Atos Medical, Thank God it's over, now fingers crossed!

Hi All,

As I said earlier I had my Atos Medical today, to decide if I can continue getting ESA.

I thought I'd blog in case anyone is going for the 1st time. And also any comments on how you think I did more than welcome. It's one of those things you come away from and think 'I wish I'd .........

Firstly took near an hour on 2 buses to get there. My son came with me (1st tip, they always ask how you got there and if you were with anyone, NEVER go alone, as I was told this gets points off the score.

I have been suffering with anxiety and depression for near 2 years (I also have panic attacks) which caused me to stop working (hence the ESA) also in my last form I had told them I had just had positive blood test for RA inflamation.

First the questions, I tried to be as honest as possible but was also aware to be careful. Questions included:

When I last worked and why I had to give up......I worked for Evans, had a panic attack and ran out after fighting off the manager!

What time do I go to bed.........any time between 6 & 9

Do I watch TV and for how long......approx 1 hour, uncomfortable sitting, no concentration

Do I use computor..........I can for a few minutes at a time, but hurts my wrists

Have I any hobbies.....hands too painful, no interest at moment

Who does my housework, cooking and bill poor son

Who I live with......same son

Do I go shopping, answer the door/telephone etc.....go shopping if taken by son, don't like the telephone, live in a flat so don't answer the door to anyone.

How I feel from day to day etc......tired, sad, generally miserable

Then the physical side:

Moving my head from side to side.....I managed that, slowly

Hands above head.......managed to get them to my head but not above

Hands behind my head...........didn't quite manage that

Arms outwards.........managed but explained about pain (like pulled muscles across my chest)

Hands up behind my back.......not far (I had already said I have to put my bra on backwards!)

Then standing up and touching my chance!

Getting onto bed........bit of a struggle

Lifting legs............1 leg not too bad, few inches, but other which has been very painful lately, no chance

Then it was things like pushing against her with my hands and feet.....I shook and didn't have much strength.

Grasping her fingers..........hardly able to grip at all

and touching forefinger to thumb, which I said was painful but managed although when she pulled her finger through to 'break the link' I had no resistence.

That's about all I can remember at moment. Sorry if I've gone on a bit too long. Came out shaking and crying and totally exhusted:(

The thing I regret most is at the end she asked if I wanted to add anything, I said no but wish I'd mentioned more of the pain as I have muscle pain as well as joint pain, and I wish I had said more about the fatigue and tiredness and how bad it really can get. Also I told her I have hospital appt. next week but she didn't ask for my appt. letter, I wish I'd given to her.

Well that's it, she seemed nice enough but who knows. I hope they noticed my son being worried when I came out and having to help me with my coat etc.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I want to work eventually, I want my life back, but just can't cope at moment.

Thanks for 'listening'

Love and best wishes to all, Suzanne xxx

20 Replies

Suzanne, i bet your glad thats over,you were very brave and you did your best. Did you let her see you cry? I will send you my thoughts for a good outcome for you.

love sylvi.xx


Thank you Sylvi xx (Yes, I cried all the way through I think!)


Hi Suzanne,

Well at least thats over and well done for getting thru it, thats some achievement that you got there at all, given panic etc.

I cant see that you will have a problem, its obvious that you would'nt be able to work, from what you said.

The best of luck, you can relax now and look after yourself. Spring is coming and summer, so hopefully when winter is over you will feel a bit better.

Kindest wishes, Gina.

Ps. Who'd have their job??? listening to all the sorrow all day long, its surprising if they dont get depressed themselves...


Thank you Gina, you're right it's not much of a job is it and Spring is near. A bit of sunshine does the world of good.

Suz xx


hI suz61, I have my atos re assesment in a few weeks also, Im teriffied, Im the same as yourself, so want to get back to work but just cant cope at the min xx


Hi Tipper, I only had a weeks notice for my assesment, like you I was scared to death. Now I feel sick, just waiting for the result. I keep going over what I said and did and what I wish I'd said! At the end she asked me if I wanted to add anything, If I new before I would have made a few notes (just to go over my day to day life) and said a bit more. Maybe an idea for you over the next few weeks to make some notes as when you're in the situation (if you're anything like me) you forget everything!

Good luck Tipper, I know it's hard not to worry, but we can't do anything about it but try and make a strong case.

Will post my result, not just finger crossed but everything!

Very best wishes xxx


Hi Suz, glad it's over for you.

Bet your relieved this morning, don't go over and over it in your head. It's over and nothing you can do about it now, put it behind you and try not to worry.

Fingers crossed you get put in the support group, most people are initially placed in the WRAG (work related activity group) with a future review date. Don't panic if you get placed in this group, it just means attending 6 interviews with jobcentre, to discuss things like benefits, aids/addaptions and what you feel would aid a return to work.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

Beth xx


Thank you Beth. You're right and I'm calming down a bit now. I've been in the work related group and found my advisor to be very understanding. It's just the thought of having to appeal that worries me. But as my lovely old Mom says, what will be will be and I must wait and see.

Can't thank everyone enough for the support.

Will update asap

Suz xxx


Hi Suzanne,

Thanks for the blog. There have been lots of documented problems with Atos medicals, so please make sure that you ask Atos for a copy of the transcript of your assessment as soon as possible.

That way you can challenge them straight away if there are any inaccuracies. If there are any problems, your local Citizen's Advice Bureau will be able to offer solid advice on what to do next.

Best wishes,

Jamie x

1 like

I dont see why that when a reassessment comes up why dont they just go through your rhumey and doctor ? ... its hard to put everything into your assessment at the time as stress about just going makes you forget some things and as you say that when you walk out u think oh i should of said this and that and you only have that one chance .... if they done all the ground work before and then at the assessment give you the result

but i suppose thats too easy

Good luck suzanne



I was due an assessment last month filled out all the relevant forms expecting to go for another medical ................ got a letter last week they have put me in the support group ( was in work related )

I hope you get on with your claim

do make sure you ask for the transcript

horrible thing we have to go through when we are so ill

try not to worry too much I know it's easy to say

(((((( hugs))))))

good luck



Again..Thank you!

It's a good comment about the GP and Rheumey Clinics. It's hard to believe that our quality of life relies on a 'multiple choice' type questionaire.

She didn't ask me for my appt letter for RA Clinic, although she did mention at the end about my appointment next week. I'm hoping this is a good sign and that she realised that I need a little more time to get sorted out.

xx ((hugs)) to all xx


Fingers crossed and everything else SUZ best of luck.



I really hope you pass this assessment. I had so much bother with ATOS over breast cancer a couple of years ago and have now been diagnosed with RA. Thank goodness I am now retired and am out of this rat race.


Well done Suzanne :)

many people give up with all the beaurocracy , and the DWP are only just looking into why people come off ESA .

I am in the process of doing a blog that generally explains the current process and the current pitfalls , especially after having had 7 people come through the Bureau i volunteer in with zero point decisions and having to appeal ... and that is just in the last 3 weeks.

I hope to post here in the next couple of days .

All the best

Rich :)


Thu is whole system is a shambolic mess, a few things after reading your post, did they ask you how you got to the medical, because you mention getting two buses, and they make all sorts of assumptions about how you got there, they are told to put you at ease, you come away thinking they are nice, easy to talk to, the amount of people whyoo said that, and ended up appealing! Hope it does not happen to you. If the decison does not go your way, appeal appeal appeal. As you have had a medical write to the DWP asking for a copy of the report which is a ESA85, go through it with a fine tooth comb. You may wait a few weeks to hear, hope the result is good news. Hang in there and let us know how it goes. xx


I did know about the travelling question and made sure she knew that I had my son (24) with me and that there was no way I would have made it on my own.

It's awful to think you can't take people at face value, all the while I was in there, struggling, I had to keep thinking to be careful of how I said things. It's a nightmare.

I'll hang on a few days and contact them if I hear nothing.

Will let you know how it goes


By cutting CAB funds again it's the vunerable that will suffer. And I understand to a certain extent regards housing benefit etc, but now that we have no social/council housing you'd think they would be making sure that landlords couldn't charge extortionate rents. As you say doesn't make sense.


I live in one of the London Boroughs, and found out on Monday citizens advice bureau will endure £32k cuts, this year £74K cuts next year, next year PIP comes into affect, changes to housing benefit, etc, makes sense! Not. It is always the vulnerable, needy that need the services that get hit. Shame and scandulous.


Gosh well i am surprised. I have been off work for a year (but going through lot of grief trying to get back) Anyway I put in the form for EmploymentSA, and got a letter today saying i got it and was in a support group so dont have to work to get the allowance. Gosh I'm glad i didn't know that its all this hard!! I would have panicked!!



Hi I had my atos medical yesterday I wasn't asked any of the above questions only one .whitch the doctor said to me so how far do you think you can walk without needing to stop 30 metres. I have hep c ,all my hands looked like bricks which he noticed straight away also my belly is full of fluid he said I have long serious illness whitch is maybe why he focused on that alone .when I asked him did he think I will be made unfit for work he said he does not think I've anything to worry about .fingers crossed


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