Need help on claiming ESA for the first time.

Hi there,

New here and wanted to know a few things and get some help with my application to ESA..

Im 22 and have autism, I've been on DLA since I was 16 and recently applied to PiP due to DLA ending and lost, I lost the mandatory reconsideration too. 

I dont want to persue PiP any further, The tribunal is something I dont wanna go through. 

I was looking for other avenues and saw ESA, My question is, I need a "fit note" from my doctor, How do I go about that? What do I ask my doctor, Physically Im able to work, But having autism it isnt that easy.. lol 

Some help in what to say to my receptionist or doctor in order to get a "fit note", that would be great!

Appreciate all the help.



  • Hi Connor,

    You need to be signed off as unfit for work, and not in work, to claim it.  It's the 'unfit for work' person's equivalent of Job Seeker's Allowance.  You can't just claim it on the basis that 'having autism isn't easy'.  None of us find it easy, but plenty of us still have to work.  I claimed it once, when I lost my job after long-term sickness following a suicidal breakdown.  You need to convince your doctor that you are unfit for work in order to get the note you want.  Then - providing you don't have a job in the first place - you would make a claim for ESA rather than JSA.  A few weeks after you start your claim, you'll then be called in for a Work Capability Assessment, which is deliberately designed to catch people out.  Many people, including very sick and disabled people, fail their WCA... which then means going down the appeal/tribunal route that you're now on with the PIP claim.  It is by no means an easy option.  It's a very unfair system.  My claim actually went to tribunal.  I failed my WCA and my subsequent appeal was rejected, even though I had back-up statements from my GP, my therapist, and a key worker at a MH unit.  I won the tribunal, though - which was nowhere near as bad as I expected it to be.  They were actually very sympathetic.

    Do you know why you lost the mandatory consideration?  Does this mean that you have no option but to claim Jobseeker's now?

    Have a look at this site.  They should be able to give you good information...

    Benefits and Work

  • I know it’s difficult but contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.  Don’t stop with PIP. They are there to help. If you feel you can’t, get a friend or relative to.

  • Hi Connor, you have to be steadfast in your determination to get these benefits paid to you. You have to know in your heart (which I think you do), that if you are expected to work and contribute financially to this society that you were born into, then they are going to have to give you time, space and financial support so you can figure out what it is you want to do. A job that you love, not that you find hard. You might work hard at your job, most autistic people do, but that’s different to the ‘hard’ which we experience when we have been pushed, like one of a herd of cows, to do things we might not want to do. 

    You will need support with this, for many reasons. But don’t forget, we are extremely blessed in this country to have such facilities as social security benefits. I am so grateful to them. I haven’t worked in well over a year since I came back to the U.K. I didn’t work before that, but that’s a different story. I feel blessed beyond belief to be given these benefits. It’s not a great amount of money and of course the system isn’t perfect, but we have to show some tolerance and understanding, the system was set up by nt’s afterall, so what can we expect, but it’s good enough and that’s always good enough and I am extremely grateful and give thanks every day for it, sometimes several times a day.

    Read the information on this site, I’ll post a link, but you also need somebody to come out to your house, or they’ll meet you at some other place, if you chose.  They’ll go through the form with you and complete it for you. Forms aren’t easy for most autistic people and these forms are particularly tricky for us as we have a tendency to take things literally and answer honestly, not that we aren’t looking for honest answers, but nt’s are tricky, they don’t always mean what they say, so filling out those forms, by ourselves, is like throwing ourselves into the lions den. But no, you can’t work, you’re not fit to work if there are things about work that you’re struggling with. You’ve got rights, not only as a human being but you also have protected rights as an autistic person ~ sometimes it’s necessary to use their rules against them. 

    Read up and get some support. I found the guy who helped me, online, by typing in something like disability rights or benefits support, something like that. Here’s the link to the information on this site regarding benefits ~