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Atos assessment fail

I heard from DWP that I scored no points and my esa payments were stopped there and then I was told that I needed to sign on to job seekers.

I am apparently not entitled to job seekers allowance as I don't have enough contributions even though I have worked all my life until now they only take the last 6 months and I was on esa for a year so do not qualify.

I requested a copy of my assessment and it was a joke, half the things I said were either ignored or twisted and so I have sent it to my local mp , I wrote notes on the report Where things were not true, printed off "what is vasculitis" and also steroids and what the side effects are.

I am 60 years old and live with my husband , we still have a mortgage to pay and now only one wage .

I have a couple of small pensions from working at various companies so I am accessing them otherwise we will not be able to live here anymore.

I never realised how bad this government was until all this happened, the stress is making my condition worse . I will not take this lying down I need to be strong and fight on but sometimes it is difficult when you want to just curl up in a ball and stay in bed.

I will let you know how things are going and if anyone out there is in the same situation please let me know and we can join forces.

16 Replies

I'm sorry you are having an awful time lynabelle and I hope that someone is able to help you.

Have you thought of contacting Citizens Advice? They are very helpful and cover everything

Good luck lynabelle


I don't know a lot about it as I have lived abroad for several years - but I seem to remember seeing that if you appeal they have to pay the allowance until the appeal is heard and appeals often succeed.


Atos just gets worse and worse. The advice to see CAB is sound. They will help you to appeal the decision. Does your Local Authority have a Welfare Rights officer? They can also help with appeals. PMPro is right - appeals do frequently succeed which just goes to show how inefficient the whole process is.


Hi Lynabelle,

So sorry you are having such trouble, it is the last thing you need right now.

There was an interesting thread on the vasculitis forum a few weeks ago headed ESA latest, it had lots of good advice. Apparently there is a website which is really useful and can guide you through the appeal process.

I don't know if this will be helpful but I successfully claimed DLA for one of my children due to severe allergies, asthma etc. the trick I found was always to think of their worst symptoms and really emphasise that when filling in forms etc.

CAB are really useful as well but I think they are groaning under the weight of appeals at the moment as ATOS appear to be be chronically inneficent and awful.

I hope you manage to get something sorted out soon.

Best wishes


1 like

Exactly, Keyes. Until recently, I was a CAB adviser and used to help clients to complete those awful application forms. My advice was always to say how they were affected when they were having a really bad day. Never make light of your symptoms. All the more so if you have to appear at an appeals tribunal.



Follow this link:

Read Tim\'s experience and guide to state benefits

The following is a personal account of Tim, a PMR sufferer's experience with the Benefits system. Tim can be contacted through this website and is willing to help anyone with a benefits problem. Please email us and we will pass your message on. If you are experiencing a benefits problem see also the Middlesbrough Welfare Rights Officer Handout under "Health and Well being". If your local council has a Welfare Rights Dept they will also assist you in claiming.


hun I do feel for you I have been fighting now for over a year now and my ESA has now stopped I just jet my DLA and they still say im fit my doctor said no way can I work I would end up in hospital I said I might do that then sue atos and the doctor and I have been told I would win as I have a good case if they force me to work plus no one would get insured to imploy me


Please take a look at the benefitsandwork website which i have been a member of for over 3 years. You can browse a good part of the site for free otherwise it's £19.95 annually. I used it successfully in Jan this year when changing from Inc Ben to ESA and was awarded the support group without attending a medical.

Make sure you fill in each question /section as explicitly as you can highlighting how your illness impacts on daily life both physically & emotionally, what it stops you doing and the help you need. Also useful if GP or health care professional who knows you can add a short letter for you to attach to your appeal, failing that get some of your medical letters from the surgery to incorporate. Write a letter about yourself and how your illness affects day & night.

am sure you will find the benefitsandwork website invaluable. It is run by a lawyer and a team of experts and it will take you step by step in the process of filling out the questionnaires and also preparation for the appeals.

Wishing you all the best and stay strong



hi Lynnabelle I am so sorry to hear you are having problems with the DWP. I also had this problem when I was working many moons ago. I was off work for 9 months with severe sciatica ( which I have had for 46 years) But this got very bad hence the time off work. I was told my benefits would stop after seeing the benefits doctor and I would have to seek work Although I did have a job . I went to the CAB and they went with me to the tribunal after I appealed. I won my case and all my arrears was paid to me So I say you should appeal but with the support of the CAB Good luck and hopefully you will be coming back to give us better news Cynthia (Cynbil) x x


Going through the whole process with the DWP, ATOS, the questionnaires that are tiring, repetitive and mentally draining to fill out, just adds so much more stress and worry that none of need. Still got to get through the DLA one but no idea when.

Thats great that the CAB go to the tribunals, that has got to be worth looking into Lynabelle as it will help to take some of the stress off you or even if they help you put a case together.

Will you keep us posted of any developments and if you want to let off steam, i am a good listener. Fell free to message me.

Cezzie x



Hi, I also scored zero points and going for my appeal on the 17th of December, im not holding out much hope, I do know another two people who have similar illness who won their assessment but are both single ladies, im beginning to wonder if you are married and have one wage coming in they don't care about you even if you have worked all your life or maybe im just unlucky, I also don't like the fact I have to go to court for my hearing I feel like a criminal, I am going to look on the website another person suggested to see if if can get any help as I have been to my local CAB but they were not much help. Good luck.


Thank you all for your support it is much appreciated , DWP will not accept a doctors letter and my rhemy won't send a letter as they have to send him a form and they have not requested any information from him at all , although I have appealed through DWP and my local MP ,I have a couple of small pensions that I can get now I am 60 so hopefully this should keep me going until I get my state pension, but I am not going to give up the fight, there are people dying out there because of these heartless people and in 2013 in this country it should not be allowed.

Also went to my doctors and she had received a letter from DWP with a copy of my sick note asking had she signed it or was it forged, she was as appalled as I was and told me to fight them all the way, will keep you all posted and thanks for listening x x


Hello lynabelle. Sorry to hear that you are still having problems with the DWP.. It is dreadful enough to suffer with this horrible condition without having to make them believe that you have got the conditiion and can't work . I know you suffer in the same way as me and there is no way that I could work..I am feeling a little bit easier on Amitriptyline but have only managed to drop half a mg on the prednisolone so far. It seems at the moment that its the Pensioners that are being picked on, its good that you have got your local MP on your side though. Keep fighting and I hope your pain level is easier than when you posted on the Forum a while ago .. I am having an MRI scan this Thursday afternoon to see what's going on with my spine and why I can't walk.. Take care and thinking of you trish 29. ( pat)xx


Hi Pat , good to hear from you , let me know how your MRI scan goes, I am having trouble with my right hip can hardly walk at the moment and even in bed it hurts when I turn have had a chest infection and stomach bug and was really bad for a few weeks so had to have antibiotics , speak to you soon (lynn)


Hi again and I hope your bugs and infections have all gone away? I was really scared last week when I had my flu jab as for the last 2 years I have been I'll after it but I seem to be OK at the moment and next week I have to book in for a pneumonia jab so I hope that goes OK as well..Not keen to have it but have been advised to have it!! This stupid condition gives us such a low immune system so i'd better do as I am advised. Anyway Lynn I forgot to say to you this morning that I hope you Celebrated your 60th Birthday ?and I hope you had a wonderful time.. All the best and keep smiling. Love trish xx


I went for my appeal on the 17th of December and have been refused, like you my ESA payments were stopped after a year last September 10th so am not receiving anything, I have been told by CAB if I go back to job centre to insist on an assessment and not to allow them just to send me out looking for just any work but as I an not entitled to JSA either I don't see much point, so will just have to live on husbands wage for the time being and concentrate on trying to get well before looking for work. I am 58 by the way and worked all my life.


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