The stories that show how fit-for-work assessments are destroying lives

The Conservative government’s ongoing overhaul of the welfare system is discriminating against some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Michael O’Sullivan suffered from depression, anxiety and agoraphobia. Nonetheless, a government disability assessor, employed by Atos, decided that he was fit for work. The 60-year-old Londoner was taken off employment support and put on jobseeker’s allowance. Six months later, O’Sullivan hanged himself.

The Conservative government’s ongoing overhaul of the welfare system is discriminating against some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Over the last few months, there has been a lot of interest in the effects of the government’s fit-for-work test, the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), on the health of benefits claimants. Some are calling for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), who run the scheme, to release data on its impact.

In a report to the DWP, a coroner said that O’Sullivan’s suicide was probably triggered by the fit for work assessment. Some people say that his suicide is a tragic but isolated event. Our research, which will be published in a report early next year, suggests that although tragic, it’s certainly not an isolated case.

We interviewed 28 benefits claimants with mental health problems about their experiences of undergoing the WCA and how it has affected their lives and well-being. We also interviewed three mental health advocacy workers who have been closely involved in supporting and representing people subject to the WCA. Our findings suggest that the assessment and its outcomes place unnecessary stress on those whose mental health is already fragile, and that this can result in a downward spiral of deteriorating mental health and desperation.

Simon’s story

read more here: https://theconversation.com/the-stories-that-show-how-fit-for-work-assessments-are-destroying-lives-50559

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One thought on “The stories that show how fit-for-work assessments are destroying lives

  1. A HEARD A GUY SAYING TO HIS MATE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE BRITISH
    AN PROUD, GOT ME THINKING IT MUST MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS TO DIFFERENT PEPOEL, WHEN A WAS AT SCHOOL A DONE THE PAPERS IN THE MORNING AND THE SACK A PAPERS WAS HEAVER THAN WHAT A GROWN MANS ALLOWED TO LIFT ON A SITE NOW, OUT A SCHOOL RIGHT IN TAE A JOB. WENT ROUND DOORS BUILDING UP ROOFING WORK ENDED UP MY OWN COMPANY DONE WELL BOUGHT A HOUSE, AND YOUS THAT GREW UP WAE ME KNOW THAT A GRAFTED HARD, THEN SCIATICA BAD BACK AN A LOST MY COMPANY. SOON AS A WAS FIT BUT,BUTCHERS UP ANNIESLAND 6 DAYS A WEEK UP AT 5AM HOME AT 6.40PM FOR 8 YEAR. NOT WORKED MUCH LAST COUPLE A YEAR MAINLY MY HEALTH GOT A DISEASE THATS INCURABLE EFFECTS WELL YER WHOLE BODY . LOOKS LIKE A NEVER EVER HAD SCIATICA IT WAS THIS DISEASE THAT Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a long-term (chronic) condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.As well as causing symptoms in your back and spine, AS can also cause inflammation of the joints (arthritis) in other parts of your body, such as your hips and knees. Fatigue is a common symptom of untreated AS. It can make you feel tired and lacking in energy.. WELL THE DOC GIVES ME SICK NOTE SOCIAL AM FIT 2012 THEN 2013 DOC SAYS AM SICK SOCIAL SAY AM NOT SICK AN LAST YEAR THE SAME. THIS YEAR A HAVE RECEVED THE SUM OF £560 two weeks ago universal credit that a must attended college for ect at first a was not happy but i admit that a was enjoying it it was good for me, BUT IN APRIL AS THE SOCIAL SAY A WAS FOUND FIT FOR WORK, THAT MEANS THAT A CANT BE SICK AGAIN.
    WELL THATS INPOSSIBLE WHEN YOUR DEALING WITH A PROGRESSIVE DISEASE THAT CANT BE CURED IT CAN BE TREATED.
    BUT SO FAR A HAVE ONLY BEEN LEFT TO STARVE AN HAVE HADE TO BATTLE THE SOCIAL AS THEY CONTINUE TO DESTROY MY WORLD MY LIFE AN MY MENTAL STATE works out a have had £11.80 a week to live on
    a cant start to tell you the emotional and mental pain so the last few months my health has noticeably deteriorated.Every bit of me is in pain for no reason
    it hurts me to lift a kettel wash my back. Complactions are no surfacing as its being left untreated such as Joint damage the hips and knees to become inflamed. This can damage the affected joints over time, making them painful and difficult to move.
    If a joint becomes particularly damaged, you may need surgery to replace it with an artificial one.Cardiovascular disease
    If you have AS, you may also have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels, such as heart disease and stroke.
    Cauda equina syndrome
    Cauda equina syndrome is a very rare complication of AS that occurs when nerves at the bottom of your spine become compressed (compacted).
    Cauda equina syndrome causes:
    pain or numbness in your lower back and buttocks
    weakness in your legs – which can affect your ability to walkCauda equina syndrome
    Cauda equina syndrome is a very rare complication of AS that occurs when nerves at the bottom of your spine become compressed (compacted).
    Cauda equina syndrome causes:
    pain or numbness in your lower back and buttocks
    weakness in your legs – which can affect your ability to walk. AM experiencing al the above a couldnt make college called my doctor, Was told he is retired
    seen a new doctor, a started to explain the history as he does not know me.
    WHEN SUDDENLY HE CUT ME OF AND SAID ” am not signing you off the social found you fit for work” A REPLYED YES IN APRIL by a person who is not a doctor , he told me that a should find ajob, a tryed to explain the college thing and that without a note they will stop my money, IT WAS CLEARE HE THOUGHT A WAS A SPONGER WASTER. I felt totaly helples at the thought of no money again he even asked what was wrong he never even new what spondylitis was . A LEFT AFTER NO EXAMANITION OR PAIN REILEF ONLY TO GET OUTSIDE AN BURST IN TO TEARS WHEN A GOT HOME A TOOK A ANXIETY ATTACK OR SOMTHING MY EARS MADE A LOUD WHINNING NOISE MY NECK AN FACE STARTED TO TINGLE AND THOUGHT A WAS ABOUT TO COLLAPSE……………………… HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE BRITISH WELL A FUCKING BEAST CHILD MOLESTER GETS 3 MEALS A DAY A WARM BED ON RELEASE THEY FIND HIM A HOME TO PROTECT HIM. A TELL YOU HOW IT FEELS TO BE BRITISH LIKE A 3RD CLASS CITIZEN WHOS NOT WORTH THE SHIT ON YOUR SHOE CAMERON MAY ALL YOUS POLITICANS ROT IN HELL SEE AM ALREADY LIVING

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