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

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From my experience the scoring system is irrelevant as far as the ATOS medical is based on how the Doctor, Nurse or even a physiotherapist interprets you on the day.
They will take little notice of any literature you bring with you as all they what to do is access you as quickly as possible.
They lead you through their set computer based questions. Your not given the opportunity to adequately explain how your symptoms effect you. Or why you cant do certain things.
All they are trying to do is find out what you CAN DO and not what you CANT. If you can do it once that's ok by them.

The appeal system fails as well as they don't make any moral decisions' only facts of law.

20 years ago i had no problem with the benefit system, but now the system they have designed should be shoved where the sun doesn't shine. Sorry for showing anger here on this forum or scare anyone but this is very touchy subject. I'm practically house bound and have never managed to score 1 point in the last 7 assessments.

I really do believe that the assessors are being instructed that ME/CFS is basically a mild form of Depression.
 

Enid

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I'm afraid Benefits have only come by what my Neurologist calls reactive conditions - Osteoarthritis/Porosis -clear to see and has been named. That is the sad point it seems. The special incompacities of ME earlier on being much worse.
 

pictureofhealth

XMRV - L'Agent du Jour
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Yes, I haven't had the new assessment yet.

During the medical on the day, do they ask you directly -

Can you walk 100 yards?
Can you cook a meal?
Can you sit up for 30 minutes?

Or is it more general eg
Can you use a computer?
Can you hold a pencil?

Or do they drop their pencil on the floor and say 'oops' and see if you automatically pick it up to be helpful?!

They'll have to come here to assess me and make their own tea for eg.
 
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Its more subtle than that. These are some of the questions i get every time

Do speak to your parents? Yes i do. Their interpretation is that have no problems holding conversation, concentration etc
How did you get here? I drove. Their interpretation is that have no problems driving
Which car park did you use? Their interpretation is that have no problems walking from car park
How often do you go shopping? Once a week. Their interpretation is that have no problems shopping.

They have little interest when your trying to explain the problems with these tasks and how it effects you.

By asking you indirect questions your not able to talk in detail about how your problems effect you.
 

pictureofhealth

XMRV - L'Agent du Jour
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Thanks Sherby - those are HUGE insights. Much appreciated.

My approach is not to attend the interview in town (I usually insist upon a home visit - I can't guarantee to be well enough on any day to get to town & it is inconvenient for them too if you cancel on the day,) and consider arranging to do your food shopping for you online and have it delivered to your home, or ask a relative to do (at least you can put it on the form).

Though i have to say, trying to set up one of these internet supermarket accounts for the first time is like trying to arrange a mortgage to the cerebrally challenged like myself - too much to read through T's&C's etc.

If there is someone at home with you, suggest they answer the door when your doctor arrives (ie don't get up to walk to the door).

If you spend the majority of your day in bed, do the medical interview in bed. etc

Also, do you speak to your parents/family? - yes when they come round to cook my meals for me and do the house work which I can't manage due to my disability/exhaustion.

Just some ideas, if they happen to be a true reflection of your condition of course ...
 
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I have frequently laid here wondering if I'm able to get any kind of help with benefits, particularly as I'm freelance and I can't afford to be totally out of action for weeks at a time. Those periods cause additional stress which then makes me worse, and so it goes on. But every time I consider looking into my options with benefits I just give up - I'm not well enough to attend interviews, or formulate appeals, or have the wit to answer weighted questions correctly. So frustrating that we have a diagnosis which basically means you have to fight for absolutely everything when you are least able to fight.

Thanks for all the info, it's given me a bit more impetus to explore my rights further x
 
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Provisional results of ESA testing of Incapacity Benefit claimants

The first Government programme to reassess people on incapacity benefit showed that a “substantial number” of claimants have the potential to return to work, ministers have announced.

Provisional figures of 1,347 reassessments in Burnley and Aberdeen showed that 399 (29.6%) were found to be fit for work, 422 (31.3%) will receive unconditional support and 526 (39%) could look for work “with the right help and support”.
Nb this is using ESA to reassess people already accepted onto IB, up til now the information has been about people applying for these benefits for the first time.

So, the judgement of ATOS in this case is that under a third of people on IB are unable to work long-term. Chris Grayling will be delighted.

Full story from the MEA

Apparently the The Early Migration trial ran from October 2010 to January 2011 - so it may not include the results of any Appeals, unless they used a fastrack appeal process for this pilot.