Atos Medicals - Questions, Answers and Support

Discussion in 'UK politics, current affairs and news' started by Zabo, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. WouldBe

    WouldBe non smoking

    Had a letter from tribunals service on Sat acknowledging my request for a statement of reasons and copy of notes. Apparently they need to put it before a judge to decide if I get it or not. WTF happened to the data protections act / freedom of information? :mad:
     
  2. iona

    iona makes George Orwell look like a dalek

    Just panic-written my mand rec letter (I thought I had til the 6th to decide. Nope, that's when they sent my backpay - I have until the 2nd) :facepalm:

    Still not sure whether I actually want to appeal, still no clue what I actually should be getting...

    :shrug:
     
  3. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I think that's a question worth asking them.
     
  4. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    Interesting interview on Radio 4 this lunch hour. I didn't catch the start of it, so not sure what programme or the exact time but about 12.15 ish - an ex Atos assesssor was saying what he thought about the system.

    One of the reasons he resigned was he said they routinely overbooked appointments by upto 40% and had to send people home, and he saw the pain, anxiety and the unaffordable travel expense that this caused and didn't think it was right. Hummph, that explains a lot.
     
    equationgirl and chainsawjob like this.
  5. Libertad

    Libertad Would it help?

    Here it is:
    BBC Radio 4 - You and Yours, Personal Independence Payment, Christmas decorations, Pokies
     
  6. xsunnysuex

    xsunnysuex Life is a horizontal fall.

    My brother has just been awarded enhanced pip for daily living. And standard rate for mobility after his stroke.
     
  7. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    so glad to hear it!
     
    xsunnysuex likes this.
  8. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    That's a fab bit of news Sue, hope he feels a bit better now x well done you x
     
  9. xsunnysuex

    xsunnysuex Life is a horizontal fall.

    He does thank you. Personally I feel he should have received enhanced for both. But it was awarded for 3yrs. And he's received a nice back payment. I think he's happy to leave it as it is. I don't really think he's strong enough to deal with anything else right now.
     
  10. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    It's a start, he can always revisit the issue when it's up for renewal and he hopefully feels stronger.
     
  11. WouldBe

    WouldBe non smoking

    Got round to doing it yesterday. 2900 comments so far. :)

    Sister got her statement of reasons from her tribunal the other day. From what she can make out unless you have been diagnosed with a problem by a consultant and are continuously under their care then that problem doesn't count. WTF? :confused::facepalm::mad:
     
  12. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Hardly getting over it.

    Sadly, this has been a position that the DWP has increasingly enforced, so not only do you have to deal with DWP bureaucracy, you also have to convince your GP to refer you, AND you have to get a favourable report from the consultant IF your GP refers you.
     
  13. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Me too. What a catalogue of people being unfairly treated, lied about, and given the wrong decisions, just from reading a few of the comments :mad:

    WTF indeed :( Fuckers.
     
    equationgirl likes this.
  14. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Glad to hear your news about your brother xsunnysuex
     
  15. xsunnysuex

    xsunnysuex Life is a horizontal fall.

    Thank you x
     
  16. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Missed this. So hard to know what to do and whether it's a gamble. I guess you can always pull out of the process (before the appeal stage) if you decide against it. At least you have that option now to go for it, or not. It's a headfuck. Have you/are you able to get any further advice on whether you've been put on the right level?
     
  17. iona

    iona makes George Orwell look like a dalek

    My keyworker listened to my concerns regarding whether or not I should appeal and said "well, I'll support you with whatever you decide"

    I do still think I should have been awarded more than two points for "needing prompting" to mix with people, but a part of me feels uneasy about getting enhanced rate (which two more points would mean - I originally got 10 points for daily living). I feel like a fraud putting myself in the same group as people who are much more disabled than me, even though I think I probably meet the descriptors. Having an "invisible disability" (there's other stuff but autism is my main issue) and being able-bodied make it harder too - not being able to cook because of arthritis is easier to explain than not cooking (or taking more than three hours to chop some veg for pasta sauce, like I did the other day) because of executive dysfunction and burnout.

    Sod's law, this month has been almost all good days so far :rolleyes: which is unusual - normally I reach burnout in a week or less, if I'm busy. So of course I feel even more of a hypocrite than usual atm :facepalm: Gonna try keeping a diary of what I struggled with or couldn't do on my bad days, because there's no way I could write an appeal letter in that state and I think it's easy to forget when I'm doing ok.

    Sorry, massive brain dump there :oops: But yeah, just keeping my options open for now and I can always decide not to appeal the mand rec.

    Are you still waiting on your appeal for not showing up when they wouldn't give you a date you could get to?
     
  18. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    I totally relate to what you say iona about feeling a hypocrite when you have good days/even weeks or whole months. I am the same, my condition fluctuates a lot. People see (or hear about) me out and about, able to do things, and will not understand or believe there are long periods when I cannot manage doing any of these things. It's invisible as you say, and when I am badly suffering from symptoms, people just won't often get to know about it because I don't go out, or post on the internet or speak to anybody. Yes on my bad days there's no way I could write an appeal either. And I find it hard to remember how bad things get when I am having a 'good' phase. Yes, when you compare yourself to others who might be given the same rate but they are more 'obviously' disabled by their conditions, it feels like you're being a fraud, but I guess it's very individual how much a condition affects your ability to do things, and it's much less easy to quantify that (or for others to observe that) for a non-physical disability/condition.

    A few days ago I got a letter inviting me to a new face to face assessment :eek: (At first I thought it was a tribual date, because it was from Independent Assessment Services who I'd never heard of. But it turns out that's Atos's new name (cos Atos has now got such a bad rep I guess). So from this I'm guessing I have successfully appealed :confused: !! Or the appeal was thrown out by the tribunal people as the ridiculous waste of time that it was :facepalm:

    Of course the new date I was sent was in exactly the same place I told them I couldn't attend last time :facepalm: I have rearranged (the letter said I could), to one that is nearer to where I live, and have got someone to come with me. Both times I've had to rearrange, there have been appointments available nearer to where I live, and sooner (fuck that!) than my original appointment :hmm: So their claim that the computer just spits out the appointment that's soonest and is within 1 1/2 hours travel (my original ones would have taken me longer than that), and that's why you don't always get the nearest assessment centre, is clearly spurious/bollocks.
     
  19. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    I've now got the letter confirming the details, and it's not fucking where I thought it was going to be! I'd asked for an appointment in the city nearest to me, which is relatively straightforward to get to by public transport, and which I'm familiar with. And they'd said yes we'll give you an appointment in that city. But the place I've got to go to is in that city only in the sense that it appears in the postal address. The place is actually in a village six miles outside the city (in the opposite direction to where I live ofc) in a unit on an industrial estate which is hard to get to by public transport :mad: Instead of at the much more convenient assessment place in the city centre which I thought they meant (and with hindsight I should have asked for the actual address when I arranged it, I will know to next time :rolleyes: ). I can see myself wandering round a massive industrial estate trying to find the flipping thing. It's just fucking hurdle after hurdle with this process. I don't expect I'll be able to change it, cos I've used up all my 'lives'. It's just more stress :(
     
  20. iona

    iona makes George Orwell look like a dalek

    Jesus chainsawjob :facepalm:

    Would it be worth phoning just to see if you can rearrange? Something along the line of "This appointment has been booked in error. I was offered an appointment on [time & date] at [specific assessment centre], however the confirmation letter I received shows my appointment having been booked at [other assessment centre] which I did not agree to" maybe, and just keep to that apt if they say no? Understand if you'd rather leave it after all the previous shit though.

    Good luck at the assessment anyway, hope you get someone who's not a complete cunt.
     
  21. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Thanks iona I may give that idea a go. And yeah fingers-crossed on who I get, cheers.
     
    fishfinger, iona and Libertad like this.
  22. Libertad

    Libertad Would it help?

    Best of luck chainsawjob.
     
    chainsawjob likes this.
  23. WouldBe

    WouldBe non smoking

    What a pile of shite. :mad:

    Hope you can get it rearranged chainsawjob and good luck.
     
    chainsawjob likes this.
  24. equationgirl

    equationgirl Respect my existence or expect my resistance

    I'd try what iona suggested, it's worth a shot especially as that place sounds a bit dubious.
     
    chainsawjob and friendofdorothy like this.
  25. wtfftw

    wtfftw Well-Known Member

    Could you get a taxi from somewhere sensible then claim it back? My travel expenses cheque came through in less than a month (dunno why it was a cheque when I gave my bank details ffs).
     
    chainsawjob and Celyn like this.
  26. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    Thanks everyone, it's really nice to have support :)

    I tried to rearrange it but they said no. I think I'll go with the suggestion of a taxi for the last part of the journey, I'll already have taken a bus and two trains by then. How do you claim it back wtfftw? Do you have to tell them in advance that you want to claim for travel? And can I claim for the rest of it too? Never occurred to me.

    The Atos guy I spoke to was as helpful as he could be, and apologetic that I'd been given the impression the assessment was somewhere else. He said they'd be more specific in future. But unfortunately he couldn't do anything.I asked him what the rules were on how far you can be expected to travel for an assessment. This was interesting, it's either up to 60 miles, or 1 1/2 hours travel. And by travel they only mean the bits where you're actually moving, it doesn't include waiting for connections. Crap isn't it.

    And I got a letter today from the Tribunal Service. I thought my appeal had been dropped, since the DWP have decided to give me another appointment for an assessment. But no, the letter says I need to go to a tribunal for them to decide whether I gave good reason for not attending my assessment in June, and for it to be decided whether my DLA can be reinstated from when they stopped it in July :confused: I sorta thought/hoped that might happen anyway (and was going to ask them for it), since they appear to have conceded that I'm entitled to another assessment date, and they've reopened my PIP claim. So in theory I thought I ought still to be on the DLA which they stopped when they closed my PIP claim for 'not attending'. They can't have it both ways can they, either my claim was closed wrongly, or it wasn't. And they seem to be saying it was. Ofc it's too much to hope that this could be at all straightforward :rolleyes:

    Jeez :facepalm:
     
  27. iona

    iona makes George Orwell look like a dalek

    chainsawjob iirc you can claim travel expenses back, but if you need a taxi rather than driving or taking public transport that has to be agreed in advance or they may not pay. You should have got a leaflet with your appointment letter which I think mentions this? Can dig mine out if not, it was from the same service (the ex-ATOS lot, whatever they're calling themselves now).
     
    chainsawjob likes this.
  28. friendofdorothy

    friendofdorothy it is so much worse than Thatcherism now

    sorry it can't be changed. Expecting and ill person to travel up to 60 miles is shit.

    Ask in advance about the travel, are you allowed to get a taxi the whole way for example (especially if your condition can be affected by travel) and what they are willing to remburse you for and what sort of receipts they will accept etc.

    I recall they asked a lot of questions about how we reached the assesssment - I imagine one of their standard phrases on their proforma report probably says something like 'has no problem using public transport for 60 mile journeys involving 4 changes'
     
  29. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat put on an iron shirt, chase santa out of earth

    a slight tangent, but anyone know what the reclaim process is for ESA these days?

    a friend is currently in the clink on remand - a bit fuzzy on the detail but it was some sort of argument that got out of hand, and probably connected with the mental health issues that are why he was on ESA.

    lawyers are suggesting it will probably be a fairly short sentence / time already served on remand so hoping he will be out fairly soon.

    ESA got stopped when he went inside, he now seems to think he won't be able to go back on ESA which sounds like bollocks, although his part of the world has gone live on universal clusterfuck since his last claim.

    Anyone able to offer any pointers? I am getting ever more out of touch on this sort of thing...
     
  30. chainsawjob

    chainsawjob Kipping in the dunes

    There's a 12 week linking rule that means you can go back on the same level of benefits after a break of up to 12 weeks, without having to go through the whole process of making a new claim I think, but I can't find a link that explains it very clearly. It used to be longer but that entitlement got scrapped with changes brought in in 2012. I don't know how/whether UC affects this. Perhaps someone else knows more, or you might need to get advice from a benefit organisation.

    Good luck to your friend Puddy_Tat.
     

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