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Sqad | 09:49 Sat 19th Oct 2013 | News
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ATOS
Following the implementation of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, an Act of Parliament in the United Kingdom, welfare benefits paid to people with disabilities in the United Kingdom are subject to rigorous assessments to determine claimants' level of disability and ability to work.

It is either very easy or exceedingly difficult to decide if a claimant is fit for some kind of work and mostly it is the latter that cause the problems.
Blood tests, X-Rays an Consultants opinions do very little in deciding upon fitness to work, only a face to face interview with the client will give a reasonable assessment and even then medical personel will disagree. Get six doctors to give an opinion as to fitness to work and degree of disability and you will get six different opinions.
ATOS is not the problem, it is the people working for them who have to assess disability.
Whether you agree with my opinion or not, many people are adept and well practised at conning the medical panels, many famous examples have been highlighted in the press.
The point of my post is just to point out the difficulties of dealing with some of the British public who are “out to get anything going.”.......no, they may well not be the majority.
ATOL is a private company, but so what, public agencies since the inception of the Welfare State e.g Benefits Agency and the Medical Appeals Tribunal(M.A.T) have had no better success.
Yes, there will always be “miscarriages of justice” for the likes of Dennis Skinner to highlight with baying support from the opposition benches, but nobody has suggested a better system.

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ATOS did not design the assessment, the descriptors were approved by Parliament and the fact that someone reaches the fifteen points on one assessment but none on the next could be because a descriptor's definition has changed or because there have been improvements in the claimant's condition.

As for mental health being judged upon whether a claimant rocks back and forth because of anxiety, that is claptrap.
that is not claptrap, that is indeed what i was assessed on, and after speaking with welfare rights officer she confirmed it's part of the criteria.
we sat in the tribunal and i presented that info to the doctor, he assented to it as how you are perceived. I was taught in interviews to sit still, don't fidget, that is unfortunately not part of the game. some just don't get it, you may work in the system heaven only knows, but for those caught in the middle it's a bloody nightmare. Talk to the people on the ground who go through the tests, and who work on welfare rights, they are fighting cases on the basis of the unfairness and quota based
figures, to get people into work. see the figures for those who go through tribunals and win their case, it's a long, unwieldy process, please don't tell me i don't know what i am talking about, that just pees me off
for anyone who doesn't know what this is about, if you are interested

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_Capability_Assessment
EMMIE, if mental health is based upon whether a claimant rocks back and forth or no, why are there seven activities in the WCA looking at non-physical abilities?
I spotted this post the other day. For the reasons of wanting to post something, I was unable to contribute at the the time. Reading and typing a lot is not a simple thing these days.

Again, for the reasons of wanting to post, I am unsure what this post is exactly about, whether it is someone advocating the use of Atos to catch scroungers regardless of who gets screwed over or what. I simply don't have the capability of reading and digesting as I once did, as all of the effort seems to be getting the words off the page.

I did want to add my views though as someone who has experienced Atos already and who unfortunately is due to face them again early next year, and who is, quite frankly, messing his pants at some jobsworth who knows nothing about me finding me fit for work based on how I look and what I can do.

I haven't worked since January 2010. I had problems that affected walking, and for a postman that is not a good thing, so I had to give it up. Until October last year when I was granted DLA (or finally granted as I applied in March) I have never claimed a penny in benefits, supporting myself on the proceeds of my retirement payout, money left over from a house sale when I moved, and, when refused ESA, a cashed in endowment policy. I tried to claim ESA in April 2011 when I accepted that I was not even capable of a part time job (which was all i needed ironically) and though I did not have a properly confirmed medical reason as to what was wrong, the fact that I was stumbling and falling over, plus suffering severe shaking when trying to write and tie shoelaces IN FRONT OF THEM, I was found fit for work. I had actually been set up for an MRI but the Atos thing came first.

I had the MRI a few weeks later, and it was discovered I had a brain tumour. Long story short, it was found to be benign but had probably been growing a number of years by then. Whatever, it left me suffering dizziness, clumsiness, headaches, walking problems and general weakness.

Attempts to treat it have been futile. It is growing in a place best accessible via the nose, but is calcified and cannot be removed that way. Neither is chemo or radio any good (even specialised treatment currently only available in the USA) and conventional surgery would be too difficult or dangerous to attempt. Basically, it could do more harm than good if they tried, and until it paralyzes or blinds me of it's own accord, they can do nothing.

To look at me, I look normal. I can walk, albeit it slowly and using a wall to support me. I cannot walk far at all. I can read (providing the typeface is big enough) and I can write, though within minutes the shakes take effect and the writing is a scrawl. My vision is blurred at times, and also double vision, but I can see where I am going and and am not blind...yet. I am also photophobic and suffer headaches as a result of bright light, so I can no longer truly appreciate a sunny day. In fact by the evening, even with doing NOTHING all day apart from getting up and going to the sofa, I am a wreck...imagine parkinsons and you won't be far off. The more I do, the more I feel the effects.

I am lucky. There are others worse than me, people in pain or with cancer, but the bottom line is I cannot work. Going upstairs to the toilet is like running a marathon as I am breathless when I get there. I sometimes also need to take breaks when getting dressed as I don't have the strength to lift my butt to pull the trousers up. Even pulling the foil off a bottle of milk can be impossible at times - if I have exerted myself prior to trying to, I just haven't the strength. The only good thing to come out of all this is that I now appreciate more those, who like me, have an invisible illness.

My point is, to someone whose agenda is whether I tick the boxes on a checklist, I WOULD pass their assessment of someone who can work. No provision will be allowed for the fact that I had difficulty doing them, or that I could not sustain them for long,
the rest....


I am lucky. There are others worse than me, people in pain or with cancer, but the bottom line is I cannot work. Going upstairs to the toilet is like running a marathon as I am breathless when I get there. I sometimes also need to take breaks when getting dressed as I don't have the strength to lift my butt to pull the trousers up. Even pulling the foil off a bottle of milk can be impossible at times - if I have exerted myself prior to trying to, I just haven't the strength. The only good thing to come out of all this is that I now appreciate more those, who like me, have an invisible illness.

My point is, to someone whose agenda is whether I tick the boxes on a checklist, I WOULD pass their assessment of someone who can work. No provision will be allowed for the fact that I had difficulty doing them, or that I could not sustain them for long, it will be rubber stamped that I CAN work leaving me to appeal, and then face further aggravation and inconvenience (as a disabled person I mean) of trying to prove that. I have to travel to Northampton for the Atos, a relatively short but none the less expensive taxi ride away, but for the appeal I would have to travel to Peterborough, not an easy thing even when NOT disabled.

All this because one person who has to work within parameters set by a private firm to get paid says one thing with a half hour meeting when a succession of neurologists and neuro surgeons over years who actually know about these things says another.

Atos IS wrong. One cannot use a sledgehammer to crack a nut to weed out cheats and hangers on when the genuinely ill suffer in the process. It is not right that months before I actually have that meeting, I am dreading it.

BTW I have not done this in one go. It has been done in bits with enlarged text and has been pasted in. This would not be allowed in a work situation.
Islington - 90% appeals are successful.


The ones I have appealed, I thought seriously of referring the ATOSSA to the GMC... ATOS is the issue - they 'train' the personnel and it is according to the sheet. Very formulaic and perceived to be unfair by those operating it. I think ATOS have difficulty in retaining personnel dont they ?

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