Has anyone had problems with Atos?

UK only - I have been disabled all my life with DLA (lifetime award) and an adapted motability car. Because sometimes everything goes pear shaped at the same time the DWP has revoked my DLA (they are in the middle of a program to reassess lifetime awardees with more stringent criteria) and I am having to apply for PIP in order to try & keep my adapted car. I have been sent an ATOS assessment date at a centre 90 mile round trip away. They did not assign a home visit even though my GP has told them of my chemo and inability to drive that distance at the mo. They say you should be able to travel outside of the actual treatment days - if I disagree I have to prove it. If I miss 2 appts they will automatically disallow my claim and take the car back to Motability- if they do that I can't get to the hospital (remote rural area), can't care for my blind mum in nearby sheltered accom, can't leave the house as there is no winter village taxi service -I've was made redundant 10 weeks ago so can't buy this or another adapted car with hoist etc. I'm terrified and worried that this stress will bring the cancer back. Has anyone else been through this process please? How do you "prove" that chemo has the side effects that mean I'm too ill to drive such a distance?

10 Replies

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  • I've no experience with this awful situation you've been forced in, however I vaguely remember from reading on the Facebook ovarian cancer group that I'm also in that ladies in your situation found great help from MacMillan. Give them a ring ASAP as you should not be battling this additional stress on your own. It's cruel to expect you to travel so far.

    I will also have a look and see what details I can find from those Facebook posts and will put them here when I find them.

    Edit: Citizens Advice was a great help apparently - so please contact them too

    Take care

    Clare xx

  • Hi I took your advice and spoke to Citizens Advice- we rang Atos - they insisted they would need proof of inability to travel to arrange a home assessment- just being on chemo isn't enough but while the CAB were helping me gather that evidence from my Macmillan nurse, GP etc I've suddenly had a letter saying they've decided I don't need an assessment after all and have finished thier report without even seeing me - bizarre! And I'm not sure if it's good news or bad LOL x

  • Good to hear that CitizensAdvice were helpful and I really hope that you get a good outcome - this additional stress is so wrong.

    Clare

    X

  • Alibee, I am afrId that I don't have any advice for you on this matter but just wanted to acknowledge your email and suggest that you perhaps co tact citizens advice bureau. Given your situation the DWP are being totally inconsiderate and anyone with a bit of common sense will see that immediately.

    Wishing you some resolution to this horrible situation.

    Jenny

  • Hello, where are you being treated, do they have a Maggies Centre? The benefits officer there helped massively with my PIP, alternatively a Macmillan benefits officer as already suggested. They can call the office for you.

    Hope you manage to get help.

    Hugs, Lisa x

  • I would contact your local Macmillan centre for their advice how to tackle this as has been suggested above. I know some days of my chemo I hardly wanted to drive nine miles let alone more and with the thought of a stressful assessment at the end of the journey its preposterous. Hope you get it sorted and they either come to you or meet you somewhere more local. All the best! Helen

  • There are several things you can do:

    Put in a formal complaint to the DWP Complaints: PIP They must respond within a one week time frame.

    Contact your local Citizens Advise Centre. Explain your situation. You could ask them to phone you at home if you cannot attend in person after making an appointment.

    Complain also to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. There is a department that deals with complaints about the DWP Benefits.

    However, please attend your appointment. 45 miles each way for a disabled person is thoughtless and unkind. However they do not care about that. I would suggest you pay for a taxi - they have to refund this money so keep a receipt from the taxi driver. It may take a month for you to get it refunded. Take your wheel-chair and DEFINETLY SOMEONE TO ASSIST YOU. Especially if you have to go upstairs. This is what they are looking for. It is what is called ' play them at their own game ' Even though you do deserve PIP They find ways of how not to give you PIP.

    Get a supporting letter from your GP and anyone who supports you with your disability.

    It is very stressful and totally unfair.

    You can google PIP and guidelines for applying for PIP. This will help.

    I wish you all the best

  • Having a relation who works for DWP they said dig your heels in and say you are unable to travel that far. They are short staffed so pushing for attendance. Macmillan are definitely great at negotiating with them

    LA

  • I'm on this site because of my sister, so I don't have OC, but I am disabled and have recently lost my Motability car. I'm currently appealing the decision.

    You need to check the information about the centre they are sending you to, a lot of the centres in my area don't have onsite parking and if you struggle from the nearest carpark you're probably already in danger of losing your car unless you use a scooter or wheelchair, I met a lady at my doctors surgery who lost her allowance that way, even though she'd been laid up for days after the appointment, I don't know how she got on with her appeal as I haven't seen her again yet.

    I strongly recommend you take someone with you! Get them to take notes, especially about what tests they carry out as there are likely to be inaccuracies in the report and if that someone can drive, get them to drop you as close to the entrance as possible so save you struggling. The assessments are stressful enough without having to deal with the pain of overdoing things too much.

    If they won't give you a more suitable appointment, it's worth getting your MP involved, one of my friends did that, she got an appointment at a closer centre to the one they were originally going to send her to.

    Good luck x

  • From what I read in the press, the question should be has anyone NOT had a problem with ATOS? I also recommend I, Daniel Blake to make everyone more upset and angry about it.

    So sorry to hear of the even more challenging times you're having.

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