The Call I was Dreading has Arrived

The week from hell has now been made complete. The call I was dreading finally came today.

“This is ATOS we are calling to arrange your medical”

Just that one opening sentence and my stomach was in pieces, my good feelings evaporating before my eyes. I am about to be screwed in 3 weeks.

Three weeks! I have to wait until the 14th September before my appointment, this means I am going to be an absolute wreck between now and then.

For those outside of the UK here is how Atos work.

If you are on sickness benefits you have to attend a medical to continue claiming your benefits. Atos find ANY reason to decide you are fit for work and not entitled to benefits. They take no account of your mental state of mind, have no system in place for those of us with Mental Health Illnesses. All they care about is your physical being. People who have disabilities are being forced to find work because Atos decide that if you can use a finger to type on a keyboard you are fit enough to work.

There has been so much negative press about the medical system, Doctors are against it, the press are against it, unfortunately the Labour government introduced it when they were in power and its here to stay. Of course now Labour are out of office they are now against it – they think were are stupid that we don’t remember who introduced it in the first place. Still its much easier to blame the current government isn’t it!

I am sure people have had good experiences with their medicals and had no problems, BUT do a search on google for ATOS and you will find 100s of examples of people who have been screwed. I personally do not know anyone who has anything positive to say about Atos and the medical assessment!

Meanwhile you lose benefits, which means having no income at all, your housing benefit will be stopped which means I will fall behind on my rent and eventually start getting eviction notices. I can of course appeal if I am told that my benefits will be stopped but that will just add more stress and drama to my life. More than I can handle believe me.

Who has experience of Atos and is willing to come with me on 14th September?

 

34 comments on “The Call I was Dreading has Arrived

  1. is your severe IBS enough for them to consider you unable to work? If they don’t give a crap about mental, maybe physical symptoms of your mental illness will suffice. I mean, you might be able to type, but at a job? When you will have to be getting up every little bit to run to the bathroom? I will be praying sweety.

  2. I have just had my medical forms sent and all i could think of was fear and dread and ended up having a panic attack.

    They very first medical i had with them was useless beyond belief, it was all about physical ability which for teh most part is fine, when i tried to talk about the mental issues i have she wouldnt listen and just answered “That sort of question is not on the screen” the joys of reading from a badly prepared script.

    I lost my money and went thru hell while it was appealed which the tribunal threw out the DWPs case without needing to hear any evidence from me,

    The system needs to be sorted to get rid of the cheats and fraudsters but it needs to be sorted to help those in need for which it was designed.

    ATOS are given the info they need from the government, it could be any other company doing that service and it would be exactly the same, the government of the time set what they want and contract it for teh lowest price,

    Im dreading getting home and having to fill in the forms again but know i cant let it go or i will get into an even worse state of panic and stress

  3. I’m on jsa because I deemed fit for work, my mh was never considered
    My struggles with myself when suicide was on the agenda, they didn’t see how debilitating it was
    So I sign on even when struggling
    I feel for you mate I do
    Cos if you go for an appeal expect none of the paper work to come through, how they made that decision the form itself
    Be prepared mate
    It’s why I suggested the advocate

  4. Oh no! I know what you mean about that feeling of dread! My review date was around 2 months ago now, so it can’t be long for me either! Urgh. All the best with it, I hope you do get to go along with someone who knows how it all works.

  5. Oh no that’s bad news 😦 I’ve had no experience of those guys sorry. Does it make a difference if you have a letter from your GP behind you or anything?

  6. Pingback: Sickness benefit contractor Atos Healthcare to review letters… | Atos Victims Group News

  7. The whole thing with ATOS makes me furious and I can’t begin to imagine the stress you are under. Apparently these guys are trained to declare a person who is able to move ONLY ONE FINGER as fit to work because they can push a button. Pffffff {insert swear word of your choice}

    I know it isn’t ideal but I read earlier today that around 80% of decsions that are appealed are over turned so even if it’s bad news, there is still hope (albeit with extra stress). I also read that there is an upcoming Judicial Review of ATOS practices on the basis that they discriminate against those with mental health problems.

    I wonder if this is something the Citizens Advice Bureau can help with? Might be worth getting in touch – even if they can’t help directly they may be able to suggest someone who can.

    My advice: if you can, take someone with you to witness the appointment and take as many notes as you can when you get there. I know how hard it must be not to worry, but there really is nothing you can do between now and then, so try and focus on the stuff you are good at (like writing that book!). Oh, and keep blogging and keep it off your chest

    I wish there was something practical I could do but I hope a hug will help a little for now?

    Sorry for the length. I’m just so angry and sorry that this rubbish is happening to anybody let alone your lovely self…

    Let me know if I can help – you know where I am….

    xx

  8. it’s like that here in Canada as well…i have been fighting for a year in two areas and still have no answer except the numerous turn down notices that i have appealed until i can’t appeal any longer…it’s torture what they put you through. i have all the medical proof you could possibly need, i have all my medical records in had that prove physical and mental/emotional reasons why i am unable to work, and yet i have still been turned down…i am on my third and i think final appeal with the one…ahhhh! take one moment at a time…worrying about tomorrow isn’t going to do anything but mess up your today!

  9. Definitely get a witness to go with you. But, if you fail your medical (which unfortunately is likely) IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. Honestly the tribunal people are amazing and they gave me full benefit within 15 minutes of being in there and they told me on the spot. They at the tribunal, are unlike atos, they are real doctors and nurses employed by the nhs.
    They can’t stop your housing benefit, but if you fail, you need to ring HB up ASAP and tell them your change in circumstance. You do not need to be on other benefits to get HB it’s based on income. Getting no income = full housing benefit. You can still get legal aid at the moment if suggest getting a solicitor, I did and she was amazing. Keep a two week diary from now, detailing your every symptom in detail so you can send it to them. I only lost benefits for one day, they give you a rate if you tell them you are appealing. Ring them the day you get the letter and tell them you’re appealing to get it. X

      • As I have failed (twice) and been through the appeal procedure, feel free to give me a shout by email or whatever. I’d be happy to give you any information I’ve got (I’ve kept it all) as to how to appeal/what to send them etc. Since I’ve been sending appeals with my 2 week diary and other stuff (letters from my Psychiatrist, and GP) I haven’t had to appeal, the decision maker has changed the decision at the DWP. I always score nearly 0 points on the medical. It’s ridiculous. It is horribly stressful but yes, the appeal was far easier than I thought it was going to be and the tribunal people are lovely.
        Failing the first time proper made my depression 1000 times worse, and it didn’t have to be that way. I wish I’d known all this stuff I know now then. So if I can help you with that, please give me a shout.

  10. I don’t have much experience of ATOS, but HB and pretty much anything to do with housing are my field. Hopefully everything will go okay for you, but if it doesn’t and you end up having problems with these I’ll be more than to happy to help you with it.

  11. It seems the people who really need help from organisations like ATOS struggle to keep it, while lots of people take advantage of it that dont need it. It is the same here too. It sucks! I hope you get through this. Kat

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