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TOPIC: Lost in the farce of Employment & Support Allowanc

Lost in the farce of Employment & Support Allowanc 8 years 2 months ago #14510

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I became disabled some years ago with spinal cord damage which has now been impacted with arthritis and at 50 I have just had a me having a full knee replacement. I only applied for benefits recently My conditions have deteriorated and I am practically housebound I cannot walk stand or sit without severe pain and spend most of my time in a semi prone position. I receive higher mobility and mid care allowance. I have applied for Employment and Support Allowance which is contracted out to ATOS a company which I have had dealings with in my career and not one which I would like to revisit.

What I do not understand is that I have completed the questions on line here and scored 129 which you need to have a score of 15 to be entitled. I have been called to a medical this week.

I received a letter on 22 Dec dated 17 Dec advising me to call in 2 days to make an appointment! I called and waited 20 mins to be answered and told they had made the appointment. They are unable to advise why the medical is required despite this being stated on the letter. They also have no access to your medical status to make any comment just to book the appointment, again not as per their documentation.

I called the DWP to discuss my concerns and they advised that I call them back and speak to a supervisor. I eventually got a manager after being accused of being a liar! The upshot is that everyone gets a medical unless they are dying or housebound. There is obviously no recognition of being an individual and ATOS can only tick boxes in order to maintain their targets and contract. Also be aware that the calls are NOT recorded as I complained to the manager about the behaviour of the call handler and asked him to review the call to be advised he couldn't.

Therefore we are all making fraudulent applications until we are seen and assessed and then only if the quota has not been exceeded and they can achieve their targets of reducing applications and costs to the government. The job centre is also saying I have to have an interview despite being signed off from work for 6 months. It is again the process and a box that has to be ticked. Does this mean that whilst I am not fit for work I have to look for work.

This whole process has left me frustrated, concerned and anxious that my medical assessment will say I am fit to work when I am not and put me in the appeals process.

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