Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Nix25hobbs Novitiate

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    Default ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    I have posted on here before about my problems with atos but now I am at a total loss as to what to do.


    I have exhausted atos complaints procedure and now want to take legal action against them but have no idea what kind of lawyer I would be looking for and whether I have a case or not.


    The story goes...


    I had a pre-employment screening with atos and was declared unfit for regular employment and therefore my job contract was retracted.


    I then had an ESA assessment with atos and the benefit was withdrawn as it was said that I had no limited capability for work.


    I appealed in February and am waiting to hear back from the DWP decision makers.


    But I don't think atos should get away with this - surely it must be some kind of negliglence. Their defence is that the assessments were for different things and therefore had different criteria.


    But there are some explicit contradictions such as:

    1. “The Government's working initiatives that you refer to, relate to those who may have a disability but are fit for work...you were currently unfit for work." (Pre-employment screening with Atos – ongoing from 2.11.09 – 20.01.10)

    OR

    "You have no limited capability to work” (ESA assessment with Atos 12.01.10)

    2. “The need for Miss ___ to avoid standing for extended periods (10-15 minutes) appears likely to continue.” (Pre-employment screening with Atos – ongoing from 2.11.09 – 20.01.10)

    "Standing: Client has no problem with these activities” (ESA assessment with Atos 12.01.10)

    3. “Continuing concerns regarding Miss ____’ physical stamina and her lifting and carrying capabilities” and “care would need to be taken regarding lifting and moving” (Pre-employment screening with Atos – ongoing from 2.11.09 – 20.01.10)

    OR

    “You can pick things up and move them without difficulty.” (ESA assessment with Atos 12.01.10)

    4. "She may put herself and others at risk", “vulnerable to relapse” and “fragile state of health” (Pre-employment screening with Atos – ongoing from 2.11.09 – 20.01.10)

    OR

    "There is no indication of any condition that would lead to a substantial mental of physical risk”(ESA assessment with Atos 12.01.10)

    It's not just the benefits aspect it's the fact that I am now very confused as to what is safe for me to do and not risk my health. There have been times when I have pushed myself too far and been hospitalised which I don't want to happen again but I don't want to appear overcautious and limit my life.

    Anyone have any ideas what I can do and want kind of legal specialist might tackle this?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Meridian Regional News | Merdian Tonight - ITV Local

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Is that really you! (the young woman who is trying to recover from anorexia). Most of us in the "ESA club" have probably seen the TV news item on the web wow. Wasn't your M.P. supposed to be intervening?

    What's the difference between a street celebration and an election?
    Answer: A street celebration is "all bunting and frolics".

    I'll get together some links which may enlighten you and help to explain (but not mitigate) the "We don't give A'TOSs"« absurdity.

    Please read this article c/o Brighton Benefits Campaign and much will be made clearer. It's probably the best I've ever seen.
    Employment and Support Allowance: a new harsher test Brighton Benefits Campaign
    Paul.

    I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - see this post by Joa, great advice and links!
    I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    People who already know what to expect at the WCA stand a better chance of avoiding the traps intended to fail you with zero or low points.

    Here's a link to some advice I gave earlier to someone whose exam will be on Monday next: http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ml#post2939067
    Kind regards,
    Paul.

    I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - see this post by Joa, great advice and links!
    I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Hello there, nice to see you here, I hope we can help you.

    Paul's link to the Brighton people is the most enlightening I've read, had no idea that's how it worked.

    I'm sure someone else on this or the employment forum is taking court action against Atos. Can anyone remember who it is? They might help you.

    If it comes back to me, I'll let you know, or maybe they'll turn up and reply to you.

    Is there a charity that looks after people with your health problem? Many of them are very upset with Atos and might point you in the right direction.

    My best, HB x

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Hi Nix,

    you are not the first person to have been the victim of the double standards being used for these medicals. On another forum a woman who was declared unfit by her employer and yet too fit to claim sickness benefits actually worked for Jobcentre Plus . This was following the two separate medicals by the same contractor - who?, don't give A'TOSs of course.

    You, me and everybody, who has had to go through these sham medicals can see quite clearly the unfairness of ESA. CABx, disabilities charities and other charities have voiced their concerns to our "ruling elite", many individuals have sought help and support from their MPs and MSPs to fight their cases - despite this ESA still remains.

    The original purpose of ESA has been subverted for political and economic ends. I think the following basically sums the situation up vis politicians and corporatism's mutual interests being served at the cost of the electorate.

    ESA is pretty much safe. It might get renamed. If we’re really lucky, they might sack the contractor, and pledge to find a better one. But ultimately the basic problem will remain.
    But this is how public services are delivered these days. There’s no debate on this issue among the political parties (even if the public is far from in agreement).
    The fact is that any government wanting to change this policy (or many other related policies) would have to take on business interests and the markets. They will not tolerate any ruling party wavering in commitment to continued “reform” and “modernisation” of public services (i.e. tailoring policy to channel more public money to business while removing public money from other causes, ESA being a perfect example of both). They have huge amounts of lobbying power, national and international, and have very strong allies in the owners of the press. It’s hardly surprising that career-minded politicians generally find it easier just to implement their agenda.


    I think that all the forums, charities and others will need to organise together and then find someone very high profile to champion our cause in the way Ms. Lumley did for the Gurkhas.

    Kind regards,
    Paul.

    The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people na´ve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody. ”
    — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality, 1754


    I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - see this post by Joa, great advice and links!
    I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.
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  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Nix25hobbs Novitiate

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Thanks for all your advice. Sorry about the multitude of spelling errors (including the title) - a result of too much stress and not enough sleep!

    My MP has written to Atos and got a reply from Mark Bounds,
    Senior Vice President & Managing Director for Government & Health, outlining the differences between pre-employment screenings and ESA assessments.

    I wrote a reply to him and was told that he wouldn't repond to me directly and I had to go through the complaints department - which I had been doing before and hadn't got anywhere.

    I totally understand that each assessment was for a different purpose and that one was job specific but there were some general assertions too...The Government's working initiatives that you refer to, relate to those who may have a disability but are fit for work...you were currently unfit for work."

    e.g. how can the criteria for standing ability be different for each assessment? Surely you can stand without problem or you can't? Regardless of the criteria the outcomes should be the same.

    I just don't know whether to keep fighting or to give up and accept defeat. They are obviously a company who care more about their profits than their patients and it disgusts me.

    Thank you for the link Paul, I will have a good read through it. And Hb, i am sure that i remember someone taking court action too but can't remember who or for what (maybe a FOI request?)

    Who can be our Lumley then?


    Thanks again. N


  7. #7
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Nic i cant be of much help as im new to the subject and will shortly be changed over from IB to ESA so im here to say thank you for raising the issue with the media we must fight on just as you have with your illnesses

    They are are very bias reminds me of the many gov depts with a new gov and camerons big ideas about the big society its time to renew our fight PF


  8. #8
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    This sort of thing infuriates me. A lot of people complain when in this situation and fail to understand that the criterias for each assessment are different, in that a work based assessment is based specifically on the role undertaken, whereas for benefit purposes the assesment is to ascertain whether you are capable of any type of work. It can be a job in itself explaining this to some.

    But this is one of these cases where the outcomes are completely non sensical. Yes, they are different criterias but the outcomes of the specific areas should be the same. Either you can stand with no issues whatsoever, can stand with difficulty, or can't stand at all. You can fail a work assessment and fail an ESA medical due to the different aims of the assessments but it should never be a case of one assessment says you can stand with no problems where the other assessment says you cannot stand for extended periods. Not being able to stand for extended periods is a problem with standing and should be recorded on the ESA assessment.

    One way they could try and argue their case is time passed since the assessments took place, because with the passage of time a condition can either degnerate or improve - but your assessment dates appear to overlap the same time period - is that right?

    The outcomes of the assessment areas are direct contradictions of each other. Unbelievable. Any solicitor which deals in civil lawsuits would be able to offer advice here, but if you can find one who specialises in negligence in occupational health this would be advantageous because they would be far more experienced at dealing with specifics of the case, rather than a generalised view.

    Sometimes I can see if people have a case but my experience lies mainly with benefit legislation and tribunals. In this situation I have no idea whether or not you would have a case but I would certainly hope so! One thing to remember is when you are talking on forums, you do not know the experience or qualification of the forum members. People can often advise on what they think is morally correct rather than what they know is legally correct. In this scenario I think it's morally wrong, but legally - no idea. I would hope it would be legally wrong and would amount to some sort of negligence. It's imperitive that you get legal advice on this - even a free half hour with a solicitor to look over the basics to tell you whether or not this would be worth pursuing. What to remember with civil lawsuits is that if you lose, you will be liable for costs. I am not trying to put you off - I hope you have a case and I hope you win it and stand up for the little man - but please dont do what people often do and go ahead fighting a case without fist checking with an expert whether or not you have a realistic prospect of succeeding the action.

    Best wishes, keep us updated and keep posting - we will advise where we can.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Hi,
    I had an ESA medical and an Industrial injuries medical by the SAME 'Doctor' a few weeks apart and he found me fit in one and unfit in the other.
    I complained but was told that the medicals are for two different things and so were carried out differently. How that makes my injuries different they didn't say. There is no come back, no one is accountable.


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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Erika as i believe nic is not working would she not be entitled to legal aid ?


  11. #11
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Quite possibly but it's not as cut and dried as a direct entitlement for civil proceedings. Legal aid will be assessed on her resources and the nature of the case. Not working doesn't mean there is no resources at all, and even if there are no financial resources, there is the merit test to be satisfied.

    A lot of people make the assumption that if they are unemployed they are automatically entitled to legal aid. The entitlement considers both means and merit. They will not fund her if they think she does not have a case with a reasonable prospect of winning, which is why I suggested a free consultation initially.

    She can read more on this here

    EDITED to add - please note that link only applies to legal aid in England and Wales.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
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  12. #12
    Site Team honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13 Authoritative honeybee13's Avatar

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Hi there. This is the thread of postggj v Atos, hope it's some help.

    HB x

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...e-postggj.html

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  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder happyhamr Novitiate

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Hellow, Nix25hobbs

    I feel you should try and get as much "help" as you get

    wheather this be legal,family,friends,orga nisations,local mp,more Media.,
    whatever,whoever.

    This atos(fiasco) is "only just begun",and sometimes it takes individuals
    to stand up to these companies, (david and goliath),and bring them Down

    All OF US Together.

    hopefully after my op in june ,it all goes well,but whatever the outcome
    i personally will keep "Battling" the atos,eers of this world

    Eyes getting, wider Opened Good Luck nix25


  14. #14
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Quote Originally Posted by happyhamr View Post
    hopefully after my op in june ,it all goes well,but whatever the outcome i personally will keep "Battling" the atos,eers of this world
    Surely you meant "the 'A'TOSsers of this world."

    I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - see this post by Joa, great advice and links!
    I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    is the article on the brighton campaign open for general public to leave a comment ?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Quote Originally Posted by ee-bee View Post
    is the article on the brighton campaign open for general public to leave a comment ?
    Yes, but there seems to be no-one approving the comments for publication. It's been 3 days and my comment isn't showing yet. E.g.
    by Loan Ranger May 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation.


    I'm not a qualified welfare rights adviser, but I'm planning on becoming one. I'm no substitute for more competent advice from trained CAB and welfare rights workers - see this post by Joa, great advice and links!
    I've been running a Crisis Loan campaign and help since Jan 2007 . See my annotations c/o "theyworkforyou". I'm also currently interested by the recent DWP Medical Services reform and the effect this is having on valid claims, seriously - someone needs to be keeping a suicide count.
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    Basic Account Holder Nix25hobbs Novitiate

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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    Thank you for all your advice. Erika, you are 100% right about the different assessments having different criteria and I totally agree that if say someone failed a medical to become a pro footballer, it wouldn't mean they were entitled to ESA.

    My concerns were the specific details, especially,"Dr _______ has advised that the Government’s work initiatives that you refer to you in your letter relate to those who may have a disability but are fit to work. Having considered the medical evidence available to him, he advised that you were currently unfit to work."

    I got a letter today saying that my appeal had failed and it needed to go to tribunal.

    I feel like I am a liar and trying to cheat the system so I don't really know what to do.

    I read through the categories and how many points you should be awarded and I can see atleast 24 that would apply to my situation. I guess it's all down to interpretation and aims of the interpreter.

    How does a tribunal work? My nurse and mum (carer) have said that they will come with me and I can get more medical evidence so do I need a legal representative too?

    I have contacted a solicitor about medical negligence against atos who is looking at all my documents to see if it can be done on a no win no fee basis. I don't really hold out much hope though. What can one person do to make an impact on a massive company like atos?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: ATOS contradictory assessments - what do I do know?

    For a tribunal I'd be inclined to suggest a welfare rights representative; they are more specifically trained in benefits law rather than generalised law. The panel members will consist of a legally qualified member and a medically qualified member. DWP sometimes send a rep but not always (this is an oral appeal). Oral appeals tend to have a higher sucess rate, and higher still where there is a welfare rep there.

    A Welfare rep will also prepare your submission.

    One person can make a big impact if their argument is strong enough.

    Totally different scenario but still DWP related - Kevin Willis. His plight changed the entire system for benefits related to bereavementicon. He had to go all the way to the ECHR but it paid off in the end.

    My advice is based on my opinion, my experience and my education. I do not profess to be an expert in any given field. If requested, I will provide a link where possible to relevant legislation or guidance, so that advice provided can be confirmed and I do encourage others to follow those links for their own peace of mind. Sometimes my advice is not what people necesserily want to hear, but I will advise on facts as I know them - although it may not be what a person wants to hear it helps to know where you stand. Advice on the internet should never be a substitute for advice from your own legal professional with full knowledge of your individual case.

    Please do not seek, offer or produce advice on a consumer issue via private message; it is against forum rules to advise via private message, therefore pm's requesting private advice will not receive a response.
    (exceptions for prior authorisation)


    If my advice has been helpful, please show your gratitude by taking a moment to click on the star icon on the bottom strip of my post






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