A person who says they work at the Tribunals service gives a very plausible explanation for why there are such serious delays in disability benefit decisions.
If this is true, it represents a new low in the corporate stance of ATOS. Is this multinational information technology firm holding the health of sick and disabled people as a bargaining chip in a contract dispute?
Thanks to the facebook page Atos Miracles for spotting this comment to an article posted on the website ‘MoneySavingExpert.com’.
“I actually work in the tribunals office, for DLA, ESA, etc etc, I will be quite honest and tell you that we have had no work at all for the past 6 months, this is why no one are having appeals, or reassessments done. At the end of last year our office recruited and trained, 32 extra staff to deal with appeals, these people have now been dismissed, because of the lack of work, many of the experienced staff in our department have been advised to apply for voluntary redundancy, or apply for a posting in a different department.
The reason why we have no work is because ATOS will not release all the medical files that they have, until their contract has been resolved. ATOS were not up to doing the job, they did not realise how difficult it will be. We have some people on our system that have been waiting for 3/4 years for answers, and we can not do anything about it.
Our bosses told us this morning, that this is going to be like this for at least another 6 months. And in the meantime, the trained staff are leaving for other postings, and when the work does start coming in. There will be no staff capable of doing the job everyone will have to start from scratch. It is so damned annoying, all I do all day is play solitaire on the computer, or read magazines, I want to work, but there is no work to do.
This is the reason why the decisions are being overturned, we know that we do not have the paperwork to fight an appeal, so until things change people are being allowed to keep there benefits.”