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More horror stories from Atos

I have now received several more letters from around the country which illustrate the ruthlessness with which Atos Healthcare is dismissing all the medical evidence as ‘irrelevant’ and then cavalierly awarding people with patently serious disabilities 0 points.

  • “He is aged 50, long-term unemployed and has been receiving ESA. He is taking anti-depressants and 8 different types of medication for his various physical problems. In order to be mobile, he uses a crutch. He is in constant pain when moving around and unable to bend down to pick things up without the greatest of difficulties, or to stnd or sit for any length of time. He feels quite wretched about himself, and has expressed that he would be better off dead than alive, and would consider doing away with his life. But he was awarded 0 points, and his ESA benefit has been stopped”.
  • Another issue raised with me, which has so far had little attention, is that someone can win an appeal, thus have their benefit claim reinstated, but then within a few weeks be required to undergo another assessment. It smacks of hounding and harassing people who have been shown by tribunals to be incapacitated. “She was told by the DWP that it was not a medical but a fit-to-work assessment. At her assessment the medical practitioner refused to accept 4 separate medical statements and deemed them ‘not necessary’. On appeal, however, she won her case  Then just 2 months later she was called to undergo yet another assessment. She has been told she may have to be assessed every 6 months”.
  • Another device being used, which is a flagrant denial of hitherto inalienable rights, concerns people who are actually employed, but are having their (statutory!) sick pay removed after work capability assessment and prior to their returning to work. “He is in late middle age, and says he has worked for a long time. He went on the sick because he was waiting for a hip replacement, but had every intention of returning to work when the operation was done and he had had time to recuperate. He was then assessed the next monthand 2 months later received a letter from the DWP saying his sick pay was to be stopped because he had been found fit to work. He had undergone however 4 days earlier his hip replacement surgery, and obviously could not work for at least another 3 months”. So why is he being persecuted? It’s not about getting people back to work because he already has a job. It’s about denying someone who has worked and paid into the system the right to claim sick pay when he desperately needs it.

I’m taking up these cases with IDS (for what that’s worth), and will be raising them in the House as soon as I can get a debate.


  1. jane says:

    I was called for an ATOS (re) assessment just one week before I became eligible for my State Pension, and thereafter not eligible for ESA. Since then, I have heard of two other similar cases on the small benefit support and advice forum that I frequent.

    This cannot be about saving money, because there was no time for this assessment to make any difference to my entitlement. Why increase the numbers of ATOS assessments? As we are not allowed to see the details of the contract between ATOS and the DWP, it is certainly hard to understand.

  2. Joyce Drummond says:

    There is also the problem of being found unfit for work (I have to say at Tribunal) but placed into WRAG. This means contribution related ESA is only allowed for 365 days. You are then unable to apply for JSA (not fit for work) but receive no other income if partner working.

  3. Mick Walsh says:

    Left heart ventrical reduction surgery, mitral valve repair, triple coronary artery bypass, told I need a heart transplant, can walk a very little, bigger chance than most I won’t be here tomorrow. After surgery and unusually long 14 day stay in hospital (8 days on Intensive care unit on which 3rd day I was resucitated twice so I was told). On arriving home, there was the A4e letter inviting me in on the next day for further interrogation, If failure to comply, benefit sanctions will apply. Letter from DWP decision maker after ESA50 medical (must have arrived around time I went for surgery) Been awarded 6 points (I think), placed in WRAG group – At this time, I couldn’t even walk! They are incredible or is it “incredulous”? A4e, ATOS and DWP decision makers must all be disabled “THEY COULD NOT HEAR ME AT ALL”! Mind you, after arriving home after the surgery I couldn’t hardly talk for about a week – so breathless I was. Then 2 years later I was told that my heart doesn’t actually pump – it barely shuffles. What I’m still doing here I do not know, I don’t think the 5 Cardiologists and 2 heart surgeons I have seen in 2 years quite know how either?

    It’s incredible really, they keep bunging chunks of metal with wires attached in me and then stitch me up (I feel like a joint of meat) – Yet I still feel in mind “Young and Stupid” (No comments please, I will have heard them all before). What I don’t understand is why when I have a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction) I get no pain whatsoever so I don’t know I have had one yet when they check me out at hospital, I get this approach “How come you’re not dead yet”. That last one should have killed anyone. Now it isn’t funny really but the latest gizmoe they stitched into me is a defibrillator which can make me high jump 5 if / when it goes off. This is to keep me out of hospital A&E where like we see on TV they put the paddles on and say “clear” meaning “do not touch”. Hope no one is stood next to me if it goes off – they will not be happy!

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