Atos assessment very short! - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK

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Atos assessment very short!


Hi all I have been keeping an eye on everyone blogs re atos assessments as I had mine on Wednesday. I was shocked at how short it was and how little content it seemed to have. I was asked maybe 10 questions like what did I do with my day and how did I shop? He then made me try and touch my toes and had a bit of feel of my very sore arms.

They asked me no questions really about how my fibro affected my life or what things flare it up! I am very concerned now I was expecting a scary experience which it wasn't but I fail to see how they can assess my ability to work on such a small amount of info. Did anyone else have a similar experience?

21 Replies

This is pretty standard as it's a tick box form on a computer . They're not really interested in what you can do in detail, if you can sit, stand, shop, watch TV, pick up an empty box, put a pen in your top pocket , type or hold a pen then they consider you fit to do some work.

It's not a medical assessment , it's an assessment to judge your capability to do some work , at some point.

Thanks for replying, I assumed it was probably standard, just I had read so many horror stories I thought I had got off lightly :)

Some Atos assessors do present as really nice.... but as getactive says, that doesn't mean you'll score points . The system is flawed , the WCA is flawed . Picking up an empty box doesn't - in my view - have any bearing on you being fit for work.

Most people with fibro that I know score 0 points at assessment , or get put into WRAG , unless they have lots of other health problems running alongside , and even then some still score 0 points .

The DWP tend to ignore Fibro ( regardless of what they say otherwise ) , so sorry if that sounds like bad news, but if I were you , I'd start gathering any medical evidence you may need at appeal.... just in case....

And be aware that if placed in WRAG , it only lasts for 365 days and if you have a working partner, other income or savings your money will then stop.

Where does that leave me? I took early retirement from NHS on I'll health grounds, and after applying for ESA was assessed by ATOS, after which a phone call followed to say I was too ill to work again. I also have DLA which next year I will have to apply for PIP. I have 3 more years before I reach retirement age will they expect me to get a job and work?? Very confused......

I have to say I thought that my assessment went very well the Dr was fine and seemed very concerned but sorry to tell you this I scored no points what so ever hope you get a good outcome to your case and I wish you well x

I am trying not to worry to much at the moment. I cannot change the outcome I won't be returning to work because my fibro is just to tiring and I have just had a baby. I will have to come up with another solution.

I see the system is flawed but the more irate I get the more my arms hurt so I aim to stay chilled

splodge1 in reply to Embubble81

go to a tribunal i did and won the case

There's no point worrying Embubble because it changes nothing , but it doesn't hurt to be prepared , just make sure you have your GP and any specialists you see on side and ready , any medical info is a help.

Other than that there's nothing you can do til they let you know either way.

A new baby , how lovely :)

Exactly, thanks for your advice x

Hi Everyone,

I had my medical examination for Esa back in Sep 2011 - I thought it was terrible - I have fibro, facet joint arthritis, insomnia, chronic depression, tmj, ibs the list goes on . Refused to do any of the things asked i.e jump on table, as I knew it would cause me pain. I got the impression the Atos rep wasnt very happy with me lol - Anyway after doing some research on the net, I was ready for a bad experience and awarding of no points. I received 9, was quite shocked I got those!!! I need another 6 so appealed - had my tribunal today and was disallowed ESA. No points for mental descriptors & none for sitting,reaching and standing - all which cause me severe pain.

I am now on 3 diff pain medications which take the edge off & have had my anti d changed 3 times since May. So now I start again cannot claim Jsa as not well enough but cannot get Esa according to the tribunal I am well enough to work but cannot get Jsa - Just ordered a new Esa claim pack -going round in circles and all affecting my health - only good thing is this time I have a new doctor who.s great and my welfare rep said I should claim Dla as I won points on not being able to walk. So it looks like they like to send you around in circles until you give up. Go sign on for Jsa -sorry you cannot -getting passed around and no one seems to know how to help the poor people who fall into this crack, so am now going to have to wait until my new Esa claim is dealt with - who knows how long and how Im going to pay rent if it takes too long.

This system is not working and needs looking at again - I dread to think how much these tribunals & appeals are costing and not just in monetary terms & Atos (dontgiveatoss) get paid every time someone is refused the benefit - right that could be taken advantage off eh Never mind at least I m not the only one this is happening to Chin up

Hi all. I lost my appeal for ESA and was told my money would stop that day, and that I should go to Jobcentre the next day to sign on for JSA. I was under the impression that you had to be fit and well to get that.But I had no choice.The 4 weeks experience I had with that very nearly pushed me over the edge. I couldnt cope with the pressure physically or mentally. My Dr gave me a sick note for jobcentre and they closed my claim....because I wasnt fit to look for work...DUHHHH!!!!! So then I had no income. At my appeal, they told me I cant claim for ESA even tho I had got 12/15 points needed. I didnt know what to do, so in desparation, I applied for ESA again, because I know Im not fit for work, but according to ATOS, i am. To my surprise, I got it. But the down side is, it took 7 weeks before I got any money, because they havent got a braincell between them. Also I'll have to go through the STUPID medical WCA again and risk having my ESA stopped again, and getting LESS points than I got before. Youre right, we do have to go round in distressing ,depressing, painful circles at the taxpayers expense. But this Fibro warrior isnt giving up. I'll keep doing it till THEY get fed up of ME,lol. Good luck everyone

go to advice bureau they have things we dont know about i did they wrote a report for me and i won my case

Hello everyone,

I have just been reading all your terrible times the 'SYSTEM', there are so many small reasons we can not claim financial help from the GVMT. I am so sorry to hear your stories.

Me all I can claim is DLA, they are not interested in me. I have a retire husband, even though I am 20 yrs youner than him, so he gets a small gvmt pension. I can not claim for anything other than DLA, I had to fight hard for it. It is now classified as 'indefinite' but that means nothing, I hope that I do not have to go to one of these tribunals, so far each reassessment has been done at home, as I don't travel well. More than fibro to deal with. The last Dr sent to me was nasty, he said in not so many words that I was faking it, he spent 30 minutes with me, as I could pick up a heavy lever arch file from the coffee table, he felt I could do more than I was saying. They read what they want into any assessment by looks of things, lets hoe your assessor was a nice fair person. I wish you all well.

A tip for you all when appealing against any of their decisions is that re quote their own word, especially wording in their questions. More help can be found on, they helped me win my case.

Keep looking at the positive side of life, don't dwell on these negativities otherwise you suffer no one else. Look after yourselves.

Your fibro friend


Deelightful, you are sweet! I am fairly sure that my ESA is going to be stopped as I could do everything they asked. My fibro effects me after the fact and actually later that night I was in a lot of pain obviously this wasn't seen by the dr. I know my symptoms are real but if its stopped I will cross that bridge when it i have to. Wishing you all pain free days xx

Still fight, your fibro is real, create a statement of how fibro affects you, all the details every little thing, the worse day. The same as completing a DLA form. Try and get your doctor to support it, it may help. I hope is does not come to this.

We all know how you feel, FMS and ME go hand in hand but the people who see us do not understand the illness. It is not a nice thing to say but, I would like these people who make these life changing decisions to experience first hand how it affect a person, the pain and how it limits just the small things we do each day, activities that should be so easy are so painful and hard.

I hope today was a good one for you. xxx

PS I am off my soap box now, sorry I get carried away.


Hiya All

Ive just read bumblebee57 comment - aw I feel so sorry for you hun - I was told my money was stopped too on the day of the tribunal ( wed ) so came home phoned the jobcentre and was told I couldn't claim JSA as Im too ill - what a laugh - I told the gentleman on the phone that my appeal for Esa was turned down 3 hours before us having this conversation and he told me to claim for Esa again as it had taken 13 months to get to tribunal, what stress i ve been throught, what he told me is you can claim again as long as your decision following the medical was over 6 months - so I am now waiting for the new Esa claim pack with no idea how Im going to pay the rent (private LL) and dont know how long it will take to sort out the assessment benefit again.

At the appeal I felt like a criminal & a liar and because I told them I don't go out socially - was looked at with rolling eyes, I have severe depression & anxiety on top of all the other illnesses s,s so I don't like going out & to be honest I'm way to tired & exhausted & in so much pain to bother. They also didn't believe that I haven't had a holiday for over 10 years, which it incorrect it is probably more like 15 years. I gave up driving about 8 years ago and was practically laughed at when I said this.

I was so upset coming out of that tribunal I felt like coming home and taking all my medication but that would just be playing into their hands. Ive never felt so intimidated in my life and everything I said to explain how I deal with my illnesses s affect me was shrugged off.

My welfare rep told me to claim Dla and to be honest it isnt about the money - its about being believed that I am ill and not just 'trying it on'

I received 9 points for not being able to walk so I have decided I will now claim the Dla - watch this space!!!!!!


Just wanted to remind you all that if you contact the admin team here on the forum (use the directory at the top of the page) they can send you some VERY useful guides for claiming benefits from the works and pensions people completely free of charge. I had filled in a claim for DLA but then having read the guide, luckily before posting, I completely rewrote it as the guides help you to interpret the questions from the view point of the assessor in a really clear way. I am still waiting to hear from them and have my fingers crossed! All good wishes to you. Jane x

Hi ladygreenfingers

Thank you so much for information will ask for some help as tearing my hair out worrying lol good luck with your claim - i luv this site xx

Hi.. Hour and half was my atos assessment.. I wasn't feeling too good to start with and I made that clear but still made no diffence.. Asked me loads of questions.. Examined me.. Tried to get me to touch this.. Move that.. I was crying in even more pain by the time I came out.. So not the greatest experience for me..,

they are just liers and we are animals on a tread track

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