Tuesday, 3 May 2011

3 Claimants die after being found "Fit for Work"


The examples given in the report above are not unusual. 3 people died before their ESA tribunals could be heard having been found "fit for work". Not only were seriously (well, it turned out terminally) ill people found "fit for work" by ATOS, but even when the decisions were overturned at appeal, ATOS continued to harass them them with further assessments.

"....When his support worker appeared at the appeal tribunal she had to report her client could not be there because he was dead. The appeal was upheld and the backpayment will become part of his estate."

.....A third person, again from West Dunbartonshire, died recently after winning a second appeal tribunal following three years of repeated assessments and decisions being overturned."

And these examples are from just one excellent disability advocate service in Clydebank, the Independent Resource Centre. Replicate these findings up and down the country and we have 100s of people - maybe thousands - DYING before their tribunals can be held, people who have lost ALL state support in error, left to die in abject poverty. People who have ALL been found fit for work. 

How much more evidence do we need? How long are we going to allow this to happen? When critics of ESA call it a "shambles" "chaotic" or "unfit for purpose" THIS is what they mean. They mean people are dying.    


  1. I'm afraid sue the government will wont to see many many hundreds of more deaths before changing their mind or until someone steps in to change it for them
    David Cameron wont even know about this story i can assure you

  2. again, these incidents have been happening over the past few years.

    not. just. under. cameron.

    anyone who uses cases liek these to take a pop at the coalition are opportunistic political point-scorers.

    the issue is with our health service and the procedures therein.

    but fair play sue marsh. thanks for bringing this to our attention without politically tainting the argument.

  3. They don't care,fourbanks. David Cameron wants to go down in history as the man who paid back the biggest deficit in the union's history in one parliament. If some poor people die ias a consequence he won't give a ****. nor will his colleagues who don't even like poor people going on holiday. It certainly isn't going to get in the way of his legacy. (His only legacy now that the Big Society seems to have fallen at the first hurdle.)

    We are another species to them. If you didn't go to some sort of public school and then "up" to Oxford, you don't count as a proper person in their books.

    Cameron appears to put on the facade of being a religious man. These people's and many others' deaths will be on his scoresheet. And I hope hell is very hot and very smelly and eternity very long.

  4. Something must be done and soon we must keep up the pressure on the government. We must start by all using our votes 5th may as that is the only thing these b****ards care about is staying in power, lets teach them a lesson....

  5. sigh.

    nothing you do on 5th may will have any effect on situations like this.

    don't people read the comments already posted before adding theirs?

  6. The health service is a different issue to the ESA medical procedures, repeated harrassment and call backs for reassassment etc. This is putting undue stress on terminally ill people and the sick and disabled who are not terminal. This is not a political point scoring exercise as this has been happening since the introduction of the WCA tests. People are dying - how much more of this has to happen before people understand we are under unfair and systematic attack for being sick and disabled!!! This is killing some of us off - killing us!! Murder by state harrassment and assessment!!

  7. Thank you anonymous. They have indeed been happening for some years - under Labour too.

    The scary thing now is that the Welfare Reform Bill, cuts and things like time limiting ESA will make a disgusting situation into a true crisis.

  8. As for 5th May - the ONLY way we can change this is politically. They get to vote, they get to make the laws, they get to shape our society.

    No, May 5th won't change things, but it will help. EDMs will help, Enquiries will help, writing to your MP will help. Unless we can convince those 650 men and women, nothing will change.

  9. I'm going for my medical assessment on Friday. Praying they don't mess me about too much..I'm in so much pain they have even agreed I can travel there by taxi at their expense. Where is the sense in it all? I know they have to justify their existence somehow, but putting genuinely sick people through all this is insane and cruel. What do these so-called healthcare professionals think they know that my GP and 3 consultants don't? I worked in public service for 31 years, always intended to work as long as I was legally allowed, and then do voluntary work for a local charity. All that has been taken away from me, so surely they could at least allow me to suffer without all this harassment. I got the result I needed at my first assessment last September without even needing to appeal, and I'm much worse now. Thank God I'm a tough old bird!

  10. "Anonymous said...

    Something must be done and soon we must keep up the pressure on the government. We must start by all using our votes 5th may as that is the only thing these b****ards care about is staying in power, lets teach them a lesson....
    3 May 2011 09:03 "


    Thursday is not a general election - it's local council elections and the AV referendum.

    No matter what the outcome of the referendum, the effect on the coalition will be zero. OK, if the Yes lobby carry the day - and god help us all if they don't - the government will be a little discomfited, And that's all.

    They will still be in power for another 4 years, unless the Lib Dems collectively grow a pair, turn on their power-mad leader, and walk away from the coalition.

    Until that day - if it ever comes - it's business as usual.

  11. It's because they've lost the incentive to live...if we just abolish the 50p rate they will want to stay alive so they can get rich. It's obvious when you think about it.

  12. Thanks for the mention Sue, yesterday out of 1738 hits on www.afteratos.org in the last 24 hours, 1338 of them were on the above article. Word is getting out, all be it, slowly.

    If anybody has any events or protests they would like listing on the After Atos Events page please let After Atos know and they put it up on our listings

    And please, take our survey, lets get an image of how the Atos ESA “Medical” Assessments are affecting the sick and disabled so we can use it in evidence against them.

    Phil L

  13. I said some time ago about people dying may start the tidal wave against this Govt. Its such a bloody shame thats all

  14. The uncertainty involved is almost unbearable. When will I get called, and my variable mental state thrown out as invalid, and I - after screaming for diagnosis, let alone assistance, for 15 years - get told to go back to work in low-employment area? Solidarity to all. xr

  15. [QUOTE]Anonymous said...

    I said some time ago about people dying may start the tidal wave against this Govt. Its such a bloody shame thats all[/QUOTE]

    As i said at the top of this thread it's going to take a lot of deaths for the government to change course
    Personally i dont think they will but we here will do our very level best to get the right sort of changes into fruition. ...

  16. I can't understand how Mr Cameron can be touched by the sadness of loss and disability,and yet not seem to have any empathy,and not seem to be bothered about the consequences of these disability reforms ?? :(

    I would like to make clear,i have empathy for Mr Cameron and family, i do not make light of the Cameron's loss,

  17. Couldn't agree more. I find it disgusting that the poorest and most vulnerable are being hit whilst corporation tax is cut and the 50p tax rate is soon to be removed. Same old nasty Torys hitting the poorest hardest.

    Have a look at my left leaning blog at http://a-week-is-a-long-time-in-politics.blogspot.com/

  18. Labour started this in the good times, Labour gave atos the contract to do the assessments.
    Voting Labour will not change this, THIS IS LABOURS DOING.
    It’s a shame all this shouting wasn’t going on when Labour started this. It seems to me that the sick and disabled are being used by opponents of the current Government for their own benefit.

  19. Completely off-topic but...I only just got my 2800th visit to my blog yesterday and Afteratos.org got 1338 in 24 hours.

    Am I doing something wrong?

    Anyway was at Citizens Advice today and read some stuff in their internal news-sheet that after the descriptors for ESA were changed following an internal DWP review in 2009, they have found a net increase of 8% are found 'fit for work' as a result and this concerns them. CAB HQ have now issued a call for evidence to bureaux around the country regarding ESA claimants and the accuracy of Work Capability Assessments.

    I'll be doing a piece comparing the old ESA descriptors with the new ones soon(another shameless plug brought to you by MDA).

  20. "It’s a shame all this shouting wasn’t going on when Labour started this."

    Bullshit, it's just no one was listening as usual.

  21. It's so sad that when someone is really ill they are having to strugle to pay bills and decide if they can afford the heating or cost of pre prepared food. While you are on low income plenty of able bodied people have the choice between buying cheaper food and preparing self or for example going to the libray for free interent while if you are that ill your choices are zero.

  22. Uh, no, Anonymous. *Not* shame on me. There were a hell of a lot of us shouting at the time. There are a hell of a lot of us shouting now about the lack of political opposition to this. After everything I've seen that's put me in this state in the first place, you should not dare use the word "shame" to me.

    Are all these aggressive Anon posts coming from the same place?

  23. For those who can't be bothered to find out or are just plain ignorant, this isn't just a fight against the Coalition, we are all aware Labour started this ! Maybe people should do some damn homework before commenting !

    This whole situation is just appalling and terrifying.
    I received my letter from the DWP a couple of weeks ago about migration from IB to ESA. Fortunately I have the support of my CPN and Psychiatrist, however I'm under no illusions as to what's going to happen even with their support. Section 3 here I come no doubt...just great !!! How's that "helping" me???

  24. Why DO people think that?

    We've been shouting about this for three years, why do they think we use it to attack Tories?

    Perhaps they'd like to read this scorching, disgusted, furious rant I had at Liam Byrne about it all.... http://diaryofabenefitscrounger.blogspot.com/2011/02/so-its-welfare-reform-on-agenda-today.html

    (There's another one at Douglas Alexander if they like it a lot, called "Take time to listen and Learn Douglas Alexander")

    This is NOT party political and I make the point repeatedly that sick and disabled people are totally disenfranchised now - they have no-one.

    It might interest casual readers to know that a certain Danny Alexander used to be a fierce opponent of ESA, but funny, something seemed to change the minute he got the job at the treasury...

  25. Have to agree Sue Mr Alexanders views have changed since he appeared in a documentry about ESA in Scotland, money and title can change people.


  26. They say we all live on a precipice a fine line between staying sane and falling over the edge into the pit of despair, that is whats going to happen if Mr C gets his way a lot of good people will be falling into the pit. What can we as human beings do to stop this awful mess that was created by the last Govt and the present Govt hell bent on seeing it through to the bitter end, i for one will continue to fight this inhuman action by involving everyone i know and i guess that's all we can do.

  27. I have every right to use the word shame.
    The changes that Labour made affected me. I have been paraplegic for the past twenty years.
    Things don’t get better being a para, they get worse with age, but not according to atos.
    I found this site from a link on Labour List.
    Some one commented about using your vote this week to change this but who can you vote for ?
    Labour ? No they started it,
    Conservative ? No they are doing this,
    Lib Dem ? No they are with the Conservatives.

  28. These are local elections.
    I'm standing for Labour.
    I'm standing because I will represent people over this and I will make Labour do so again.

  29. If people diddn't cheat in the first place, and there are difinitely a lot of cheats claiming iv this would not be happening.

    People should be really sure that they are unfit for work before claiming IV.

    A disabled person who hhas worked

  30. "If people diddn't cheat in the first place, and there are difinitely a lot of cheats claiming iv this would not be happening.

    People should be really sure that they are unfit for work before claiming IV.

    A disabled person who hhas worked"

    Name me a human undertaking where there is no fraud or cheating plz.

    Secondly the fraud rate for incapcity benefit is 0.5%. Put down the Daily Express.


    A guy sick of right-wing misinformation repeated as fact.

  31. what do you make of this sue he has his own forum?


  32. to those that die after having been told there fit for work through stress etc will have been unlawfully killed in the same way that Ian Tomlinson was unlawfully killed by Pc at G20 protests


  33. PILOT STUDY FROM After Atos of results of Disabled & Atos Assessments. Easy to find and read. Published monthly. Sign up and receive our newsletter and results straight to your post then you can send them and use them to anyone your want. MP, GP, Charitu Groups.

    http://afteratos.org/206-2/ Help us to help the disabled tell their story

  34. AFTER ATOS IS A SITE DEDICATED TO THOSE DISABLED GOING THROUGH THE ATOS MEDICAL ASSESSMENTS. WE HAVE CREATED AN ONLINE FEEDBACK SURVEY FOR THOSE TAKING THE MEDICALS TO RECORD THEIR EXPERIENCE AND STORY AND FACTS. That is why After Atos is popular we have been posting the results and horror of the Atos and seek to network and work with others so all disabled can record their story and help us link with others and let such organistions as CAB, your MP and support group/charity know that we are here and the facts of Atos are at last being taken from the perspective of the disabled. If you have taken the Atos assessment please fill in our survey. Also if you sign up as a member of our site for free you will receive our newsletter and results feedback monthly straight to your email.

    So come in. WE are not popular because we are entertaining or giving away £5 notes. We are popular because we are getting the facts about atos. Join up, if you send us your email we will send you our present newsletter and you can pass it round to all concerned and frighten and impress your MP and GP.

  35. If there weren't people cheating the system, the tabloids would invent them.

    Oh wait...

  36. Bravo nanobot.

    There are far too many people reading right wing muppet sheets which tell them what they want to read.

    And of course the government lap up that kind of publicity.

    Of course there are people who cheat.

    We all know that. But the numbers are small, and the amounts of money TINY by comparison to the amounts stolen from the country by tax evasion and avoidancve.

    If this government put half as much effort into stopping that as they do into hitting the poor and sick, we could pay off the deficit without killing the disabled and old.

    But why would a Tory government be interested in that namby pamby leftie crap, when they are tax avoiders themselves.

  37. And for those in government and atos this is just to remind everyone that it could be YOU tomorrow so to think on as Golfs great Steve Ballesteros tragically dies at 54 from a short bout with cancer


  38. I felt relief in February at getting ESA awarded, but 3 months later I've been sent a questionnaire to start the whole medical process again. Nothings changed in 3 months. I have a chronic condition, it's not going to. Tipped me further into depression. Stress of the ESA makes my condition worse. I am worthless and a burden to society. Add my name to the tally of 3, I want it all to end. This isn't blackmail to politicians or trying to highlight the issue. It's just how i feel.

  39. People are evil morons, they want to pick on the vulnerable and this sort of thing gives them the excuse. Last nights Panorama has divested me of any notion that humans have even a vestigial sense of decency.

  40. every day i panic when the post arrives,
    waiting for that brown envelope from DWP.
    iv got to a point that i now have nightmares over this WCA .....im so frightened,i, like many other disabled people are worried to the point of suicide,i couldnt wait a year for an appeal...
    only to start it all again!......im nearly 60, single...8 years ago social worker told me i should have married,then i would have someone to look after me,that i must make the effort to use my parilised limbs......i have tried the best i can,being 80% disabled makes it difficult to cope.....i only go out to get shoping....without DLA there would be no 500cc vehicle to get me to a shop.....im in a rental property, so i would end up homeless while waiting for an appeal[no housing benefits while on appeal]death is the only way out.

    i would like the disabilities minister to do a survey to find out EXACTLY how MANY disabled and sick people have died or commited suicide while waiting to be assessed by ATOS or awaiting an appeal.

  41. ATOS are bastereds it it illeagle but the government knows it could take years before this goes to the courts.
    if you have the double problem of havein a mental disability and a mental disability as i do its a lot harder as you have more to deal with i have also had cancer 18 months ago.i also broke my back when i was 12 plus i have aspergers and MPD and OCD. DWP 6 years ago said i was far to ill to work and gave me 15 points on mental health alone.
    no i doupt i would get anything,i am a trained ln childcare but you cant get work due to the IAN HUNTLY KILLINGS people are just to scared to give you a job...jeffrey aspie and 48...

  42. i was watching parliment tv on an employment oppertunites review last week....
    a tory MP was saying jobs were lost for "the disabled and mantally ill " because employers didnt want to employ them as they had to be paid the minimal basic hourly rate......not good value for money for employers!!
    i was STUNNED when he suggested that "the disabled and mentally ill" should work for less money as "some paid work is better than no work "even if its less than the minimal hourly rate!
    with attitudes like that.......we got NO chance!
    these MP's are real scum!!!

  43. how dre the coalition government suggest treating the disabled as they currently suggest.Along with the banks,plc`s , the city & the citymoney men are nearly all licensed thieves.The great British public are now so used to being ripped off, apathy being the norm.Edmund Burke a plilanthropist MP to Bristol in the 1700`s wrote " for evil to triumph reuires only that good men do nothing" followed by "Good men are just as evil if they ignore evil" enough said!!

  44. I am an Individual who has been medically classified as being Permanently, Partially Physically, Visually, Hearing and Mentally Impaired. I own and operate a Social Enterprise as a Disability Consultant / Advocate / Project Manager of Disabled Adaptations and Domestic Construction Sites. I offer many services to the differently abled, elderly, mentally impaired and vulnerable.

    Prior to opening my consultancy, I was a permanent civil servant of the DWP until they wrongfully terminated my contract, when I challenged them for failing to adhere to my Disabled Rights which is protected by the D.D.A 1995.

    This is matter is currently in Court and is quite ironic because my Employer played a major role in getting the D.D.A legislation into law.

    As they have found an excuse to fire me, I have no obligation to them anymore.

    Therefore, within legal parameters, I can tell you all a thing or two about what is really happening.

    I can confirm factually that the experiences that have been highlighted on this site are a true an actual representation of what is happening to all legitimate differently abled individuals.

    To put it bluntly; it is all a big con, the government tells the public; abled bodied or differently abled who has a legitimate right to apply for whatever assistance that they are entitled to, that they are failing to apply for assistance and billons go unclaimed.

    But when you apply and your claim is varified and authenticated whether it is in payment or not, the Civil Servants and even Athos ( for the record; the employees of the DWP and Athos are not bad or evil people ) behind closed doors all of them are instructed otherwise by their paymasters and what happens is exactly what has been highlighted on this forum and many other websites on the internet.

    All of these employees know that all customers who present medical confirmation from medically qualified Practioners would qualify based on their particular circumstances; as to how much you will be entitled to receive, will be based on the individuals’ personal circumstances.

    But unfortunately as you all can testify this does not work out as straightforward as you are led to believe.

    In a nutshell the system is fundamentally flawed, and the fact is that it needs to be overhauled and brought in line with 21st century policies and guidelines taking into consideration how the differently abled is affected in how they try to go about their way of life on a day by day basis.

    DWP Minister Ian Duncan Smith has the right idea, but the wrong methodology about how it should be implemented. Universal Benefit is a brilliant idea, but from what I have been made aware of to date, I can foresee the very worst of our society being plunged into further poverty and deprivation.

    More consultation is needed with all of the stakeholders who will be reliant on assistance from the state to survive.

    From what I have seen and heard to date, the DWP has been failing to do this.

    So in a nutshell guys, it will be the same old bullshit, disguised in a different form and format.

  45. As for the current Minister of Disabilities, I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU ALL, she does not have a clue, and from what I have observed, she lacks experience, knowledge, understanding and basic common sense on many issues surrounding how disabilities and medical conditions can affect any individual differently.

    I am of the belief that our Prime Minister knows this, even though his beloved child has moved on; he is a parent of a differently abled child, and as an individual who knows and understands what a differently abled individual have to endure on a day to day basis, he cannot deny to himself, that the current Minister of Disability is not fit for purpose.

    In Politics, you do not know what goes on behind closed doors. Ministers tend to tell the public what they think the public needs to hear and afterwards they take a different direction when no one is looking.

    The Minister of Disabilities did not inherent her Job Role and did not magically appear in her Ministry, she was placed there by Number 10. And as the Prime Minister is the boss, he has to take responsibility for her being in that post.

    So my people; if you want to be heard write to the Prime Minister and C.C. in the media, because sooner or later with everybody singing the same song, our Prime Minister will have no choice but to take notice and do something about our concerns.

    The only time the system will change in your favour, is when you go to Court. I know going to Court is expensive; you all know that and the Government knows it too, which is why the Justice Minister Kenneth Clarke removed the right to get help from legal aid for a lot of welfare rights cases. So it is damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

    Isn’t democracy a beautiful thing people ?

    If anyone out there wants some information or guidance on an advocacy issue concerning their welfare right entitlement, feel free to email me.

    If I can help, I will try my best. My email address is: info@disabledadaptations.org

  46. My son's DLA was stopped as was my carers allowance for using my time to look after him. As of tomorrow we have zero income and my son tried to commit suicide. 18 years old. I suffer from depression and anxiety which i have had to put on hold to look after my son and i managed to handle it. However, we are now both told we are fit for work and my mental condition is so bad i am seriously considering suicide as well. I can no longer help my son. I cannot even help myself. CAB are helping me appeal his DLA however this will take months. Until then....we starve to death and face debts and homelessness or end our own lives. Id rather end my life ... cant take anymore. Have no one to turn to for help and the situation is gloomy right now. Forgive me for pouring my heart out but its how i feel and its how my son feels.

  47. I'm so sorry. I've had terribly dark times too. Please talk to a GP or http://www.samaritans.org/ and know that we are fighting here and across the web every day to sort this whole terrible mess out. Hang in there - see the day we win, together.

  48. and write to Ian Duncan Smith and tell him about your son..please do this as it really is important he should know.

  49. Seems that 'suicide' is what this government wants from the disabled and mentally ill people. Lets face it, for every person that dies, they will then save money not having to pay them anything to live on.

  50. OK Sue - I'm aware I'm treading on very thin ice in terms of taste here, but this is my take on the whole ATOS thing:


  51. I was found 'fit for work'. If the decision had not been overturned at appeal I would certainly be dead.

  52. For me ignorance was bliss. A charitable person gave me this computer and i started researching sites. My contributory esa appeal is in court monday 16th january. fom what i read here it is bound to fail even with all the legal medical and social backing that i have. Can i appeal against the appeal?

  53. I was re assessed by ATOS on the 25th of August 2011 for the incapacity benefit i was already Receiving and was found to be fully fit for work, however as stated on there forms they did not ask for my medical records. On the 20th of Sept 2011 I was seen by a Medico Legal Spinal Expert to asses my industrial injury for the courts and the Injuries case against my employers. I was found to be 60% disabled for life and that it was highly unlikely that I would return to any meaningful employment. Rather and amazing discrepancy in opinions, so now I sit awaiting an appeal. WHY? Because ATOS Healthcare have stated in a letter to my MP that my medical records are of little use in determining my ability to work.

  54. Media Reports:The tax Payer has to fund the Disabled/infirm per year to the sum of 700,000,000.Most Disabled/Infirm are Benefit cheats/Scroungers.Also that all assessments must be Medical Lead and must be assessed by fully qualified Doctors/Nurses,Did this appear in The Sun,Daily Mail/Express or any other newspapers? NO but appeared in all Newspapers in the Third Reich.In the words of Winston Churchill History always repeats itself,no idea is new it is just worked or reported in a different way. And remember that if you work full time for the assessment agency in an Health Authority area you are not on that areas Performers List.

  55. Yes, it's amazing isn't it. People DIE!!!!
    Whatever next - presumably scrounging more benefit paid for by Britain's hard working families (to quote Gordon Brown)will enable them to live idly for decades longer.

  56. Fail troll is fail ;)

  57. The government will not change their mind after seeing many more deaths. They'll be opening their most expensive champagne bottle and celebrate with their Eton mates. They want us to die.