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JSA to ESA: My Story


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I am not sure how many of you have suffered as I have. I have suffered with anxiety and depression for around 8 years now but after starting Anti Depressants I managed to keep it under control and work, have a social life, eat properly and function as near to normal as possible.


Since I was made redundant (Feb 2013) I have had to jump through hoops at the JCP and then INGEUS to get my lousy £72.40pw even though I paid 20 years worth of NI and TAX (the same as someone over 25 that had done not one days work in their lives)


Anyway, I seemed to be coping well, job searching, filling my time with voluntary work, being as social as possible etc and then around 5 months ago refered to INGEUS where the fun began - treated like a child, made to attend pointless workshops, show your job search activity like a child showing his teacher his/her homework and made to feel like an scrounger for being made redundant and refusing to work for minimum wage after being on a good salary plus bonuses for years.


I thought I was coping until a couple of weeks back I snapped, had a bad anxiety and panic attack and fell in to a depression - had a change of meds that made me feel worse and became lethargic and not in the mood to do anything after being continually let down with applications (over 600 in total and 2 interviews) My mind and body gave up.


I decided to see my GP who said I had a relapse from years back and needed rest so he signed me off for a month. Today I got another note for another 2 months and I intend to use it for ESA to get me out of this debilitating regime - I am not one to give up but my mind had and snapped being fed up of being treated like a number and not an individual.


The fact is, if I was left alone to job search I would be fine but I had to jump through DWP hoops which were simply tick box exercises and not there to help me (and others) one bit, in fact all of the workshops and appointments were pointless and unproductive and simply there so the DWP could say they are 'engaging' with claimants


So, the system won and I suffered. I firmly believe I was driven to this by this sickeneing regime and I blame the system for my deteriorating health and having to take this option rather than being left alone to search for work and simply sign on every 2 weeks.


This system is killing people, affecting their personal well being and mental health and their relationships with families and friends who get the back end of anger and resentment. So, a big well done DWP, another claimant you have broken mentally and physically, I hope you are proud. Now I will take my 3 months sick note and get MY MONEY and not have to jump through your hoops to get this paltry amount you deem enough to live off. Well done, you won, how many more people whether on JSA, ESA or disability whose money you are taking away or reducing are you going to hurt before you are held accountable for your actions?


From someone who was once strong you have broken me - well done IDS and all your goons - I do not know how you sleep at night.

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I just read that out to my husband. Our response is that it makes you want to cry.


To add to it, we (people in general) are paying the DWP/Ingeus to do this to other people. That makes us complicit in the damage that is being done. Well done us.


"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Believe me, the last week I have been in a bad way - depression and anxiety, on new medication, beta blockers and full of anger and resentment. At the moment I am broken, the DWP has done this to me. Some may say I am weak but my body gave up - this way Iget 3 months of rest to do what I want to do with my time and to try and get better. Funny how for years I have been fine and now I feel broken. So many people are going through this and some cope better than others. I thought I was coping until my body said enough was enough. For me to say to myself "I need to see my doctor now" I must have been feeling bad.

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this is my first post,i have been the forum reading for a while,i have also went from jsa esa because of ingeus.

I have had social anxiety disorder and depression my whole life but have managed to cope with it,never been to see a doctor for it untill now.

I've was lucky with my three advisors,i had three who were nice people thank god after the horror story's i have read about advisors.I had to do a workshop one of the advisors was so horrible he put me into the worst panic attack i have had in my life and i had i have had lot of panic attacks.

I ended up having a breakdown because of that place,had to see a phycologist and because i didnt know if i was going to get on esa or not she said i had to go back in.

So i plucked up the courage to contact my old asvisor,i was supposed to see a new one but coudnt because of the state i was in,my old advisor coudnt have helped and supported me more than he did.

I wouldnt have made it through the door without him so they are not all horrible people.

Thankfully i was put in esa support group in march without a medical,the way the medicals are going i would probably have failed it,so now i dont need to go anywhere near the place.

Hope you can read this ok,i am not very good writing things.

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Carly. I totally empathise with you, the system makes us worse and eventually the body will have enough. Like you, luckily I had a decent JCP adviser who guided me through the JSA to ESA process and helped me with the form although I had done it anyway so yes, not all of them are bad apples.



As for INGEUS - out of nowhere this morning I had my adviser there (who now knows I am on ESA) send me a load of jobs to apply for. What part of "I am off sick for 3 months" do you not understand? My reply was.



"As stated on xx/xx/xxxx I am now on ESA and I would be grateful if you did not bombard my email inbox with job adverts for me to apply for when I am SICK. Any further emails will result in me taking this further as you are hindering my progress in getting better"

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essexmat: Can you configure your email client to bounce emails back as undelivered ?


I have the ability to set up filters to silently drop incoming emails (good for spam) or bounce back to the sender with a note attached (useful for charlatans) - This can be done through the email reader programme I use, or if needs be, at the server.


If this "adviser" continues sending you inappropriate emails, perhaps a terse reply along the lines of:

I suggest you consult current DWP guidance with respect to ESA claimants on assessment rate. If you are unable to read (the documents), consult your line manager. If you do not understand any of the above, I would suggest looking the words up in a dictionary or finding alternative employment better suited to your (in)abilities.





No... you can't eat my brain just yet. I need it a little while longer.

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Hi essexmat,just ignore your advisor,she is one who will be annoyed,you should just concentrate on getting better.


I applied for esa on the of 1st january and they posted my award letter out on 13th of march,that was only 10 weeks.

If you are likely to be placed in support group you wont have to go for a medical,i hope you are placed in support group.

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