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Call for ATOS failure stories from 38 Degrees (Shouldn’t be hard to find)

January 25, 2013 Leave a comment

For hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled people, being called in by ATOS to be assessed for whether they are fit to work is a terrifying experience. What makes it even more terrifying is the fact that ATOS keeps getting it wrong. [1]ATOS’ deeply flawed system has led to thousands of people being forced to try to work when they physically can’t.

So far the government has failed to deal with the big mistakes ATOS repeatedly makes. It has done little to sort out the disability benefit tests which medical experts have described as ‘not fit for purpose’. [2]

Personal stories can often be the most powerful tool in persuading politicians to do the right thing. Michael Meacher, MP, is arranging a meeting with Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work and Pensions who has the power to sort out these problems. So he needs stories of ATOS getting it wrong to help convince him to act.

Can you help? Have you or someone you know been tested by ATOS? Would you be happy to share your experience?The more people who share their stories, the more powerful the message to the minister.

Help Michael Meacher convince Iain Duncan Smith to stand up to ATOS. Send in your story:
belinda-atos@38degrees.org.uk

Michael Meacher recently held a debate in parliament about ATOS’ work capability assessments. He talked about one of his voters who had been told he could work by ATOS and had his benefits cut. The 24 year old, who suffered from severe epilepsy, appealed, but was worried and depressed about how to pay his rent or buy food. [3]

Three months after seeing ATOS he died from a major seizure. The month after his death, his parents were informed that a mistake had been made and his benefits were being restored.

Iain Duncan Smith has the power to stand up to ATOS and demand these tests are changed. But so far he hasn’t been convinced. Michael Meacher is trying to set up a meeting with him to change this. He is going to present a dossier of stories from sick and disabled people who have been told they are fit to work.

Many sick and disabled people would love to work, but due to their illness they simply can’t. ATOS needs to change the way it assesses people, but they will only do this if forced to by the government.

Share your story:
belinda-atos@38degrees.org.uk

Thanks for being involved

Belinda, Hannah, James and the 38 Degrees team

NOTES:
[1] A Guardian article, “NAO criticise Atos benefits contract”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/17/nao-criticises-atos-benefits-contract?newsfeed=true
[2] The British Medical Association, Work Capability Assessments harm patients and should be scrapped, say GPs:http://bma.org.uk/news-views-analysis/media-centre/press-releases/work-capability-assessments
[3] Michael Meacher MP, My speech on ATOS work capability assessments: http://www.michaelmeacher.info/weblog/2013/01/my-speech-on-atos-work-capability-assessments/

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