally to resist the temptation myself, but I can see an awful lot of people feeling the only way out of yet more misery piled upon them through no fault of their own is to take their own lives. Maybe only then when the stench of the dead bodies reaches David Cameron’s nostrils will he realise how arrogant his phrase ”we are all in this together” actually sounds.

    Great site. Thanks for listening. And keep up the fight.

  50. Chris says:

    Well we got the result of my wifes supersession request. DWP contacted her and said she clearly should have been put in the Support Group from the start. They moved her to that group immediately and back dated it to December 2011, not to be reviewed until December 2013. So after 15 mega stressful months a massive relief. We’ve asked for a statement of reasons to establish on what basis she was put in the Support Group.

  51. Silver says:

    I have my appt. today in a few hours, dreading is not the word, I’ve had my money stopped before and apart from ‘crises loans’ doled out on the whim of whoever chance dictated would answer the phone that day, i spent over 6 months begging for cash to a stranger over the phone so i could eat every few weeks, one time being told “you’ve survived this long without money you can survive another two weeks” when a dubious interviewer refused to accept the truth of my circumstances, circumstances caused initially by my own apathy but continued by an office who then spent months dragging heels.
    I was awarded benefits eventually but i spent 6 months, sat in my room, at times not eating for 3 or 4 days in a row or scraping through a week rationing a loaf of bread, not the best circumstances for someone who already has mental health issues. I hope i don’t scare anyone by this, the reactions of many of the staff i talked to were of shock and regret at red tape, except for my dear friend Eileen i mentioned above. It just all seems so wrong.
    I do remember thinking at my appt. the irony of claiming apathy, depression and anxiety while obviously being quite capable of getting myself to the interview, but it’s one thing to suffer so long and force yourself to show up once when starvation is the alternative and quite another to be capable of doing so consistently, it is absurd to consider that because a person can show up once that they can happily show up at a job 5 days a week and function as expected as iv’e read in some cases above, i’m rambling and will sshh

    1. Diane says:

      Why wasn’t you given money to live off??
      Why wouldn’t they give you money?
      isn’t it an infringement of your human rights?
      What happened about your rent?
      did they pay it?
      we have got to go through this and to tell you the truth mentally I dunno how we’d cope?
      we have no family to borrow money off
      No wonder that many are commiting suicide

  52. Anna Hayward says:

    The problem is, it isn’t always easy to get medical evidence when you have a long standing condition that may have been diagnosed in childhood. For instance, if you were diagnosed with autism as a child and have been having care ever since. Or if you were born with your disability. Very often your diagnosis becomes lost in the mists of time. And GP’s aren’t necessarily any good when it comes to complex or rare conditions. Even so, even with copious medical evidence, such as the registered blind man turned down for ESA, featured on a vlog recently, ATOS assessors still sometimes decide that they know best than a whole bunch of senior experts.

    Those of us with complex disabilities (I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Aspergers, brittle asthma, severe allergies and fibromyalgia) often have a trolley full of medical notes and endless assessments with consultants and other doctors, so that it is very difficult to pick out the evidence people like the DWP need. I can prove all of these diagnoses, but how to prove that as a result of them, I have difficulty preparing dinner 3 nights per week? Or that because of Aspergers, I find it difficult to manage my complex medication regime? Even I can’t really understand which condition is causing which problem, as its often a mixture, and different problems are treated by entirely separate consultants in different parts of the hospital. All I know is that I can’t do something. Probably as a result, I have been turned down for DLA three times.

    1. Beebs says:

      Anna, I would go as far as saying, a reluctance from GPs and Hospital Consultants to write medical valid clinic letters supportiing diagnosis. I have noticed that my Cardio never writes about my heart failure symptoms, or its affects on mobility and physical exertion limitations. He never ever mentions anything valid or helpful. Sometimes, he goes as far as denying those symptoms or even the heart failure. LOL. I have echocardiograms which shows consistent chronic left ventricular dysfunction, systolic and diastolic heart failure, as well as other cardiac and pulmonary related issues. Its collusion…

    2. Karen M says:

      Anna, I understand what you mean. Your post is powerful, I have really considered my own situation. I have spina bifida, but it was only diagnosed last year because I complained and carried on complaining about the back pain (chronic fractures to part of the L5/S1 vertebra and related osteoarthritis showed up on x-ray), a nasty incurable neurological condition called complex regional pain syndrome that took over 8 years to diagnose (through xray, mri and clinical exam, eventually), related fibromyalgia (anyone with a body-wide pain called allodynia can relate to that) plus an unusual painful diabetic neuropathy (my feet were categorically not affected but my right eye was, weird).

      Way too complex to start with, then add on diabetes, visual impairment and depression and it IS so difficult to pin-point and describe where the effect of one condition ends and another begins. Worse still the DWP “decision makers” have no medical training and rely on the feedback from the Atos employees who do the “work capacity assessment”. Yup the same ones who prefer to ignore expert opinion (GP and specialist input). Thank you Anna.

  53. Chris says:

    Well we got written confirmation of why my wife was put in the support group for ESA. It was through meeting the Mobilising descriptor not through application of Reg 35 (2), despite having GP support for both.

    Good luck to anyone else that trys to apply it.

  54. Jo Yelland says:

    Okay, I have now had my assessment, where I directly mentioned (during recording) the regulations. I have also found that extra evidence can be submitted directly to the DwP if you just post it with a covering letter with your name and National Insurance number on it so I am sending the regs letter in too. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    JJ – can the Green Party use your letter templates. We’re trying our best to cover the shortfall in advocates (the government has cut funding for CAB offices and has stopped people getting legal aid for employment and disability issues) but we’re getting swamped. It’s costing everyone from the leadership down 8 hours of extra work a week, sometimes more, and we’re not all elected officials – just local candidates and volunteers. If you’re happy to give your permission, I can set up a help pack to go to all Green Party advocates, members and volunteers that need it. I also have a few friends at some CABs and hospitals who would love to use it in their work on the quiet (can’t let the government find out until AFTER it’s proved a success and been advertised as such, otherwise they’ll put the kybosh on it). What do you think?


  55. Beebs says:

    Hi all, like so many on here my family have had to endure the DWP / Atos torture regeime. My wife has been on IB since 2003 after being given permanent ill health retirement from work, and her health has only declined since. She got 0 points in her WCA then 27 at appeal but was put in wrag. We are just about to send in a supercession request due to evidenced decline in health and we wrote to her GP with thid info

    Hi Chris: what is a supercession request? Is it possible to write a letter that should I be forced to work, there will be worsening of health, based on long standing chronic health issues. Should I be forced to work, there will be legal reperucussions as to deteriorating health? Or consult with a solicitor and look at the legality?

  56. Chris says:

    Hi, a supersession request is where you ask DWP to look at your case again based on an evidenced deterioration in health i.e. The picture has changed. This is different to a reconsideration as that only means they look again at information that they had at the beginning.

    As for the other part of your question this i suppose is where you could look to apply either Reg 29 or Reg 35 but you’d need medical back up for your claim as opposed to just your own view.

    I’m no expert, that’s just my view.

  57. Kal Murphy says:

    May I suggest to Helen that she opens a page of Facebook and loads them on there fur everyone to see. Failing his could I also add to your burdon by also requesting the info from you hon. My email address is Bless you x

  58. fiona says:

    Hi all could some one please send me a copy as well of the three documents, much appreciated have docs appoint on tue, need to get him to see this and the extent we are having to go to just to recieve a benefit, will let all know my doc’s opinion, my doctor is the best he hates anything to do with dwp, 🙂 Greatly Appreciated.

  59. Gerald says:

    Looking at the letter above for the doc it seems ti imply that its for appeal purposes? can some just clarify for me how and when this should be used~?

  60. Marie says:

    Hi I know this is going to sound a bit like im thick. But I was on incapacity benefit from 1990 and last year it obviously changed to ESA. I was called along for a medical and was put into the work related category. I got a letter from ESA also saying that it will run out after a year (this april 13).

    I also receive DLA at highest care and low mobility . I suffer diabetes, underactive thyroid. binge eating disorder, nerve damage to my feet. ibs. incontinence as well as ptsd and borderline personality disorder.

    what im trying to find out is this. if I ask for appeal aren’t they going to ask my why its taken so long for me to appeal? Reason being seriously I don’t understand much of it and was unaware till last week there where two groups.

    What happens in april do I have to reapply from scratch? any advice on this I would be very grateful. I feel I should be in the support group.


  61. Gerald says:

    Can anyone throw some light on my question please. Looking at the letter above for the doc it seems ti imply that its for appeal purposes? can some just clarify for me how and when this should be used~?

    1. JJ says:

      You can ask your doctor to write a letter invoking the regulations at any stage of the process. It’s a template. Solidarity, Gerald.

  62. Lynne says:

    I’ve just received my appointment for a medical appointment with ATOS. I now have three weeks to worry about it. Worry=stress=exacerbation of depression. I just feel so sick of it all.

  63. Demondaz says:

    Fellow disabled minions
    I am writing for some advice as I must admit I am confused (which isn’t hard for me), I was placed on DLA with middle rate on care high mobility then after I submitted a load of papers detailing everything signed by my GP they reconsidered to High on both with an INDEFINITE award. Now this ESA malarkey comes up (they know about my stroke and the botched appendix op that has caused a 6 year plus non healing wound, plus heart problems blah blah) I’m only 32 and live like a 80 year old (I do love my slippers and dressing gown though) the problem I have is that I have been unable to attend two WCA’s due to recurring infection, high temps sickness the lot, I asked atos for a home visit (they re arranged the appointment themselves and said we had to get GP to send a fax) the problem is that my GPs’ won’t send a fax without a letter from dwp asking for the information themselves quoting “they understand what I’m asking but data protection won’t allow them to send medical information pertaining to me without the other group asking for it” eventhough I am giving them consent to do so!! I’m banding my head against the per verbal wall it’s maddening! I have been in touch with the benefits center all the way and we spoke to a really nice guy who was trying to help, I told him the circumstances and he said given my circumstances then it won’t be hard to prove good cause and I shouldn’t have anything stopped…. But reading horror stories I’m petrified especially with a payment due tomorrow, the wife will probably leave and go to her mums with our daughter , I have been failed by every system and have the worst luck. I’ve gone from playing sport for our country, serving in our forces to this mess I am now, do they seriously think I just want to screw the system or something? I’m just lost I guess looking for answers

    1. Bluesky says:

      why do atos want a ‘fax’ from your GP?? if they want medical info from your GP they should send the relavent form (ESA113 I think it’s the one) for your GP to fill in, and then your GP charges them for it, it sounds to me like atos are trying to save money by getting your GP to fax the information to them for nothing, if this is the case then atos are breacking DWP guidance….without the exact nature of what atos asked i’m only taking a stab in the dark here………..

  64. Lynne says:

    I had my ATOS appointment today, and took with me a letter of support from my doctor. Now I just have the excrutiating wait for the outcome of the “medical”.

  65. Angela says:

    I am sorry if this is a redundant question because it may have been asked already, but i struggle to read pages of writing so can only scan prior comments. I currently have my forms to fill out to carry on receiving my ESA, which i receive at the higher rate since my last assessment over two years ago, and want to know is it worth my while getting my doctor to fill out the draft letter above about 29 and 35? I know having to go back to work would affect me adversely as does my doctor, in fact she and I know it would be impossible, so would it help to get the letter and send it with my forms? thank you by the way my forms have to be posted within the next 3 ot 4 days.

    1. JJ says:

      Yes Angela – ask your doctor to fill out the form we have provided and send it isn with the forms X

  66. Maz says:

    Hi im wondering if anyone can offer me advice here. I currently get DLA high care and low mobility for my illnesses and of course was switched over to ESA from incapacity benefit. I went to ATOS last year and after the decision to put me in the WRAG group, I suffer mental health problems as well as a whole list of physical illnesses. In my ignorance because of my severe anxiety I didn’t realise there was two diff groups for ESA.

    I was on contributionary ESA and that runs out in a months time, im panicking. I went to CAB for advive and I have a husband he gets carers allowance for me but nothing else. CAB suggested we might as a couple be better off claiming Income support and me coming off ESA.

    IM totally confused, I really need to try and claim income related ESA but have no idea how I go about that, CAB phoned esa folk they cant just transfer me over as they need to take other income such as carers and child tax credit into account so I would need to reapply show proof.

    Does anyone know if at some point I can ask to be put in the support group? does anyone know of anywhere in the Glasgow, Scotland area that might help me with this process, its a nightmare which I don’t understand, IM just so worried when my money runs out in a month. All advice gratefully received.

  67. Demondaz says:

    Well my worst fears today came in the post, they are stopping my benefit on 29th march as good cause was not accepted! My appointment was due on 12th feb, we had been in constant contact with both DWP and ATOS because I had deteriorated further and as a complication developed an abcess in my face with swelling into my left eye as well as my botched appendix op wound infection, high temperature of 38.2c, sickness etc and was just too ill to attend, the day before the WCA we spoke to someone in the reassessment team/benefit center (I had already requested a home visit but the problem I was facing is that ATOS wanted a fax from my doctor saying why I couldn’t attend and why I’d need a home visit but my GP wouldn’t issue it without a covering letter from either DWP/ATOS requesting the info) this advisor told me what many other advisors had sais and try the GP again and if not successful to contact in the morning (which was the day of the WCA) as they could sort something out…. We placed the call and got some obnoxious woman who refused to put me through and instead arranged a call back for that day any time up to 4:30pm… A call never came and when we rang the next day (13 feb) was told that a call was not logged nor was a call back request made!!! Anyway the form to explain why I didn’t attend came and we detailed everything from what was advised to chronic illness ( which includes MRSA and pseudomonas infections) and the GP contact details so they could explain why they wouldn’t issue the fax and they have not accepted good cause, even the CAB are bewildered by it! My benefit stops on the 29march, the CAB have requested a reconsideration while the GL24 appeal goes in (the CAB have been brilliant today) I’m lost for words and have done everything humanly possible to get a WCA done! I get the highest DLA award both Mobility and CARe on an indefinite award and don’t understand why they can’t see how bad things are for me…. Sorry for having a moan as at least I still have something coming in for now while others don’t…..where do I go from here? What’s my best course of action? What the hell do I do ?

    1. JJ says:

      Use the templates provided – take them to your GP and ask them to use it to write a letter invoking Regulations 29 & 35 and send back to the DWP – right away! Solidarity!

  68. Demondaz says:

    Oooh I am a mega heathen I forgot to say a big thank you for replying, sorry about that brain fart

  69. RG says:

    I am going through the mill at the moment. I scored 0 points at WCA the HCP distorted my answers and the report contains blatant lies. I have a local welfare lady coming to see me because I have received my appeal pack. I am going to try my GP with the template letter and docs. I am contacting the specialist who treats me to get his findings and prognosis I will also ask him to include the risk of making my condition worse with work.
    I have contacted my MP and MEP.
    I am not really well enough for this kind of battle, and my condition has worsened by this process. Has anyone made a complaint to ATOS about their HCP. I am certainly going to but I don’t want it to effect my appeal.

    1. Diane says:

      1-The Parliamentary and Health OMBUDSMAN
      2-The Human Rights Commission-Europe
      3-The General Medical Council.
      M3 3AW
      TEL : 0161-923-6200
      FAX : 0161-923-6201
      EMAIL : on

    2. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      You have become another product of the DWPs BILL GUNNYEON.

      He is the Angel of Death that is complicit in taking lives.

      The twisted corrupt software that ATOS use is the brainchild of the above, in conjunction with another lunatic, Sir Mansel Aylward.


      Gunnyeon is supposed to be the Chief Medical Officer of the DWP. He is paid solely for selling, each and every disabled person, down the river…..

      I hope the knot is tight when it finally brings him to earth……..

  70. Susie says:

    My relative left work on ill health and as been in wrag group since August 2011, they been once to see advisor they refuse to go anymore suffer with mental health, GP, Mental Health & MP been writing letters to say relative should be in the support group as they started deterioating June 2012. Appeal was put in then to go into support group not had a date for appeal. Sent in regulation 35 into DWP that GP filled in 2 week ago had no response. Even MP not had a response to last letter, he as wrote again today complaining. Relative been told the wrag is mandatory and as already missed 2 appointments and as been advised sanctions may be applied if they miss 3rd appointment made for next 2 weeks. What can we do next? tried everything I can think of relative will not go to wrag meeting told Ingeus this. Amazing how a nurse at Atos can state relative should be well enough to return to work within 6 months yet no medical team as been able to improve relatives condition in years, think Atos should be renamed Lourdes if they can declare people ok yet GP`s and Consultants and Mental Health cannot

  71. michelle skinner says:

    I am currently on appeal with my dla claim. Waited a year to be heard at a tribunal court. When i got there they sent me away because they wanted to look at me doctors records. I have since been told that they have requested a atos doctor to come and visit/assess me in my home. I have chronic fibroymyalgia/m.e and chronic ibs c which was caused by high doses of antibiotics. Would this information poss help my tribunal appeal, i am so tired of fihhting! But the dla would help me pay for some care as i have a 9 month old baby which is severly impacting my health. I currently recieve esa work related groip. Thanks in advance

    1. RG says:

      make sure you have someone with you, a proffesional of some kind, do you have a social worker who could attend. either record the interview or take notes. good luck

    2. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

      Michelle, get a doctors report, whatever you do, dont let ATOS come to examine you at home. I have read lots of blogs where they attended the client. You would be safer letting Fred West in for a cuppa………

      A proper report from a GP might cost a few quid, moneys tight but its the best option.

      Home visits from ATOS will give you a medical report that states you have a nice home, neat and tidy and how much effort you have put into your appearance and your pets are well tended!
      Your ailments will be trivial and you will be able to walk to the south pole and back….

  72. GEOFF REYNOLDS says:

    What everybody should do at an ATOS examination is pick the laptop up and sling it against the wall!!!

    We are human beings not a character in a disability denial software game……

  73. jay says:

    That would be a very satisfying thing to do.
    But you can just imagine the written report “client picked up laptop and threw with force at wall.
    Upper body strength excellent, no physical problems above waist. Fit for immediate work”

    But on a serious note if you can avoid Atos in your home do so they would only twist what you say and your circumstances to suit their biased and lying report.

    This whole Lima software is biased against you but still Atos workers lie in their reports even though any nurse and doctor should abide by their duty of care which states that they should be honest!

    1. Karen M says:

      LOL. Great one Jay, I now have a cartoon image of Atos employee diligently proving Geoff capable of work. The butt of the joke is on the jobsworths, as it should be.

  74. billy says:

    fit for work to support group today 13, march with 24 months recommendation on appeal using rule 29/35 from template from black triangle ,thank so so much ,stress off for a while .

    1. william says:

      hi i won a appeal dec 2011 35 days later i was sent a esa form to fill in again never had time to recover from the last time .i fail my med with atos big supprise but won my appleal on april 2013 year .paper work says dont reassess for 24 months is that 24 months for real? thank you

  75. lee johnson says:

    was in court this morning for my tribunal hearing was awarded 0 points by atos so appealed against it 7 months later got awarded 18 points by judge in court so f**k um .
    cmon everbody keep fighting there is hope afterall

  76. Lynne says:

    I had my ATOS appointment on March 1st, and was stressing out about it. On this forum I got lots of support and advice. I got a letter from my GP and took it with me to the “medical”. I found out yesterday that I have been placed in the support group. This is such a huge weight off my mind. Thanks so much for the virtual hand holding!

  77. RG says:

    Just a quick update, I got a reply back from my MP stating he had passed my concerns onto the Minister Dept of work and pensions. In other words it has been kicked into the long grass. My MEP has not even replied. I asked my MP Stephen O Brien what he had done for the sick and disabled in his constituency. He did not reply to this question so I must assume the answer is “Nowt”

  78. RG says:

    well what a bummer, I had my welfare adviser come this afternoon to prepare for my tribunal. We spent nearly 2 hours going through the papers and deciding which descriptors apply to me. At the end she said I am sorry but they have changed my contract I will be able to prepare your paperwork but I won’t be allowed to come to the tribunal.
    What a let down, I don’t think I am able to adequately represent myself so It looks as though I am going to have to throw the towel in. Apparently a paper tribunal is a waste of time. Has anybody any helpful advice where I can get a representative from.

    1. Karen M says:

      I had the same sort of experience. With no representation I failed my tribunal. My advice have a friend or someone you trust to drive you there and stay with you during the hearing if all the paperwork is in place and has been submitted.

  79. Julie says:

    I went for atos thing in feb. Feb 1st. Got a letter saying i am in support group. very odd since I said i wanted to be in WRAG cos I want help finding work cos of my MH problems. I want to work. Life is weird. I want to work and others don’t, and I am on support and other I feel more deserving of it are not on support. mad system.

    1. Karen M says:

      I believe you can volunteer to go to advice meetings which can lead to suitable work or volunteer placements. just phone your local JobCentre Plus.

  80. M ary Freeman says:

    Helen Roche
    By the way, I have sorted the stream of information into three separate documents and re-formatted them a bit – if you would like me to email those to you to save you doing the same all over again, just let me know where to email them.

    Hi Helen, I would be grateful if you could email me the shortened documents.
    Thank You

    1. Jeannette says:

      Hi Helen, Can I be cheeky and ask if you can e-mail me the docs as well, my mouse is broke so find difficult to copy and paste. On above e-mail.
      Thk Jeannette

  81. sharon hull says:

    i am in the support group, with premium, for last two years, permitent condition from doctors butchering me, it took me five years to get in the support group, ive got to beg my GP for letter ans ive been house bound for 5 years, never got copy of last accessment and i dont know the time limit till i have to have another home visit and the dreaded brown envelope and now i have to find £45 a month for bedroom & council tax, my head cant take no more and i have no support and im on my own 24 hrs 7 days a week,

  82. alan says:

    im a carer sharon 24/7 no holiday im sorry for your situation/health i have health problems im a wrag got to go see advicer very soon what do i do abandon my mam or or get advice from jcp and be sanctioned, have we no strenght to have a sit in, something, power to the poor

  83. Jimmy flynn says:

    Who ultimately makes the decision as to what group you are put into with regards to your ESA.Is it DWP or ATOS.

  84. Jimmy flynn says:

    My wife has been on IB for a number of years with various health problems.a couple of months ago she was lettered by DWP to call in for an interview regarding this.after the interview the letter arrived telling her she had been placed in aWRAG and outlined her benefit details,of course like a few people she assumed everything was ok.then six weeks later she is informed that her money will stop in august.not only has she not been medically assessed by anyone she is assuming that the girl in the first interview has made the the second interview she was told that it would b a quick one as she was in obvious pain and discomfort and that it was plain to see she was unfit for work.this has left her rather bewildered as to who actually decides that a person is unfit to work or not.if someone’s benefit is to stop you would think that such a life changing decision would warrant more than a half hour interview with someone at a job centre hence the earlier question.

    1. sharon hull says:

      i will be due my assement after 3 years in july, i dont think i can cope with all the questions, i fought so long for doctors to help me and to get on enhanced disabilty, and my condition wont changed as doctors left me with bowel or bladder control and ive never known pain like this, so basically its for life, no painkiller stop it, so how will they be leave me and leave me in the support group, mental health isses have stopped me leaving my home for over 5 years, lost my friends etc and only have one visitor a week. i wont be able to cope, im in debt as i tried to take them to court etc, but lost cause the doc who did this said she did nothing wrong! no one to help me!

      1. Jimmy flynn says:

        Very sorry to hear of your condition Sharon ,I sincerely hope things get better for you.I have been reading of the plight of some people on this site and it would make you weep.I wish I had the answer but I don’t.

  85. sharon hull says:

    if anyone can send me documents so my sis can read them, i have been like this for 8 years and only in support for nearly 3 years my 63 year old mum looks after me, and been house bound for over 5 years, i would be grateful for help as my doc thinks im talking out of my bum, i struggle to eat 1 toast all day and rely on my mum. no one will help me.

    1. Lynne says:

      Gerald, I took a letter to my ATOS medical from my doctor, quoting the regs, and I was placed in the support group. So I would definitely recommend it.

  86. Gaynor says:

    Could someone please email me these documents…will shortly be getting ESA to reconsider WRAG to support group even ATOS DOCTOR (yes she was a doctor) Recommended support group….when I phone person said it was a no brainer and that I should have be put in support group….but because decision has been made I have to get them to re consider decision….how stupid is that…..they even went against their own ATOS doctor.

  87. Gaynor says:

    Can someone please send me the updated version of section 35 and 29….can someone advise if ATOS doctor states support group and dwp put me in WRAG….should I just point this put to them and ask them to reconsider…!

  88. Gerald Curzar says:

    Can someone please send me the updated version of section 35 and 29….can someone advise if ATOS doctor states support group and dwp put me in WRAG….should I just point this put to them and ask them to reconsider…!

    I didn’t know there was an updated version? can someone add a link please.

  89. Gaynor says:

    Oooops I meant updated template version for s.35 & s.29 by email……would appreciated advise also on above re….what do I do if ATOS doc says support group and dwp pen pusher says WRAG ……should I just ask them to re consider and point out what their own doctor says……..

  90. Gerald Curzar says:

    I have just read on another forum that the B M A are telling Gp’s not to sign these exemptions.

    1. stephen says:

      I have followed up on this claim that the BMA are advising GPs not to sign the reg 29 letter. There is no evidence to support this that I am aware of. The BMA have made no attempt to contact me whatsoever.

      The letter has been distributed widely within Lothian to all GPs and and appears on the Lothian NHS intranet as a download.

      The LMC (local medical committee) who are a GP representative group within the BMA ,feel that GP s should not be doing any unfunded work – including appeal letters but in my view they are on the wrong side of the argument.

      GP s are independent practitioners and they are free to sign or not sign as they see fit. The BMA do not regulate or impose themselves on this issue nor can they. This post is in my opinion misinformation. However if you would like to tell me who this GP is who has made this claim about the BMA s comments then I would be happy to follow this up


      Dr Stephen M Carty
      Medical Advisor
      Black Triangle

  91. Kate Lovejoy says:

    Hi I took this form quoting regulations 29 and 35 to my doctor and she agreed that the decision that placed me in the WRAG was detrimental to my health. She wrote a letter saying this and I sent it in, thinking if my decision was reconsidered I would eventually have to appeal as they weren’t likely to overturn it. Just under 11 weeks later I got a letter saying I don’t need to go to independent tribunal as they’ve placed me in the support group. I just wanted to thank everyone on this site for their invaluable advice and assistance. I really don’t know what I would’ve done without you.

  92. ian says:

    hi helen just got the forms to fill in could use all help possible could u please email me copies of the tree documents thank you

  93. Darik Hart says:

    Greetings all, and thanks are due to BT and DPAC for launching this campaign. There have been successes reported within of folk who have used both R29 and R35 to good effect.
    Due, though, to the imminent implementation of the 2013 ESA Regs, are there plans to ‘rebrand’ the campaign to suit?
    As far as I can tell, the clauses that gave life to this campaign, remain within the regulations, but they are no longer in the same place(s). I’m just a layman in these matters, but it seems to me that instead of R29, the new R25 should be referred to, and likewise for R35 see new R16.
    I’ve been checking here for a week, and not seen signs of movement, but I know you’re not fools, and hope someone is looking at this.
    If I’m wrong, you havemy apology, and can call me owt you like, but I’d rather suffer that than see someone fail in these important arguments because R29 and R35 (in the new Regs) are about something else. ♥
    Keep up the good work guys, and I’ll get mine in first – solidarity!

  94. RG says:

    Just an update. I took the template letters to my GP. She filled out the letter but when she got the regulation part. She got cold feet and said she would read the details and contact me when the letter was ready. She also said that there was a charge of 30 pounds but she said she would only charge 10 for such a short thing. Have not heard a thing since. My welfare lady has sent a good report to the tribunal service. She also says I want to use these Regs. I have been in contact with my local centre for independant living for the disabled. A lady there has said she would come with me to the tribunal if her bosses will allow.

  95. jane clout says:

    From a facebook thread on 4UP and elsewhere. I’m admin on a couple of welfare benefits groups, when I first came across this info I looked at the regs, I looked at Benefits and Works forum and noted they are still using Regs 29 and 35, and realised how the error occured. There’s a rumour going round that ESA Regs 29 and 35 (exceptional circumstances) have been replaced by Reg 25 and 31. This is not true. Regulations 29 and 35 stand. The 25 and 31 referred to in Ms Jone’s blog are draft legislation line numbers. Not statute. Check with Benefits and Work. I don’t like doing this but we do need to get it right.

    This is the amended (Jan 2013) Regs 29 and 35

    My colleague Sue Rogers posted this in 4UP
    “they actually misread the draft regulations:

    taken from draft 2012 ESA regulation….. p2 – they have misinterpreted the number list on the left as replacing the regulations – so number 25…… is exceptional circumstances [reg 29] and look at number 31

    25. Exceptional circumstances {reg 29}
    26. Conditions for treating a claimant as having limited capability for work until a determination about limited capability for work has been made {reg 30}
    27. Certain claimants to be treated as not having limited capability for work {reg 32}
    28. Claimants to be treated as not having limited capability for work at the end of the period covered by medical evidence {reg 32A}
    29. Additional circumstances where claimants are to be treated as having limited capability for work {reg 33}
    PART 5
    Limited Capability for Work-related Activity
    30. Determination of limited capability for work-related activity {reg 34}
    31. Certain claimants to be treated as having, or not having, limited capability for work-related activity {reg 35}”
    Unlike Kitty, you may not delete my comments.

  96. les says:

    I had my atos assessment last week (not hopeful)

    Have 2 fused vertebrae lower sine (inoperable)
    deformed right hip ( left one is bad due to having to compensate)
    arthritic knees and cartilages shot at

    all mus-co – skeletal

    the person who reviewed my case and decided i needed to attend
    Ms Colleen Scorfield 80F1045E ( registered nurse)

    and and the assessment was conducted by Ms Tracey Chapman 83Y3695E 9registered nurse )

    i thought your case had to be looked at by somebody with the relevant experience ???????????


  97. RG says:

    I got those dreaded words ” mus-co – skeletal” on my assessment before scoring 0 points. My assessor did not want to here any details of my disabilities, she just used this catch all phrase. Still waiting for my tribunal. its 10 months since my assessment.

    1. LES says:

      just sent this to the DWP

      As my multiple conditions are musco-skeletal it would fall to a proffesional with the relevant qualifications and experience to make this decision
      the health minister has stated these decisions have to be made by proffesionals with the relevant qualification
      You fail on this point also
      and in this instance i would like you as the dept who has contracted Atos to contact the
      “qualified” healthcare professional and provide in writing the medical reasons why they feel a face to face meeting was essential
      I would also like a copy of the medical evidence gathered and held by ATOS that they have used to make any judgments on my claim

  98. RG says:

    Well done Les, please let us know how you go on. I wish I knew then what I know now. I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist so I am not going to rock the boat now I am in the system. When my tribunal is over I am going to complain and complain until I get an answer. I will probably get no where but I will take up their time.

  99. Nyall T. Rolls says:

    After having gone through this ordeal, once already. Appealing thier decision, living on next to nothing for nine months, until the day of the tribunal. When i was told the judge had reviewed my case and to go home and all would go back to normal and monies withheld from me was to be returned. After which i was able once again, able to afford to use my mobility car. And my works pension stopped being deducted from my benefit. Now though it’s all happening again. When upon phoneing DWP, To see if this was a mistake. I was told that the tribunals decision. Was merely thier opinion!?. And if i won my appeal again, then six months from that i’d have to do the reassessment all again. With this paperwork and my doctors support (which i fully have). Is this likely to stop? As he’s told me it’s a degenerative condition that won’t improve and to get used to it. As he’ll never be able to sign me fit for work. Which after my work which was vocational (social services and youth work) was a bitter pill to swallow. But swallow it i did and now this yet again!?

  100. RG says:

    After many weeks of chasing up I finally got response from my GP. As I suspected she did not sign the proforma letter I watched her fill out. The report is good so I will have to with it.
    Has anyone used photos to support their case. At the WCA the HCP refused to accept them. My welfare adviser has not included them in my
    Appeal papers

  101. Shantay Gottshall says:

    Ankylosing spondylitis is a member of the group of the spondyloarthropathies with a strong genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as “bamboo spine”.`:,`

    Check out the most recent write-up on our personal web portal

  102. p*****off says:

    Even though the Atos assessor gave a prognosis that my husband should not work for 2 years the DWP have placed him immediately in the the work activity group. My husband took your letters to his doctor this morning to ask for help with his appeal but he had no joy. All his doctor did was to explain the new system and he described it as a tidal wave that no one could do anything about. He said that doctors had not been consulted about the changes as they were seen as `friends` of the patient ! He seemed to know a lot about the new system but uninterested in its effects on patients, lets see how he feels when his `fit for work patients` start to die !

  103. Sandra says:

    I applied for ESA in January this year having never claimed benefits before. I wish I had read a site like this before I even filled in their ESA50 form. After appealing to my refusal of ESA I attended my Tribunal hearing yesterday which was horrific. My first mistake I made was filling in my ESA50 myself. Second driving to my ATOS assessment. Failed already!!!
    I have various medical conditions which I have had for years but continued working as I needed to. However after being paid off last December I felt I had Limited work ability and applied for ESA. To cut short the Tribunal say they are independent!! no they are all in it together. The hearing consisted of a Medical Professor and a Lawyer who were extremely rude and aggressive. I took my sister with me for support (as they recommend you bring someone along for this purpose) who they were very rude to and would not allow her to speak to verify any of my daily living conditions etc. I did not really get a chance to explain points on the descriptors that I felt had been wrongly judged on. They just wanted to speak and ask stupid question like – when did you last go abroad on holiday – do you watch TV all day etc.
    When I tried to point out a fact they would reply aggressively yes you have already mentioned that in your appeal letter. However, when they asked a question which I had already answered in my appeal letter I was too polite to point that out. I wish now I had been as rude as them. When I pointed out I had not scored points in the Reaching descriptor they asked can you put a hat on or put something in your top pocket? answer yes but… well you can reach end of story. It did not matter that there were strong medical reasons why I cannot reach up or stretch. I appreciate there are people out there who are being refused who have really bad disabilities and this whole ATOS thing is atrocious. I have read sites now from former ATOS employees spilling the beans and it is disgraceful in Britain 2013 that people who have worked all their lives and become unfit to work being treated like this. Especially when immigrants come here and get benefits immediately etc. The amount of financial wastage this government allows should be more accountable. I will be writing to my MP but the last time I wrote to him about my experience in a NHS hospital stay he did not even reply!!
    Get the public school boys out of government we need real men and women who really know what it is like to be brought up in the real working life of Britain.

  104. ireallymeanthis says:

    just some feedback for you here.
    I got into a muddle about the meaning of ‘…does not have limited capability for work’.
    Is understand it now, but my confusion helped me make a mess of introducing my doctor to this issue.
    Could you add a line going something like this:
    If one’s capability is not limited, it means one is fully capable and therefore able to work.
    Partly it was the fact that your form for the GP to fill-in covers both regulation 29 as well as 35.
    It would make life much easier if there was a separate form for those making use of each of the two regulations.

  105. Jake says:

    Hi I will be called for an interview or so I am told as I had to get in touch with my MP as it is now 21 weeks since I sent my paperwork in & heard nothing…I am stuck in a 3 bedroom house needing to move but won’t even try to change my address at this point in time…

    I have had a triple heart bypass & in the last 2 years undergone treatment for cancer which inc radiotherapy which I had every day apart from weekends for I think it was about 6 weeks I also had chemo…I have agoraphobia which I manage to a degree so I do go out I just blinker a lot of things so not to have to much anxiety or panic attacks…

    I am not to keen on the idea of an interview as I don’t fair too well under that sort of thing for obvious reasons…

    When I come of cancer reviews I will have about 10 months of my working life left as I am at this moment 61 fast reaching 62…

    Any tips?…I will not be attending the interview alone as I don’t go anywhere alone…could be a bit of a problem if I have to take a friend to work with me I know…just don’t know how I would do it…

    Regards Jake

  106. RG says:

    Hi Jake there will be far better qualified people coming along shortly to advise you. I would sit tight until they decide whether or not to ask you to attend a WCA interview. In your case it will hopefully be no news is good news. I would start getting my medical evidence together if you haven’t already done so. That’s letters and reports from specialists and your GP or anyone else than can confirm your condition. Sadly it is my experience that age doesn’t come into it. I am 64 in 6 weeks time and I am going to a tribunal next week. The whole process from WCA interview to this stage has been 12 months for me. As I say someone more qualified will come along soon if they give you different advice ignore what I have said. You are not alone there are thousands in a similar position, sadly not all have had the support of this wonderful website.

    1. Jake says:

      Hi & thanks for the reply…I send a letter from my GP when I send in my paperwork along with a support letter from my key worker at MacMillan nurses who as dealt with my cancer case since it started plus the part at the back of the paperwork that they wanted filling in by a GP…they have the address & name of my oncologist & I would not be short of any letters if I needed them so I can only hope that they can help…I have a history of anxiety,depression & agoraphobia & don’t go anywhere without someone with me which would make going to work a tad awkward I am sure…but I will wait & see what they say, I have still not heard from them…I wish you well with your tribunal & hope that you get through it ok…seems a bit stupid as you are nearing the state pension age & to give you hassle over going back to work is totally pathetic to say the least…Regards Jake

      1. Karen M says:

        Jake, I really hope all goes well for you. Evidence such as supporting letters is evidence as far as the DWP and tribunal is concerned. It looks as if you have plenty of support too. When I sent in my ESA50 and evidence the DWP took nearly a month from 10 June (the date by which I had to reply by) to send me out any information. I was put into the support group without the need for a WCA.

        1. Jake says:

          Hi well I sent my questionnaire plus letters from GP & MacMillans on the 13 feb 2013 & still no reply…I have been in touch with my MP who had the DWP complaints department get in touch that said they would look into it seeming I am stuck in a 3 bedroom house & dare not move & have problems with the change of address & mess things up even more…the MPs office asked just short of 2 weeks ago to ask if the DWP/ATOS had been in touch yet & if not they would be shortly…but still nothing so I will let it ride a bit at the mo although this house & the tax is killing me…I hope they don’t need to see me after sending the letters in with the rest of the paperwork but who knows?

          Thanks for the support from on here by the way it is good to know I am not on my own & that there are people in the know for some of this stuff as it can be very confusing…at least this way I have no need to feel so alone in a world of confusing paperwork & tricksters trying to screw me out of what is rightfully mine…

          I am not sure if to expect a letter or a call or how it all works in the respects of how you get to know what they want…is it a call to say you have an appointment or to say we don’t need to see you or do we get it all in writing?

          Regards Jake

          1. Karen M says:

            I know this is not going to help straight away but if you post your experience on Michael Meacher’s blog The Atos Nightmare Gets Worse he may mention your case in the Commons. Plus he might help by looking into why the DWP are not responding. There is also a really good website called What Do They Know and they maybe able to do a Freedom of Information on your behalf looking into why the complaints procedure has failed. There is also a good website called Why Wait For Ever which has a lot of useful info.

            1. Jake says:

              Hi Karen & thank you for your post…I will look into the sites you have sent in your post…

              It’s very stressful waiting for word from whoever it might be to give me some answers…I try not to think too much about it but still end up worrying about it all…it seems so stupid really…I have cancer & a heart problem so what is there to discuss I ask myself?how ill does someone really have to be just to have what we are entitled to without the hassles?

              Regards Jake

          2. Karen M says:

            Best bet straight away is to get in contact with your Local Authority Welfare Rights office. Hopefully they can do the main part of the work looking into your case.

            1. Jake says:

              Oh I had a benefits adviser(asked to contact me by my support nurse at MacMillans) to get in touch with DWP via the team that were dealing with my case & they hung up on her….rather rude but what can I say?…

              Regards Jake

              1. Karen M says:

                Jake, How useful has your MP really been? I strikes me you have been cruelly treated by the system. When a Macmillan nurse representing you is treated like that as well, the time has come to go to the press. Hopefully Black Triangle Campaign can help you there.

              2. Karen M says:

                Black Triangle Campaign ie Dr Stephen M Carty, Medical Advisor and JJ. Meant to add this to the above post.

              3. Jake says:

                Hi well it is 10 days since the MPs office wrote me to say if ATOS had not been in touch they would be very soon…well we will see…I don’t really see the point of a medical as I have cancer & a heart condition & that is the bottom line…both can kill me & physical appearance means nothing if the heart can’t cope…no idea what they would do as far a a medical goes but one thing it won’t change is the heart condition nor give me an all clear from cancer so what is the point of the exercise ?

              4. Karen M says:

                Jake, with untreatable/incurable conditions you should be in the support group under Regulation 35. I wish you the best of luck and hope you do hear soon.

              5. Jake says:

                Hi Karen well the cancer is as far as I know going but not had tghe all clear & won’t for about 3 more years…the heart condition well I have has a triple heart bypass but I still get angina & I do have a family history ie my dad died aged 58 & my brother dies aged 45…there is cancer on my mothers side & I got both so I get the double wammy so not great…I have not much idea about the reg 35 really & not to sure of what it all really means as far as I am concerned…Regards Jake

              6. Karen M says:

                Reg 35 2) ‘A claimant who does not have limited capability for work-related activity as determined in accordance with regulation 34(1) is to be treated as having limited capability for work-related activity if
                the claimant suffers from some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement; and
                by reasons of such disease or disablement, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person if the claimant were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.’
                ‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.’
                The angina shows that you do have an ‘uncontrolled condition’ despite a medical procedure and presumably medication which poses a significant risk to you and others if you were found capable of work. I have heard that ‘work’ means 24 or more hours a week. A letter to DWP via your local JobCentre Plus Benefits Centre quoting the above Regulation 35 and giving a brief outline of the angina, the surgery and medication and send in photocopies of medical evidence would I hope produce a response.

              7. Jake says:

                Hi Karen I have found the reg 35 & have it saved on my lappy so I have it at hand…since the questionnaire went in I have called a number of times but they said they were waiting for a date from ATOS so they could send them the paperwork however when I called something like 6 weeks later the paperwork was still in Preston sat there waiting for a date to be sent to ATOS…it’s just going over the same ground all the time & thus the reason I took it to my MP…I had the response from the complaints department in Leeds the same day but nothing since only from the MPs office asking if ATOS had been in touch & if not they would be very soon & that is a further 13 days ago now I think…I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing as I am sure they know that if I am willing to take it to an MP I am more than willing to take them on from whichever angle it takes…

                Neither the cancer or heart condition as me beat as yet & it doesn’t come much more scarey than cancer so I will be beggared if I will let ATOS beat me either even if I do have to quote them chapter & verse of whatever regulation…the wait is want pees me off as this house is killing me with over £100 per month extra to find & pay…changing the address at the moment wouldn’t be a good time…

                I have enough stress half expecting the cancer to come back as far from having the all clear & the last thing I need is more stress…plus the length of time it is taking just adds to the length of stress I have to endure …

                Regards Jake

              8. Karen M says:

                Sorry to bombard you with all that Jake. I have what might be good news though. The DWP have a list of conditions where a claimant will NOT be called in for a WCA at a medical centre but will do a domiciliary visit- one of the conditions is “unstable angina”, hope this helps.

              9. Jake says:

                Hi Karen well I ma not sure if they will come here to see me or not but to quote my GP when ask when in his opinion was I able to return to work it was that I had too many commodities to return to work & it was one of those answers that treated it as an unknown quantity so as to speak…I am not sure if the angina is classed as stable or unstable all I know is I can get it without moving via stress or any other means so I don’t really have to do anything at times…

                I look fighting fit to some degree but I would be very much a fool to push myself to do things that I know will affect me badly…what can be seen on the outside is not whats going on in the inside & that part bothers me as I know they could take one look at me & think I was fine when I know for a fact as do the GPs that I’m not…

                I know that I am supposed to be exempt after having had chemotherapy so I know that can come into play as I have bad effects from the cancer treatment as in chronic fatigue & so on…not sure where that applies but it stops me from functioning as I should be able to & it can be like that for years or so I am told…the radiotherapy really kicked my butt plus the brachytherapy will have added to it…

                It is unfortunate to get either heart disease or cancer but to have them both is no joy at all & no short on the stress levels either…

                Regards Jake

              10. Karen M says:

                Jake, it is possible your angina is unstable as it occurs without exertion. The chronic fatigue following chemo and the angina I would suggest are both covered by Reg 35. If on bad days you cannot function at all then I think you will be covered by the “exceptional circumstances ” regulations.

              11. Jake says:

                Hi Karen that is what I was thinking…having depression never helps its just a added extra I could live without I have to say…according to my GP on my questionnaire he refers to all as in the heart/cancer & that I have suffered with what is classed as mental health issues ie: agoraphobia which I manage not to badly & much better than I did when I wouldn’t go out unless I was in a car…I just look over the top of my glasses & I can’t focus on too many people as it’s people not places that bother me…anyway the depression & anxiety came with that so all part & parcel of it…this was mentioned by my GP so not sure how much of it comes into play & under which regulations…

                I will have a word with my GP & ask him how he would describe my angina as yes I can get it sat here at the lappy for little & no reason or emotional upset & more or less anything can trigger it off…

                I hate reading med reports as it makes me feel sick looking at it & feel an utter wreck after reading them…I try not to think about whats wrong with me & try to focus on what I can do on a good day…

                I am extremely grateful for all the help & advice as it helps fill in lots of gaps & questions of what do I do & what ifs & so on…

                One thing I am not 100% sure on is if I appeal do I still get paid or do they cut your money now & how would I live if that happens?

                Regards Jake

              12. Karen M says:

                Jake, if you start your appeal process before 28 October ask for “assessment rate ESA” at the same time that you ask for form GL24 and the HCP’s report of your WCA. After this date you won’t get ESA due to swingeing cuts. BT and Kitty Jones’ blog have some useful and well-written information about the changes.

              13. Jake says:

                Hi Karen…I have not heard back from anyone as yet not so much as for an interview…but if I do have to take it to an appeal then I will refer back to the msgs saved so I know what I have to ask for…

                Thank you for the help as it all helps to know these things & not go into anything blind…do you know what the rate is by any chance on the appeal rate?

                Regards Jake

              14. jacobleej says:

                Hi…long time no write lol…when I was reassessed back in 2013 & was put on the support ESA in Sep 2013 I was told I would be reassessed again in Aug 2015…being that that date is not that far away & having read a few things online I am not sure if it will still apply…I am due to retire anyway on 18 Jan 2017…is it true that people that have been reassessed are not getting reassessed again or is that out of the window now?…I would like to get on with living the rest of my life but it always feels like I’m on HOLD if you see what I mean…

              15. Karen M says:

                At present £71.70 a week, same as Jobseekers’ Allowance

              16. Jake says:

                Hi Karen thank you…my DD here is £266 per month seeming I have bedroom tax…can’t see that going very far can you?…Just where the government what us I guess…broke & looking for jobs that don’t exist especially for ppl my age…I have no idea if I lose my DLA also as I am guessing I will…

                Regards Jake

  107. Karen M says:

    I hope this will be of use to anyone. I had VERY good basic advice:
    1. Think always “Can I do this repeatedly, reliably and safely?” when looking at the activities on ESA50.
    2. If you cannot do something repeatedly, reliably or safely ask yourself- “How risky is this to my health?” “How risky is this to other people?”. Put the answers in the right boxes in ESA50 and make sure the words “significant” and “substantial” are there. Be honest.
    3 Write a covering letter with your ESA50 saying that a WCA would be a substantial risk to your health and always give the reason. If you have a physical problem such as bending down because of diagnosed lumbar spine problems and you have said so in ESA50, warn them that you will “decline” to bend down in the WCA. If you have been diagnosed with depression, bipolar or other mental health problems and you have specific problems (lapses of memory, concentration or euphoric episodes/rapid cycling etc) request a CD audio recording giving that as the reason.
    4 Where you have medical evidence refer to it. If you have MRI results showing lumbar spine abnormalities say the abnormalities are “probably” the cause of why you cannot bend down. If you have a letter from a specialist showing the diagnosis of depression say this “probably” causes the extreme anxiety you have in certain situations.
    5 Now that you have to separate the physical from the mental health problems the DWP have made life very difficult. I would suggest if there is a cross-over- such as depression caused by pain from a physical condition- say honestly what the effect of pain has on your memory and concentration. If there is any variation or fluctuation mention it. Write about average days and bad days only.
    6 Get support if you can. This can be a friend or somebody you trust. Start planning as soon as you get the ESA50 form but don’t be tempted to rush it.
    7 Send the completed form with covering letter and evidence stapled to it 7 days before the cut off date. It would be good to ask for proof of posting at the PO.
    8 If you are called to a WCA have a companion with you. Make sure you have 2 people on your list just in case one cannot make it. Make sure to “decline” any of the activities that on the day are impossible for you to complete. If your physical problem means it will be too painful to get up on the couch say so, your companion is your witness and CAN stay for the whole WCA if YOU CONSENT to them staying. If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, ask for a break, your companion is your witness.

    I hope this helps for exceptional circumstances. I don’t think you need to actually quote the Regs at this stage but I may be wrong.

    1. Karen M says:

      Apologies, I just realised I should have added No 7 “photocopy everything. Don’t send original evidence in DWP/Atos will lose it so send in the photocopies instead.”

  108. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Overwhelming them with the onus is on the burden of proof. Who much more proof do you need!!!

    I will not put myself in that situation of an assessment –
    Q. Pick up that empty box & carry it over there?
    A. That will cost you £20 to move that empty box, you have to pay me. I thought the job had started already.
    atos comment – We`ve got a troublesome one here.

    Q. Can you bend over for me?
    A. I thought I had already bent over to pick up the empty box.

    Answer with a question always confuses their tick box method.

  109. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Life in their hands – atos or the dwp or both!!
    Disabled people live with cash not credit, they also have bills to pay which have a time limit. It seems the stupidity of the esa [default form] makes it defaulted, that is why the dwp keep changing it every month = Default. ESA Pt 1 – ESA Pt 50. In the mean time disabled people are waiting to get paid with bills building up. The STUPIDITY causes deaths & suffering for innocent `disabled` people. A 10th class citizen in a third world country the UK.

  110. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    “A wheelchair user was turned away from an incapacity benefit test as he was branded a fire hazard.”

    Another piece of fraud by atos.

    1. Karen M says:

      There is a very good support group for people with neurological conditions at, if you got to the website and click on ‘support services’ scroll the page down to ‘welfare benefits’ to find info on ESA and PIP.

    2. Karen M says:

      sorry, meant to say you can speak to an advisor about benefits if you follow the steps at the neurosupport website.

      1. william says:

        hi karen thanks for your reply.i passed a medical the other day and reg a29 and35 applied is that helpful for me to have 2 regulations applied at the same time .thank you william.

  111. RG says:

    Had my tribunal today, almost 12 months since WCA. I had 30 minutes of searching questions with the usual “how did you get here?”, “How far and how long can you walk?” and ” what type of holidays do you take?” The Doctor seemed fair but who knows.
    The big disappointment is that they wouldn’t give the result but will send it by post. So Its waiting for the brown envelope again.
    Glad its over whatever the result. It has certainly been an eye opening experience, I never thought that such a corrupt system would be allowed to flourish in this country. Now I know.

  112. Sheogorath says:

    When I go for my assessment, I’m thinking of charging Atos at the minimum wage rate for every hour I’m there, each incomplete hour of fifteen minutes or more being counted as a full one. After all, that’s valuable time I could better use in searching for a job and/or working!

  113. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Still not filled out the ESA Default Form. I am still getting the same money. I do not sign up for Atos.

    1. julia says:

      i though if don`t fill these atos forms out they just stop your dla anyway till face to face interview have they not made it law that you have to change from dla two pip its all so hard to work out ;(((

  114. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Why go for a WCA !! It just puts one in more s**t. So why fill out a bogus ESA default form !! My circumstances have not changed. Until there is a fair system I will not be taking myself off SDA [hot air cuts & threats] to apply for a new form [which is not even a benefit] ESA. ESA is not a benefit it is a stepping stone to a maybe benefit. That is another reason why the ESA is a bogus default form. So how can I get a job. The first thing they ask you at a job interview is – Q. When was your last job? A. 1983 30 years ago. Who is going to emply that even with training. Many many loop holes that will work with me & not against me. The DWP can not force anyone off SDA or DLA whatever they say & threats of cuts. If they try & cut the money they are breaking the law. There is no need for courts, out of court will do. In fact a 10 minute phone call to ones main DWP office that one has been with for years. Not the new Integrity Department that is run by Atos, Town & Country plc at the WCA Denial Factories. So the whole tactics they use is threats, so one is threatened into changing their benefit by signing up to WCA tests. The phone call atos make to arange a WCA is illegal in many ways. I just put the phone down like a cold caller. = BAD CASH COW. My stance has stayed the same from the onset.

  115. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    Yes a unpresidented test case & 30 years experience in the welfare state.

    Thalidomide denial factories again.

  116. Steven Goodman says:

    ere’s a reblog of a comment I made on the “Vox politics” website

    Steven Goodmansaid:July 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm
    currently experiencing the same kind of manipulation by the DWP. Letter was dated the 12th of june,yet didn’t arrive till the 19th of June. (Costing me one week of a 4 week appeal window). They failed to advise me of their reasons for placing me in the WRAG group. So as informed by the website that I could ask for details over the telephone and/or get a hard-copy inside 14 days. The two telephone reps claimed not to have access to the spite of the fact my records are computerized and they would have been sitting next to or near a computer terminal so their claims stand as deleberiate obstruction of my right to a “fair” appeal.
    I requested the appeal forms and a copy of their evidence for placing me in the WRAG section (As I am receiving a “severe disability premium” which stands contaidictory to their placement of me).
    I sent a letter requesting an appeal, Which they have acknowledged – yet still their evidence is being with-held so I have an appeal going through without knowing what I am appealing against.
    Where this cavalier attitude comes from is possibly via UNUM Insurance Corporation acting as advisors to the DWP. This is a company that lobbied MP’s in 2002 with a plan to privatise welfare in the UK. It was a plan which included a section on how to manipulate public opinion against the unemployed and disabled. UNUM claim the plan was shelved – yet Tory rhetoric and manipulation comes straight from the pages of the plan (They didn’t even have the intelligence to adapt the language to their own purpose)
    The target of the Welfare Privatization concept is not the Unemployed and disabled, we are merely collateral damage to a far wider concept. If welfare is devalued below the accepted poverty-line, then the workforce will learn to fear redundancy. Which UNUM envisage will make the public seek other protection – Enter UNUM’s “unemployment protection insurance policies” – of course as with the previous privatizations (Water, power, transport and communications) the public will pay through the nose for it. I also suspect there will be no refund from national insurance contributions that are gathered for welfare protection.
    It is a little known fact (Reported by the Daily Express and ignore by the rest of the news media) that David Cameron received a £750,000 benefit package from private medical firms (Tie that to what is happening in the NHS – privatization via the backdoor – I feel we need to have a forensic accountancy firm to look for financial links with insurance corporations)
    I base this on the fact the US Government won’t allow the company to tender for state or federal contracts. As they are subjected to litigation from the American public concerning their use of immoral and illegal means to avoid paying out on policies.
    So why has the government gotten into bed with such a shady partner? The truth of the current political environment is that the Tories are running amok without input by the LIB-DEMS who are effectively a sleeping partner in this joint enterprise (So deeply asleep in fact they might as well be dead!).
    I suspect there has to be some form of payment or funding being made…otherwise why use a firm with such a bad reputation?
    will update you on my “work related interview” at the local job center and the outcome
    of my appeal against unseen evidence…(bit naughty ain’t it?)

  117. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    If the DWP can`t produce evidence the case they have against you is Not Fit For Purpose. That is why they don`t want to give anyone the evidence because they is no evidence. It is not us that are stupid it is the DWP that are stupid & not Fit For Purpose. Good luck DWP in blaming ATOS.

  118. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

    21st July 2013

    In May 2013 the PCS union were made aware of a plan to sack DWP North London PCS members via fake Performance Improvement Plans in a hit list of predetermined sackings:

    North London District Management need to reduce headcount by March 2014 so has embarked on a sacking rampage.

    Although talks have started between District Management and the PCS branch, there is no confidence that procedure has been applied appropriately. We believe this is a crude attempt to reach their headcount target.

    The PCS demands are clear:

    Withdraw all warnings via PIPs where policy has not been followed

    The PCS members in North London are tired of the constant abuse of power by North London Management and are ready to take action. We need more workers not less.

    PCS DWP North London Branch protest – Marylebone Job Centre

    1. Stepping Razor Sound Plate says:

      Even the workers at the DWP & Jobcentres are protesting. Next will be the DWP workers & Job Centre workers going on strike. Might as well call it a General Strike or Labour calls a General Election. General Strikes then because Labour has to many shres in Atos & Unum.

  119. anonymous says:

    I don’t know where else to put this, i need to get it out somewhere though. I’m 100% fed up with who i am and there’s literally nothing i can do to change that as if there is some magic cure or “switch” in my brain. I had to give up education, and my first part time job after becoming ill, no energy at all, unable to wake up, unable to sleep, insomnia, tiredness, fatigue etc. This started when i was 15, first went to doctors at about 17. Doctors mostly thought i was faking it “there’s nothing wrong with you” etc, looking down on me, some family members also did the same, who of which i never talk to anymore. Called me a waster and the likes. Got shuffled around so many referals to different doctors and went through hell with hospital stays and “crack-like” experimental medication which made me worse for a while. By the time i was 20-21 i was diagnosed with CFS/ME.

    Any friends that i had around 17-18 have long gone because i was never there to pickup the phone or feeling “good” enough to go out. I’m almost 25 now, haven’t been able to make friends or really socialise with anyone at all, causing me depression and axienty issues aswell.

    I get an ATOS meeting/assessment earlier in the year and it didn’t appear as bad as i thought it would be, maybe i was lucky with the lady who assessed me, but she put me into the work-related programme. Few months after, i attend a WRAG induction, and they are now back at step-one…. i have to keep explaining what my condition is how it affects me, why i’m unable to keep a routine, why i’m unable to get to work due to physical/mental tiredness and how it would come down to “chance” for me to even arrive at a job on time. Not to forget, with every doctor i was re-reffered too, they did this too, makes me feel like worthless scum, and that no one is listening to me.

    All i’ve done for the past 6 years or so, is repeatedly have to explain the same thing over and over, and they still never understand or take into account what this is doing to me, it’s literally driving me insane. In the work-related activity interview, it seemed to me that they were saying i was perfectly capable of keeping a job (let alone, getting one in the first place). Telling me “you need to try”, disregarding the fact that TRY is all i have done for the past 7-8 years. If there were any progress in me getting back on my feet due to myself pacing my activities and naturally getting myself back on track to some extent, it’s been completely wiped out and put me back to “step one” again. The whole WRAG thing is just like i am visiting a job center in search of employment…. they don’t take into account my condition at all! The whole thing made me feel like some pre-school vegetable. “WELL DONE, you ticked the box!!! now it’s time for a numeracy and literature test!”.

    I don’t even know what to do anymore, i now have to arrive to these meetings every few weeks in search of employment, when as it is, i struggle to the end of the frikkin earth to simply get to any appointments on time. They keep saying if i don’t attend then i’ll get all my money stopped, and yet my condition is the reason why i am unable to attend alot of appointments or having to keep rescheduling them until i am up and awake at the right times by chance…

    In actual fact for the past few months before all this ATOS/WRAG crap i have been feeling better in myself, and more able to go outside without fearing people and anxiety etc, but since all this back-to-work stuff i feel like a criminal, or someone recieving punishment (again), now i’m some kind of liar who doesnt have a brain and is the scum of the earth who should be out in the gutter. How long until this messed up government starts building gas chambers?

    I hate this world.

    1. Karen M says:

      Hi Anonymous, ME and PVCFS are awful and you are definitely not a liar . I can understand some of what you are going through- the usual “days” and “nights” way of thinking has been turned on its head and I am often unable to stay awake daytime and stay asleep night-time plus not being believed.

      It sounds as though JobCentre Plus are forcing you to a pace you cannot keep up with physically, am I right? But at the same time they are insulting your intelligence?

      One crucial thing, have you had positive blood tests on the viruses that can cause ME?

    2. RG says:

      I can sympathise with anyone unlucky enough to have dealings with that lying bunch of crooks at ATOS, the DWP aren’t much better. I have spent the last couple of weeks, after loosing my appeal, trying to work out how to make ends meet, until I draw my OAP in just over 12 months time. I have cancelled my careline service, I hope to god I don’t need it in the future. I am worried sick and will have to draw on my life savings to manage. Whilst I can understand the relief of people who are successful in beating the system, I am sorry it only makes my feelings worse. As I said in a recent letter to my MP the bit that really hurts is that I am now in a section considered “scroungers” Even though I worked from leaving school until ill health stopped me.

      1. Karen M says:

        Hi RG, I too lost my appeal and went through a very dark time. However I made a fresh claim and, with help, filled out the electronic ESA50 very carefully and fully with the activities in mind. I also avoided ticking “it varies” even if it did vary- in fact I didn’t put ticks in at all with the mental health problems section. I gave examples of my limitations in all the descriptors that applied. I found it easier this time because a friend wisely said “they don’t know you from Adam so give them a picture and say it in simple words”.
        If I were you I would apply again. You could use your medical evidence from your last claim for this one and refer to it in ESA50. More advice given to me was- photocopy or print the pages of ESA50 that apply to you, fill the boxes in with what you think describes you and take them into your GP so he or she has the information for writing a letter of support.

  120. PAUL says:

    my doc was reluctant to sign the black triangle letters but eventualy he wrote me a short note to the effect… that i had severe mental illness and the ongoing fitness for work process would be likely to make me worse… is that going to carry much weight?

    i’ve also had letters from my psychiatrist saying among other things, that i will need long term therapy intensive ,that is…dwp phoned me about 2 months ago to ask if i could send more med. evidence and possably they could turn things around… which i duly complied with… getting those letters scanned at nearby jobcentre…. but have heard nothing…. i did phone a few days ago to ask if they needed more evidence and was greeted with…”what do you want?” spoken abruptly… i do feel they have been re-trained on phone calls…. they used to be more pleasent…. so i am still waiting on my tribunal… my atos was in july 2012…. its pure hell… i wish it was over and i knew one way or the other. but its a year out of my life like it’s on hold.

    1. Karen M says:

      Your GP is on the right lines. The main issue with regulations 29 and 35 is that work and or work related activities (WRAG) are likely to cause you significant harm because of the mental health problem and make that mental health problem worse. If your specialists say you need long-term intensive therapy then that is good evidence. If your evidence says this you should not need to supply any more. The fact you have not heard from DWP may mean they are looking at your case.

      If DWP get in contact with regarding a WCA you should put a request in writing for a CD audio recording- as it is your right under the Equality Act as a reasonable adjustment due to your mental health problems.

  121. Jake says:

    Hi Karen I got a call today from DWP to tell me they were changing my payments over but she wasn’t cutting to the chase until I asked what group I was in & I was told I had been placed in the Support Group…she also said something about income supports & some premium which I am not to sure about what it is & what it is all about or if there is anything I should really know about it as I have not been on income support just my incapacity & DLA but she said I may be entitled to more money…have you any clue what this could be?…

    It’s taken a huge stress off me as I have been really bad feeling angina most days several times & things have been so depressing it’s really been a nightmare over the past few months…

    I was so worried it was too much each day to deal with & I am so glad it will be over now…I get the change over on the 28th of this month or so I was told…as for the income support she is sending me the forms out for it so I am not sure what it is all about unless someone on here as a clue about it…I would be pleased to know if anyone knows what this premium is…

    Regards one very relieved Jake

    1. Karen M says:

      Hi Jake, so glad for you. The premium is what you get on top of the Support Group ESA rate. If other benefits are mentioned I would definitely get in touch with CAB once you have a letter from DWP. Hopefully you will get some back-payments too. If DWP don’t get in contact with you about the ESA they will write a letter to your GP in due course confirming SG (so no more fit notes!), so in about a month it is worth checking with your GP and if there has been a letter ask for a copy of it for your file.

      Plus please DO NOT volunteer for interviews with a disability advisor or interviews at the JobCentre Plus. They may make your conditions worse. DWP should leave you in peace now. You have been through so much you deserve that peace.

      1. Jake says:

        Hi Karen I hope to go out to Spain to live so I can be near my daughter so no more cold winters either…I am not sure about any payments as I have still been getting my incapacity & DLA so I have no idea what the premium payments of income support are…all I want is some peace as I have had enough to deal with having the cancer & heart problem…

        I have to thank you for all your help & support as it as been a great help to me so thank you very very much for all you have helped me with the understanding of the whole system…

        Regards & huge thank you…Jake

  122. Brian Wroe says:

    Hi,my wife just passed tribunal and was awarded 18points on 23/7/2013 she was also put in WRAG group.How on earth can she attend the interviews as she finds it impossible to venture out of the house unattended.Still waiting for official documentation from DWP,in response to telephone call to there department they said she would be in receipt of back pay in due course.Could you give some advice on procedures on appealing the WRAG AS TO A SUPPORT GROUP.

      1. veronica says:

        Make an appointment to see someone at the Citizens Advice they should be able to advise you and help you with your appeal. If they tell you to get more medical evidence do not dispair but do persevere. Good luck. Do`nt let the b======s get you down, fight back.

      2. Brian Wroe says:

        Hi jj,should i send that to the DWP decision maker as to ammend from WRAG to support group before we appeal

  123. Brian Wroe says:

    Also,is the one month time limit for appeal when you receive decision notice from tribunal chamber, as its called, or notice from DWP.I ask this because we have not received any clarification at all from the DWP,It makes me wonder if this is a stalling tactic so as to prevent an appeal.

  124. PAUL says:

    i am given to understand that NOW upon appealing we will not get esa at reduced rate… instead get nothing… which is mighty scarey…. is this truth?

  125. Debbie says:

    Hi everyone

    I’m new to this site and benefits in general and apologise in advance if my question has been covered. I haven’t read everything as condition includes problems with eyes.

    For background, in April I was diagnosed with a rare incurable illness called Wegeners granulamotosis. Its an autoimmune disease of the vasculitis group causing blood vessels to organs to inflame, bleed and die. Little is known about the illness due to its rarity and lack of funding for research. It ravaged my lungs which are now much improved with (evil) steroids but I am having other problems and so have appointments pending with specialists galore.

    The Wegeners itself has no treatment of its own and sort of borrows a cancer one along with steroids aiming to manage it. That is if identified active. The main test for that is a blood test called anca but…… I’m apparently in the 17% of sufferers who are none anca – meaning there are no medical markers when the disease is active hence putting me a higher risk since it obvious causes organ failure and death. Research from the states has found that stress causes flare ups but nothing much else seems to be known.

    So bypassing the additional nightmare of my baptism of fire into the benefits system (I’m not sure which was more traumatic, my illness and diagnosis or encountering DWP!), I now have an ATOS questionnaire to complete as a precursor to work capability assessment I assume. I really am sick and tired of DWP and am mortified by the incessant ATOS horror stories. Also, I suspect I’m going through some kind of grieving process (for myself and my family) as I tend to become enraged at the drop of a hat. My son calls it ‘roid rage’ though, lol. I feel I would likely as not try to throttle the assessor if I thought there was any attempt to ignore my condition while asking me if I can life a cup!!!!

    My question is, have I understood correctly that I could invoke the regulations cited here by way of refusal to complete the questionnaire and undertake the WCA? My sickness certification as provided by my GP always states reason unfit for work as ‘Wegeners granulamatosis’ so they need only google it if they want to know more.

    Would appreciate any advice from a more experienced soul kind enough to do so.

    Huge thanks in advance

  126. debbie says:

    Hi, i hear a lot of people saying on this forum that they would never attend an ATOS wca without it being recorded. Sorry if this sounds silly but im in the process of filling out the esa50 and would like to know exactly what i have to do in order to get a recorded atos wca. Do i request it on the eas50 form? Do i attach a letter to the esa50 requesting one? what do i do to get one. DO i have to take the recording equipment? or do they (the atos examiner at the wca) bring it. Sorry i dont have a clue about this but i dont want people to lie about me in the wca, and want evidence if they do, someone please help me

    1. veronica jones says:

      definately get it recorded because my husband`s assessor missed out some important things in the written report that was said in the assessment . you have to tell the dwp that you want a recording made, they have to do it and they can not refuse you. write to them or telephone them.

  127. debbie says:

    so if u are just about to send off your esa50, and doctor wont fill in the cover letters, do you attach this letter to your esa50 :-

    To whom it may concern

    Following this Work Capability Assessment I may be found

    fit for work


    placed in the WRAG (work related activity group)

    In my opinion this will be contradiction of my own General Medical Practitioner’s knowledge of me over time, clinical assessment and medical certification.

    My General Medical Practitioner is the custodian of my primary medical record which has been accumulated during my lifetime in the UK

    My Past Medical History and current problems include:


    I am of the opinion that exceptional circumstances Regulation 29 may apply:

    ‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability, there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work.’

    Or with regard to the WRAG group decision that regulation 35 may apply:

    ‘Because of your physical or mental health condition or disability there would be a substantial risk to the mental or physical health of any person, including you, if you were found not to have limited capability for work-related activity.’

    I am of the opinion that substantial risk exists because:

    Yours sincerely

    (Patient’s name)

    ________________________________is this the letter u attach to your esa50 obviously starting with the line”my general medical…’ because obviously you havent had a wca yet and are just sending in this letter with your esa50? and do you need reg 35 in this template when just sending in your esa50? has anyone done this at this early stage and had success, i cant find anyone having done that in the comments section?

    hope someone gets back to this soon


  128. lakisha says:

    I am a house wife from a rich family. By god’s bless i had everything, but after 10 years of my marriage i was not having any child. we met so much doctors but nothing happen good. Then my relative lady of my sister in law suggest me to contact to guruji. Guruji gave me some simple spells and some worships guruji himself done for me, and after 3 month i get report that i was pragnent. today i am a happy mother of a baby boy of 8 months. he also make my husband to love me more than ever he reunite me and my husband for good and today we live happily this is just your bless guruji. Thank you So much if you need his help you can contact him via his private mail you will not regret it thanks

    1. dorey says:

      is this spam above, glad it helped you but try a good spell on the government to stop them attacking the disabled. ty

  129. PAUL says:

    hi guys,
    my tribunal is coming up in two weeks, i’m very nervous… have done a lkot to build up a case… will have welfare rights with me… they only meet me 15 mins before i go in… also wrote to my mp… and divers letters handwritten by myself in my own defence… letter too from my gp… and psychiatrists… i still want to get some letter about these regulations… but i am only dealing with psychiatrist now… may have asked before , but do i ask them to mention these regulations in any letter or must it be a template from here? if so please send link to a template for tribunal stage.

  130. Misha Roberts says:

    Hi there,

    i would like a copy of the letters mentioned in the messages above by email, if it is possible. i am currently helping a friend sort out his ESA. It is being assessed right now, but we would like to be prepared should we need them. You guys have started a great support network, and I for one am very grateful for the advice and the help that you guys are providing.

    Kind regards

  131. Richard says:

    I’ve got all the symptoms of M.E. CFS and have done for years, yet I have no formal diagnosis. I do though have 20+ years of head injury/depression/anxiety/agoraphobia following a car accident at work, and have passed the tri-yearly medicals for invalidity/incapacity F2F each time since, ( even though on EVERY occasion the centre staff could not understand why I had been called to attend since they hold all information on me already and even their doctors said I would never improve ).
    So it’s been huge stress each time in the past and each time takes around 3 months to recover from the ordeal, but THIS TIME it’s FAR FAR worse, as I can see what’s about to happen since the criteria has been narrowed and I have no corroborating RECENT ( DWP advised by phone it must be RECENT medical evidence ) to support my renewal, plus the welfare reform legislation has hit me hard.
    Any ‘treatments’ I was getting ended 19 years ago as I was making no further improvement ( with depression/anxiety/social phobia, cognitive functioning etc ), so from that time onwards there is no supporting medical evidence as specifically requested now and since the ESA50 has been written the way it has there is no way to describe my daily activities ( if at all ).
    MY long term GP retired March 2013 and my new GP is awful. We’ve already had a face off and he’s one of the new breed of young ‘couldnt give a stuff’ types. I seen him in August to explain the situation as I felt and could see I was headed towards a very tall cliff, and once at that figurative cliff I would no longer be in a mental state to help myself and that from that point onwards suicide would be the kindest ( to myself ) and least lengthy and tortuous solution to an impossible situation. I asked if he could sign a regulation 29/35 but he refused flatly saying he did not know me and as a GP felt his time was best spent treating patients, not filling in forms or getting involved in DWP benefit decisions. He did however write a short letter for me to collect, but when I did I found he didn’t have a clue, even though I had provided 40 pages of A4 typed information on the WCA situation, my own up to date physical / mental state etc 9 days prior to the meeting with him. In the letter he left for me at reception, he thought I was a new(ish) patient ( even though I’d been with the practice over 25 years ), He stated I had become a new patient when I was faced with the same situation 6 years ago ( untrue! ) stating that at that time I was feeling suicidal because of the benefit renewal ( untrue! ) and that I was basically crying wolf. He got very specific details wrong and used those false details and assumptions to base his refusal to sign a 29/35 in support of me. On the plus side, he did refer me to mental health services since I ‘appeared to be in some distress’. Fast forward a week and I got my mental health team appointment, that was back in August, and since I had to recent medical evidence to support my case they where going to give me a barrage of tests… which as of Jan 2014 still have not happened. In August 2013 the DWP agreed to accept the delay in my ESA50 return to give Mental Health Services time to create the evidence to back me…then nothing was heard.
    On CHRISTMAS Eve, Atos Medical Services wrote to me setting an appointment for a face to face for the 2nd week on Jan 2014, even though the ESA50 ( the application for ESA ) had not been returned! ( sending me for a medical for a benefit I have not formally applied for? the IB supersession legislation has as yet not been repealed, so stands )
    I got the face to face WCA appointment letter on 28th December ( Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ).
    Today ( 2nd Jan ) I am going to see a mental health worker at the hospital to see what is going on, and to see if it is their inaction that has caused Atos to send me the medical appointment as it’s been so long since the agreed ESA50 return was granted.
    I’m now in a position where I have a F2F WCA appointment, which is on a day that I can not attend (as I have a pre-arranged appointment the same day for something else that can not be put off since it is a medico-legal matter), and under legislation you’re only allowed to rearrange an Atos medical ONCE… yet I do not know when I will have any medical evidence to support my situation so can not give a new date to the medical services appointment person!
    So, I face having to fight the agoraphobia et al to attend a face to face WCA medical appointment where the HCP will have no ESA50 from me to view, with no medical evidence to view and which the DWP DM will have neither to base the outcome decision on.
    I am totally and utterly , well… I won’t swear but you’ll no doubt have a word in mind.

  132. Tommy says:

    I had may Medical with Atos in Nov 2013,This week i found out I got NO Points,(I expected this would happen)
    The changed my day till a saturday,I couldnt understand why,Then I knew,I asked for my medical to be recorded and of course for some reason they do not do recordings sat? So of course knowing you cant trust them,I had hidden camera which filmed in full colour/sound THANK GOD I did, Apart from being there first I was made wait for 30 min plus and then finally got a docker(If thats what you call him) The first this thing he said to me was, Im here to access you benefits??? I said excuse me? He repeated it,I said I thought you were here do my Medical on behalf of the DWP? He then started getting silly ,…anyway it finish up him stopping the Medical,(As he knew I was right) I then had to wait for some one else and of course I complained(They dont care about-they just are going to fail u)
    Then the next docter said the same statement …ANyway I let it go on as I was getting to stressed.After 6 weeks today,I find out he has failed me and found me fit for work,,and of course LIED 100% to what really happend at my Medical,I did speak to the DWP last week and made them aware that I had filmed my medical and they started saying thats Illegal?? NO ITS NOT. Now only will this show what is really going on with Atos but it shows these part time doctors are liers and will do anything to fail you,It will be interested what he has to say for himself when the DVD is show too him a a reference to what REALLY happened at my Medical..Its disgusting we have to do this to protect ourshelves, I am awaiting a call from ATOS tomorrow when I make them fully aware what really happened at my Medical and I will also report this matter to GMC as I want his full details to seek legal action for libel.
    If ATOS would only do what they are getting paid for and STOP these disgusting things,I will now set up website to put this video on of Both Doctors I seen that day..
    They also try and make out that its the so called Decision make who sorts this outs,,ITS NOT IT IS ATOS report that loss you benefits.

    I would like advice about this as Im about to do my appeal and what happens next,,as Im hearing may storys. Im also concened ill have money for food,
    PS: I would love nothing more but to work but im unable too at this time.

    I will NOT allow me to be sent to the so called work providers INGEUS as they too are scum

  133. julia says:

    could i have a copy two plz and i fink you guys on here are fab for what you are trying to do for the disabled god bless you all

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  135. sharon says:

    Hello, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your step by step “How to” guide above which I have followed and recently as a result won my case at 1st tier tribunal for ESA support group . I suffer with CFS/ME, have anxiety, depression and graves disease and live alone. The last year and half has been HELL and has resulted in severe exascerbation of my symptoms as well as being suicidal with self esteem and reason to live being zero. The experience due to government changes and bullying, cuts on my already low benefit has left me an emotional wreck but at least now thanks to your good work hopefully I can begin to think about picking up the broken pieces of my existence. I would not treat a dog the way this government have treated so many vulnerable people in a word “INHUMANE”. Thank you once again and I hope this message brings hope to those still going through this awful trauma. Please everyone follow the steps given it is a long process but you will get there. with kind and thankful regards.

  136. vicky says:

    Hi all first time poster

    I printed all forms out and my doctor signed them no problems
    Today I received my appeal papers from the DWP and there response to the letter printed off this site
    and signed by my doctor ( reg 29 may apply )


    DWP response:

    She has now gained medical evidence from her GP which stated that Exceptional circumstances
    Regulation 29 may apply in her case.
    DWP,s response to this is that although the appellants GP has issued a form MED3
    and stated that there GP has knowledge of their medical condition , it is submitted that ,
    for benefit purposes, the basis of the limited capability for work is the work capability assessment
    as carried out by a healthcare professional approved by the secretary of state and that the
    MED3 and GP,s option does not, of itself, provide for the satisfaction of this assessment.


    I think the response from the DWP is disgusting
    How on earth can the DWP disregard and undermine my GP Reg 29 and MED3 (sick note) in place
    of a untrained so called healthcare professional that does not no there ass from elbow

    My GP was none to pleased when I took the letter in to show him ( he has been a GP for 30 years )

    So my question is what to do now. do I leave it for the tribunal to deal with and take the chance
    they will rule in my favor on reg 29. ??

    What I would like to do is fight back at the DWP and have them for Disability Discrimination
    based on the fact that I have ADHD and my two teenaged daughters have ADHD AND OCD
    So as you can imagine my daily life is very very hectic.

    DWP has no idea what a ADHD suffer goes through on a daily basis
    and going of this letter the DWP does not give a flying hoot about peoples Disability’s
    I would also like to say that the DWP has not given me a penny since 1 April 2014
    they also refused me hardship payments.

    1. Veronica says:

      The whole system is set up to make sure that as many people as possible fail or give up trying but if you can get as much medical evidence as possible and it meets the requirements to claim ESA then you should win your appeal at the tribunal. Do go to the Citizens Advice people and get their help. The DWP will say anything to put you off as well as twist medical evidence and what you and your assessor says. Get them to record the assessment and make sure you give a copy to the tribunal and highlight any of their inconsistencies from your assessment. Remember that the decision maker assesses your claim without even seeing you. It is a disgrace that this is happening and that the government are getting away with it. Remember to always say how your health is on your worst days. Persevere.

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