The factsheet is for you if you are an ESA claimant and you are appealing a decision that you are capable of work.
We have created the fact sheet because GPs are no longer being told by the DWP that they should issue fit notes to ESA claimants who have lodged an appeal against a finding that they are capable of work.
The factsheet explains clearly that fit notes should be issued in these circumstances.
Because all the information in the factsheet is supported by links to verifiable information on government websites, no GP who receives a copy could subsequently argue that they were unaware of their duty to issue fit notes.
The letter of complaint is for you to use if your GP still refuses to issue you with a fit note even after being given the factsheet.
Making a complaint about your GP can be a very daunting thing to do and, in the end, you may decide it is nota course of action you wish to follow.
But if you are prepared to make a complaint, we would suggest you take one copy of the factsheet to give to your GP and include another copy in an envelope with your formal letter of complaint.
If your GP refuses to give you a fit note because the DWP have told them not to, explain that this does not apply once you have lodged an appeal.
Tell them that you have a factsheet that explains in more detail and give them a copy.
If they still refuse, point out that you will either be left without income or you will be forced to claim benefit as capable of work when this is not the case and could lead to you being sanctioned.
If your GP still refuses then, if you feel able, tell them that unfortunately, given the potentially grave effect their refusal may have, you have no choice but to make a formal complaint and you will be doing so in writing immediately.
Whether you tell the GP or not, we suggest you hand a copy of your formal letter of complaint together with another copy of the factsheet to the receptionist in an envelope marked ‘Formal complaint’.
Make sure your contact details and the date are included in your letter.
Ask for a copy of the practice’s complaints procedure, so that you know how soon your complaint should be acknowledged and how soon you should receive a response.
There are more details about how to make a complaint about your GP here.
Download the factsheet in .pdf format
Download the factsheet in Word format
Download a sample letter of complaint in Word format