This page is published in the public domain and is uncopyrighted. Feel free to copy. See Copyleft (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/)
This website provides information on how Atos runs its business, extracts from the Contract between the DWP and Atos including the MEDICAL CONDITIONS that mean a face to face medical assessment is not always necessary, ASSESSMENTS AND POINTS, the breaches of Contract that occurred in my case, my unsound medical report and the correspondence showing how difficult it is to obtain justice or advice.
The Government is inviting the public to submit petitions. Search epetitions.direct.gov.uk for "DWP" or "Atos" or "disabled" to list relevant petitions including Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families (http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/20968).
Other ongoing petitions are Petition against constant vilification of sick and disabled claimants and Petition to "Sack Atos Immediately" .
The DWP occasionally consults the public http://www.dwp.gov.uk/consultations/.
In this the bicentenarial year (2012) of the birth of Charles Dickens, who would have thought poverty (income below a third of average salary) stalks the land and the gap between the richest and poorest is wider than in the time of Dickens. Some estimate most benefits (total of all benefits) provide an annual income of less than one quarter that of an average salary and carers receive less.
This page provides links to other websites where individual cases have been published. This shows that my experience is far from unique. These cases may provide more background information to support your case.
There is a wonderful, considerate group of individuals who work hard in bringing the injustice caused by the way the DWP and Atos have implemented the various Welfare Reform and similar Acts.
There are some horror stories especially concerning the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency. I would like to pay tribute to the wonderful lady who is fighting for justice in this area. She has published some of her research and correspondence on this website. If you are a veteran or are interested in veterans rights you may find the information in www.theforgottenheroes.co.uk useful.
I would also like to pay tribute to the young lady in 2010 hopefully who went on to read at University in 2011, who battled for a number of years a difficult medical condition. She found a job. The job needed a medical. Atos said she was not fit for the job. She applied for ESA and Atos said she was fit for work. She fought this stupidity and injustice. This is not the stress we should be placing on our young people especially when she was/is still recovering from dealing with a severe medical condition.
As a dead man still walking, the DWP, Atos and Unum can place as much pressure on me as they like. What is the worst that can happen to a disabled chap in his fifties? I die. Dying is a relief from pain and disability.
Comprehensive advice and information is provided below. Some of the sites require registration.
Remember when registering on any website to include as little personal information as possible. Would you give a stranger in the street your true date of birth if asked? No. Be creative make data up. It only upsets marketing agencies. The level of junk emails (spam) I receive has significantly decreased since I enter my year of birth to be as old as they allow. Finally you can contact www.actionfraud.org.uk if you are persistently pestered.
Ill or Injured (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Illorinjured/index.htm)
ABC of ESA
Information on the ESA medical.
A major website dedicated to those taking the Atos medical assessments.
Black Triangle Campaign
Black Triangle is established to galvanise opposition to the current vicious attack on the rights of the disabled by the Government using "Work Capability Assessments" to re-classify genuinely sick and disabled individuals as "fit for work".
Black Triangle have published the training that sellers of Unum financial products are given about ESA. This information is not meant for buyers of Unum products. It is produced so that Unum hawkers can undermine the confidence of those in the UK in the Welfare State so that Unum can sell their discredited "income protection" products to a misinformed UK public. Caveat emptor.
The Claimants progress will be regularly assessed and interviews will be conducted by a third party contractor paid on results.
Even the highest rate of benefits will fail significantly short of what most clients need in order to meet their usual household bills.
But a significant shortfall continues to exist between state benefit levels and usual levels of household spending, offering a significant opportunity for advice.
The Black Triangle forums, facebook twitter et al.
Brighton Benefits Campaign
A group of concerned campaigners based in and around Brighton.
Campaigns and discussion groups for carers.
Atos targetting "scroungers".
Publisher of the Disability Rights Handbook.
Disability News Service
A major website for disability news.
Don't Get Mad Get Even
Atos flouts the Disability Discrimination Act (article from 2009).
Down With All That
Articles include "UNUM: Putting A 'Playful' Spin On Loss Of Livelihood" and "The News Media's Negative Bias Against the Disabled" and more.
The campaign investigating possible corruption of the DWP.
Highlights the tactics of the DWP (latest articles 2009).
Disabled People Protest
A website providing information concerning disabled people's protests.
Not the Talk
A detailed discussion following a request for an Atos assessment test.
The Broken of Britain
A major forum for the disabled.
Victims of Atos Corruption
A major campaigning website and publisher of the "International Awards Night" flyer (http://victimsofatoscorruption.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/international-awards-night.pdf). I liked in particular the "toast and boiled egg" described as the luxury meal of the disabled.
WinVisible - Women with visible and invisible disabilities
An independent voice for women with disabilities of all ages, situations and backgrounds.
An open letter to the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) to end their relationship with Atos Origin trading and Atos Healthcare including ceasing to accept advertising from Atos.
"As of 31 August 2011 Atos Healthcare has 847.24 (full time equivalent) Healthcare Professionals (HCP) undertaking medical assessments." Currently the DWP refuses to provide a complete list of Atos HCPs on the grounds of safety. Thus it is not possible to independently check that HCPs are qualified.
Linda E. Nee's Website
Ms Nee assists disabled US citizens and has seen the impact of Unum.
Ms Humphrey Cushion
Forces medicals "War pensions"
Atos Origin performs the medical assessments on behalf of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA).
ATOS medical secretly filmed
Sign up for Sack ATOS Petition
BBC Scotland film May 2010 "Who is Cheating Who". The following is a synopsis of the programme.
The reporter, Mark Daly, asks if the Government is targeting welfare scroungers or is persecuting the genuinely ill. Suspecting a patient of faking illness takes it toll. There is a suspicion that there is a sick note culture.
Mr Danny Alexander MP, prior to the election, states that the system may be headed for melt down. He said that it was believed that last year benefit cheats cheated the Government of nearly 1 billion GBP.
Invalidity Benefit (IB) was scrapped by Labour and under the Welfare Reform Act replaced by Employment Support Allowance (ESA). It is a points based "fit for work" system. Score 15 or more points and you receive the allowance. Score less than 15 points and you are fit for work.
Mr David Cameron MP, now Prime Minister, was quoted in a speech. "If you really can't work we will help you. If you can work you should work. You should not live off the hard work of others."
Out of the blue, a political lobbyist who was fit, was a high achiever, had a bout of depression. In a short period he went from being very capable, very confident to someone who needed a lot of care. He was diagnosed with Acute psychosis. He appled for ESA. He was compelled to undergo a medical assessment. He felt suicidal at times and explained this to the medical assessor. Even with his serious mental problems, he was assessed as "fit to work". He was given zero points. Even with his knowledge and experience, he found it hard to fight the system. He was made to feel like a benefits cheat.
A GP was interviewed and he suggested the medical assessments are not thorough. They cause lots of stress and anxiety.
The BBC obtained figures under the Freedom of Information Act which stated that 80,000 claimants appealed against their ESA assessment each month. This is double the numbers appealing against their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) assessment.
Mr Danny Alexander MP found that in practice his constituents were denied allowances unfairly. He had evidence of gross unfairness. He stated that of those who appealed, 40% had their decisions reversed. He believed this high level suggested that there is something fundamentally wrong in the way that ESA has been implemented. Lots of people feel they have been rushed through the assessment and the report had not taking into account the details supplied by the patients.
The case of a lady who worked for a bus company was described. Last year she felt ill. She was unable to work due to her illness. She applied for ESA and she was found fit for work. She was still tired all the time. After three months she was found to have lung cancer. Cancer spread elsewhere. The assessment did not contain the information she provided. It was false. She died 5 months after the assessment. She died before receiving any ESA.
There are lots of cases where ESA is not being paid. Prof Paul Gregg, an economist, was involved in the design of the implementation details of ESA. He has serious concerns. He believes too many are being found fit for work.
Atos Origin undertakes all medical assessments. Atos Origin is a winner in an economic downturn. There is a suspicion that Atos Origin is being given incentives by Ministers to get people off benefits.
Mr Danny Alexander MP believes the process is not working and genuinely ill people are being denied benefits they are entitled to. He obtained a copy of the contract between the DWP and Atos (extracts published on this website). Like me he, an MP, was not given those parts of the contract which are related to pay and performance.
A doctor was interviewed who claimed she was put under pressure by Atos as her assessments were too soft. She said there are targets. She was told her assessments were on the slow side and her figures advicing that the benefit should be paid were too high.
Atos Origin would not be interviewed. They provided an extract from the information they publish on their website.
Atos Origin does staff medical assessments for the civil service and others.
The case of a lady with Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) who worked for the DWP was described. She was given a medical assessment by Atos Origin and was told she was not fit for work. She was dismissed on health grounds. Atos Origin assessed her for ESA and found her fit for work. Atos Origin explained the discrepancy that the assessments were of different types!
It should be noted that 45% drop out of the process. The DWP do not know why and appear to be not interested. There appears to be a disconnect between the Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) processes and ESA processes. There appears to be no communication between the processes.
The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Scotland found ESA "Unfit for Purpose". They ask for an independent review. The current plans are for the 2.5 million patients receiving IB all will need to be assessed for ESA.
Mr Danny Alexander MP states that the rollout of the conversion from IB to ESA is not appropriate. There will be thousands of appeals. He says Ministers should change the system.
As a postscript, the BBC interviewed Mr Danny Alexander MP to ask his views now that he is a senior Minister in Government. He stated that he is still concerned.
Applying for ESA made me ill, lol
ATOS asked me to leave their office today, because I was in a Wheelchair!
The GMC blow smoke up your tailpipe!
ESA Medical Decision Help!
DWP up to no good it seems!
Atos Origin, in profit? And this was just in May!
The BBC appears to be censoring free speech. It appears the "Dr Kelly" (A British UN weapons inspector who died in 2003) lesson has been well learnt and still is being enforced by the BBC i.e. never report anything too critical of the Government.
ATOS decision on ill health retirement
A guys hard fight for ESA Support Group
The guy in question is me. This discusses my motives. I will say that as the matter has unfolded the venal nature of those charged with a duty of care to patients has been revealed. I hope to have shamed the managers, executives and directors and even those at low level who have allowed such a state of affairs to exist.
I am incredulous at a charity campaign manager who fired blanks at the government because, I suggest, he could not question matters as he would be the government's candidate in the next election. I was very pleased such a snake was not elected.
I am incredulous at a union leader, who kept silent year after year and then when his members emoluments and jobs were threatened found his voice.
Many people have said words to the effect that fraud is endemic in royalty, politics, corporate activities, charity campaigners (aspiring politicians), police, religion and the media. I have never subscribed to this view. But sit back and read the details of my case, every item has been published, is it still possible to keep faith in those we should be able to trust? Judge for yourself.
Audit and accounting, internal and external, prevent companies such as Atos overstepping the line. As the DWP refuses to audit Atos, though charged to do so, it is up to individuals such as myself to make up the shortfall, small as the efforts may appear.
I have IT skills, my condition, at last review, is stable and fortunately I have sufficient strength at times to see this through. If patients find it useful, as a number has told me they do, it is enough.
Work Capability Assessments problems
Leaving; had enough!!
All coporates such as Atos and Unum engage public relations companies to ensure that they are seen in the best possible light. Public relations companies know the importance of social media. Public relations companies know how to treat individuals, organisations and other corporates that their client deems a treat.
This web site provides a lot of information.
Atos Healthcare Contract
IB50 - called for medical
One Man's Battle With ATOS Website
I would like to deal with the point that producing this website suggests that I am fit enough for work. I may have a few hours a day where I have the strength to do some work. I am not reliable. I would not hire myself. I feel bad that even when I have volunteered my services I have let the individuals down as I have no way of telling if a fit is about to strike.
Another attack from the daily mail
Searching for Atos Independent Tier
DWP giving away our personal information
Cost of Atos Medical Services
Disability Living Allowance
DLA stopped after ESA medical??***WON***
Atos Health Care Taking Them To Court
Atos Medical (C.O.P.D)
Calling all disabled people on ESA that have had a raw deal with ATOS it's time to fight back.
Atos Medical Report
How Do I Reply To The ESA Medical Report?
ESA - Help and advice needed.
ESA, your having a laugh!
I have been released from the Bear Garden to come ask advise on ESA.
ESA tribunal advice
Letter from Atos to arrange Medical
Atos try to stop you taking notes at WCA
The Welfare ATOS Government Debate
ATOS problems? Useful info..
Problems with ATOS? Useful info...
New Petition started "Sack Atos Immediately" on GoPetition ( http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/sack-atos-healthcare.html)
Atos delay refunding travel expenses
Help me take Atos and DWP to court
DLA claim refused even though in a wheelchair
Atos Medical Assessment Question
DWP ATOS Nightmare
Can anyone help? Rescheduling Atos "Medical" Assessment
Can I record my ATOS medical
What message would you like to pass on to IDS when it comes to benefit reform?
a dying claimant refused benefits.
Even sick people living outside the UK are not immune.
This website has lots of links to DWP Decision Makers' Guide and many related documents.
Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Medical Examinations - FOI Requests
ESA venting / rant
Campaign on Conversion Disorder
Atos "Medical" Assessment
Patients rights and Atos
Bl**dy F***ing B*st*rds (apologies for the immoderate use of Anglo Saxon)
Budget - tougher for DLA claimants
Home visit assessment and medical conditions
Rumours of evidence of Atos rewards
A legal right to have medicals videod/recorded
A legal right to have medicals videod/recorded
ESA handbook for doctors...
Employment and Support Allowance
Fibro Myalgia Association UK
Doctors who not believe Fibro exists
A major website What Do They Know(www.whatdotheyknow.com).
Teesside ESA medical assessment statistics and appeals.
Control of Atos Healthcare, a contractor to DWP
Atos Healthcare cost to taxpayers