Fibromyalgia Action UK

ATOM assessment help/advice

Hi there, I'm hoping some of you will be able to help me. I have my assessment next week for my ESA with ATOS and I was hoping some of you would be willing to share with me your own personal experiences and any advice on what to expect. I am so worried about them declaring me fit for work when I know there is no possibility of me being able to hold down a job at the moment. The mere thought of it is making me I'll and I am in the middle of a nightmare flare at the moment and the stress of this is making it worse.

Gentle hugs to those who need it right now and thank you ever so much for taking the time to read my post xx

12 Replies

hi, dont worry about it, they are human. just be honest and tell them as if it were your worst day because this is the reality which prevents you from working. they will ask you to do certain exercises, like raise your legs and arms, nothing too strenous, but if you cant do this on a bad day, then tell them. remember, be honest. this is important because you will need to go again in one years time and they will compare it to your previous visit.

i hope this helps. please dont worry, my experience was a good one.




My advice would be not to be too taken in by their friendliness. This can lead you into a false sense of security. I am only speaking from my own experience, but have read many posts with people saying the same thing.

You will be asked whether you can prepare a meal. I said yes, because I was being honest. I didn't know that I had to explain the finer detail of preparing a meal. For example I start in the afternoon. I lean on the kitchen counter because I am in constant pain, etc.

They will ask about grocery shopping and your hobbies.

It is also very important that you take someone with you. If you go alone it will be assumed that you can manage transport by yourself.

When my report came back (70 pages of it). It was littered with lies. They even called me by the wrong name twice.

They said I had driven myself to the centre. I did not drive there, I went by bus.

They will ask about getting up, washed and dressed. I have to rest my arms between shampoo's. I didn't know I had to tell them that.

I do not want to scare you. I am just being realistic and telling you of my experience.

Because the DWP are making such huge cuts to welfare I would imagine that it is going to be getting harder and harder to be awarded benefits.

If you would like to know anything else, feel free to message me.

I ended up having to go to a Tribunal - which I won, but it took a year of waiting and paperwork. The Judge did not look very happy at the amount of lies the assessor had written in my report.

Please let us know how you get on. What date is your medical?

Good luck


Lu xx


Hello Blue Mermaid, thank you for taking the time to reply to me and for your honesty. I have read such negative things about the assessors and even though I have nothing to hide I do know they will try anything to make out I can work. I wish I could with all my heart, I was forced to give up my dream job at Christmas due to this awful illness and I just hope I can get the words out properly to describe daily life, that's my biggest worry I think and also not being able to remember every little detail.

I'm sorry you had such an awful experience and I know only too well how the stress affects us so deeply.

My appointment is Thursday but it's at 10am and that in itself will be a i mountain to climb getting there on time and looking half decent.

I shall let you know how it goes. Thank you once again xx

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Hi again

I am so glad that you were not offended by my reply. I was just saying it as it was for me. Obviously I cannot speak for anyone else.

Don't forget to take your repeat medications slip with you so that they can see what tablets you are on, if any.

They nearly always make appointments early. Mine was at 9.00 am and I had a 50 minute bus ride to get there. I'm sure they do this on purpose.

I'm sorry to say this, but if I were you I wouldn't worry about looking half decent. It will show that you cannot manage to get ready for work every day.

I have belonged to this forum for over 3 years and almost everyone I have come across (including myself) have been forced to give up a job they loved. I worked for 34 years solid until a massive trauma and pneumonia put an end to my job. I am desperate to return to work but I know in my heart I wouldn't even make it through the first day.

I do wish you the very best of luck. I just wanted to be honest to help you not to be unkind.

Don't forget to let me know how you get on and come back to me if you think of anything else you would like to know xx


My advice "I live in states so take with a grain of salt". Make a journel of your symptoms everyday. Write it alllll down. That way if you are having a foggy day you can let them see what has been going on.


Never trust a smiling assassin!! Sorry but if they try to be nicer nicey with you it is only because they are hoping you trip you up , they lie and put down whatever they want anyway , I had a long drawn out affair at the last one , she put I went shopping with friends and nights out, I told her I occasionally use my mobility scooter to buy a paper!!!

Never tell them you have good days and bad days , go on your worst days and say everyday is like that or like someone else I know with fibro told them she had bad days and good days , they refused her benefit and put " she seems to be picking and choosing when she can be bothered to do things and lacks insight!"

Good luck!!


I have never been through anything of this nature, but I want to genuinely and sincerely wish you all the best of luck with your assessment. Please let us all know how you get on?

All my hopes and dreams for you


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I have to agree with things that have already been said when my report came back from atos it was full of lies if my name hadn't been on I would have thought they were talking about someone else I went to court and won but it took best part of a year So take someone with you tell them about your worst days if they ask you about good days tell the truth you don't have them don't believe their friendly welcome they are there to trick you I know you are frightened but try not too worry if you fail this part you can appeal I did The more you are ready the more confident you will be good luck xx

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Hi is an ESA assessment the same as a DLA assessment? I've had the one for DLA and I am on ESA. Trace


I don't think so Tracy, I had one for PIP and another for ESA x


I have been to two ATOS assessments for PIP. I am in the process of asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration of the most recent one. I did not bother with the first. Like previous posts, the report is littered with lies. I got so annoyed that I have made a written complaint to the Nurses and Midwifery Council about the nurse who assessed me. Maybe it will make her think twice about writing lies and being rude in the future.

My advice is to ask to have it audio recorded. Give them enough notice. They should not be able to refuse. Whatever happens, do not trust the health professional. They will be watching you all the time and making notes. Give as much information as you can. For example, if they say that you drove to the assessment then tell them why. For example, you cannot use public transport due to anxiety, stress, excessive pain etc.

Good luck with it.

Best regards,


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Thank you all ever so much for taking the time to reply to me, it is most appreciated. I have taken on board all that has been said and I shall let you know how it goes. Tomorrow is the day and I am lying awake, in pain, making myself worse stressing over it. Will (relieved when it is all over.

Gentle hugs to all xz


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