British Lung Foundation
35,380 members42,751 posts

The delights of Atos

Where do I start......?

Now I don't have copd but I care for my mum who does.

Maybe I am giving too much useless info here but here goes, let the rant begin.

I am 50 and have worked full time since I was 16, a nurse for nearly 22 years, and my last job as a crime scene investigator. I have had bouts of depression on and off for years., the latest resulted in me having to leave work and having nervous breakdown, probably made worse because of the stress of a few really nasty jobs with the police ( it wouldn't be appropriate to be too detailed ).

I finished work in 2010 and claimed ESA, and later was awarded DLA at lower rate, I was a mess, but at my first wca at atos deemed I was fit to work, ( they couldn't see me hiding and shaking under the stairs). Anyway, I appealed their decision with the help of citizens advice and won.

I since developed a condition called trigeminal neuralgia, which is incredibly painful, I call it face ache , but can be debilitating. I am still taking the anti depressants as I am still not 'right', I often wonder if a nervous breakdown does long term damage and I might never be 100% .

Since then, my mum has osteoporosis and copd, which has got markedly worse over 18 months, so I now need to care for her.

I had to have another wca on Monday at 11 o'clock. I got there at 10.45, at 12.30 I still hadn't been seen and the lady on reception asked if I wanted to go home and make another appointment. How tempting it was to bugger off, but I explained that I found someone to sit with my mum and it may not have been possible on another day.

I eventually saw a 'practitioner ' at about 1.15, by which time my nerves were shredded and I was get really miffed.

He was firing questions at me, not giving me the time to think and explain the way my illness affects my daily life, trick questions, the same question as before but worded differently, he looked at me like a was a liar and a piece of poo he had stood in.

I am so annoyed, but I am sure he will say I am fit to work.

I was a wreck by the time I got home.

Just because you can't see my illness doesn't mean I am faking it.

I am sick of the implication of being a lazy scrounger.

Sorry for the long winded moan

17 Replies

Don't apologise! The ATOS staff and the system are cr** not you!


Poppin, I'm so sorry to hear of your difficulties, now compounded by ATOS :( I hear that they are THE most uncaring organisation.

Do please ring the BLF Helpline on 03000 030 555 Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. There are some fantastic people there who will do all that they can to help you :)

I wish you luck :)

and in the meantime

.... keep on keeping on :)


> I am sick of the implication of being a lazy scrounger.

And you're not the only one who thinks they don't give A TOS.

I had some ancient doctor, probably had been Noah's, came to see me. Sat and scribbled on his forms, got me to walk 2 yards to the window, and based his entire 'assessment' on the 4.28 second 'examination' he gave me at that point.

They get paid £100 a time for these 'assessments' - not sure if they get anything for any they let through though. If you're at all unsure, make sure someone goes with you, if only to yell at the interviewer and get them to slow down and stop confusing the issue.

You not only have the right to appeal, but also to complain about the way you were treated. They do not appreciate that they are dealing with people who are ill, to them we're less than cattle, herded in, prodded to check the quality, milked for that they can get out of us, then chucked out in the field again.


It is so difficult for me to give advice other than do phone(they will phone you back if you like)the British Lung Foundation on 03000 030 555 their Helpline.They are very comforting ,understanding and extremely knowledgeable.



Sorry Poppin ,I forgot to say that the BLF Helpline is open 10 am-6pm Mon-Fri

If you need a bit of cheering up look at my blogs for some humour.



Richard, your blogs always make me smile, thank you :-)


Hi Poppin,

If you are not happy with the way you were treated at your interview, I would say:

Copy the blog piece you wrote above and send it to your local MP.

Write a letter of complaint to the DWP local manager, telling them you want an apology, and send a copy to the minister in charge of Social Services. Send a copy of that to your local MP.

Remember that as far as ATOS is concerned, the DWP is their client, they pay the fees. You are only the face on a case being investigated.

You may find this interesting reading:

You and your mum, breathe easy,



Aw Poppin, that's awful!

I've had a 'breakdown' 11years ago so know exactly what you we bandage our heads just so that they can 'see' something?

It left me with agoraphobia so get atos to visit me at always feel more confident on home turf! I was put straight in the support group.


Point to remember!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make them come to you,request a home visit as you can not leave your motherWHOOPS DEMAND A HOME VISIT,,,,,,,never mention good days only the bad ones always,, when seeing them have a friend to take notes DO NOT LET THEM BULLY YOU!!!!!!you may find they will ask the same question more than once,, point it out that you have done that already so it not relevant,,,YOU THE TAX PAYER ARE PAYING THERE WAGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU GET AVERY NICE ONE STILL BE VERY CAREFULL NEVER VOLENTEER INFO ====== BRAIN IN GEAR BEFORE MOUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU WILL BE FINE


I have PTSD so understand a bit how you feel... i have been on DLA twice,both times when i felt better,i signed myself off.I had psychatric nurse till 2year ago till he retired,feeling better i signed off and went back to work...LEARNED ONE THING NEVER BE TO HASTY AND ALWAYS TAKE A COMPANION TO ANY INTERVIEW WHO IS ON YOUR SIDE,, TO TAKE NOTES AND INTERVENE WHEN YOU GET FLUSTERED.....


Some time ago shortly after being made redundant, the job centre sent me on a computer course. There was a group young people there who can only be described as professional scroungers. They spent most of the day working out ways to obtain more moneys from the system and which local traders would buy for cash the vouchers they were given to buy various things. I can understand now why the various people we come up against' while trying to get genuine help, feel as they do, they must see so many false claimants that they start to tar us all with the same brush. Unfortunately it is the really ill who suffer and the scroungers who just accept it as part of the game.

Maurice .


Hi Poppin, good advice above, I was wondering if you are your Mums carer then can you not claim carers allowance, this would make you unavailable for work and atoss will surely have to leave you alone? I would definately phone BLF and see what they suggest, all the best, Carol


Good comment Hufferpuffer I was about to suggest the same thing, as I know of a couple in a similar position. Being a carer do.esn't mean you cannot get DLA yourself too, so if this lady's mother does get the right benefits this might be the way out.



Hi Poppin, as a long-time sufferer of trigeminal neuralgia I can sympathise with you, the pain is agonising. The only pain killer that worked for me was a packet of frozen peas on my face.


you are also entitled to request the assessment be recorded, this is a bit hit and miss but you do have that right


Thank you for all your comments.

I rang BLF and they suggested I go to citizens advice to see what is the best option. I know if they find me fit to work, then I will either have to go on income support or go through the rigmarole of an appeal, citizens will be able to advise.

I know I am unable to look for work, but I was so cross at their attitude and manner. I will let you know the outcome

Phillips, TN is awful, I use a hot water bottle as nothing else offers any relief, I hope you are not in too much pain at the moment.


I have a son who has a mental disablet had to take him to a medical and the doctor Asked

him can he carch a bus and he said yes but when i tryed to tell him that he had to have

one to one to teach him how to Carch the bus. He did not want to know.


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