Another man supposedly cured by Atos dies.

(76 Posts)
NicholasTeakozy Thu 08-Nov-12 12:11:13

Atos benefit bullies killed my dad

Why is there not a punishment clause in their contract that forces them to pay out millions to those who are wrongly taken off benefit? (Rhetorical. We all know the reason)

What a shower of utter cunts.

AmberLeaf Sat 10-Nov-12 15:58:54

I think that was entirely forgivable given the content of Swalloweds entire post TBF

apismalifica Sat 10-Nov-12 16:31:31

The previous government had, I thought, tried to reform the system to make it easier for people who were disabled to get fair access to the workplace by offering them the support they needed, and that it was an assumption that disability in itself should not be an insurmountable hurdle to taking a full role in the world of work. It has been twisted round by the current lot to make it clear that the disabled are expected to work full stop as they don't deserve something for nothing and are a bunch of scroungers.

I have a friend who was told he was fit to work having been almost paralysed after surgery to halt the spread of malignant melanoma - sadly unsuccessful and he has been told he has 6 weeks left if he's lucky. This was because he still had the capacity to do simple tasks in the interview on that day. They look only at capacity and not the diagnosis.

When I filled in a demo ATOS form on line as if I was my disabled son on a good day (he is currently only 13 - I was curious and testing out the system) he didn't score many points and appeared to be 100% fit for work. However, he regularly spends periods of 2-3 weeks, several a year, in hospital with a chronic and life shortening condition that requires hours of daily treatment even when he is well.

Problem for him is that when he grows up he will be very keen to work and have a proper life (during his good spells) but I cannot see how this would be possible under the current system! People with fluctuating conditions appear to be particularly hard hit. When he fills in the form, does he say how he is when he is ill (oxygen, IV meds for 2-3 weeks, plus loads of other treatment) or tell them what he can do when he is really well? He is usually fairly fit after a spell in hospital followed by a couple of weeks of recovery at home (but still on hours of home treatment to keep that way) but it doesn't last long. When he is well, he will be able to run up the stairs and do a somersault into the ATOS office.

The drive to make sick and disabled people work does not seem to come with the support to make it feasible (such as very detailed and targeted 'access to work' help that used to be possible) and that level of support is very expensive and could potentially cost more than keeping someone home 'on the sick'.

By the way, you have a right to have an official recording of the ATOS interview made, although most people don't know this and there is a shortage of equipment (not allowed to use your own). Can also request a home visit - if you can get up the stairs to the interview you are fit for work lol.

Anyway, agree with Pootles and others, the current government have put the 'N' in cuts.

Pixel Sat 10-Nov-12 19:12:35

* name me the employer who can cope with someone having 3 fits a week*

Even the ones that are willing to try (and they are few and far between) might not cope when faced with the reality. My sister started a new job, had told them at interview she had epilepsy but they said it was fine. The first time she had a seizure they decided they'd have to let her go, making out it was 'for her own safety'.

Re: people being able to work after strokes I agree it totally depends on the person but at the other end of the scale from blind, paralysed people being told they should work we have my friend. He suffered a stroke a few years ago (only in his early forties so a shocker) and was very poorly for a while but fortunately regained most of his mobility/speech etc. In a way it did him a favour as they also discovered he had quite a serious heart defect so all in all a worrying time. Eventually he went back to work, a physically demanding job. After eighteen months his bosses suddenly decided he was unfit for work. He works for the government confused. I think they need to make up their minds, at the moment they seem to be causing stress to people who are not capable of work by telling them they are, and stress to people who have proved they are capable of work by telling them they aren't!

threesocksmorgan Sat 10-Nov-12 23:41:27

Amber it is never forgivable.
we should always see the person first.
there is no excuse.

Hopeforever Sat 10-Nov-12 23:51:32

My ATOS interview is this week sad

Would love to work but I can't even commit to coffee with a friend or picking up my DD from school as I can't predict if i'm going to be well enough

But on a good day I can get dressed, feed myself and go to the loo on my own

Who would employ me?

ESA is the benefit I paid towards when I was employed

AmberLeaf Sun 11-Nov-12 00:04:29

Threesocks

Swallowed wasn't even saying that as her saying it, she was saying it as a hypothetical gov employee stating a 'downs woman' being fit for work.

I didn't read it as being her turn of phrase at all.

hackmum Sun 11-Nov-12 13:16:51

Completely agree with swallowed. The most ridiculous thing about all of this is that many people with disabilities are desperate to work but employers aren't interested. The government should deal with the employers first before haranguing people with disabilities.

threesocksmorgan Sun 11-Nov-12 17:22:53

but that won't save money will it?
they don't care. they have no understanding of what it is like to be disabled or care for a disabled person.

i went to an appointment at the jobcentre today to find out what to do about closing my incapacity benefit claim and back to work credits etc.

awful place! you feel like a criminal. they no longer have toilets, 'because the druggies were always in there' and you are not allowed to take drinks in. i found this out in quick succession after asking where the bathroom was being told the above and then being told i wasn't allowed to bring in the coffee i had. so they could keep you waiting there for ages without being able to have a drink or go to the loo. handy if you are incontinent i'm sure.

anyway dumped down one end of the building in a holding pen (waiting room would be an overstatement) i found myself surrounded by people with clear disabilities and health problems. the lady i sat beside was Deaf and awaiting her translator who finally came. a young woman with down's syndrome was there with her mother and sister. a person who appeared to have severe mental health problems. etc.

it really hit home what this atos stuff must be like. the woman who was with her daughter with down's also had a small child in a pushchair with her and it looked like her daughter probably needed a lot of care from her. the deaf lady needed a translator for her appointment and until that point had been sat in 'silence' with no one to communicate with. these are the people being dragged into assessments sad i imagined the young lady with down's being made to perform for assessors and be told seeing as she could pick up a pound coin and walk unaided she was fine for work and the Deaf lady having to relay through her translator her obstacles to the working world - not even being able to directly argue her case because of the obvious barrier right there.

just awful. i felt awful enough about it all anyway but somehow being sat there seeing how difficult it was for a mother to cope with toddler and her disabled daughter in the environment of the job centre and how isolated the deaf lady was in that world without her translator... it just really brought it home how horrific what they are doing to people is.

anyway for my part i'm going back to work after years of not. the woman i spoke to seemed nervous for me. she recommended i didn't send stuff off or close my claim until i'd done a few days at work, "just in case". i said i didn't think that was realistic because even if after a few days i knew i couldn't cope what was the alternative? wait to be called up by atos?

sorry long perhaps irrelevant post but thought of this thread whilst i was sat there.

We were at a tribunal today (luckily not DWP for us) and there was a man in a wheelchair who'd been denied benefits because ATOS had written that he played with his dogs. He was telling us he had no pets at all, let alone dogs!

madhairday Mon 12-Nov-12 18:50:54

Have you seen the new People's review of the WCA - makes for very harrowing reading.

It's terrifying, and even more so that they are doing the same to all DLA claimants next year. sad

I don't know who would employ me either. I am educated and articulate but have a progressive lung disease with frequent IV treatment and long daily treatment. I have weeks of not even being able to get out of the house, let alone to a job centre. It's a nightmare, and my case is not as bad as so many others being denied ESA/DLA.

This country is going downhill quickly. Someone on that document made a remark about the Third Reich. Makes you think.

So sorry, saf, to hear of your experiences, and everyone else on this thread sad

Hopeforever Mon 12-Nov-12 18:51:20

swallowed can I give you a hug? It sounds horrible.

I've got just under 48 hours until I have to turn up to face ATOS

sorry - didn't mean to make people feel sorry for me. i'm one of the lucky ones really when you look at what's being done. the daft thing is i use toilets to cope with anxiety. for various reasons a stuffy waiting area, left there, not knowing what's going on, no privacy and feeling trapped is the perfect recipe for panic attacks for me. toilets are my sanctuary where i can go, be alone, get myself together and calm down. being told no loos really narked me - i was rude to the person who told me then on my way back in (from drinking my coffee and doing my calm down routine outside round the corner) i went up and apologised to him. he said no, he hates having to tell people this stuff and wishes it was nicer there.

there was just something hideous about us 'faulty' folk all be gathered at one end waiting to be seen. my stuff is invisible, others is highly visible but we all have our obstacles and barriers. lined up that (with no loo to escape to) made me imagine, viscerally, what it would be like in that atos waiting room.

hopeforever i wish all the luck in the world. i hope you get somebody decent who will do their best. i chatted to my advisor and it seems the job centre staff are really sympathetic about how awful all of this is now and openly admit that getting esa is a nightmare now. she told me that if even after two days at work i was signed off as incapable due to ill health (god forbid) i would be put on lowest rate of what you can get and would be assessed within 8wks by atos.

i remember when i had to be signed off of work when my health crashed years ago. i hadn't even gotten to see a consultant and get a proper diagnosis by 8wks let alone anything else.

anyway i am waffling.

madhairy - my dla was up for renewal at the beginning of the year. every time i looked at the forms i felt sick. all of this clear rhetoric about what they think of people like me and all the horrible press was too much. those forms are humiliating due to the amount of highly personal information i had to share - in this climate that just felt too much to go through. not sure that makes sense. so that was some money they saved anyway! wonder how many others also didn't claim despite no change in health circumstances because it felt pointless or too degrading.

madhairday Mon 12-Nov-12 21:49:11

I know SaF sad The forms are humiliating and really get you down as you see the reality of what you live through. I know loads of people who are really seriously ill and don't claim because of the stress. It's sickening sad

I claimed ESA, went for an ATOS medical (a joke) and then was told I couldn't receive it as my NI payments weren't enough, it was only then I found out HRP were only Class 3 contributions so not enough to get ESA/JSA. Yet they still put me through the medical angry was so stressed and I was so ill at the time. I've given up on ESA now but am desperately worried about losing my DLA.

hope will be thinking and praying for you. Let me know how it goes. Take care.

NicholasTeakozy Tue 13-Nov-12 08:09:15

HopeForever, take a friend with you and get said friend to take notes in the form of minutes. Also, insist your assessment is recorded (Atos are legally required to supply equipment). Then if your claim is denied there is massive evidence for your appeal. It will still be stressful but you will win. We must not let these fuckers beat us.

good advise there from nicholast - at least they can't flagrantly make things up if it's recorded and also the very act of asking and doing it shows them they need to be careful with you iyswim? it makes them realise you're not someone who'll lightly accept being mistreated or having your claim mishandled.

Hopeforever Tue 13-Nov-12 11:46:06

Thank you all

thinking of you today hopeforever! hope you're ok.

EasilyBored Wed 14-Nov-12 12:07:51

Sadly I think it's only going to get worse, with the replacement of DLA with PIPs, and everyone having to re-assessed, even if you have a 'lifetime' award. It seems to me like starting out with the objective of reducing the number of people claiming DLA by 500 000 (because there are half a million suitable jobs out there, don't cha know?!) means that the assessments are going to be negatively weighted anyway. There's a lot of talk about the assessments being focussed on both good and bad days, and looking at how whatever condition you may have affects you on a day to day basis, but I don't see how they will accomplish this in a one off interview? Not to mention that there is no guarantee about where these interviews will take place, what facilities will be available etc etc. It's just terrifying, and makes me thankful every single day that I am in good health and do not have to be put through this ordeal.

dla is meant to be for people who are working, not just non workers, anyway. i would have been entitled to carry on claiming it after i started work and it would have covered my extra expenses due to my disability and would have offset the fact that as a disabled person it is harder to get well paid job and you often have to work that you are overqualified for (and underpaid) and that you may only be able to work part time through no fault of your own etc.

i couldn't face filling out my renewal forms though so i was a very easy one to get rid of.

EasilyBored Wed 14-Nov-12 14:34:36

I understand DLA is not an out of work benefit, I was trying to make the point that saying that they want to reduce the numbers by 500 000 is ridiculous. Sorry if I didn't word that correctly. Think what I was trying to say RE jobs is that there aren't exactly 500 000 positions out there that would be suitable for people who at the minute get financial support with barriers to work, that people could do without the support of DLA. Does that make sense? Am fully aware what DLA is used for, and as far as I can work out PIP is pretty much the same thing under a different name and is essentially just an excuse to put disabled people under the cuts spotlight. Again. It's just shit all round.

madhairday Wed 14-Nov-12 18:21:45

PiP is much narrower in criteria sense too. It is awful sad

Hope how did you get on? smile

must admit my, perhaps paranoid, assumption about PiP is that a) it's a chance to force re-assessments of people and overturn decisions made previously and b) it will be assessed and done in such a way as to make even harder for people with mental illnesses and other 'invisible' disabilities to qualify.

Hopeforever Wed 14-Nov-12 18:33:25

Thank you all

DH was due to go with me but then my dad couldn't have the kids and then DS got sick, so I went alone sad

Had difficulty parking as a lorry was across most the spaces and the one space left was too narrow and so I had to reverse in v close to one car in order to get out ther side. Was shaking whe I went in then my back went into spasm.

Will have 2 week wait for results. Lady was lovely, but who knows what I have scored.

madhairday Wed 14-Nov-12 18:55:33

Oh Hope sounds stressful for you, glad the assessor was nice though.

SaF I don't think that's a paranoid assumption at all, it's just what is happening sad I dread to think how many people will lose their dla. Caring for the most vulnerable? Yeah right hmm

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