ATOS assessment update.

As promised an update on my assessment today. Well -- where do I start? My daughter took me, we had to get from Stevenage to Milton Keynes. A distance of about 40 miles. We somehow got lost in Luton and ended up going in the wrong direction on the M1. Anyway, we got to MK 45 minutes too late! But they managed to fit us in at 3pm. The actual assessment went quite well, I think!! The doctor was nice and asked loads of questions. I didn't have to do much physical stuff, but I did end up standing with both trouser legs pulled up above my knees! She looked at my knees (?) and then went on to do other things before I had chance to push them down again!! All part of the test perhaps!!!

Anyway, now we wait for the DWP to make their decision. I may get that in the next 6 months if I'm lucky. So thats it peeps, I'm now absolutely knackered and dog tired but it's OVER. Thank God. Gentle hugs to you all. Val. x

28 Replies

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  • at least they fitted you in sounds like you are happy and now its wait and see good luck still xx

    gentle dyslexic hugs

  • fingers crossed x gins

  • I'm going tomorrow to Atos in Northampton last time I went I get the higher rate. They stopped it in April. I am going to tell them I cannot work full time ever.I have been going to medicals for 3 years. One medical I get money next I don't. What a waste of tax payers money. I'm on anti depressants because of them.

  • I would seriously suggest that you ring the DWP and ask for a copy of the assessors report asap. I thought my assessment went well but the report bore out no resemblance to what was actually said and done on the day. Better to be forewarned incase you need to appeal the decision and give yourself as much time as possible to get your case together. x

  • Ditto Colleen, mine was a complete work of fiction...no surprise there then. Infuriates me that they seems to transpose...well lie, what we tell them. they should be made to read it back to us then we could make sure they put the truth down.

    Flogging and dead horse though.

    take care

    Jan xx

  • I hope you get a good result this time. I've got to the stage where I feel sick every time I hear the postman approach my front door!

  • I went for an ATOS occupational health assessment yesterday. It took 50 minutes, without any physical assessement. But I had to endure a 40 minute barrage from the GP on the fact that fibro cannot be diagnosed, as there is no medical evidence to support it. That I needed to train my brain to deal with the situation and take regular exercise. I then had to listen to reasoning on how the brain works in phantom pain suffered by amputees (I am not an amputee), and that fibro is wrongly attributed to a whole bunch of conditions. He also said not to blame GP's for not having an answer for the pain, as again all tests show there is nothing wrong us. His words not mine! As I am trying to for early ill health retirement, he then reduced me to tears, by saying he didn't think I would get this, as again tests have not shown any medical condition. When I told him I also had arthritis in my hip and pelvis, he even queried this, and said it was probably normal wear and tear, but as I'm 43 and now relying on a stick to help me walk, I didn't think this was a fair assessment, and he queried my GP's diagnosis. He also had opinions on fibro self help groups, saying that they had a negative effect on the sufferer, as everyone just moaned about their condition. So to say it didn't go well would be an under statement. So now I have to wait for the next opinion, and cross my fingers that everyone else isn't so dismissive.

    Good luck to anyone else in this situation.

    Lisa

  • Personally, if it was me who had been subjected to that, I would be reporting the ATOS doc to ATOS & his professional body (GMC). You should remind them that Fibromyalgia is recognised by the NHS (http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia/pages/introduction.aspx) so he can't say there is no medical evidence.

    Here is some guidance notes about the Disability Discrimination Act where Fibro gets a mention (page 4): equalityhumanrights.com/upl...

    There was a Professor Aylward, who on behalf of the DWP, reaffirmed that the DWP recognises fibromyalgia as a real and disabling condition, and not just "all in the mind". Apparently, even though the cause of fibro isn't clear, the important factor when deciding benefit claims is the effect the condition has on the individual. ATOS doctors are supposed to be trained in understanding Fibro (I've seen some papers about this somewhere so will try and find it again) but it obviously from what you've experienced it hasn't been a success!

    In 1992, the Second International Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia Symposium held in Copenhagen, Denmark, issued the Copenhagen Declaration, officially recognizing the existence of fibromyalgia. Today fibromyalgia is listed as a diagnosis in the Universal CPT codings of medical diagnoses.

    In the US "currently only three illnesses are specifically named and recognized by the U.S. government as qualifying a veteran who has served in Southwest Asia for disability benefits. I was shocked when I learned that those three illnesses are fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome." South West Asia = The Gulf Wars.

  • Thanks very much for this, I will no doubt need to refer to this at the next stage of my assessment.

    Lisa x

  • Well hope it all goes in your favour love. x

  • Just a word to everyone who is facing one of these assessments. Because so many of these reports bear so little resemblence to the actual content of the assessment it is very important that you get a copy of the report the assessor puts in or you have the right to ask that the assessment is recorded. I'm not sure but I think you can ask for a copy. I'll check that out. If they tell you they cannot record it you can ask for it to be re-arranged or, when you get the appointment through, ring them & tell them that you will require it to be recorded. There is a site called Benefits & Work online. They do allow access to some of their material free but the annual membership fee is pretty cheap. it provides help & advice on DLA, ESA etc, appeals & filling in the application forms. Well worth looking at. Hope everyone going through this gets the result they are hoping for. I'm just about to reapply for my DLA - lost it totally last year & took 10months to get it back & then only got lowest mobility. Hoping, with the help, to get more this time. Dreading ESA & PPI : ((

  • Unfortunately there are only 11 recorders to cover the whole of the UK and they are all in for repair (funny that eh!). This is a quote from the site mentioned above:

    "The few machines that are available are being damaged because of frequent transit from one centre to another and they have not yet been replaced. This appears to be the case in the Norwich and Nottingham regions. This has resulted in some claimants having their medicals cancelled three times or more. The DWP have now issued instructions to Atos that the non-availability of recording equipment is not grounds for cancelling medical assessments.

    So the DWP instruction that Atos staff are referring to, it seems likely, is not that all recordings have been cancelled but that it is no longer permissible for Atos to cancel a medical because there is no recording equipment available.

    As there is no statutory right to have your medical recorded, claimants would be taking an enormous risk if they refused to attend a medical because no recording equipment was available. Their ESA could be stopped as a result and they would have to appeal and try to persuade a tribunal that the lack of recording equipment was good cause for them failing to attend their medical."

  • What a rotten doctor! As the Government recognises Fibro, he shouldn't put his opinions above theirs. many GPs still don't believe in Fibro, unfortunately you got one of them. Complain.

    Cheers, Midori

  • AToS sent my hubby a travel plan to get him to the medical centre. He was to walk from home for 11 minutes to the bus stop, get on a bus and sit for 22 minutes, change buses and sit for a further 20 minutes then, when he got off that one, he was to walk for a further 7 minutes to the medical centre.

    I'm pretty sure that if anyone said that they had followed that travel plan to get to their assessment they would be rewarded by a big fat zero on their report!

  • Thanks to everyone for their support and advice. It's very much appreciated.

    Lisa x

  • Hi guys does anyone know if an atos assessment can be sprung on you at home and if so what are their id badges like are they hung on a red fabric around their kneck if so I think they have tried to surprise me today but I was not able to get to the door - they should have made an appointment surely? Any ideas anyone. thanks

  • To the best of my knowledge they can't just surprise you. I've had 2 assessments now and the appointments have been in a few weeks. To have an assessment at home you have to get a letter from your doctor to say you are unable to get to the assessment cantre. I really wouldn't worry. Hugs. Val x

  • Thanks for your advice - I just feel like my whole life is now under a magnifying glass and cannot enjoy my good days for fear of someone thinking I have nothing wrong with me - I just want to get my assessment over and done with - but thanks for your reply X

  • No problem, honey. You sound really stressed which won't help. I know what you mean about being watched, every time I go out I'm afraid someone is looking to make sure I'm as bad as I say I am. I even think I'm bring followed when I'm driving!! Mad!!! Please don't worry, we're all here for you. Love Val x

  • Yes you can request a copy of the Assessment, I didnt ask at the actually assessment because it slipped my mine with all that was happening to do so and at the time I thought that it had all gone very well. The next day though after thinking about it I did ring the dwp and ask for a copy which came in a couple of days. And thank god I did because it was an outrage!. I have sent a 35 page disection of the report directly to ATOS along with all my complaints about their professionalism and that of their assessors. I have also contacted my MP directly and am sending him every bit of correspondence with ATOS. Lisa I may be wrong but I feel you have very strong grounds there to put in an official complaint against the GP who took your assessment for his unprofessionalism with the GMC. And definitely send a direct complaint to ATOS and please involve your local MP. Make contemperaneous notes of what was said to you by that so called Doctor and quote back to ATOS all the above facts that the others have given you on Fibro and even throw in Chris Graylings comments on Fibromyalgia. Seems to me that the Doctor has a definite case of misconduct to answer to there. Please do keep us all updated on this one and all the very best my dear. Colleen xx

  • That is good to know if I get the chance I will ask for a copy of the assessment and the notes made by the so called health professional - all of this will let them know at least that we are all getting wiser to this so called assessment which seems to be showing more and more as a discimination - many thanks Colleen.X

  • With all their recording equipment being unavailable does anyone know if we would be able to take our own. I have a digital dictaphone ( for when I was at uni to record my lectures) which records for a maximum of 8hrs. A recording on this machine has, on a previous occasion, been accepted as evidence in an harassment/assault case by the police & CPS so there should be no problems unless the assessor refuses, which would be strange as we have a legal right to have the assessments recorded.

  • I don't they allow because you have a sound guy and there has to be two recordings so they can have a copy. That's what I've been told anyway. I had a recording app on my iPhone but it's not allowed. They are definately a law unto themselves. X

  • I have recently had an ALTOS assessment for my claim for industrial injuries accelerating my FB symptoms and have been assessed as 30% disabled and awarded IB for life. I was medically retired following a car accident, had FB for years along with Lupus. My DLA assessment was carried out in my home as I live in a remote spot and couldn't get there as there is no public transport, awarded high rate mobility and low care. I am an ex social work manager for Disabled people, so while used to the whole assessment process, it was very different talking about how FB has restricted my life. Once the floodgates opened I cried throughout the assessment telling him how looking OK does not equate to feeling OK. I emphasised the pain and how crippling that was and the difference between Chronically Ill and Disability. I was so nervous after reading the treatment and results many have had from ALTOS. This is truly a pain in the everywhere disease and not understood unless someone has lived it. I told the assessor imagine having migraine every minute of every day, now imagine it throughout your body and tell me how you would manage. If I can be of any help ....

  • So sorry to hear you are having such a bad time of it. Hopefully I will be ok this time, tbh if I'm not then by the time i appeal and take it to tribunal I will be close to retirement.

    Will keep everyone updated. Gentle hugs. Val x

  • it is so awful how we are all being treated by this so called system, we are being made to jump through hoops ust to get a little money to survive and then still getting turned down. I saw my Gp this week who said that stress was making me worse, me stressed.... I wonder why....

  • My husband "failed" his all work test with ATOS! His medical/interview lasted two hours!!! He was exhausted when he came out and very weepy. He felt the whole thing had gone well, he had a nice rapport with the assessor and was hopeful that he would pass, as he had every time before. He suffers post traumatic stress disorder, depression (Severely so) and has had amputations of his thumb and toe, causing lots of pain. He has night terrors and has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor. On top of all that I have Fibro, and our daughter has fragile X syndrome and autism (some life eh? LOL) anyway on the Saturday morning two days after his assessment he got a phone call saying he was fit for work and they were stopping his benefits effective immediately. You can't imagine what this did to him, and me. We were terrified, mainly of losing the housing benefit as we didn't want to be homeless and there was no way he is fit for work. Subsequently we have appealed. This all happened last Sept and we're still waiting for the appeal. In the meantime my husband has to get regular sick notes from his GP, which he does every month, and guess what, the DWP lose them on a regular basic, so our money has been delayed over and over again. They apologies and back date it but it doesn't help us when we're being charged fees for unpaid direct debits because our money hasn't gone in the bank AGAIN! All I can say is no matter how well you think your test has gone, don't count your chickens.....ATOS are getting it wrong over and over again.

  • I am so sorry you and your family are going through this, it's crap. I have had the lost certs circus, I then photocopied each certificate I sent off and if any querry, sent them a copy via fax, any bank or debit charges due to their incompetence, I billed the DWP and got a refund. No it doesn't help when you have nothing to live on, but it sure stops the number of times they lose the certs.

    Sounds like you need support from Welfare Rights or another org to help fight the system. My heart goes out to your husband, he must feel so, so awful and won't help his PTSD. If he has support from a mental health team, maybe one of the workers could help to push things forward. When I could work, I used to represent my clients at tribunal and wirte telling them how detrimental it was to a person's mental and physical health if there was a delay. I hope you have support and it all speeds up so you can get into a routine without having to worry about money, tribunals and everything else. x

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