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.