Any experiences with ATOS needed

For hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people, being called in by ATOS to be assessed for whether they are fit to work is a terrifying experience. What makes it even more terrifying is the fact that ATOS keeps getting it wrong. [1] ATOS’ deeply flawed system has led to thousands of people being forced to try to work when they physically can’t.

So far the government has failed to deal with the big mistakes ATOS repeatedly makes. It has done little to sort out the disability benefit tests which medical experts have described as ‘not fit for purpose’. [2]

Personal stories can often be the most powerful tool in persuading politicians to do the right thing. Michael Meacher, MP, is arranging a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work and Pensions who has the power to sort out these problems. So he needs stories of ATOS getting it wrong to help convince him to act.

Can you help? Have you or someone you know been tested by ATOS? Would you be happy to share your experience? The more people who share their stories, the more powerful the message to the minister.

Help Michael Meacher convince Iain Duncan Smith to stand up to ATOS. Send in your story:

belinda-atos@38degrees.org.uk

Michael Meacher recently held a debate in parliament about ATOS’ work capability assessments. He talked about one of his voters who had been told he could work by ATOS and had his benefits cut. The 24 year old, who suffered from severe epilepsy, appealed, but was worried and depressed about how to pay his rent or buy food. [3]

Three months after seeing ATOS he died from a major seizure. The month after his death, his parents were informed that a mistake had been made and his benefits were being restored.

Iain Duncan Smith has the power to stand up to ATOS and demand these tests are changed. But so far he hasn’t been convinced. Michael Meacher is trying to set up a meeting with him to change this. He is going to present a dossier of stories from sick and disabled people who have been told they are fit to work.

Many sick and disabled people would love to work, but due to their illness they simply can’t. ATOS needs to change the way it assesses people, but they will only do this if forced to by the government.

Share your story:

belinda-atos@38degrees.org.uk

2 Replies

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  • I am a fully qualified professional Lecturer who had an excellent well paid career until I started to get hypertension and Fybromyalgia through stress at work and bullying for being off sick so much. I reported it but it backfired on me and my colleague as the person was gay he said we were bullying him (so they had to believe him without proof). The stress was too much and they made me take a compromise to leave but my friend refused and took them to court and won £30000. This all made my Fybromyalgia return and was made redundant from my new job. Stuck to go on JSA I then applied for DLA turned down immediately so then after being stuck on JSA for near 2 years more stress and anxiety (turned up for only interview for dream job 30 mins late) my confidence blasted completely....My doctor gave me note to claim ESA as they were about to stop giving me allowance for mortgage at 2 yrs on because I was on a Job club. I was in right state claimed for PIP got assessment and told failed as they decided I was ok. So spoke on phone in call back from PIP they give after, asked to send doctors letter (£15) and any other evidence still waiting for reply. ESA sent me for assessment for work yesterday and my daughter started to take notes. She was asked not to use them for anything other than my bad memory....but the interview cancelled half way through as forgot to mention on claim form I had mini stroke in 2006 didn't know it was important as I am claiming for Fybromyalgia, Arthritis, Hypertension and Chronic depression?? I cant see anyone until after Christmas locally as need to be seen by a doctor. So they booked me appointment 1hr travel away for today but I had to cancel cant do it as so drained this morning no sleep. Now just waiting for new appointment locally in new year. I just hope this hasn't messed up me ESA payments as I am frightened what I will do without money, there will be no point existing anymore. I desperately need a new boiler on the free green scheme and until I get PIP or extra component I am not entitled to one so am freezing as boiler not working right (over burning gas) help needs to be changed. The saga continues.......

  • Hope you tried again with DLA. They usually refuse first time applicants.

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