ATOS - The Devils disciples

I've read through quite a few of your posts about ATOS and heard experiences from friends who have had their benefits stopped, then re-instated on appeal, but as I work and don't claim any benefits, I wasn't aware of the full horror and humiliation that is facing many of you on this forum, until I read a post and following comments, on my friend's facebook page. the friend in question has recently, also been diagnosed with Fibromyalga. She has multiple health problems besides the FMS and she posted that she has been called in for the ATOS assessment. One of the people who replied to her stated that ATOS has ruined her life. As a humanitarian, this prompted me to investigate. What I discovered appalled and disgusted me. I have so much sympathy for all of you that have been through one of their WCA's and then had the added stress of waiting for the dreaded results letter. it must feel like Judgement Day.

I did extensive research for over 3 hours; watching youtube clips from documentaries such as Panaorama and Dispatches. I googled articles in tabloids such as the Daily Mail. I listened to first-hand accounts and watched re-enactments and actual hidden camera footage of the Work Capability Test and in quite a number of cases, one of the conditions that came up frequently, was fibromyalgia. I know there are people who are fraudulently claiming sickness benefits but it is a very small proportion, in comparison to people who are genuinely ill and cannot work. And for those people who are placed in the fit for work category, where are the jobs to go to? We recently advertised for admin support assistants and got 120 applicants. The council I work for employ disabled people as part of their 'equal opportunities' but if your disability causes you to be off then they try to sack you. If you lose your job through not being fit for work, you have to go for an assessment who then declare you fit for work. What the hell? Irony at it's finest!

During my research,I discovered the youtube clip about the guy who made a prank call to ATOS inquiring about the 'euthanasia packs' for people who are going to lose disability and wanted to die peacefully rather than starve to death on the streets. He was put through to several departments and CS advisers and it was only when he asked who was in charge of distribution: Hitler or Goebbels that they terminated the call. This was part of the " ATOS Kills" campaign. Although it was a prank call, I found the reality of what he was saying extremely disturbing. In many cases It would appear that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. If you turn up for the test then you are capable of work . If you claim you are too sick to attend the test, then you are sanctioned and you money stopped.

From what I saw the test itself was similar to the humiliating experience I had after a rear-end shunt. The other party's insurance company had to assess my claim for whiplash. Even though I was in pain, my arms were basically forced above my head to disprove my claim. (I won my compensation anyway but ended up with Fibro so 2 and half grand was certainly not enough to compensate for that). The WCA is a joke, any GP/consultant, whatever who carry out these assessment should be ashamed. Probably they are failed GPs. It seems many of them are not happy with the way they have to conduct the assessments, but they are only allowed to pass a low proportion of people. They are are target driven so scared of losing their jobs. Many of them reported that they hated having to fail someone who should have passed. Targets?? These are people's lives they are destroying. Are the victims of this soul-less enterprise (because they are a profit making company make no mistake) expected to exist on nothing. This system is denying people their basic human rights - food and shelter. How the hell can this be legal. How can it be right?

ATOS lies, I heard so many stories of fabricated results that did not match or even mention the claiment's medical conditions. It was recommended that people RECORD THE ASSESSMENT. You are allowed to do this and ATOS has to pay. Many people get their benefits re-instated on appeal because so many mistakes are being made. The government are paying this company millions out of our taxes to get people off the sick to 'save money' but we were expected to bail out the banks and send our lads and lasses off to get killed in a pointless war. Meanwhile the MPs carry on claiming trouser-presses and holiday homes on their 'expense account'. It makes me sick to the stomach.

I was brought up in Barnsley during the miner's strike during the Thatcher regime and I don't remember things being as harsh as this.

I know but for the grace of the goddess and angels that this could so easily be myself in this position. I honestly do not know how I would cope if I did. I wish I had the energy to join the campaigns, I wish I could do something to fight this Draconian, in-human practice. I hope and pray that something will be done about the appalling way that sick and disabled people are being treated. Someone likened the ATOS experience to a Nazi Concentration camp, deciding who lives and who dies on arrival.

I apologize to the moderators if I have said anything too controversial. I am really sorry if I have worried anyone who has imminent assessment, this was not my intention. I merely wanted to express my disgust at the way sick and disabled human beings are being treated.

23 Replies

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  • Well said Stornwytch

  • Hi stormwytch.... I don't claim any benefits in the work related sense but I too have read with horror peoples atos ESA trials with horror at how people who are sick and in pain are treated.

    We had a scary two weeks when my OH working tax credits were stopped without us being notified... My OH phoned up and enquired why.... And was told people with partners have to work 24 hours now or dont get working tax credits. My OH pointed out he only had a 16 hour contract that was not fixed hours... The man on the phone said.. Send your wife out to work 8 hours then... MY OH said she would love too but being ill and on dla what would you suggest. As soon as my OH said this our tax credit was reinstated and backdated as me being registered disabled meant the new rule didnt apply to us....... DUHHH why didn't they a) notify us Or B) check before they silently stopped our tax credits.

    I agree there are a minority living on disability benefits who claim fraudulently... I have seen the tv programmes on in the daytime about benefit cheats and also watch Jeremey Kyle Often the show makes me sad to see jobless young people wanting DNA tests to find out who the father is... Who when revealed has no intention of paying to support the child cos he has no Job or a drink drug problem .... I don't judge I just feel sad for the babies caught up in this situation.

    Anyway I am rambling off target.. I do however get low care dla my OH only works part time and my son who is autistic gets middle rate care and I think low mobility... See my brains gone already. I have had a letter saying I will be reassess June and I am bracing myself to lose my dla as its low rate, even though I suffer with multiple conditions and am getting worse, two big falls within a year cracking ribs each time not to mention the little ones where all I hurt is my pride, the dla ignore anything but the arthritis in my hands. I KNOW as does my gp that this past week of looking after post op OH has sent me into muscles spasms, migraines and am on two new meds to get me through his 6 weeks of no lifting. So far we have only lost one meal to the kitchen floor, but I feel like I have been trampled on by an elephant in clogs. I dread going to bed as I know how seized up I will be in the morning and my OH can't lift me out like he normally does so getting out of bed is slow and extremely painful.

    VGx

  • I'm not in the rollercoaster either though do feel saddened by what I read of people being turned away when there is a genuine need and finding life so tough they want to end it all...This government has alot to answer for and the lack of humanity that is being displayed of late...there is still mention of all this unclaimed benefits which is also very confusing?

    We as a nation need to look after the sick and the scrougers are the ones that need the real weedling out...it seems they are getting their S's in a muddle. With all the backlash that have come with political parties over the last few years you would think that they should concentrate on gettting thier own house in total order first.

    The welfare budget of course needed addressing however I don't need to write about this as we all know the reasons behind it being so high ...open doors ect! I am saddened to say that many pay in all their lives through taxes and national insurance to find that in the future they would have been better off having nothing as that way you can display a genuine need...

  • Your blog left out the 73 a week that are dying after being found fit to work...I have followed with horror over the last 2 yrs the sheer cruelty of this government and the WCA test..yes Labour brought it in and yes the Tories have continued with vigour all those sick people they can throw off the benefits list..however..the worse change was the change in the law on how long.....people paying over 30-40 yrs of NI and being entitled to 1 yr only or nothing at all if they had another form of *income* ...we pay for nothing..they will soon change the goalposts again...I despair ..soon there will be workhouses back and maybe then we can steal an apple and get transported to Australia....at least the warmth will help us !!!

  • I totally agree with you, I think the workhouses are next. You did make me laugh though with your comment about Australia. Thanks.

  • I am going through this at the moment having scored no points on the ESA assessment It is making me even more ill I dont know if I have the strength to fight any more. I just cant stop crying I have to hide the letter away and pretend its not happening its the only way I can carry on

  • i had to attend a medical in 2005 and the man from ATOS twisted round everything i said and i lost my IB and was very depressed crying all the time.but got it back on appeal.like you he scored me no points but at teh appeal i was awarded i htink 18-21 points and at another more recent the guy was runnign over an hour late so my interview only lasted 5 mins.he scriibled some notes down and said youre not fit for work,i ahvent had to attend any more since as tehy finally rcognise i am disabled.i hope you have plenty of family and friends suport to help you through.

  • Thank you-my first medical was cancelled as the doctor was running late only told me after I had waited an hour. Still cant reopen the letter they sent me keep thinking I will but then get really upset and leave it be. i have got support but I find it hard to tell them how I feel. once I get down to it I will feel better x

  • I know how stressful it can be when the letter arrives and you have to go through the appeal process but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done to change the system. get help and advice from an agency. i went for my appeal last monday and it was adjourned for more medical evidence from my drs. The appeal tribunal know what is going on and how unfair it all is. I now wait for the next appeal which will be in 4 weeks.

    I wish the government had spent the money on job creation or something to help people into some kind of work but i know it is not available i have tried in the past and employers aren't interested in employing someone who can't do the full job and i don't blame them. it's a no win situation.

  • I can't understand how people are getting their tribunals in a few months. I have been told it will take up to 12 months for mine !!! In the mean time I am not able to pay my rent or even eat as I only have my DLA. I worked all my adult life and now I cannot get help. Makes me so angry that some have never worked (even though capable to) and they have everything and I cannot even get enough to cover my basic needs,. Where are my human rights ?

  • I thought that you still got your ESA while the appeal was heard-hope thats the case or I will be stuck x

  • I sincerely believe..we don't have any...the constant harassment even in the support group..it's criminal..I can only hope that the appeal to the ECHR against what is happening is upheld and acted upon...but I think it'll be thrown out ....we are not in this together..the mos still have their subsides bar and lunch..expenses and so on..not one of them have proposed reductions in their working life..maybe we should have a WCA for them...

  • I'm just at the start of the changeover process from Income Support to ESA and I'm really worried. I study part-time in the hope of improving my earning prospects if my health improves in the future. I attend uni for just 6 hours a week and this completely dominates my whole life, to the point I don't have the energy to even maintain contact with many of my friends. I've so far completed 4 years of my course, with each year getting progressively more difficult to cope with as I get more and more tired/ill with the struggle to keep going. I'm due to finish in June 2014 and at the moment I have no idea if I'll even get to finish. I just don't know where I'll find the energy to fight the upcoming ESA battle.

  • Congratulations on doing 4 years. I have also been where you are. I have studied part time for 4 years although only 3 count as I wrote no essays for one of the years. I dropped out last year due to illness and have not gone back this year although hope to at some point. The first term I tried so hard that I spent the entire reading week recovering and then learnt to be more gentle with myself and accept what I could and could not do. Well done for keeping going I hope you do reach the end of your course.

  • Thanks, I have no idea how I managed to complete last year, I wouldn't have done if it hadn't been for the wonderful head of course giving me extra time for all my assignments. I'm already tired and struggling this year but I'm determined to complete the course.

    I hope you do manage to go back and complete your course... what are you studying?

  • apologies if you've seen it before, but it seemed appropriate to post.

    Ode to ATOS

    Hello, I believe there are some people

    who work for ESA

    and when you've had too much of your pain

    they take it all away!

    they send you for a Med eekle

    and after you have been

    they send you a letter to confirm

    "you're the fittest one we've seen!"

    now go out and find a job

    because you have no pain.

    you'll be well forever

    we won't see you again.

    you'll work a full 8 hour day

    no more "Ouch!" not even a peep

    you'll forget 'cos for you're so cured now -

    it even hurt to sleep!

    now your days are longer,

    and you just dance around

    not the "old" 2 step -

    move one foot.... hit the ground!

    look at all the money they've saved

    and we can all relax.

    no more funding the sick or hospitals

    they'll knock it off their tax!

    So don't worry if you are sick,

    anxiety, pain, depression.

    We'll fix it all and cancer too -

    the parliament's in session!

  • Wow I didn't expect to get so many responses to this post. Sandra your poem was brilliant. You should put them all in a little book and sell them. On a more serious note, yes Benjamina I didn't mention the death rate and not only that but the government (or someone is covering up the details every time someone tries to publish them. Thats almost 300 people a month dying because of one company. Still that is 300 people less a month claiming benefits and sponging off the system isn't it so think they care? 30600 people a year? Surely the ECHR has to do something. Only the rich and healthy get to live it would appear. Some people think its a huge Illuminati conspiracy theory - part of the New World Order.

    These measures don't stop the benefit cheats tho because they are lying in the first place so they will just invent a more intensive web of lies to avoid getting caught thus prompting even tougher measures eventually. It's not only ATOSsers who are killing people - benefit cheats are too!

  • I forgot, cos I was on my soapbox again, to say to GetActive and HollyKarma, that I wish you every luck with your assessment and/or appeals and may the archangels be with you all the way

    Storm x

  • I was listening to local radio the other day and they were talking to a GP about this situation... he mentioned a couple, one was completely blind and used a white stick to get around, the other was partially sighted but had a guide dog. The completely blind person lost their DLA high rate mobility component while the partially sighted person kept theirs because the guide dog qualified them automatically - crazy! He also said that people he suspected were faking were keeping their benefits because they knew how to play the system while people who genuinely needed help were losing theirs. Which I guess proves that all this "reform" just isn't working!

  • Xxxxx

  • Don't worry, we make an exception to the "don't talk about politics" rule for disability welfare issues because they are often so critical for people with Fibro and are directly relevant to Fibro. :)

    Just be careful in discussing these issues never to name individuals - writing comments on a website even if done anonymously can still be libel and people have been prosecuted for comments made on social media. This is why HealthUnlocked have a Guideline of not posting negative references to identifiable individuals. Actually, might need you to edit something, thinking about it - will Message you!

  • Done

  • Thanks Storm! :) No need to apologise, it's all fine. We just needed to be a bit careful. Thanks for posting your original message. :)

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