Bed-ridden stroke victim told to use food banks after DWP admin error leaves him without benefits

‘We’re at the lowest of the low. Nobody knows where to turn’

A bed-ridden stroke victim was told to use food banks after an administrative error left him and his wife facing extreme poverty.

Alan Buchanan, 65, has been bed bound after suffering several major seizures since he had his first stroke 15 years ago, and the once successful businessman is now entirely dependent on his wife Heather and the occasional visits of carers.

The couple, from the small Scottish town of Callander, near Loch Lomond, said they now fear homelessness after their benefits were stopped because of an administrative error.

Earlier this year, Ms Buchanan said an inspector from Atos — a company contracted to provide independent assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) — arrived two hours early for an assessment with Mr Buchanan, despite her phoning and specifically telling them not to arrive before 11am.

“A lady came to the house at about nine in the morning. She said she was from Atos. I explained to her that I had asked for an appointment at 11am, because Alan’s carers are here before that,” Ms Buchanan told The Independent. 

“I did ask her if she’d like to come in, basically to show her that he was there, in his bed. She could see his wheelchair and everything else sitting about because we live in a very small flat. She said ‘no it’s alright, we’ll reschedule’. Then she went away.”

But Ms Buchanan said the inspector never called to rearrange the appointment and two weeks later, a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) arrived, cancelling Mr Buchanan’s benefits.

It said they would be getting nothing in their PIP, because they hadn’t provided “a good enough reason” for Mr Buchanan, who cannot get dressed or go to the toilet independently, “not attending” to the assessment.

Three days later, Ms Buchanan received another letter from the DWP saying her husband’s Attendance Allowance, designed to help with personal care for disabled people aged 65 or over, would also be stopping.

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/stroke-victim-alan-buchanan-food-banks-dwp-bedridden-admin-error-no-benefits-callander-work-pensions-a7706826.html

More people come forward in the DWP ‘Kill Yourself’ scandal

On 28 February, The Canary reported the case of a woman who claimed an assessor working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asked her why she hadn’t killed herself yet.

Since we published that report, several people have approached us claiming the same thing happened to them. In this follow-up, we are publishing several of their testimonies. We have also spoken to Atos, the company which carries out assessments for the DWP. And in a separate report, we have discussed these claims with the President of the British Psychological Society, Peter Kinderman.

Testimonies

Several people contacted us with similar stories to Alice Kirby’s. Most have asked that we do not mention them by name. The majority of them said they feared it could affect their claims.

Alison:

I was asked by a woman at the Atos PIP interview: ‘Why haven’t you killed yourself yet?’ I remember it very clearly. I left the room in tears and had my PIP cut. I was too afraid to complain in case they took all the money off me.

read more here: https://www.thecanary.co/2017/03/07/more-people-come-forward-in-the-dwp-kill-yourself-scandal/

 

Atos try to interrogate unconscious hospital patient over non-attendance at benefit assessment

This is sickening. It comes to us courtesy of our friends on the Atos Miracles Facebook page:

I have a neuromuscular disease and the medication I take means I have virtually no immune system. This photo [above] is of me lying in ICU battling life-threatening sepsis.

ATOS had the audacity to actually call the intensive care unit and demand to speak to me about why I wasn’t attending my assessment (despite the fact my mum and husband had told them I was fighting for my life).

The staff were horrified and told them how dare they ring and try and interrogate an unconscious patient.

Read more: http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/02/04/atos-try-to-interrogate-unconscious-hospital-patient-over-non-attendance-at-benefit-assessment/

PIP investigation: Welfare expert says two-thirds of appeals involve lying assessors

Welfare rights experts have produced evidence that backs up the findings of a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation into the lies told by healthcare professionals in their disability benefit assessment reports.

Last week, the two-month investigation revealed how assessors working for the outsourcing companies Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – had repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.

read more here : http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/pip-investigation-welfare-expert-says-two-thirds-of-appeals-involve-lying-assessors/

Private firms pocket more than £500m from hated disability benefit assessments

Two private firms responsible for carrying out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have pocketed more than half a BILLION pounds of taxpayers cash, despite thousands of “inaccurate assessments” being later overturned in favour of claimants.

Data collected by The Mirror reveals Atos and Capita have made more than £500m from Personal Independence Payment assessments, since the new disability benefit was introduced to replace Disability Living Allowance in 2013.

read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/private-firms-pocket-more-than-500m-from-hated-disability-benefit-assessments/

Private firms rake in half a BILLION pounds for cruel disability benefit assessments

Atos and Capita earn the fees assessing people for PIP despite thousands having their cases overturned on appeal

Fit-to-work firms Atos and Capita have earned more than £500m of taxpayer cash running a hated Tory scheme to assess people for disability benefits.

Analysis of Government data by the Mirror shows the two firms were paid £211m for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in the first 11 months of 2016.

That was up from £198m in 2015, £91m in 2014 and £7m in 2013, the year PIP launched.

PIP is designed to help disabled people live independently and is replacing the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Yet despite the assessments’ £507m price tag, thousands of decisions based on them are being overturned on appeal.

Figures to September 2016 show 61% of 90,000 claimants who appealed against a PIP decision at a tribunal won their case.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/private-firms-rake-half-billion-9515131#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Other

 

According to both ATOS and DWP a person is NOT disabled if the following apply.

This was posted on the DPAC facebook page:

According to both ATOS and DWP a person is NOT disabled if the following apply…

I) you wear clean clothes

I) you brush your hair

I) you make eye contact

I) your clothes appear to have been ironed

I) you have painted nails

I) your hair is dyed

I) you are of average build

I) you have your hair styled

I) you can open a bag

I) you have a clear complexion

I) you can talk

The list goes on. I would love to know what ATOS and DWP say a disabled person looks like as I’m sure there’s laws against such a thing. DISCRIMINATION!!!

dwp letter brush hair.jpg