Monthly Archives: July 2012

Atos or some similar swearword!!

Did anyone see the two programmes on TV regarding Atos last night? http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/4od#3388055 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01lldrc/Panorama_Disabled_or_Faking_It/. I found the channel 4 one particularly interesting as a GP went undercover to be trained in conducting the assessments. He uncovered that although both the government and Atos deny there are targets as to how many people they want thrown off ESA, in fact there is just that. Atos employees who pass too many as unfit for work are called up and asked to re-asses and alter their findings. Many of the criteria used for these assessments were shown to be fundamentally flawed and frankly laughable (if it wasn’t such a serious matter). How Chris Grayling could sit there, clearly lying through his teeth, is beyond the notion of any decent moral human being. The disgusting treatment of vulnerable people at the hands of Atos and this government is despicable. One man from my home county Derbyshire, had a heart attack and died 39 days after he was declared fit for work after undergoing 2 ESA assessments in a short period of time. It seems if you can sit behind a checkout and pass things over a scanner then you are fit for work. No consideration is taken as to if anyone will employ you with health problems that may mean you taking considerable time off.

People with mental health problems are also misunderstood under this system with people in hospital, sectioned under the mental health act declared fit for work! It was also mentioned in the channel 4 programme how one sufferer was asked why she wasn’t dead as she had taken several overdoses. What a way to treat someone already under stress. And the best thing yet Atos are on the shortlist to examine people for the new PIPS which will replace DLA so disabled and vulnerable people can expect more of the same.

The government is happy to shovel money into the pockets of Atos and the like, rather than pay genuinely sick people what after all many of them have paid tax for in the past and is only a meagre sum in real terms. I don’t know how they sleep at night!!

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Work Focused Interview

Well I went along for my interview and it went ok. Not sure how valuable any of it will be really as most of what was said I was already aware of. Have been offered a launchpad place, not sure if I’m going to take it or continue to look for voluntary work under my own steam. I have been told I’m under no obligation to take up any of their schemes and that they are there to offer me help. The personal adviser I saw did however seem quite naive about just how bad it is out there- which I was surprised about really, surely working in the jobcentre they should be all too aware of how tough it is? I have agreed to go to a couple more appointments and this time will have my questions ready (now I’m aware what it’s all about), and will take it from there. It did all sound good but I do know that a lot of these back to work programmes are of very little value in reality and seem to be designed to put forward the view that they help when in fact they are of little or no use in securing a permanent job.

WORK BASED INTERVIEW

Well I knew it was coming but thought they’d have such a lot to get through that I wouldn’t be a priority, but just had a phone call for an interview at the job centre next week. I really think they’ve got enough on with the millions actually signing on without seeing me, someone who is trying to make herself employable by doing various courses and who is constantly searching for info on different ways to widen my knowledge and opportunities. Whilst they did stress I won’t be forced into a job but would see if there was anything they could do to help me, I’m not holding out much hope for any help. A friend who is on JSA has had little or no help so don’t see how I’ll be treated any differently. As many have told me, I thinkĀ  they just go through the motions at the job centre. Said friend was in contact earlier saying how he had been told he must apply for fifty jobs a week in order to get his JSA. This from a man who clearly couldn’t be bothered to offer any help at all, sat playing a game on his computer!! He was then told his travel expenses were at the old centre and he would have to walk a total of four miles to get them or pay the bus fare out of his JSA. So if this is the calibre of help I can expect I’ll carry on trying to help myself!

We won ……………sort of!

Well we won the appeal despite it being an ordeal for OH. I myself was past caring. It was not a pleasant experience and couldn’t help feeling those we sat before didn’t really have a clue what it was like to be in our shoes. But hey it’s over with and whilst I know it doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen again we got through and have learned from it. Hopefully this time next year I won’t be reliant on DWP for my income. OH has been placed in the WRAG group, which we were told was the best we could hope for. So OH will have to attend an interview at the job centre designed to help him back into work but he can’t be forced to apply for jobs. We have been told that this programme is sketchy in its success as the help you receive often depends on the person appointed to help you. We will see.

So I will beĀ  winding down this blog and starting a new one shortly. I will report back on here as and when there are any other developments and if anyone wants any help or pointers on the appeal process I’m only to glad to help if I can. Leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading it has really helped to offload on here. Bye