ESA success and now DLA success!!!
I hope my post will give members & others a boost especially those with ME/CFS like myself & those with fluctuating conditions.

In July this year following reassessment I was moved from the WRAG to the Support Group with ESA (CB). Buoyed by this success I applied for DLA. The infamous 'brown envelope' arrived a few days ago & I was absolutely stunned to read I had been awarded both higher rate mobility & higher rate care for 4 years!!! without having to have a medical or my GP being asked for a report . . .

This site and everything it provides is close to being priceless. If I hadn't found this site by chance 18 months ago and made the decision to join & renew my subscription I would never have been as successful with my claims as I have. 

B and W is quite literally a life saver - thank you so very much.

Lots more feedback at the end of this email.  To UNSUBSCRIBE or change your preferences, please click on the Manage Your Subscription link at the bottom of this email.

Medicals - who gets called in?

Dear [fname],

Well, we’re back after our August break. It hasn’t been the most peaceful of summers, particularly with Atos pursuing websites that are critical of its activities – more on that below.

IB to ESA transfers without a medical

But it certainly hasn’t been all bad, especially not when we receive read forum posts like this from someone being transferred from incapacity benefit (IB) to employment and support allowance (ESA):

“The form came and we completed it and sent it off within 2 weeks. I received a brown envelope in the post this morning! I felt sick when I was opening it ! And to my surprise I've been put into the Support group, without a medical! I couldn't believe it! I very much doubt this would have happened if I hadn't subscribed to this site! Once again THANK YOU, the work you are doing is FANTASTIC!”

In fact, over the summer we’ve had quite a few forum posts and emails from people who have made the move from IB to ESA without having a medical.  And the message that we’re getting is that most people believe that its sending in a very detailed IB50 questionnaire, with supporting evidence where available, that is making the difference between being called for a medical or not.

However, even this issue isn’t all positive.  We’re also hearing from a lot of people who are being transferred from IB to ESA without a medical but are being placed in the work-related activity group (WRAG) when they believe they should be in the support group.  The lack of information about why they were placed in the WRAG is a cause of considerable anger, as is the suspicion that they are being put in the WRAG because for many this will mean their contribution-based ESA will end altogether in 2012 if the welfare reform bill goes through unaltered.  They are now left with the dilemma of whether to appeal, and potentially risk the loss of their exiting award,  or not.

We’ve created a whole section of forum feedback on IB to ESA transfers at the end of this newsletter.

Following on from the last item, if you are currently receiving contribution-based ESA then you should soon be receiving a letter from the DWP warning you of plans to introduce a 12 month time limit on awards, beginning  retrospectively from April 2012.  This change does not apply to claimants in the support group. The letters are being sent out over a period of a month from 19 September in spite of the fact that the Welfare Reform bill which brings in the new rules is still being debated and is not yet law.  The DWP have even had to access a special pot of cash to prepare for the changes before they become legal.

Also on the same subject, we’d very much like to hear from people who have appealed against a decision to place them in the work-related activity group of ESA because they believed they should be in the support group. We want to get some idea of how long the process is taking, whether you were sent another ESA50 to complete and, if you have already had a result, whether you were successful and also – if you’re comfortable telling us – whether your claim was based on mental or physical health issues or both.  Please drop us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or post in the forum if you think you can help.

The government has moved to stifle opposition to the Welfare Reform bill  (Members only) - which includes provisions to axe DLA and to time limit contribution-based ESA - in the House of Lords by moving debates from the main chamber and into a small committee room where many fewer lords will be able to take part.  This is in spite of a last minute protest by charities and by many subscribers to this newsletter.

Our hopes of a quiet time over the summer were somewhat marred by Atos lawyers threats to  websites that criticised the company or the servers that host them.  Three sites were closed down (Members only), although two of these have now reappeared.

Altogether it seems to have been something of a public relations fiasco for Atos, however, leading to more bad publicity and ill feeling.  Some of this will no doubt make itself felt by way of a larger turnout for the Atos day of Action on 30 September.

Back in August we did a brief piece on a request for people to take part in a documentary about the work capability assessment that is being made by independent film producer, Piers Sanderson.  We understand that Piers is still looking for more participants. Anyone who is interested in learning more should initially email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and put Film producer in the subject line.

Liberal Democrats will be voting at their Party Conference, which starts on Saturday, on whether to demand that the Government makes benefit assessments clearer, less stressful and fair for fluctuating conditions such as mental illnesses.  Rethink are asking supporters to email their Lib Dem representative asking them to support the motion.  You can send a personalised email direct to your Lib Dem representative.

Meanwhile Macmillan are campaigning to oppose the introduction of a one year time limit on contribution-based ESA and are urging Lib Dems to support a motion opposing the change at their party conference.  You can send a personalised email on this issue to your Lib Dem MP.

There is also a TUC march and rally against the cuts taking place in Birmingham on Saturday 18 September to coincide with the Lib Dem conference.  There is shortened route for disabled campaigners.

A National Day of Action against Atos is being organised for 30th September, when Atos will be attempting to recruit more doctors at the BMJ Recruitment Fair in Islington.

One of the sites that suffered at the hands of Atos, but is now back online, was the Carer Watch forum.  However, Carer Watch are proving their ability to bounce back by launching a new campaign calling for an end to the two separate groups in employment and support allowance.  Instead they want all ESA claimants to be placed in the same group with no time limits or sanctions.

You can read more about the Carer Watch campaign.

There’s lots more news than we can squeeze into this newsletter.  If you’re a subscribing member of Benefits and Work you can read all the other news stories on the site here

Many thanks to all the members who have submitted news items over the summer, we really do appreciate it, please keep them coming.  There’s more information on how to submit a news story here.

There’s a bumper bundle of forum feedback below, because it’s been so long since we last did a newsletter.  We begin with feedback from people who made it from IB to the ESA support group without having to go through a medical.

Just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to this site. I recently received the ESA50 form to complete. I was being transferred from Incapacity to ESA.

Following the forums on the MS Society, I clearly saw the problems & difficulties everyone was facing. So, as you will probably guess I was dreading the form coming through the letter box. In the meantime I decided to subscribe to this site and start swatting up in preparation.

The form came and we completed it and sent it off within 2 weeks. I received a brown envelope in the post this morning! I felt sick when I was opening it ! And to my surprise I've been put into the Support group, without a medical! I couldn't believe it! I very much doubt this would have happened if I hadn't subscribed to this site! Once again THANK YOU, the work you are doing is FANTASTIC!

I would like to thank all mods and posters
, for all the info provided by this great site.

Just wanted to share some good news and give hearty thanks to B&W for all the advice/support provided.  Because I wrote so much I ended up cutting and physically pasting all my typed answers onto the form, together with a few extra pages, all stapled and sellotaped on.

I recently filled in an ESA form and had a call 3 days ago to say that I am being put into the support group
and I don’t need to attend a medical.(I am coming from incapacity and being changed over on the 2nd sept)

I have just been migrated from IB to ESA - in Support group without a medical - a massive relief. The info on this site helped me to do the questionnaire so they could make an accurate decision

On Friday I got the shock of my life when my results to my ESA application form dropped onto my door mat. I couldn't believe that they'd passed me without even having a medical.

I'm so, so grateful to this site in giving me access to the best advice and support out on the net. I don't know what I would have done without this place, I really, really don't.

Thanks again to everybody on this site. Joining this place is the wisest thing that I've done in a long time.

I got a letter from Atos saying I would not need to go for a medical this time, which I took to mean that I would be in the Support Group, but I have had the dreaded letter which states I'm in the WRAG group, and must prepare for work.

I was told today via a phone call that he had been placed in WRAG (without a medical) with review in Dec 2012.  Only problem is his health is worse (it fluctuates a lot) and I can't be sure he will even be fit for the interviews!!!

I was placed in WRAG without a medical, it only took them 3 or 4 working days to decide this, despite having over 40 pages of evidence to read through (plus the esa form) my wife is fuming, I have letters from doctor/specialist/nurse stating various things that should have put me in the support group under 4 different descriptors.

I too was put in WRAG without a medical.  I asked for reports and have been sent the following.  ESA72,this tells me what group i am in and that my next assessment will be up for review on 25/05/12.  ESA85a medical report form, this shows that I could be considered for work within 12 months, and that I have a significant level of disability.

I waited six weeks to be placed into the wrag without a medical.

I’ve just had a letter from the DWP regarding transfer from IB to ESA.  I have also received the dreaded phone call, explaining to me what it is (as if I didn’t know). In the conversation the VERY nice man said if I fill the form in correctly I will not need to attend a medical- only if they need further information-????.

BUT! In the future I will be expected to attend work focused interviews regularly-have you heard of this before?

Higher rate mobility and lower rate care without medical

From work-related activity group to support group on appeal 1

From work-related activity group to support group on appeal 2

From work-related activity group to support group on appeal – exceptional circumstances

IB to ESA support group following cancelled medical

DLA higher rate mobility after DLA doctors visit & initial nil award

ESA support group after appeal

ESA work-related activity group after appeal

Higher rate care and higher rate mobility on renewal

ESA work-related activity group with fibromyalgia

0-18 points at ESA appeal

Support group without medical

ESA without medical

ESA on appeal

Support group following medical

Higher rate care and higher rate mobility following medical

Work-related activity group without medical

ESA on appeal

ESA support group on renewal

Higher rate mobility and middle rate care on appeal

ESA Tribunal Appeal 0 to 24 points in 20 minutes!

Higher rate mobility and higher rate care on appeal

Higher rate mobility and middle rate care on renewal

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might be interested. You are also welcome to reproduce this newsletter on your blog, website, forum or newsletter.

Good luck,

Steve Donnison

Benefits and Work Publishing Ltd
Company registration No.  5962666



Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.