The System Atos and Benefits

Last week in my post ‘One Hundred and Twenty Days’ I told you of how I finally got my decision saying I was fit for work.

Thinking about it though, I’ve never really explain how the system works and what it all means.

So, I thought I would take the time this week to just offer some quick input about the whole disabilities benefits thing and explain it from my point of view.

When you apply for Employment and Support Allowance (which has now replaced Incapacity Benefits) you are requested to attend a medical examination by a healthcare professional.

Now I use the terms ‘medical examination’ and ‘healthcare professional’ ever so lightly, because that is what the benefits system classes them as.

But, in reality it is a meeting where you sit in a stodgy little room, are asked some very impersonal questions which are read off of a computer screen, by someone that has been very basically trained in the medical industry, who is just looking to make some money.

How do they manage to sleep at night when they must know what they are doing is so wrong and so unfair to such vulnerable people? Do you remember the ‘Horlicks Advert’? Where the ticket warden drank Horlicks to sleep at night? Well, ATOS ‘healthcare professionals’ probably drink a barrel of it a night.

It’s a load of bull to put it politely.

So during this ‘medical examination’ as said, you are just asked questions that are read off of a computer screen and then depending on the answers you give you are scored accordingly.

Doesn’t sound to bad I hear you say?

OK, I understand that, but you have to score at least 15 points.

That’s not many points you say?

Well no, not really, but what if each point is worth an arm? Literally an arm.

As long as you have one arm, with a hand attached to it, that can press a button… Well, your fit for work!

See the thing is, these ‘healthcare professionals’ have been specially trained in the field of clicking buttons and selecting from drop down boxes.

If your answer doesn’t fit then you don’t score a point.

If you have all your limbs then you don’t score a point.

See where I’m going with this?

It’s simple really. If your not a limbless body or so mentally impaired you can’t function independently, then, by the conclusion of the computer clicking system you could work and therefore should work.

Nine times out of ten the computer system will deem you as fit for work, that then leads to an appeal, where your claim will be read by an actual human.

That doesn’t necessarily mean it will go in your favour though. These benefit workers have a percentage they have to work to. A percentage of people they can allow to claim and a percentage of people they can’t allow to claim. Some rumours say they have to turn down 88% of claims only allowing 12% through.

Failing all of the above, you are then rolled onto the third option which is a tribunal also known as a mini court case.

The system is so wrong, it makes me sick every time I think about it.

By doing things this way, they are hoping less people will claim benefits because less people will be able to deal with the system and to cope with the way it works.

Meaning vulnerable people become even more vulnerable.

I don’t understand why it isn’t all done through the Doctors. It would make so much more sense. Your GP knows you and they know your history, if there was just some sort of system that involved them, I’m sure it would be so much more simpler, kinder and fairer to those who need help.

But it’s all about making money these days. The government don’t care as long as they keep getting their tidy little pay packets.

So that’s the system and that’s how it works.


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