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ATOS Reassessment 2 weeks today.

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Hi

 

Just after a bit of advice.

 

I have a reassessment 2 weeks today. I suffer with an anxiety/panic disorder. Given 12 points last time, advised a return to work possible within 3 months. DM at DWP change this decision once receiving the ATOS report and gave me 18 points and advised reassessment in 12 months.

 

Not long after my initial assessment I developed a swallowing disorder, Dysphagia, which is a pretty bad thing, and relates to 2 Support group descriptors, ie the swallowing and chewing food ones.

 

I had professional help filling in my form, and sent a letter from my doctor and psychiatrist explaining my illness/es, how it affects me daily, and referring it to the descriptors, specifically the Support group descriptors. I also sent proof that I am seeing a Speech therapist who is attempting to teach me to swallow naturally again, which as yet isnt helping, and also urgently referred to the ENT for a check to make sure there is no physical problem with my throat, Yet they are still assessing me again.

 

Im not sure what else I can tell them when I visit, my illness is clear with 10 months of medical evidence/records to prove it, it has been proved to them by my Doctor/Psych by letter. I was referred to the Psych due to this condition and losing so much weight within a short space of time (2.5 stone in 2 months) plus I am on some very strong medication, including 30mg diazepam daily, 50mg quetiapine nightly (antipsychotic drug) plus 100mg setraline daily. None of the medication is working as yet, and can take quite some time before it does. Even when it does start to work, it will only help with the anxiety of swallowing, and will not then allow me to eat/drink/swallow normally again, the speech therapist will need to do this and she thinks it could take months.

 

Im pretty angry that I am being assessed again and just dont know what else to say, I know I am going to have a severe attitude when I go into the assessment room, I have anger issues when stressed/anxious which I find difficult to control, and on this day this is exactly how I will feel. I feel quite sorry for the person Im going to see, especially if its the same witch as before, because she was rude and lied on the report she created, and if it is her I will tell her so as soon as I see her, because I am not taking any rubbish from her this time.

 

Any advice on what to do/say whilst im there? I will attempt to stay calm, but when you can barely swallow your own saliva at times, mainly when stressed, I cant see it being a very friendly meeting.

 

Thanks.

 

Daz.

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Hello Daz, I hope the guys will be along later with advice for you.

 

If you weren't happy with the report last time, have you read up on recording your assessment? There are a couple of threads on the forum.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi HB

 

Yes I have had a good look around previously, and my mobile phone is ready and waiting to record. I know I could ask for it to be recorded officially, but I cant have them delaying it, its making me feel bad enough as it is and any delay will just make me more furious. I will just make it clear to them how I feel on the day and make sure they are aware that lies were told previously (I have last years report here which I will take and show them if they want to see it) Im just so annoyed that with all the info they have, and specific info at that, they are still calling me in. I have no problem going, but still, these are meant to be professional people, they can see what my problems are and they should act upon them accordingly. I just hope I can hold my temper whilst im there, I was nice and polite last time and it got me nowhere, so this time I will not be holding back.

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Oh just a quick mention, the Quetiapine is classed as a major tranquilizer, usually prescribed for schizophrenia, but in a much higher dose. At my dose and as a side effect it's a very strong sleeping tablet (we are talking minimum 14-16 hours a day) and used for severe anxiety, all medication mentioned was prescribed by the psychiatrist and they have also referred me for CBT, so as you can see they are throwing everything at me, due to how bad my situation is.

Edited by DMG123

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Oh just a quick mention, the Quetiapine is classed as a major tranquilizer, usually prescribed for schizophrenia, but in a much higher dose. At my dose and as a side effect it's a very strong sleeping tablet (we are talking minimum 14-16 hours a day) and used for severe anxiety, all medication mentioned was prescribed by the psychiatrist and they have also referred me for CBT, so as you can see they are throwing everything at me, due to how bad my situation is.

 

See most people with anxiety and agoraphobia problems don't necessarily see a psychiatrist or even take any medication for their illness and some people find it difficult taking them? this is what makes the whole esa assessments difficult is the lack of evidence that some people can not give them.

 

Did you see the house of common debate on the whole Atos system it was designed to fail benefit claims, it was first used by UNUM in the USA and was stopped because of its bad reputation, it is now being investigated by some MPs and has now been reported in some papers.

 

It wont be long until Atos is replaced by a new and fairer assessment procedure.

Edited by kAPPS

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Lets hope that time comes sooner rather than later kAPPS!! At least in the old days you could sit and explain to a Dr at a medical assessment what your problems were, these days its Yes or No, and thats it, whereas unfortunately, when it comes to mental health, Yes or No doesnt quite cut it, its far more complicated than that.

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Lets hope that time comes sooner rather than later kAPPS!! At least in the old days you could sit and explain to a Dr at a medical assessment what your problems were, these days its Yes or No, and thats it, whereas unfortunately, when it comes to mental health, Yes or No doesnt quite cut it, its far more complicated than that.

 

Yes that is right i remember the old IB assessments and it was much better for the claimant to sit with a medic doctor and explain their illness, also in the house of commons debate the Atos HCP's are also under fire for not providing the expertise needed to do medical assessments? but then it doesn't need to as the LiMa computer software system is mainly designed not to recognize sick claimants difficulties but to make them look able to work instead ?

 

This Government and the DWP knows this but have kept using it?

Edited by kAPPS

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They are only interested in statistics that they can use as propaganda. They arent interested in the people behind those statistics. What worries me though is that the people who are doing these assessments pretty much agree with what they are doing.


Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

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Atos assessment was 1 1/2 weeks ago now, does anyone know if the report would be back with the DWP yet? Also if its too early to ring them and ask for a copy? Or should I just wait for the letter. Id like to know the outcome asap so I can prepare for whats next, last time I had to wait 3 months for a decision and I dont want to wait that long again.

 

Thanks.

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: DMG123:

 

Reports of Atos assessments for benefit claims are usually available to Jobcentreplus within twenty four hours of the assessment cos they're sent electronically. Maybe forty eight hours if the assessment's completed clerically or Atos pull it out for what they euphemistically refer to as auditing.

 

From two days after the assessment, but before a decision maker considers the report, is actually the easiest time to get hold of a copy. Should be yours for the cost of a phone call to your benefit delivery centre. If it doesn't show up confirm your request in writing. In theory the reports are always available, but post decision getting hold of them is more complicated.

 

Regards, Margaret.

Edited by **Margaret**

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Thanks Margaret, have rang them and one will be sent out so looking forward to receiving it, should give me a good idea whats going to happen.

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Hi

 

Right, I have gotten hold of the report and the lady I saw has recommended I should be available for work within 6 months. She also stated that there is no evidence to suggest I have a swallowing disorder (I have lost 9lbs in 9 days and am having to see my Dr weekly now as I am being treated as someone with an eating disorder) Since this Dysphagia happened I have lost about 4 stone, I was a bit overweight and am now underweight and being prescribed complan in an effort to at least keep my weight steady.

 

I havent received a decision from the DWP yet, tho yesterday I received a WFI letter, of which I replied and posted off recorded delivery within the hour. There is no way on this earth I am going to the job centre to discuss ways of getting back into work, and possible courses/charity work when I cant even usually swallow my own saliva, let alone food or drink. I told the advisor this on the letter, described the whole situation, sent copies of letters of support/appointments from my Dr, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Physio etc and told them that no matter what the consequences ie stopping my payments, they can shove their WFI up their backsides. I assume from her letter they have put me into WRAG again which is unreal when I clearly have 2 support group descriptors and almost a year of medical evidence to back it up.

 

I have an appointment with an advisor next Friday to sort my appeal out (Riverside advice centre) so Im not worried about what will happen, but what I do not understand is, in the report it mentions something along the lines of Support group descriptions were not considered due to my having enough points for the WRAG. Surely, my proof, medical history, and letters from my Dr, Psych etc should override some dumb nurse who saw me for 40 minutes?

 

ATOS are ridiculous :evil:

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: DMG123:

 

Pinocchio can't ignore the support group descriptors simply cos there's evidence of limited capability for work, but she can ignore the non functional descriptors of limited capability for work due to exceptional circumstances. As for your medical evidence; when you receive the decision there's a high chance it won't even be mentioned. Just make sure you've got copies to include with the appeal.

 

From the available info it's a bit difficult to interpret what's happening decision and work focused interview wise.

 

No problem with having an appeal ready to send but a decision can't be appealed until it's been made by a decision maker. You need to find out whether a decision's been made (a month's not very long nowadays) and if it has, ask for a copy cos the original's clearly got lost.

 

This your first invite to the Jobcentre or first one for a while? Any chance it's from the last assessment rather than this one?

 

Bset wishes, Margaret.

Edited by **Margaret**

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Hi Margaret.

 

What are non functional descriptors and why can they be ignored?

 

Last assessment end of March last year, WRAG in May last year, I spoke to WFI advisor and she said she will wave WFI until after my next assessment, she meant if and when I have an assessment and pass/fail, so I have to assume its been completed and I am once again in the work group (last year I failed, 12 points, return to work within 3 months, but DWP decision maker gave me 18 points and review in a year, this didnt even have to go to reconsideration etc) Funny thing is they have given me the 15 points due to the descriptor of not being able to function around people, yet I am expected to go to the open plan offices full of people. I told them no and I am sticking to it. I think I will probably have a letter early this week telling me Im in the WRAG.

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: DMG123:

 

Seems there's a decision but they've not told you yet. :roll:

 

Can I suggest you look at the booklet below. It's dated January 13 but the descriptors you're interested in haven't changed since the previous version. Support group descriptors at the end, non functional descriptors on page 10. Pinocchio only has to consider the non functional descriptors if none of the functional ones are satisfied.

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

 

Margaret.

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Thanks for that. So, on reconsideration, and then probably onto tribunal, would they look at these non functional descriptors? I cannot see how they can ignore them since they are support group descriptors and are probably the worse thing that is happening to me at the moment. The thing is, I have a physical problem, which is made a lot worse by the anxiety disorder, they sort of feed off each other and make each other worse, hence the huge weight loss.

 

I am not concerned at all about where this will have to go, and I dont even care if they stop the benefit due to me not attending WFI, but the fact is I am not attending them, I have enough trouble getting through the day as it is without any extra added stress from them and Im not having it this time, I am prepared to fight them all the way.

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: DMG123:

 

If limited capability for work/work related activity can't be evidenced from the descriptors, 15 points or 1 support group descriptor; pinocchios, decision makers and tribunal panels are supposed to consider the non functional descriptors.

 

Only the second non functional descriptor (substantial risk to health) can be used for the support group.

Margaret.

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Well, I just got my notification of my pending assessment to switch from Income Support to ESA and I already feel like finding a level crossing...waste of time trying to fight it, and soon those wonderful Welfare Rights people will be busy making sure the latest batch of people, who have paid nothing into the system, get everything that EU law states they are entitled to...this is why our benefits are being cut, to fund these people.

Edited by ims21

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I was told during my 'courtesy phone call' yesterday that only 3% of claimants are put in the support group, even though my score when self testing put me right in that bracket.

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Quick update, during reconsideration they put me into the support group for 12 months, had letter today, very relieved, but I have 3 concrete support group descriptors so the idiots should have done it anyway.

 

Good luck to anyone else going thru this and thanks for the advice.

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