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Kevinpert

So what when ATOS makes you homeless

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My wife will soon be going for one of the Atos assessments as she has been on incapacity benefit for around 16 years now due to a degenerated disc in the lower back, which causes walking, sitting standing dificulties. On looking at other messages, it seems she has little chance in keeping this under the new fit for work process. Our issue is that she doesn't have her own transport and public transport she cannot use as she is unable to stand in queues etc. and the Jobcentre plus is over a mile away. This would mean me taking time off work to take her to the Jobcentre plus each time she is asked to go there. She has not been able to have a social life for years now, and I mean by that - she cannot do any shopping, housework is very limited, and I have to do things such as cooking, washing up etc. as it is painful to stand in one position.

But our real concern is that if she loses the money or has it reduced, it will leave us homeless as my income is nowhere near what is needed for this area of the country. We had to sell our house a few years ago because of debt and are in rented accomodation and wouldn't be able to afford that either. So what about all this added stress, is anyone going to care about this. To top it all as we are in an IVA we would also be made bankrupt as we wouldn't be able to afford these payments either. This would also jeapodise my job as they don't accept anyone who goes onto bankcrupcy.

I don't beileve anyone in Government realises what stress they are putting on people just because they have been left with a condition which is not their fault

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I would like to say 1st that try not to worry. The process for ib to esa is fraught one. The premise behind the ESA is what can you do and not like IB's what you cant do. Sounds fairer? In practise as you have seen from your reading this is not exactly the case.

 

If the form is completed with an attention to detail and not just ticking box after box with a short answer then in my opinion it will help. I think it also helps having some paperwork from doctors / consultants.

 

I would personally ensure that a recording is made of the assesment, so later on it can be available for you to be able to compare what has been said and what was actually recorded.

 

I dont think i have read a post where the HCP was anything other than pleasent (no doubt there will be some) but reading from other posts it has been said you are monitored from the moment you enter. If there is anything you havnt sent to them already like consultant letters then the HCP should use them in your assessment. Its been said in lots of posts that the questions and assumptions they make are frankly ludicrous. If asked about moving etc always say how much pain , if its repeatable and the consequences of doing that action. Eg if asked going up stairs say what pain this brings you , if you could repeat it and if this leads to other problems later on. They should give you enough time to answer each question fully. I would also be careful of any yes / no answers to questions, if it varies say so and the details. It is not guarenteed that the will physically examine you but may ask to perform some actions, make it clear pain/repeatability/consequences of those actions.

 

The decision maker at the DWP is the person who , based on all available evidence, decides on ESA and what group descriptors have been satisfied for placement into either the WRAG or SG.

 

I hope this helps, im sure others will point out any inaccuricies in what i wrote.

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I think you should speak to your Citizens Advice and local council about this to find out what would happen if part of current benefits is removed. I think you need to find out as much information as possible, so you can see what help is available.

 

This is not an ATOS problem as such, but something you will need help with in the battles you may have with DWP.


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