Fibromyalgia is it recognised as a disability — Scope | Disability forum

Fibromyalgia is it recognised as a disability

I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and also have osteoarthritis.  I am wondering if this condition  is recognised as a disability. I am 62 years of age and have been signing on to ESA where I have to sign on every fortnight and be actively seeking work. I am currently in the process of trying to change over to the ESA group that can't work.  My health has been getting progressively worse to the point where I can hardly drag myself out of bed now. I just need some advise about this situation. Thanks.


  • CockneyRebel
    CockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,212 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello tinacee and welcome

    Fibro is a little understood condition, many people have it but until recently diagnosis has been limited.
    If any condition limits the things you are able to do then it could be classed as a disability, many members here have fibro and get assistance through PIP.
    If you are struggling with everyday tasks it may be a good idea to take the self assessment test to see if you might qualify.

    Please come back if we can help in any way


    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering

    Fibromyalgia is definitely recognised as a health condition, and having a diagnosis shows that. Osteoarthritis too is a condition which is recognised, and both can cause problems with lots of the ESA and PIP activities. 

    To get into the 'support group' for ESA, where you wouldn't be expected to do anything, you need to meet certain 'descriptors', or alternatively, show that work-related activity would cause risk to your health. It certainly sounds to me as if you are in that situation.

    CR's suggestion is a good one for PIP, and I'd do the same for ESA. Here's the self test for that. You have to go all the way through the test to get to the support group questions. 

    I would definitely be telling the DWP that you should now be in the support group, and providing as much evidence as you can about what you can't do (evidence of the diagnosis itself isn't enough). Tell them what your average day is like and what you are now unable to do. 

    They may want to call you to an assessment - if you are too unwell to get to an assessment centre make sure you point this out and ask for a home assessment if that would help you. 

    I'd also query why you are being told to actively seek work. If you are on ESA, you can be asked to do work-related activity such as preparing your CV, training, and thinking about work, but you do NOT have to actively seek work. You can be called for work-focused interviews but you shouldn't have to sign on as frequently as every fortnight - that sounds more like Jobseeker's Allowance. So you might want to check if you are on the wrong benefit and need to claim ESA, or whether the Jobcentre are making you do things they shouldn't. If you haven't yet claimed ESA, you'll need a sick note from your doctor.

    The way you claim ESA depends on where you live in the country.


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