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AIBU to expect ATOS to read my form

(38 Posts)
vampirequeen Sat 02-Feb-13 09:28:35

A few weeks ago I completed their form in detail. I told them everything. I made sure that they knew what was wrong with me and how it affects my life. I've had a letter from ATOS telling me to go for a medical in a couple of weeks time. Amongst other things I have agoraphobia. How do they expect me to go to a medical?

annodomini Sat 02-Feb-13 10:01:04

Ask jeni. She knows the ins, outs and iniquities of ATOS.

Barrow Sat 02-Feb-13 10:10:41

I don't think they do read the completed forms, nor any Doctor's letters, merely tick a box to say a form has been sent then tick another box when it has been received back - then move on to the next stage which is sending the claimant for a medical. Useless

absent Sat 02-Feb-13 10:19:46

Sounds like a perfect Catch 22. If you miss the medical, you're in trouble; if you attend, then you have overcome your agoraphobia. B*****ds!

lucid Sat 02-Feb-13 10:52:11

Benefits advice try this website....I found it very useful when filling in my ESA forms, although I haven't heard back yet!

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 16:06:36

Sorry only just seen this thread.
Vampirequeen if you really can't go out unaccompanied! Your GP has to provide a letter to say that this is true and the DWP can arrange for you to have an exam at home!
If you want any more advice from me pm me!smile

numberplease Sat 02-Feb-13 18:37:50

My daughter has to go for an assessment on Monday after filling in her (56 page) ATOS form. She`s worried sick about it, after reading about other folks` experiences with these people. She can walk, without assistance, for just a few yards, can`t do much with her hands because they`re so gnarled with the rheumatoid arthritis, but seems to think that they`ll take away her benefits. She hasn`t worked for nearly 30 years, but would if she could.

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 18:43:28

Would you like to phone me. I can give some simple advice?

Helmar Sat 02-Feb-13 19:11:57

I too have Rheumatoid Arthritis and in October 2012 was finally retired from work through Ill health after struggling to do my job for a long time. I worked for the council and they tried to find other work for me to do but decided that there wasnt anything. In November i had the Atos assessment and then was sent for by the Job Centre who have put me in workers support.
I really dont understand how they think i can work when 2 doctors from occupational health at the council thought i couldnt - and the worry of it all just makes me feel worse.
I hope it works out for those of you that also have go through it.

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 19:20:50

Helmar if you are in the WRAG then they think there is a possibility that you could do some work.were you aware that the support group exists. If you are in the support group you don't have to attend the job centre or engage in work related activities.
You do have a right of appeal. Especially if you were not informed of the support group. Does that help?

numberplease Sat 02-Feb-13 19:52:14

Thank you for the kind offer Jeni, but she`s just about resigned herself to what will be will be, and would not be pleased to know that I had mentioned it on here.

Helmar Sat 02-Feb-13 19:53:30

Thank you Jeni, I am in the workers support group. I was very confused by what the lady was saying to me. She said she was going to be ringing me often but thought that i would also have to go to the Job Centre. To be honest i was in such a state, worry and struggling with the walking that i didnt take it all in.

gracesmum Sat 02-Feb-13 20:00:30

Just a reminder - jeni really does know her way aroung this farcical labyrinth. These people need fighting. DH was sent a new zillion-page assessment form while he was in hospital last year(!) just 3 weeks after winning his case at Tribunal and I filled it in on his behalf as he was 1) bed bound, 2) on drips, 3)certainly no better and in fact considerably worse when the Tribunal agreed his appeal. I decided to pull no punches in my responses on his behalf as at the time he needed full nursing care, and finished by saying that his discharge from hospital was unlikely to be in the foreseeable future but if they wanted to set a date for his assesssment after he was discharged,he would require a home visit as he would not be well enough even to be driven to the assessment centre.
Never heard from them again - result.

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 20:15:51

Helmar I'm PMing you my phone number. If you want you can phone and I'll see if I can help. The law is very tight but often sometimes misapplied!

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 20:33:38

helmar if you are having to go to the centre and having interviews albeit over the phone you are in the work related activities group. Not the support group. It will be limited to one year of benefit and then revert to the income related rate!

vampirequeen Sat 02-Feb-13 21:04:57

I managed to sob to someone on the phone. She suggested I phone back because she couldn't understand me. Of course she couldn't....that's actually on the form if they'd bothered to read it. I can't speak to people esp on the phone. I stammer and stutter and can't get my words out. Finally as I was becoming hysterical she suggested that my DH phone so they could arrange a home visit.

This pressure is too great to bear. Do they know what they're doing? Maybe getting us to kill ourselves makes it easier for them as they don't have to pay us anything.

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 21:17:54

Phone me! I'm up til 10.30!

Helmar Sat 02-Feb-13 22:26:15

Jeni, Thank you so much for your advice. You are very kind, it really helps to speak to someone who knows what they are talking about, I dont think the people at the Job centre have a clue!

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 22:32:45

We sometimes wonder!

Deedaa Sat 02-Feb-13 23:26:17

I do have the dubious honour of having them apologise to me. My husband had to go for an assessment in spite of the fact that they already knew he has a terminal illness. We saw a very nice Romanian doctor who was very sympathetic and said that although she didn't have the final word it was obvious he couldn't work. We then got the letter saying that he had been passed fit for work! I made one of my many phone calls - pressing all the numbers and hanging on and being passed on - and I ended up with a very nice young man who said it didn't sound right at all and said he would speak to people and call me back. He called back very promptly and apologised profusely for the way we had been treated and the way our case had been mishandled. Thankfully we've had a lot of help from the Macmillan Benefits people who always seem to know far more about the system than the Benefits offices do.

jeni Sat 02-Feb-13 23:36:16

Something must have gone wrong.
Terminal illness should not have been called and if they were the ATOS Dr has to say that they are or are not suffering from a TI!
This is horrific
I would complain to my MP!angry

absent Sun 03-Feb-13 07:29:51

Complaining to your MP might possibly achieve something although it's not very likely. It certainly wouldn't if you live in Chingford and your MP was the Nosferatu of the Department of Works and Pensions.

Reading this thread is just horrifying as are some of the things that jeni has mentioned elsewhere. Perhaps the best thing those of us who do not need to claim benefits can do to help is to write in protest to to our MPs. Perhaps if they were deluged with endless complaints from the "able bodied", they might give this iniquitous process some scrutiny. I shall write today.

annodomini Sun 03-Feb-13 17:04:18

Some MPs are keeping a dossier of complaints against Atos.

Deedaa Sun 03-Feb-13 17:46:44

I remember seeing one lady on TV who had been judged fit for work because she could work if she was in a wheelchair - which she had not got!She said that she didn't use a wheelchair because sitting in it all the time would make her less mobile and she would deteriorate even more quickly. Obviously this cut no ice with ATOS. It seems worrying that the person who sees you has no say in the final outcome. Surely the whole point is that someone sees you, talks to you and makes an informed decision. Instead it seems to be someone reading a piece of paper and making a decision based on what the traffic was like on the way to work. (Sums up the whole Government really!)

jeni Sun 03-Feb-13 18:00:59

The test is can you mobilise using any aids.including a wheelchair. And strictly speaking the test is not whether you can work but do you score 15 points!

Just as a matter of interest at least 4. Of the appeal tribunals members are wheelchair bound, and many of us are disabled. Believe me we do work!

I'm not condoning the law, just trying to elucidate it.

It was made by the government we(collectively) elected and was actually started under labour!

I think the main problem has been privatisation and ATOS employing nurses physios and midwives to do the exams.rather than doctors.
With due respect to the nurses etc they are often not equipped to deal with cases. Eg a physio assessing a mental problem

Please don't quote me on any thing I may say on GN as these are my private opinions and not neccessarily those of the tribunal service!