Ability to work ATOS medical test: Jjudge for yourself (Daily Express, 27 Jan 2011)

drjohn

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Ability to work ATOS medical test: An invitation to judge for yourself (Daily Express, 27 January 2011)

PERMISSION TO FORWARD, USE IN NEWSLETTERS AND RE POST ON FACEBOOK PAGES

To read a letter from Dr John Greensmith
click here http://www.mefreeforall.org/index.php?id=2686#c10273

Any letters in response and support should be sent to e-mail address
expressletters@express.co.uk

May I urge as many as can manage to write about the ATOS work capability test. Are there any other people prepared to have a journalist accompany them? If so, please make the offer to follow my example and, if you will, copy to me to strengthen our case around the UK. Those outside the UK should not feel excluded. You will no doubt have eligibility criteria for welfare benefits in your country and we can learn from each other's experiences.

Or just laugh your head off with our joke of the day
here http://www.mefreeforall.org/index.php?id=1569

Cheers
John
drjohngreensmith@mefreeforall.org
Dr John H Greensmith
ME Free For All. org
 

SilverbladeTE

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ATOS put me of Incapacity Benefit, gave me 3 points...(you need 18)
but hey they've done the same for folk dying of cancer,
folk with no legs,
folk who ATOS in it's other role as medical assessor for the government put an ME patient OUT of work saying she was unfit to work so she got sacked and then said she was fit enough to work in their benefit section....

rotten evil *******. this is the REAL face of our new Corporate Fascist rulers, don't damn kid yourselves, people, those monsters have crawled back out of the woodwork after hiding for 80 years. :/
 

Esther12

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I'm currently on high rate DLA... but I've had some improvements in my condition and think I might have to come off that soon. Incapacity benefit looks like it's just as hard to keep.

I might go from living quite comfortably on disability benefits to being expected to find a full time job... just because I'm nearing the point of being well enough to leave my house on most days. I'm saving up as much money as I can, in the hope that at some point they'll notice the harm that's being done to people and reverse course on this...

I wonder if they're examining how many former incapacity claiments go on to find a job, rather than just being stuck on unemplyment benefit?
 
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I wonder if they're examining how many former incapacity claiments go on to find a job, rather than just being stuck on unemplyment benefit?
The Review of ESA by Prof Harrington did touch on this, though this was from the pilot of new applicants, not people already accepted onto IB.
15. ... In order to see if the benefit meets its policy aims there needs
to be effective monitoring of the employment outcomes of ESA claimants.

16. There has been a degree of criticism of the Department around the lack of clarity
around outcomes for ESA claimants found fit for work and those closing their
claim prior to the WCA, and a degree of negative speculation around what those
outcomes may have been.

17. Recent DWP research32 has shown that over 40 per cent of those who closed or
withdrew their claim before receiving a WCA decision were in employment when
surveyed (between six and 10 months after making their initial claim). A further
30 per cent said they were unemployed and looking for work. Only one-quarter
of those who closed or withdrew their claim cited health as a barrier to work, so it
appears that improved health is a significant reason for people leaving ESA prior
to receiving their WCA decision.

18. For people found fit for work, 13 per cent were in employment at the time the
research was carried out, while over half cited health as a barrier to work.
Onefifth
of people found fit for work felt they would never work again, while two-fifths
didn’t expect to work immediately, but either hoped to work in the future or would
at least consider work.

19. This research has been very helpful in identifying outcomes for a sample of
customers. The results are broadly positive for customers withdrawing their claim
or whose claims are closed, but there are concerns over whether the desired
policy outcomes are being achieved for those found fit for work.

20. The review recommends that DWP and future reviews look in detail at the
outcomes for all people making claims to ESA
. This monitoring should consider
the outcomes for people who withdraw from ESA prior to assessment, to ensure
they aren’t withdrawing as a result of the complexity of the system. For those
found fit for work and those who join the Work-Related Activity Group, the
monitoring should consider whether the right people are being allocated to the
different groups at the WCA.

21. This will be particularly important when the reassessment of existing incapacity
benefits is rolled-out nationally, and for ensuring the Work Programme can
operate effectively.
Full report here.

The ME Association say they've struggled to find anyone with ME who has got past the ATOS test. My IB is reviewed in October and I'm worried.
 

Esther12

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Thanks for that, but they look to me like the IB criteria - I'll be up for the new ESA test in the autumn which seems to work in a very different way.
Ah... they were the 'new' incapacity tests so I thought that was what ESA was too. Anyone know what the ESA criteria are?
 

Esther12

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Here's some of it. I'm not quite sure if you need 10 or 15 points... I thought I'd read both:

Edit: I'd add a word of caution. Gerwyn mentioned that on the old test only the highest scores for walking problems counted towards your total. There could well be other quirks like this too.

Edit 2 for this:

If the customer scores 15 points in any physical and/ or mental activity or a total of 15 or more points from a combination of activities, then the criterion for limited capability for work is met for benefit entitlement purposes. At this stage the decision maker will also consider whether a customer is to be placed into the Support Group, if the advice from the approved healthcare professional indicates one of the criteria for limited capability for work-related activity has been met.




Limited Capability for Work
Descriptors and scores for each physical activity
Activities
1. Walking with a walking stick or other aid if such aid is normally used
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot walk at all 15
b) Cannot walk more than 50 metres on level ground without repeatedly 15
stopping or severe discomfort
c) Cannot walk up or down two steps even with the support of a handrail 15
d) Cannot walk more than 100 metres on level ground without stopping 9
or severe discomfort
e) Cannot walk more than 200 metres on level ground without stopping 6
or severe discomfort
f) None of the above apply 0
2. Standing and sitting
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot stand for more than 10 minutes, unassisted by another 15
person, even if free to move around, before needing to sit down
b) Cannot sit in a chair with a high back and no arms for more than 15
10 minutes before needing to move from the chair because the degree
of discomfort experienced makes it impossible to continue sitting
c) Cannot rise to standing from sitting in an upright chair without 15
physical assistance from another person
d) Cannot move between one seated position and another seated 15
position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance
from another person
e) Cannot stand for more than 30 minutes, even if free to move around, 6
before needing to sit down
f) Cannot sit in a chair with a high back and no arms for more than 6
30 minutes without needing to move from the chair because the degree
of discomfort experienced makes it impossible to continue sitting
g) None of the above apply 0
3. Bending or kneeling
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot bend to touch knees and straighten up again 15
b) Cannot bend, kneel or squat, as if to pick up a light object, such as a 9
piece of paper, situated 15cm from the floor on a low shelf, to move
it and straighten up again without the help of another person
c) Cannot bend, kneel or squat, as if to pick up a light object off the floor 6
and straighten up again without the help of another person
d) None of the above apply 0
4. Reaching
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in top pocket of a 15
coat or jacket
b) Cannot put either arm behind back as if to put on a coat or jacket 15
c) Cannot raise either arm to top of head as if to put on a hat 9
d) Cannot raise either arm above head height as if to reach for 6
something
e) None of the above apply 0
5. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding all other activities specified)
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton full of liquid with either 15
hand
b) Cannot pick up and move a one litre carton full of liquid with either 9
hand
c) Cannot pick up and move a light but bulky object such as an empty 6
cardboard box, requiring the use of both hands together
d) None of the above apply 0
6. Manual dexterity
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot turn a ‘star-headed’ sink tap with either hand 15
b) Cannot pick up a 1 coin or equivalent with either hand 15
c) Cannot turn the pages of a book with either hand 15
d) Cannot physically use a pen or pencil 9
e) Cannot physically use a conventional keyboard or mouse 9
f) Cannot do up/ undo small buttons, such as shirt or blouse buttons 9
g) Cannot turn a ‘star-headed’ sink tap with one hand but can with the 6
other
h) Cannot pick up a 1 coin or equivalent with one hand but can with 6
the other
i) Cannot pour from an open 0.5 litre carton full of liquid 6
j) None of the above apply 0
7. Speech
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot speak at all 15
b) Speech cannot be understood by strangers 15
c) Strangers have great difficulty understanding speech 9
d) Strangers have some difficulty understanding speech 6
e) None of the above apply 0
Employment And Support Allowance
ESA214 – The Work Capability Assessment
20
8. Hearing with a hearing aid or other aid if normally worn
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot hear at all 15
b) Cannot hear well enough to be able to hear someone talking in a 15
loud voice in a quiet room, sufficiently clearly to distinguish the words
being spoken
c) Cannot hear someone talking in a normal voice in a quiet room, 9
sufficiently clearly to distinguish the words being spoken
d) Cannot hear someone talking in a loud voice in a busy street, 6
sufficiently clearly to distinguish the words being spoken
e) None of the above apply 0
9. Vision including visual activity and visual fields, in normal daylight or bright electric light, with glasses or other aid to vision if such aid is normally worn
Descriptor Points
a) Cannot see at all 15
b) Cannot see well enough to read 16 point print at a distance of 15
greater than 20 cm
c) Has 50% or greater reduction of visual fields 15
d) Cannot see well enough to recognise a friend at a distance of at 9
least 5 metres
e) Has 25% or more but less than 50% reduction of visual fields 6
f) Cannot see well enough to recognise a friend at a distance of at 6
least 15 metres
g) None of the above apply 0
10 (a) Continence other than enuresis (bed wetting) where the customer does not have an artificial stoma or urinary collecting device
Descriptor Points
a)(i) Has no voluntary control over the evacuation of the bowel 15
a)(ii) Has no voluntary control over the voiding of the bladder 15
a)(iii) At least once a month loses control of bowels so that the customer 15
cannot control the full evacuation of the bowel
a)(iv) At least once a week, loses control of bladder so that the customer 15
cannot control the full voiding of the bladder
a)(v) Occasionally loses control of bowels so that the customer cannot 9
control the full evacuation of the bowel
a)(vi) At least once a month loses control of bladder so that the customer 6
cannot control the full voiding of the bladder
a)(vii) Risks losing control of bowels or bladder so that the customer 6
cannot control the full evacuation of the bowel or the full voiding of the
bladder if not able to reach a toilet quickly
a)(viii) None of the above apply 0
(b) Continence where the customer uses a urinary collecting device, worn for the majority of the time including an indwelling urethral or suprapubic catheter
Descriptor Points
b)(i) Is unable to affix, remove or empty the catheter bag or other device 15
without receiving physical assistance from another person
b)(ii) Is unable to affix, remove or empty the catheter bag or other 15
collecting device without causing leakage of contents
b)(iii) Has no voluntary control over the evacuation of the bowel 15
b)(iv) At least once a month, loses control of bowels so that the customer 15
cannot control the full evacuation of the bowel
b)(v) Occasionally loses control of bowels so that the customer cannot 9
control the full evacuation of the bowel
b)(vi) Risks losing control of the bowels so that the customer cannot 6
control the full evacuation of the bowel if not able to reach a toilet quickly
b)(vii) None of the above apply 0
10 (c) Continence other than enuresis (bed wetting) where the customer has an artificial stoma
Descriptor Points
c)(i) Is unable to affix, remove or empty stoma appliance without 15
receiving physical assistance from another person
c)(ii) Is unable to affix, remove or empty stoma appliance without 15
causing leakage of contents
c)(iii) Where the customer’s artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation 15
of the bowel, at least once a week, loses control of bladder so that the
customer cannot control the full voiding of the bladder
c)(iv) Where the customer’s artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation 9
of the bowel, at least once a month, loses control of bladder so that the
customer cannot control the full voiding of bladder
c)(v) Where the customer’s artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation 6
of the bowel, risks losing control of the bladder so that the customer
cannot control the full voiding of the bladder if not able to reach a toilet
quickly
c)(vi) None of the above apply 0
11. Remaining conscious during waking moments
Descriptors Points
a) At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered 15
consciousness, resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or
concentration
b) At least once a month, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered 9
consciousness, resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or
concentration
c) At least twice in six months immediately preceding the assessment, 6
has had an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness,
resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration
d) None of the above apply 0
Descriptors and scores for each mental, cognitive and intellectual function assessment
12. Learning or comprehension in completion of tasks
Descriptors Points
a) Cannot learn or understand how to successfully complete a simple 15
task, such as setting an alarm clock, at all
b) Needs to witness a demonstration, given more than once on the 15
same occasion, of how to carry out a simple task before the customer is
able to learn or understand how to complete the task successfully, but
would be unable to successfully complete the task the following day
without receiving a further demonstration of how to complete it
c) Needs to witness a demonstration of how to carry out a simple task, 9
before the customer is able to learn or understand how to complete the
task successfully, but would be unable to successfully complete the task
the following day without receiving a verbal prompt from another person
d) Needs to witness a demonstration of how to carry out a moderately 9
complex task, such as the steps involved in operating a washing
machine to correctly clean clothes, before the customer is able to learn
or understand how to complete the task successfully, but would be
unable to successfully complete the task the following day without
receiving a verbal prompt from another person
e) Needs verbal instructions as to how to carry out a simple task before 6
the customer is able to learn or understand how to complete the task
successfully, but would be unable, within a period of less than one week,
to successfully complete the task the following day without receiving a
verbal prompt from another person
f) None of the above apply 0
13. Awareness of hazards
Descriptors Points
a) Reduced awareness of the risks of everyday hazards (such as 15
boiling water or sharp objects) would lead to daily instances of or
to near-avoidance of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) significant damage to property or possessions,
to such an extent that overall day to day life cannot successfully be
managed
b) Reduced awareness of the risks of everyday hazards would lead 9
for the majority of the time to instances of or to near-avoidance of:
(i) injury to self and others; or
(ii) significant damage to property or possessions,
to such an extent that overall day to day life cannot successfully be
managed without supervision from another person
c) Reduced awareness of the risks of everyday hazards has led or 6
would lead to frequent instances of or to near-avoidance of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) significant damage to property or possessions,
but not to such an extent that overall day to day life cannot be managed
when such incidents occur
d) None of the above apply 0
14. Memory and concentration
Descriptors Points
a) On a daily basis, forgets or loses concentration to such an extent that 15
overall day to day life cannot be successfully managed without receiving
verbal prompting, given by someone else in the customer’s presence
b) For the majority of the time, forgets or loses concentration to such an 9
extent that overall day to day life cannot be successfully managed
without receiving verbal prompting, given by someone else in the
customer’s presence
c) Frequently forgets or loses concentration to such an extent that overall 6
day to day life can only be successfully managed with pre-planning, such
as making a daily written list of all tasks forming part of daily life that are
to be completed
d) None of the above apply 0
15. Execution of tasks
Descriptors Points
a) Is unable to successfully complete any everyday task 15
b) Takes more than twice the length of time it would take a person 15
without any form of mental disablement, to successfully complete an
everyday task with which the customer is familiar
c) Takes more than one and a half times but no more than twice the 9
length of time it would take a person without any form of mental
disablement to successfully complete an everyday task with which the
customer is familiar
d) Takes one and a half times the length of time it would take a person 6
without any form of mental disablement to successfully complete an
everyday task with which the customer is familiar
e) None of the above apply 0
16. Initiating and sustaining personal action
Descriptors Points
a) Cannot, due to cognitive impairment or a severe disorder of mood 15
or behaviour, initiate or sustain any personal action (which means
planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks)
b) Cannot, due to cognitive impairment or a severe disorder of mood 15
or behaviour, initiate or sustain personal action without requiring
verbal prompting given by another person in the customer’s presence
for the majority of the time
c) Cannot, due to cognitive impairment or a severe disorder of mood 9
or behaviour, initiate or sustain personal action without requiring verbal
prompting given by another person in the customer’s presence for the
majority of the time
d) Cannot, due to cognitive impairment or a severe disorder of mood 6
or behaviour, initiate or sustain personal action without requiring
frequent verbal prompting given by another person in the customer’s
presence
e) None of the above apply 0
17. Coping with change
Descriptors Points
a) Cannot cope with very minor, expected changes in routine, to the 15
extent that overall day to day life cannot be managed
b) Cannot cope with expected changes in routine (such as a 9
pre-arranged permanent change to the routine time scheduled for a
lunch break), to the extent that overall day to day life is made
significantly more difficult
c) Cannot cope with minor, unforeseen changes in routine (such as an 6
unexpected change of the timing of an appointment on the day it is due
to occur), to the extent that overall, day to day life is made significantly
more difficult
d) None of the above apply 0
18. Getting about
Descriptors Points
a) Cannot get to any specified place with which the customer is, or 15
would be, familiar
b) Is unable to get to a specified place with which the customer is 15
familiar, without being accompanied by another person on each occasion
c) For the majority of the time is unable to get to a specified place with 9
which the customer is familiar without being accompanied by another
person
d) Is frequently unable to get to a specified place with which the 6
customer is familiar without being accompanied by another person
e) None of the above apply 0
19. Coping with social situations
Descriptors Points
a) Normal activities, for example, visiting new places or engaging in 15
social contact, are precluded because of overwhelming fear or anxiety
b) Normal activities, for example, visiting new places or engaging in 9
social contact, are precluded for the majority of the time due to
overwhelming fear or anxiety
c) Normal activities, for example, visiting new places or engaging in 6
social contact, are frequently precluded, due to overwhelming fear
or anxiety
d) None of the above apply 0
20. Propriety of behaviour with other people
Descriptors Points
a) Has unpredictable outbursts of aggressive, disinhibited, or 15
bizarre behaviour, being either:
(i) sufficient to cause disruption to others on a daily basis; or
(ii) of such severity that although occurring less frequently than
on a daily basis, no reasonable person would be expected to
tolerate them
b) Has a completely disproportionate reaction to minor events or to 15
criticism to the extent that the customer has an extreme violent outburst
leading to threatening behaviour or actual physical violence
c) Has unpredictable outbursts of aggressive, disinhibited or bizarre 9
behaviour, sufficient in severity and frequency to cause disruption for
the majority of the time
d) Has a strongly disproportionate reaction to minor events or to criticism, 9
to the extent that the customer cannot manage overall day to day life when
such events or criticism occur
e) Has unpredictable outbursts of aggressive, disinhibited or bizarre 6
behaviour, sufficient to cause frequent disruption
f) Frequently demonstrates a moderately disproportionate reaction to 6
minor events or to criticism but not to such an extent that the customer
cannot manage overall day to day life when such events or criticism occur
g) None of the above apply 0
21. Dealing with other people
Descriptors Points
a) Is unaware of impact of own behaviour to the extent that: 15
(i) has difficulty relating to others even for brief periods, such as a
few hours; or
(ii) causes distress to others on a daily basis
b) The customer misinterprets verbal or non-verbal communication to the 15
extent of causing himself or herself significant distress on a daily basis
c) Is unaware of impact of own behaviour to the extent that: 9
(i) has difficulty relating to others for longer periods, such as a day
or two; or
(ii) causes distress to others for the majority of the time
d) The customer misinterprets verbal or non-verbal communication to the 9
extent of causing himself or herself significant distress to himself for the
majority of the time
e) Is unaware of impact of own behaviour to the extent that: 6
(i) has difficulty relating to others for prolonged periods, such
as a week; or
(ii) frequently causes distress to others
Employment And Support Allowance
f) The customer misinterprets verbal or non-verbal communication to the 6
extent of causing himself or herself significant distress on a frequent basis
g) None of the above apply 0
 

Esther12

Senior Member
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Some more - I think this is automatic elligability stuff.

Limited Capability for Work-Related Activity
Descriptors for each activity
1. Walking or moving on level ground
Descriptor
Cannot a: walk (with a walking stick or other aid if such aid is normally used)
b: move (with the aid of crutches if crutches are normally used); or
c: manually propel the customers wheelchair
more than 30 metres without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort
2. Rising from sitting and transferring from one seated position to another
Descriptor
Cannot complete both of the following
a: rise to standing from sitting in an upright chair without receiving physical assistance from someone else; and
b: move between one seated position and another seated position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from someone else
3. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding standing, sitting, bending or kneeling and all other activities specified)
Descriptor
Cannot pick up and move 0.5 litre carton full of liquid with either hand
4. Reaching
Descriptor
Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket
5. Manual dexterity
Descriptor
Cannot a: turn a star-headed sink tap with either hand; or
b: pick up a 1 coin or equivalent with either hand
6. Continence
Descriptor
(a) Continence other than enuresis (bed wetting) where the customer does not have an artificial stoma or urinary collecting device.
a: Has no voluntary control over the evacuation of the bowel;
b: Has no voluntary control over the voiding of the bladder;
c: At least once a week, loses control of bowels so that the customer cannot control the full evacuation of the bowel;
d: At least once a week, loses control of bladder so that the customer cannot control the full voiding of the bladder;
e: At least once a week, fails to control full evacuation of the bowel, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour; or
f: At least once a week, fails to control full-voiding of the bladder, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour.
(b) Continence where the customer uses a urinary collecting device, worn for the majority of the time including an indwelling urethral or suprapubic catheter.
a: Is unable to affix, remove or empty the catheter bag or other collecting device without receiving physical assistance from another person;
b: Is unable to affix, remove or empty the catheter bag or other collecting device without causing leakage of contents;
c: Has no voluntary control over the evacuation of the bowel;
d: At least once a week loses control of bowels so that the customer cannot control the full evacuation of the bowel; or
e: At least once a week, fails to control full evacuation of the bowel, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour.
(c) Continence other than enuresis (bed wetting) where the customer has an artificial stoma appliance.
a: Is unable to affix, remove or empty stoma appliance without receiving physical assistance from another person;
b: Is unable to affix, remove or empty stoma without causing leakage of contents;
c: Where the customers artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation of the bowel, has no voluntary control over voiding of bladder;
d: Where the customers artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation of the bowel, at least once a week, loses control of the bladder so that the customer cannot control the full voiding of the bladder; or
e: Where the customers artificial stoma relates solely to the evacuation of the bowel, at least once a week, fails to control the full voiding of the bladder, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour.
7. Maintaining personal hygiene
Descriptor
a: Cannot wash the front of their body without receiving physical assistance from someone else;
b: Cannot wash the front of their body without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
c: Cannot wash the front of their body without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the customers presence; or
d: Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to wash the front of their own body without receiving
(i) physical assistance from someone else; or
(ii) regular prompting given by someone else in the customers presence.
Employment And Support Allowance
ESA214 The Work Capability Assessment
29
8. Eating and drinking
Descriptor
(a) Conveying food or drink to the mouth
a: Cannot convey food or drink to the customers own mouth without receiving physical assistance from someone else;
b: Cannot convey food or drink to the customers own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
c: Cannot convey food or drink to the customers own mouth without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the customers physical presence; or
d: Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to convey food or drink to the customers own mouth without receiving
(i) physical assistance from someone else; or
(ii) regular prompting given by someone else in the customers presence.
(b) Chewing or swallowing food or drink
a: Cannot chew or swallow food or drink;
b: Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
c: Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the customers presence; or
d: Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour, fails to
(i) chew or swallow food or drink; or
(ii) chew or swallow food or drink without regular prompting given by someone else in the customers presence.
9. Learning or comprehension in the completion of tasks
Descriptor
a: Cannot learn or understand how to successfully complete a simple task, such as the preparation of a hot drink, at all;
b: Needs to witness a demonstration, given more than once on the same occasion of how to carry out a simple task before the customer is able to learn or understand how to complete the task successfully, but would be unable to successfully complete the task the following day without receiving a further demonstration of how to complete it; or
c: Fails to do any of the matters referred to in (a) or (b) owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour
10. Personal action
Descriptor
a: Cannot initiate or sustain any personal action (which means planning, organisation, problem solving, prioritising or switching tasks);
b: Cannot initiate or sustain personal action without requiring daily verbal prompting given by someone else in the customers presence; or
c: Fails to initiate or sustain basic personal action without requiring daily verbal prompting given by someone else in the customers presence, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour.
11. Communication
Descriptor
a: None of the following forms of communication can be achieved by the customer
(i) speaking (to a standard that may be understood by strangers);
(ii) writing (to a standard that may be understood by strangers);
(iii) typing (to a standard that may be understood by strangers);
(iv) sign language to a standard equivalent to Level 3 British Sign Language;
b: None of the forms of communication referred to in (a) are achieved by the customer, owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour;
c: Misinterprets verbal or non-verbal communication to the extent of causing distress to himself or herself on a daily basis; or
d: Effectively cannot make himself or herself understood to others because of the customers disassociation from reality owing to a severe disorder of mood or behaviour.
 
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6 month ruling confusion

I have been on incapacity benefit for 3 years then 2 years on ESA total 5 years. Within that time have had 7 ATOS medicals, unbelievable i know but true. What i believe they trying to do is keep us permanently on the lower basic allowance which at present is 64.45.

Within 13 weeks or near about of applying, you score near to 0 points at the ATOS medical. Obviously we appeal which can take anywhere from 4 months to over a year. In my case i have lost every appeal. This is when you benefit is stopped.
I would like to point out that some people are being given wrong advice when reapplying for ESA benefit.

Some of the ESA staff are telling new re-claimants' that they cannot reapply within 6 months from date of Appeal decision, when in fact the rules are 6 months from date of the ATOS medical. Some people are being told that they need to apply for unemployment benefit.

Its not a problem for most of us because of the long delays in processing the appeals as they are snowed under. But when they do finally
start reducing the time to process all the appeals we will all be in trouble. Due to the 6 month rule from date of ATOS medical.

We will not receive any benefits including housing for months at a time. Until we can reapply.

If anyone has had this problem hopefully this line of detail will
convince the miss information by ESA staff.

According to DGM 52/10 DMG 33/10 the 6 month rule Starts from date of the ATOS medical .was current as of the 29TH October 2010. Hopefully they have not changed this rule since then.

Hope this helps someone.
 
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Thanks for the extra information, Esther.

I probably would qualify, in theory, on the walking/standing criteria though I would get zero points for the mental exhaustion and problems travelling (too fatiguing) that are the real reasons I can't work.

The criteria do look similar to those for the old IB test but from what I've heard about the ESA test, the problem is often with the way their questions and your replies are 'translated' into points, eg apparently if you say you can watch TV they will assume you can sit comfortably in a chair for a couple of hours.

But if those are the criteria then at least I feel more confident I will have a shout at an appeal.

Thanks again.
 

Esther12

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No probs oceanblue.

I was thinking that the standing one is my best bet too, but it's a pretty absurd test. I sometimes 'can' stand for more than ten minutes, but most of the time I can't. I doubt these sorts of subtleties are likely to be well treated.

The idea that anyone who fails to get 15 points is fit to work is just laughable. Vile, abusive comedy.

I find it difficult to claim it would be immoral to lie to them.

I find it difficult to claim it would be immoral to assault them!
 
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11. Remaining conscious during waking moments
Descriptors Points
a) At least once a week, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered 15
consciousness, resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or
concentration
b) At least once a month, has an involuntary episode of lost or altered 9
consciousness, resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or
concentration
c) At least twice in six months immediately preceding the assessment, 6
has had an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness,
resulting in significantly disrupted awareness or concentration
This looks similar to the IB requirement and have found it to be the most significant section in my case.

I had to attend 2 medicals a year apart - I am 80% bed-ridden and my GP requested a home visit both times, but they refused and sent a Taxi to take me 20 miles to the medical center. On the second visit the "Doctor" was extremely rude - telling me not to keep slouching - I then passed out!

The form received before being called to a medical asks about loss of consciousness and altered consciousness (at least the IB one did). On the last one I made it clear that I lose or have altered consciousness every few days (which I guess many of us with ME suffer due to OI and other factors). I also stated that I lost conciousness at the previous medical. I received a letter saying I would not be required to attend another medical for another 5 years.

I will be getting the new ESA form in a few months and I'm dreading the proceedure. But I will repeat that my condition meets section 11(a), and just hope that it saves me the indignity of being taken from my bed to the medical center once again.
 

Esther12

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@ Sharby... I hadn't thought about the fact that we could be inelligable of unemployment because we're too ill to be actively seeking work. LOL... what are people meant to do at that point?

@ Laurel: I wondered about the 'altered state of consciousness' thing. It could mean anything... just getting light headed when you stand up could count. Vertigo? Light head spin? Migraine? Just getting angry could be considered an altered state of consciousness. I rarely rarely pass out.

Sorry to hear you had such trouble with the medicals. At least they're leaving you alone for a bit now. It really sounds like ESA is now harder to get than DLA! That's absurd.
 

pictureofhealth

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Esther, re standing for 10 minutes - if you find you can't most of the time, then the answer you give them, is No I can't. That is the answer. You can't.

Also, ? 11a) How many of us lose concentration repeatedly throughout the course of a conversation or day? That's another 15 points right there. Just having to go back to bed during the day happens in ME because the brain cannot stay consious and awake. Fact.

If you can't guarantee to be able to do something repeatedly, then the answer is - you can't do it.
 

Esther12

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If you can't guarantee to be able to do something repeatedly, then the answer is - you can't do it.
I think that's the approach to take.

These benefit things seem to be phrased and judged on the assumption that you're being a bit dishonest, meaning that those who try to give clear and straight-foreward answer get abused. It seems like a really dehumanising process to me.
 
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pictureofhealth

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It sounds sad to say it, but it really is a case of 'understanding how the system works' in order to say the 'right' things to be able receive the benefits to which you are entitled as a result of disability.

(This is not the same as 'working the system' and abusing it and claiming you need something if in fact you do not have a genuine need.)

In our case, it is understanding the phrases they are looking for - which is v difficult the first time one claims.

If for eg, I get very ill and in pain and have to go back to bed after walking 100 metres, then the answer is 'I cannot walk 100 metres'. That is all they need to know.

I guess its like learning a new language essentially - like in another country where one can so can so easily get it wrong and not get help you need or insult someone, if you don't understand the nuances!

Then just when you 'get it', the rules change - like now.
 
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If you can't guarantee to be able to do something repeatedly, then the answer is - you can't do it.
I agree. But from what I've read the ESA decision is based almost entirely on the medical assessment and little weight is give to what you put on the form, or even reports from you doctor (this situation was criticised in Prof Harrington's review so in theory should be changing). And the medical assessment, which is really a computer-driven series of questions, won't ask directly about your standing ability but some other aspect of life which it will interpret as meaning you can stand...
 

SilverbladeTE

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I find it difficult to claim it would be immoral to assault them!
that is what is beginning to really trouble me :/
it's bad neough all the crap we've had, but when kids are being stolen off families ("Munchausens Syndrome By Bunch of Scumbags WHo Made It all Up!"), and now disabled may end up dying on the street...way WAY over the score and should never ever get to that point that it causes such potential for trouble, jeesh! :/