Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

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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.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder joeblogs Informative joeblogs Informative joeblogs Informative joeblogs Informative



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    Default Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hello, My mom has just received a lettericon from Atos asking her to telephone to arrange a medical (within 2 days of receipt of letter). Now my mom is in no state to be calling them, we are dealing here with severe mental health issues and she doesnt speak to anyone, she doesnt even know we have a letter! She has recently been referred to the Mental Health Team and we are awaiting contact from them. When the questionnaire arrived, a local agency helped me complete the form on my mom's behalf and they said she will need a home visit if a medical is needed. The Job Centre recently wrote regarding a 'back to work' meeting, I called them and explained the situ and they called me on the day of my mom's appointment and I explained to them that my mom could not speak with them, they were great and said they would do the same thing next time they needed another one of these meetings. My worry now is, how do I handle the telephone callicon when I ring Atos, any suggestions. I notice on another thread that maybe I should have enclosed a letter with my mom's questionnaire asking for details of the 'qualified healthcare professional' who is assessing my mothers questionnaire. Any help is greatfully received.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Did you put that on the form and back that up with a doctors letter explaining the difficulties your mum would have if it was not at home?

    Sorry just read the above again >>> could you ring and ask the doctors to provide you one for back up say for tomorrow pick up? Maybe be speak to the GPs practice manager.

    It would have to explain why they think that and that they consider a taxi not an option.

    Be warned they might insist or try and get you to use a taxi to get there anyway.

    Have a look here as there's some useful advice.
    Rightsnet discussion forum - Viewing topic #4421 - Client on IB asked to go to medical assessment out of the blue


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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    i can't really help but you seem to have a good grasp of what your doing. with regards the details of the decision makericon, qualification ect, I would phone the DWP and ask for that info before you make the appointment with atos, I'd back that up with a letter making ref to the phone callicon.
    This is what i'd do, i'm certainly no expert, but based on what i've read that would seem to be the best course. I'm sure someone with more expierence will be along to give more solid advice soon.

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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Thanks for your replies. We did say on the questionnaire that my mom would probably require a home visit and I'm sure her GP would write a letter of support. I am worried about ringing them for an appointment, could really do with some tips of how to handle the call and what do I say about a medical expert viewing the questionnaire and deciding my mom needs this medical. Please advise me folk on how to handle thems!!!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hello joeblogs,
    make an immediate appointment (preferably a home visit) with your mum's G.P. and obtain a med. certificate (sick note) to state that she is to refrain from all activities, including dealing with people, interviews and going outside.

    If you can, get the doc to put "Expires: until further notice", otherwise a couple of weeks would be helpful.
    If you have to send anything to the 'A'TOSsers, be sure to keep a copy for yourself.

    There are guidelines on who, can or cannot be, forced or asked to attend the medical centres for the exam. See the following link and use the edit/find (in top bar of firefox, I.Explorer etc.) to get to the phrase, "Unsuitable for calling to a Medical Examination Centre" (paste without the quote marks).
    DWP Atos Healthcare Medical Services Contract

    The website above also contains 'shed-loads' of useful information relating to ESA.

    Next it would be advisable to urgently ask the G.P. for a consultant psychiatrist, neurologist or whatever consultant is needed to make a full clinical diagnoses and report.

    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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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hi loan ranger, thank for your advice. She saw her GP about 3 weeks ago and he gave her one of these new fit notes signing her off sickicon for 3 months, I sent the original to ESA and kept a copy. She was seen by a counsellor yesterday and never uttered a word to him and he has referred her to the mental health team. As I have got a copy of the 'fit note' do I need anything else from the doctor, should I get something in writing from the counsellor and what do I say to Atos when I call them? Thanks


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hi there. Sorry I don't know the answers to your Atos questions, but if your mum is going to the mental health team, it could be a great thing for her. When I was in the depths of despair with institutions all around me saying I was fine when I wasn't, the NHS team were my salvation.

    I hope it's the same for your mum. And she's lucky to have you on her side.

    HB x

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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    @ joeblogs,
    phone the 'A'TOSsers, mention the "well note" (effing 1984ish nu-liebou® newspeak if you ask me). Tell them the DWP/A'TOSH contract says home visit and threaten to sue them for "Tort of Negligence" for forcing your mum to undergo the exam which is going to exacerbate her mental ill health at the present time.
    You must keep a paper trail of all your dealings with the 'A'TOSers so email their "customer servicesicon" (you'll find the email on this page) and give full details of the "Arrange Appointment" phone conversation, who, when, which centre and what was said by whom.
    As I have got a copy of the 'fit note' do I need anything else from the doctor, should I get something in writing from the counsellor
    Letters from Doctors usually cost money because this is outside of their NHS remuneration, a counsellor's letter may help but it doesn't mean A'TOSh will take any notice of it. If the 3 month well note covers the bases I mentioned earlier (dealing with people, interviews and going outside) then fine, otherwise it's up to you to make a judgement call, remember - benefits are very easily stopped and a nightmare to get re-instated because they hold all the cards. You just have to read the ESA threads in this forum to see that dealing with ESA/ATOS is somewhat akin to entering a den of vipers, so make sure to have a paper trail by sending emails of all phone conversations with the 'A'TOSsers.

    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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  9. #9
    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: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Agreed about Atos, but JB, all is not lost. Don't pass this on to your mum, and don't let her put a brave face on it even if she could, because it won't help.

    Big hugs to you both, HB x

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Well said HB, if these are your pearls of wisdom then your domain is a pearlicon garden. The CMHT floating support were a saviour for my Niece too, and i so agree with not unduly worrying someone like joeblogs' mum in the situation.

    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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  11. #11
    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: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Thank you LR [blush smiley]. HB x

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Oh thanks so much to all you kind folk, will let you know tomorrow how I get on with these morons and I will defo email their so called customer servicesicon. Thanks all


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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Quote Originally Posted by joeblogs View Post
    Oh thanks so much to all you kind folk, will let you know tomorrow how I get on with these morons and I will defo email their so called customer servicesicon. Thanks all
    Well thank-you joeblogs, in the course of my research in order to find the med centre test exclusions I discovered that my medical condition was on the list - no more A'TOSh for me!
    'scuse me while I kiss the sky.

    Please do keep us all updated, good luck and kind regards to you both,
    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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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    @ joe I would advise you to ignore absolutely everything written previously in this thread as it complete and utter bollox! I'm sorry but most of this is subjective drivel which is extremely likely to get you into serious trouble and difficulties if followed.

    Unlike what has been stated by LR both my doctor and counsellor have provided me with excellent supporting letters free of charge in fact they bent over backwards and included exactly what we had discussed needed to be in them too! Most do when asked!

    The decision is not made by ATOS it is made by a DWP Decision Maker (DM) who uses the evidence you have provided and the evidence gathered by ATOS (for them) to make it.

    You really need to start as a matter of urgency gathering as much medical evidence from the counsellor and doctor to support your case as possible. Unless you provide this evidence how is a 3rd party like the DM who decides it supposed to know how it is really effecting her? Whilst what you say is good these peoples opinion carry a lot more weight.

    If you are unsure of how get this ask the GP's practice manager for her advice and assistance. All evidence if you can should be in the format in my opinion due to condition X Ms Y would not be able to do A, B, C & D.

    I see 3 issues with the original question the "call for interview";

    1, you have failed to provide enough evidence to satisfy the need for a home medical. You need to get (as advised in my earlier post) a note from the doctor explaining why in their opinion she should be seen at home. Hopefully they will reconsider when they see this. (you need this asap I'd even suggest faxing it to them.)

    2, if this is not accepted and the medical goes ahead due to your mums condition she may be accused of non participation if she refuses to speak. Ask the councillor or doctor to include this in a note as well.

    3, what happens if she does not get the home visit & cannot go to the medical?

    This is really vital as 2&3 will result in it being passed to a DM for a ruling so you need medical evidence to back you up.

    You also need to be specific/clear on what medical/assessment she is being asked to attend is it the 1st one to decide "Limited Capacity for Work" or has this been ruled on in her favour and you are now facing the second one the "limited capability for work-related activity assessment" which decide which groups she goes in.

    Before you call ATOS call your welfare rights place for help!

    As unless you can persuade them to change their mind or find away to delay them to get your evidence together the next thing to land on the door mat will be the letter with the appointment date and time in it.

    Disclaimer: this all needs checked by the Site Team here and your own welfare rights advisor. This is based on my research and knowledge to date as I'm currently applying for a home visit on similar grounds for ESA.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    The short answer is that both lots of advice can be followed, but with the below in mind:

    Although your mother has the right to request a home medical, they can refuse this - although they should not do so unreasonably.

    Although you can request that ATOS furnish you with the qualifications of the person who will be performing the assessment, this will not affect the decision to refer her for a medical. This is a request for information. If your mother fails to attend an arranged appointment and a DM decides that she did so without good cause, they can terminate her benefit. It is unlikely to be considered "good cause" failing to attend a medical whilst awaiting information on the assessors qualifications, as a claimant is obliged to attend an assessment with ATOS if required, to assess their capacity thus their entitlement to that benefit; it is not specified within ESA regulations that a claimant should be provided with the qualifications of assessors, nor is it specified that the claimant can take the decision to not attend the medical if not provided with this information prior to the medical, or if he/she decides that the person is not suitably qualified to assess her. She could of course, attempt to fight that she has "good cause" but the risk of this is loss of her benefit. And it is a very high risk.

    Re Loanranger's quote on NHS professionals' letters/reports. He is absolutely correct. In accordance with their NHS contracts, an NHS professional is not obliged to write letters or reports for claimants in support of their claims to benefit out with the sick certificates and reports requested by DWP. Proving these letters/reports to their patients directly falls under the umbrella of private practice. They can therefore refuse to provide a letter/report, or they can agree to provide one but charge for it. However, as Speedfreak quotes, some NHS professionals will happily provide you with a letter of support or a report free of charge without hassle. You can only but ask, just bear in mind that under their contracts they are not obliged to and can refuse if they choose to do so. If they are happy to assist, ask for the matters to be included that Speedfreak has referred to - that's good advice re the outlining of a home medical and mutism.

    Given what you have said about your mum's state of mind here:

    Quote Originally Posted by joeblogs View Post
    Now my mom is in no state to be calling them, we are dealing here with severe mental health issues and she doesnt speak to anyone, she doesnt even know we have a letter! She has recently been referred to the Mental Health Team and we are awaiting contact from them.
    I would strongly advise you, to make enquiries about becoming your mother's appointee for benefits purposes. Whilst your mother has no appointee, the DWP can refuse to deal with you, and though they should utilise the guidance of "implicit consent" this often doesn't materialise. Everything will have to be signed by your mother and she will have to manage her claim; every responsibility falls on her. If she had an appointee, that person becomes responsible for everything to do with her benefit claim. An appointee will have all correspondance issued to them rather than the claimant, is responsible for making claims and enquiries and reporting changes of circumstances on the claimant's behalf. If your mother recouperates to a stage where she is able to manage her own affairs again, the appointee can be relinquished, returning the managing of the claim to the claimant. If you wish to do this, contact ESA and make enquiries about this. Explain the limits of your mother's abilities to currently manage her affairs and they will assist you through the process. If accepted (and there is rarely an issue with an appointee application being accepted where the person has clear difficulty in managing their affairs), the appointee's details will be entered on to the computer system so that it is on record that the claimant has an appointee.

    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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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    ESA club rules OK

    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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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Quote Originally Posted by loan_ranger View Post
    ESA club rules OK
    Hi 5s LR :grin:


  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder Yet_Another_Atos_Victim Novitiate



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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hi Joe, Sorry about your Mum's situation. I went for my Work Capability Assessment with Atos in March, and they tried to stop me from making notes! When I insisted on writing things down, they terminated the WCA on some fake excuse. They are a very sinister and evasive company. It took them 9 weeks to refund my £2.40 travelling expenses and my complaints are still ongoing. They lied to DWP and got my ESA benefit stopped and it was only the reasoableness of DWP that got my money back on. My tips would be: Avoid telephone contact if possible; keep copies of all letters; have someone accompany your Mum to any meetings. For background on Atos look at http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatos.html (not my website, but a very good one). If I can give any advice, post a reply to this and I'll help if I can. Good luck with things.

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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hello Yet_Another_Atos_Victim and welcome to the CAGicon forums and the unofficial "ESA Club" as some of us victims of the 'A'TOSsers like to call ourselves from time to time.

    Yes I must agree with you on how useful and informative a site whywaitforever is, FYI the owner of the site has the CAGicon username mikebach, read his post here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ml#post2894102
    his email address was removed (site rulesicon disallow emails to deter spammers) however clicking on his username will bring up his CAG webmail contact email.
    As you may be aware already, Mike is very poorly and his "off days" may interfere with him responding to all messages.

    Talking of site rules, you may find that the site team may remove the link which you put in your post, reason: its a commercial page (the top level of Mike's domain) which is used for his SEO biz, I think that what you really meant to post was this link: DWP ESA Medical Examinations Perhaps you may wish to edit the link (in your post) yourself so that your post will still make sense by not having the link removed by the CAGBot.

    That said, thank-you for your help and support and long may it continue,

    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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    Basic Account Holder Yet_Another_Atos_Victim Novitiate



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    Default Re: Letter from Atos to arrange Medical

    Hi Paul,

    Many thanks for your kind feedback, and for the info about Mike, whose amazing site I stumbled on from googling 'Atos'. Your link to 'How Do I Reply...' was very useful so thanks for that too.

    After posting the original link I checked it and found myself on a different page than the one I remembered so I edited it to include the http:// bit and the dwpatos.html ending but thanks for that also.

    I found CAGicon a week or two ago and didn't look at it properly and it's only tonight I've found so many Atos posts. I've been lucky enough to have worked for 30 years and have contributed to 'the system' all that time, obviously. At a time when the (ex) Minister for DWP got paid £141,000 a year it seems hypocrital to begrudge sick and vulnerable people £65.45 a week. It also seems very upside down logic to mess about the very taxpayers who are paying Atos' £500 million 7+ year contract, whereas the savings by not paying these useless leaches would provide funds for a great many genuine, oppressed, sick folk. (Sorry - soapbox bit over lol).

    One good thing has come out of it from my perspective - it's made me determined to do what many on CAGicon are also doing...to help others in the same boat.

    Thanks again, Paul for your welcome to the ESA Club.

    Best Wishes, John


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