I can’t even get adaptions to my house till this is sorted out


From the facebook page ‘Atos Miracles’

Last July I had a accident which resulted in my being unable to walk probably for life but defently the next 3-4 years .. You (the DWP) received my application in October and the specialists had returned my paperwork in November. I’m STILL WAITING for a assessment.  Quite why I need this is a mystery to me given that the doctors will confirm I won’t walk anytime soon. I’ve been ringing since January and am currently waiting for a manager from atos to ring. I have no wheelchair or real way of moving about the reason I’m banking on this is I have no wheelchair to get around as the NHS no longer supply chairs. WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG?  its clear I need help and until this is sorted I can’t even get any adaptions to my house to help me out . SHAME ON YOU.  I’d understand if I wasn’t in this mess but that’s what this system is here for.  Please get back to me with some sort of reply this is now nearly 6 months just for a assessment.

From Call Boys to Strippers & Grinders … Jobs Advertised at the Jobcentre!

The ramblings of a former DWP Civil Servant ...

Badger [5491]

Ball grinder [8125]

Bandyman [8111]

Batman [6231]

Beater’s assistant [8121]

Beater-up [8111]

Behinder [8117]

Belly roller [8114]

Blanket raiser [8113]

Body mounter [8132]

Boner [5431 5433]

Boring engineer [8123]

Bottom filler [5413]

Bottomer [8121 8125 5413]

Box hand [9134 9139 5421]

Bruiser [5213 also Bruiser (leather dressing)]

Bumper [8113 8122 8125]

Burster [8122]

Butt suspender [8114]

Call boy [6215]

Can dodger [8113]

Carpenter-diver [5315]

Chick sexer [9119]

Chopperman [8121]

Doper [8114, 8139]

Duffer [9139]

Flasher [5491]

Fluffer [8114]

Drifter [8122, 8123]

Eye puncher [8125]

False twister [8113]

Farmer’s wife [9111]

Fat boiler [8114]

Fish nobber [5433]

Hanger-on [8122, 9141]

Hemp cutter [8113]

Hooker [8113, 8117, 9139]

Humper [9139]

Pig dehairer [5431]

Pouncer [5419]

Puffer [8139]

Puller-off [9121, 9139]

Ring doffer [8113]

Ransacker [8133]

Ripper [8122]

Skull breaker [8117]

Slugger [8119, 8139]

Skiver [8114, 8129, 5413]

Smearer [5419]

Sniffer [8133

Sponger [5491]

Stripper and grinder [8129]

Swinger [8113]


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Black hole fears as Atos ends ‘fit-to-work’ contract early

French outsourcing firm Atos has walked away from a contract to assess whether benefit claimants are fit to work.

Senior industry sources warned that the Government would not find anyone prepared to take on the £100-million-a-year contract. They suggested the Government would be forced to pay a “substantial premium” to any new contractor.

Officials in the DWP are believed to be talking to two other companies, Capita and the American outsourcing firm Maximus, about taking over. It is understood that they want to split the contract up with the possibility of two or more companies sharing the assessments.

However, sources with knowledge of the assessment programme predicted the department would “struggle to get anyone to do it on anywhere near the same terms”. The pointed to the reputational damage done to Atos as a result of its involvement in the contract and changes to the complexity of the assessments – which meant any new entrant would charge much more to take on the work. Maximus hinted that it would be unlikely to bid for the contract on the existing terms.

The Government also became embroiled in a dispute with Atos after Mike Penning, Minister for Disabled People, suggested that ministers had been responsible for the early end of the contract. “They haven’t pulled out actually, we’ve removed them from the contract,” he said. “This is not them walking away.”

However, sources close to the company dismissed this. “People don’t usually pay a fine if they’ve been sacked,” they said. “Atos went to the Government to negotiate its way out of the contract, not the other way around.”

Atos is understood to have become increasingly unhappy with the terms of the work capability assessment contract and the public anger associated with it. The company said that last year there were on average 163 instances per month of staff being abused or assaulted, culminating in a week of protests in February. Jenny Gulliford, of The Work Foundation, said another problem facing any new provider would be the costs associated with taking over the contract.

“I can imagine it would be more expensive because of the administrative costs of having to set it up for such a short period of time,” she said.

“The speed at which it’s likely to be set up is something I do worry about. We’ve had previous contracts which have been set up very quickly, like the work programme, which did take a long time to settle down and for outcomes to improve.”

Gillian Guy, of Citizens Advice, added: “The work capability assessment is broken and innocent people are caught in the middle. Atos terminating its contract is not going to result in an overnight improvement in support for sick and disabled people. We need urgent root-and-branch reform of this whole system.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said it would never comment on the value of contracts.

by Emily Duggan in the independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/black-hole-fears-as-atos-ends-fittowork-contract-early-9219832.html

63 weeks on esa assessment rate and still waiting for a work capability assessment.

from the Facebook Page ‘Atos Miracles’

“63 weeks on esa assessment rate and still waiting for a work capability assessment.

Aatos sent a nice doctor round with Nigerian medical services on his bag . And then I lost my DLA mobility for PTSD as the doctor did not take any information given to him and twisted what I said. When I read the doctors medical report I was absolutely incensed with anger at the total bullshit he had wrote. I remember him shaking my hand as he left ;  if I had know the lying and crap he put in I would have headbutted him. So I had my DLA taken away. Complained to Atos and it was decided the doctors report was not good enough. So I’m going to a tribunal.

Im now in complete debt and being hounded on the phone by companies I owe money 2.  Had my phone suspended so cant contact mental health team when I need help. Now surviving by wonga loan and food banks. Gone without heating, electric food. Life’s a fucking struggle at the moment and why am I struggling because of Atos taking its time. I would have never believed one could have so much hardship inflicted on people who are ill. But that’s what this government are doing to people, starving them hounding them, messing with peoples anxiety and depression and forcing people into suicide. Its a fucking outrage and I cant believe its happening in my own country. And Atos have the cheek to say they want out off the WCA coz there staff are getting death threats, that’s a fucking insult to all the people Atos hounded to their deaths. I’m lucky I have people from Mind helping me without them I don’t know where i’d be . Any way fuck Atos and fuck Iian Duncan Smith.”

Atos is out: Government seeks new company to carry out fit for work tests

(thanks to Martha Tulip for pointing me to this)
The government has announced it will be seeking a new company to carry out disability assessments, replacing controversial French outsourcing company Atos.

Minister for disabled people Mike Penning said he was “pleased that Atos will not receive a single penny of compensation from the taxpayer for early termination.” In fact, Atos made a “substantial financial settlement” to the government, he added.

Atos has repeatedly come under fire during its tenure, with Labour MP Dennis Skinner describing Atos as a “cruel heartless monster”. There have been questions over the application of their tests, with claims people are being wrongly recommended for work, or put through stressful medical interviews Charities have branded the test “farcical” and “hugely flawed.” Meanwhile Labour has repeatedly called for the firm to be stripped of its contract, accusing it of making too many mistakes after 42 per cent of appeals against the DWP were upheld. The government has admitted as many as 158,300 of the assessments wrongly branded people fit for work.

Deputy Chief Executive at deaf blind charity Sense, Richard Kramer, said that more needed to be done to ensure that the next provider was fit for work.

“There needs to be a root and branch reform of the system to ensure disabled people are judged fairly on their ability to work,” he said.

 “The current points-based test is simply not responsive enough to people’s individual circumstances and fails to take into account all of the factors that may limit their ability to work. Ending Atos’ contract will not fix all the underlying problems that led to so many people appealing their work capability assessment decisions.”

Ursula Morgenstern, CEO of UK Atos said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the Government to allow us to exit this contract early and we remain committed to delivering essential services to the UK Government as a strategic supplier.

“We have supported and been flexible in implementing all the changes asked of us from the reviews of the Work Capability Assessment process.”

The DWP said the aim of the new contract would be to drive up the number of assessments and cut waiting times.

However Atos Healthcare will continue to deliver the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in Scotland, north of England, London and south of England.  This is separate from the Work Capability Assessment contract, which is used when the government decides whether people should get disability benefits because their ability to work is affected.

read the rest of this article by Felicity Morse on 27th March in the Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/atos-is-out-government-seeks-new-company-to-carry-out-fit-for-work-tests-9218505.html

The annual benefits cap – Diane Abbot’s speech to Parliament.

Any member of the public watching this debate this afternoon and listening to people jeer, laugh, smirk and joke might imagine that some Members of this House were playing a game. Well, I am rising to say to the House that this is not a game; this is about people’s lives.
Whether they be elderly people who are dependent on some of the age-related benefits that will fall under the cap, the disabled or people in low-paid work who depend on the system of tax credits, this is not a game; this is people’s lives. If it is really the position of Government Members that poor people should be made to live on even less, they should at least have the grace to be dignified about it, and not turn it into a game.
I put it to Government Members and to those on my own Front Bench that social security and people’s lives should not be made a matter of short-term political positioning.
Everyone in the House wants to bring down welfare spending, because welfare spending is the price of Government and social failure. The Chancellor talked as if he were some brave warrior wreaking vengeance on an army of “Benefits Street” layabouts. The reality for British people is very different.
Just this week, we saw 1,500 people queuing for three hours for a low-paid job at Aldi. The picture Government Members like to paint of the British people and what is happening in the benefit system is false, misleading and derogatory, yet it is feeding through to public attitudes.
The public thinks that 41% of the benefits bill goes to the unemployed. In fact, it is only 3% of the benefits bill. The public thinks that 27% of benefits are claimed fraudulently. In fact, only 0.7% is so claimed. The truth is that 80% of the people who claim jobseekers allowance—those so-called “Benefits Street” layabouts—only claim it for less than a year.
There is no credit to MPs if they constantly talk in a derogatory way about people who claim benefits when, at any given point in our lives, we may be dependent on social security—be it child benefit, benefits for the elderly or in-work benefits.
This benefits cap is arbitrary and bears no relationship to need, as our benefits system should. It does not allow for changing circumstances—rents going up and population rising—and will make inequality harder to tackle.
There are ways to cut welfare. We could put people back to work, introduce a national living wage, build affordable homes and have our compulsory jobs guarantee. An arbitrary cap is the wrong way in which to go and sends out the wrong message.
The Chancellor does not say many things that I think are correct, but he is correct to say that voting for this cap locks us into the coalition’s cuts. I say to the House that the issue of social security should not be about political positioning.
As the months turn into years, people will be coming to our advice surgeries wanting explanations for totally arbitrary and counter-productive cuts. Will we say that it was a game we were playing with the Chancellor one afternoon in March?
Our welfare system should be based on the facts and on need. Whatever short-term political advantage people think is gained by voting for this cap, it is far outweighed by what is problematic, so, no, I will not be voting for this cap in the Lobby tonight.

Benefits and Work Newsletter: DWP Use Morecambe and Wise To Defend PIP Disaster


In perhaps the most famous Morecambe and Wise sketch ever, as Morecambe mangles Greig’s piano concerto, Andre Previn protests: “You’re playing all the wrong notes.”

But Morecambe grabs him by the lapels and snaps back: “I’m playing all the right notes . . . but not necessarily in the right order.”

It’s a forty year old sketch. But Benefits and Work can reveal that it was dusted off for use at a televised meeting of the Public Accounts Committee about Personal Independence Payment (PIP) last week.

First Lisa Coleman, senior vice president at Atos, looking opulent in pearls, repeatedly denied accusations that Atos had lied in their PIP tender document about how many assessment centres their partner organisations had made available. References in their bid document to contractual commitments couldn’t possibly be understood to mean that there were any sort of . . . well, contracts, she argued.

Then it…

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Benefits assessment led to woman’s suicide says watchdog

The way a woman was assessed for benefits led to her suicide less than a month later, according to a mental health watchdog.

The woman had a history of depression and was on significant medication, but scored zero points in a Work Capability Assessment (WCA), carried out by Atos.

A Mental Welfare Commission report said it could see no other factor “in her decision to end her life”.

The Department for Work and Pensions said correct procedures were followed.

The woman, who is identified only as Miss DE, was in her early 50s and had been out of work for just under two years due to stress-related depression when she was assessed for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). ESA replaced incapacity benefit as part of changes to the benefits system, introduced by the UK government in 2007.

Miss DE did not receive a self-assessment questionnaire and no evidence was requested from her psychiatrist or GP.

The doctor who conducted the hour-long assessment for Atos, on behalf of the DWP, concluded that Miss DE showed “no evidence that she has a significant disability of mental health function” and she was notified by letter that she had scored zero points in the assessment on 9 December 2011.

When a welfare rights officer informed Miss DE that this would mean her £94.25 per week incapacity benefit would be reduced to a Jobseekers Allowance of £67.50 per week she became very upset and said she did not know how she was going to pay her mortgage.

She took an overdose on New Year’s Eve.

“This lady had a lot to look forward to,” said the chief executive of the MWC, Dr Donald Lyons. “She was getting married. She was being treated. She was undertaking voluntary work. She had a good social network. There wasn’t anything else which we could identify that would lead us to believe that there was any other factor in her life that resulted in her decision to end her life.”

When a DWP representative analysed the process, he told the MWC that the steps taken showed “nothing untoward.”

The MWC said a survey of psychiatrists conducted as part of its investigation found that 13% reported that at least one of their patients had attempted suicide as a result of the assessment process.

A total of 75% said they had not been asked by the DWP or Atos to take part in benefit assessments, although the majority said their patients had asked them to provide medical evidence.  About 85% of the psychiatrists said that the benefits assessment had led to patients needing more frequent appointments.

read the rest of this article by Eleanor Bradford on the BBC Scotland website here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26740651

Tory blocks food bank because ‘he can’t get a restaurant on a Saturday’

A Tory councillor has cited full restaurants as evidence that his borough doesn’t need another food bank

With Conservatives in Crawley ignoring the findings of the council’s Deprivation Scrutiny Panel — which suggested a food bank be set up at the town hall – Cllr Liam Marshall-Ascough said:

“People aren’t in poverty in terms of going without food. You try booking a restaurant in Crawley on a Friday or Saturday night. You can’t do it.”

It sounds like Cllr Marshall-Ascough would get on with government minister Lord ‘charities are to blame for food banks’ Freud.

From Politicalscrapbook, 26th March 2014: http://politicalscrapbook.net/2014/03/tory-blocks-food-bank-because-he-cant-book-restaurant-on-saturday/

Going By This, Capita Aren’t Much Better Than ATOS

Same Difference

Spotted on Facebook.

If you wonder why I’m sharing, please see the headline.

this is the email i sent to capita today

i wish to bring to your attention the way my wife has been treated by capita, her first contact was to receive a letter dated 19 December 2013 stating a home visit had been arranged for between 11& 16 november 2013, this would have been highly impossible unless you have a time machine.

on contacting you reference this a home visit was arranged for 16 January 2014 at 10.00 am, but at 09.40 am on the said date my wife received a phone call telling her that the appointment had been cancelled, with no reason given.

on contacting you again an appointment was made for 24 February 2014 at Greyfriars Court which my wife duly attended, where we were informed that her results would be forwarded to DWP/PIP…

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