British Lung Foundation
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Having failed my both my appeals against the ATOS decision to award me no points, the last appeal being held in the County Court in front of a Magistrate and a Doctor who were both sympathetic but powerless to overturn the results due to the way the ****** system was.

In-between this attend *Nick Cleggs question and answer session locally and put my dilemma/situation/issues with ATOS/DWP to him. *(he was the deputy pm then)

Again sympathy because of being caught in the 'treadmill' then assured that the government does recognise the problem and were working with industry on this.

Told by jobcentre that 'realistically there is no work for people like you' walking into the place for the first time and being unable to *breath properly may have had something to do with it?  *(and on subsequent visits while being observed by security guards)

In the few months I had to sign on in order to receive any money at all I must have seen half of the staff members/job coaches, no one wanted much to do with me! 

In-between appeals my condition deteriorated so doc signs me back onto the sick once more this being treated as a new claim, payment less than 50% of my previous disability benefit.

Called in for two further assessments last year first one with ATOS, spent nearly two hours waiting to be seen first told that they were short staffed then that no doctor was available to see me!

 They had not read my notes properly before making my appointment??????????????????

A few weeks later second appointment (now with Maximus) arrives (31.7.15), back to the centre and wait for nearly two hours again to then be told they were short staffed and that 'no qualified person available to see me' 

The centre is located in one of the traffic pollution hot spots/parts of the city, no prizes for guessing  what state I was in by this time. 

They tried to make me new appointment but could not as ' no qualified person will be at  the centre in the foreseeable future.

**The staff member who spoke to me was the same one I had seen years ago at the centre, they all seemed familiar to me.

Because they are the same people, apparently the staff member had worked there for 20 odd years and in that time worked for six different companies doing the same job!

Last week finally went for the assessment, have to say when the letter arrived I felt really down fully expecting the worst again.

This time I did not have to wait for long,  saw a Doctor, explained about my previous experience with ATOS, assessments etc,  she had no idea at all about the points system previously used!

Asked relevant questions about my condition and the Doctor listened, the assessment was cut short due to my breathing worsening.

 Doctor told me that based on what I had told her I should not worry too much.

Apologies if I have rambled on a bit. 

Happy Easter to all.

woodshaper   🙂

13 Replies

Hi woodshaper I'm having to finish work in august because my health is deteriorating your story fill me with dread I don't know how u kept going it sounds as if your illness is further along than mine I'm hoping they will help me with my rentvand council tax I'm on my state pension of £540 a month do maybe pension credit too fingers crossed hope your successful this time u deserve it happy peaceful Easter Kathy x


Hi Titchy if you are on your own,  with no private pensions and no saving over £16,000 then you should qualify for full rent and council tax rebate so please don't worry.   If you have any of the above then the help will be reduced accordingly.  You might also get pension credits too. 

Have a look at  x

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Thanks for replying to me my son lives with me he's been diagnosed with bipolar ll so unable to work he qualifies for help with our rent and council tax so fingers crossed they'll help me too don't smoke or drink just need enough to pay my bill and not worry take care Kathy x


You are welcome Titchy.   If you have only your state pension etc. then you will qualify too.   The mimum a single pensioner is allowed to live on is around £146 a week which doesn't include rent or council tax.  x


It is so stressful just thinking about what you have been through to get what you are entitled to! My fingers are crossed for you Woodshaper, listen to the doctor and try not to worry.I hope you won't have to wait long .Expect a good outcome....positive thinking 😁 Happy Easter, huff xxx


That is so awful it is disgusting how we are treated let's face it if you can't breath you can't do anything. When will you know the outcome of this last assessment? xx


Oh woodshaper.  Your post filled me with such despair for those that have to deal with this excuse of a 'fair' system, that I wanted to kick somebody!

Can you find the strength to send copies of your experience to your MP, Dept. of Work & Pensions, newspapers, etc ??


Tee x


This is awful Woodshaper and words can't describe how I feel for you.   I agree to get the help of your MP if possible.   Good luck.  x


Spoke to my  MP when this all started, he did send a letter of support to the DWP,  I got an acknowledgement from them, this did not change the rules, the dreaded points scoring system is no longer used by the company that took over the Assessments from ATOS (Maximus)

The old Disability Benefit I used to get was done away with when they altered the system, am now on 'Employment and Support Allowance, the difference is about £74 a week less.

Had to put in an application for an exemption certificate in order to pay for my prescription charges, optical and dental treatment  while I was awaiting the appeals to go through.

*NB people who live with parents(s) are not entitled to any kind of rent rebates, nothing, zero, zilch!

Not very confident about going to the press with this, I have seen too many people become targets by other papers after doing just that.



What a disgrace the way NO-ONE is able to give you a constructive answer nor to help you in any way.  Fancy having to wait TWO HOURS before you are seen and then nothing at the end of it.  For once words fail me.  I can only say how very sorry I am that anyone with such health problems should be given such treatment.

If any of these bureaucrats were ill themselves maybe they would understand better what you are going through.

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This is disgusting this system stinks why was the likes of Atos taken on they had no doctors to start with just health care assistants and now they have physiotherapists doing assessment's on people who are off sick with a mental illness   


I can understand your frustration and hope the situation improves soon.

 Not much you can do about the appointments that failed, but if attending them did cause you distress you could ask for a home assessment, a letter of support from your GP helps no end in this.

Speaking of which, did you have a letter from your GP at  the ESA assessments? I made sure I did along with every scrap of paperwork to do with my appointments and treatment. No matter how obviously unwell you may be in the assessment none of this will be taken into account without documentation to support it, harsh, but that is how it is.

I would be glad to help in any way I can, let me know if you have any questions I may be able to help  with.


Hi woodshipper,  I am so sorry u have had to go through this terrible ordeal.  Let us hope your assessment is a true one and that u get the help u obviously need.  Take care Maximonkey 

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