Will the DWP do ANYTHING to avoid revealing the true extent of the Atos deaths?

Getting a little worried, George? According to a commenter on this blog, IDS is "not listening to anyone and will be carrying on until the bitter end". So much for democracy, then.

Getting a little worried, George? According to a commenter on this blog, IDS is “not listening to anyone and will be carrying on until the bitter end”. So much for democracy, then.

The Department for Work and Pensions has turned down my Freedom of Information request on the number of people who have died while going through the Atos benefit assessment process, or shortly afterwards – claiming that I am harassing officials with a co-ordinated, web-based campaign to disrupt the organisation.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “They’re having a laugh, aren’t they?”

Alas, no.

My request was for the department to provide the number of Incapacity Benefit and Employment and Support Allowance claimants who have died in 2012. Please break that figure down into the following categories:

  • Those who are in the assessment phase
  • Those who were found fit for work
  • Those who were placed in the work-related activity group
  • Those who were placed in the support group
  • Those who have an appeal pending

I stated that I was aware that the DWP came under criticism last year because it did not follow up on the conditions of people who had been found fit for work and signed off the benefit, and said I hoped this had been rectified and follow-up checks carried out, so details of

  • Former ESA/IB claimants who have died after being put onto Jobseekers’ Allowance, and
  • Former ISA/IB claimants who were taken off benefit but put onto no other means of support, and the number of these who have died

could be provided.

Here’s the response. Read it and weep:

“Upon considering your request I consider it to be vexatious in nature and therefore under section 14(1) of the Freedom of Information Act the Department is under no duty to answer your request.

“To be a vexatious request the Information Commissioner’s guidance notes that we should consider, amongst other things:

  • whether compliance would create a significant burden in terms of expense and distraction
  • whether the request has the effect of harassing DWP or causing distress to staff.

“On your website where you share information about the request you have raised with other people, you have stated “I have therefore, today, sent a Freedom of Information request to the DWP … I strongly urge you to do the same. There is strength in numbers”. With this as the stated aim of the exercise I believe your request is designed to harass DWP in the belief that encouraging others to repeat a request which they know has already been raised will affect the outcome of that request.

“Compliance with multiple repetitions of a known request also causes a burden, both in terms of costs and diverting staff away from other work, due to the significant time required to administer these requests.

“The ICO also advises that if a public authority has reason to believe that several different requesters are acting in concert as part of a campaign to disrupt the organisation by virtue of the sheer weight of FOIA requests being submitted, then it may take this into account when determining whether any of those requests are vexatious.

“As your request is part of a website based campaign I consider that it meets the above criteria and therefore is vexatious in nature.”

Readers may remember I sent my request after a previous attempt by Samuel Miller had failed. His request did not succeed because he was a single individual the officials thought they could push around – now mine has failed because they say I’m acting mob-handed and they think I’m trying to push them around!

In other words, they’re trying to have it both ways.

If I recall correctly, they refused Mr Miller’s request on the spurious argument that the previous FOI request – for which he was requesting an update – was a one-off. This was clearly nonsense.

We all know that it is in the public interest to know how many people are dying as a result of government policy. The DWP certainly knows it because of the reaction the information received when it last became public knowledge – press coverage and public outrage. Therefore there is no justification for any argument that it has not monitored these figures. Any claim that it has not had reason to monitor deaths after people were thrown off the benefit may also be rejected because of the strong public reaction against the Department for failing to provide this information last year.

Now they are rejecting my request on the specious argument that I am harassing them by the strength of my numbers… My number being exactly one. I have not organised anybody else into doing anything; I merely suggested that if the DWP refuses to answer a lone voice, it may pay more attention if others make the same request.

I find it extremely interesting to note that DWP officials are monitoring my blog. I made no mention of it in my email to them. Some might find that sinister.

I take issue with the claim that “harassment” of the DWP is “the stated aim of the exercise”. The stated aim was for the DWP to release its figures on the number of people who have died, either while going through the assessment process for IB or ESA, or afterwards – as stated in the FOI request. The suggestion that others might wish to do likewise was clearly an afterthought.

I dispute the claim that compliance with multiple repetitions of a known request causes a burden in terms of costs and staff time. In the Internet age, only one response to a request needs to be written; it can then be sent to multiple recipients at no cost in money or time, as readers of my blog are aware after receiving identical messages in response to correspondence they have sent on other matters. In any case, this is beside the point as the comment about compliance with multiple requests is irrelevant. I had no reason to expect that anyone would follow my lead when I put in my own request – it was a single request for information and any suggestion that it was part of an orchestrated campaign of harassment is paranoid hysteria.

Furthermore, it distracts from the fact that there was no reason to refuse the original request by Mr Miller. If the DWP had simply answered his questions, there would have been no reason for my request or any of the many others the department seems to be claiming it has received (for which I have no proof other than the vague implication that this is the case).

Bear in mind that this is the same government department that accused a disabled woman of harassment, alarm or distress under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, against everybody working for it – and sent the police around to her Cardiff flat, just before midnight on a Friday night last year, to put the frighteners on her. They are well-acquainted with the practice of turning the facts upside down. Just who was being harassed, again?

This leaves us with the impression that the Department for Work and Pensions will do anything to withhold the figures on the number of deaths caused by its policies.

It seems unlikely that a government department would go to such lengths unless those figures reveal a serious problem with the policy; therefore we may reasonably suspect that the number of deaths has increased, perhaps dramatically.

In turn, considering that we know ministers, the Secretary of State (Vox‘s Monster of the Year 2012 – Iain Duncan Smith), and the Prime Minister have all been warned that the assessment system they have brought in (admittedly inherited from Labour but altered under the Coalition) – and all have refused to instigate changes to make it more humane – it seems possible that a legal case for corporate manslaughter of the many thousands who have died could be made – IF the current figures were made available.

This means that its own actions have put the DWP, its officials and ministers, precisely where I want them.

We all knew they were unlikely to give up the information without a struggle, and the shape of our campaign would be dictated – to a certain extent – by their response to our reasonable requests. Now we have that response, we may proceed.

… But we’ll leave our departmental interlopers guessing about exactly what we’ll be doing, I think!

90 thoughts on “Will the DWP do ANYTHING to avoid revealing the true extent of the Atos deaths?

    1. Mike Sivier

      We’re all well aware when the last update came out. Fact is, withholding it is as good as admitting that they are guilty of serious wrongdoing.

      The statistics WILL become public. They can say what they like.

      1. Nick

        IDS will keep it private that you can be assured of. only Anne begg could get him to reveal the true figure and you will need to ask her for that but i very much doubt she will ask him ?
        Contact details

        Admiral Court, Poynernook Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5QX
        Tel: 01224 252704
        Fax: 01224 252705

        House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
        Tel: 020 7219 2140
        Fax: 020 7219 1264
        [email protected]

    2. Jim

      surely we are nearing a judicial review – the spirit of the freedom act is democracy. By denial of information to an individual or group on the basis that it constitutes “vexatious” is outside the legal framework of any legislation/law that MUST be approved by Parliament (not a minister or a department). If as is suggested minister(s) or department managers are behind concealment of information for a political reason it probably fits the legal interpretation of “conspiracy”. What we need is to express the conspiracy breaks a law, this is the limit of my thinking. If the freedom of information act is on the statute books it cannot be limited by any political basis! Am I wright or wrong? More serious is possibility that “corporate manslaughter” is/has as suggested brought the possibility of a criminal act/event. In this case the police should A) investigate the offence (s) B) Gain access to mortality figures which are relevant to the offence!

      1. oldcroc

        in reply to Jim, permission for JR unlikely, imho, while the appeal process is available as a remedy. the ‘vexatious request’ exemption is a preposterous claim – a ‘try-on’ imo, and probably would be refuted by the facts of the numbers of requests actually received – which could be requested for the purpose of the appeal under FOI…
        the DWP’s mangling of the issues to bring them within the ICO’s guidance is unlikely to fool the tribunal.
        the information tribunal’s decision will be determined much more by reference to the facts and the statutes than strained interpretation of the guidance. and political campaigning and lobbying is perfectly legitimate, and much removed from mass disruption campaigns and sabotage, and public scrutiny is essential for public accountability, but remember, no reason or purpose is required to be given for FOI requests.
        information tribunal decisions are published on the website here –
        but suspect DWP will back down before it gets there, or cobble up other grounds…

    3. John Ohara

      This has to a total disgrace, IDS is a well known liar cheat and fraud. Look up Bettsygate, his degree and former Army career. The fact that our non elected prime minister continually protects and defends IDS is a very clear indication of the complete lack of any integrity in government. Freedom of information is a clear granted right enabling the public to be informed and make informed descisions and judgements on a range of matters which may be in the public interest. Hiding deaths caused by a Fascist individual managing a defective vindictive government system designed to attack the defenceless and voiceless puts our Government on a par with the Syrian regime. A regime Cameron wanted to launch a military backed attack against. Isn’t it odd that the estimated death toll via IDS / DWPs activities compares with Syria. And we stand back in our OWN country and allow it to happen. We need to involve Meacher and our own MPs via a bombardment of emails letters to them and interested charities, 38 degrees, the press European courts etc etc and stop the cupable manslaughter taking in our own country. We need to show everyone in this country and worldwide just what a disgracefull bunch of idiots are running this “country of opportunity”

  1. pennyessex1

    I have been following this with interest and had hoped that maybe my initial fears of DWP hiding these figures deliberately were unfounded, it seems not. Please keep up the fight for this information to be released into public domain where it should be and we can all see the truth for ourselves. As a frightened, anxious sick person I thank you for what you are doing.

  2. pennyessex1

    I have been following this with interest and had hoped this was not some sort of deliberate ploy to keep these figures from the public. It now appears to be their purpose to keep us all in the dark about the figures and makes me wonder why? If they had nothing to hide they would release them. Please keep fighting and thank you for what you are doing to bring information out into the open.

    1. Nick

      penny were doing our best were working as hard as anyone if we were mp’s we would have had the country singing and dancing as were a very inspiring bunch of people but sad to say were not and never will be so we press on the best we can

  3. Luke Doubtfire

    Withholding the information creates scandal indicative of corruption and abuse of office, a reaction almost as damning as telling the terrible truths they hold. They’re fried both ways.

  4. anon

    It would also be really, really interesting to know how many of the fatalities involved sick and disabled people over the age of 60, who would have been safely retired, had it not been for the gov’t’s pension snatch.

  5. Linda Gamston

    Well done, Mike! Your campaigns and articles are brilliant. I read them all. Keep up the vexatious harassment and the bastards on their toes.


  6. Maria Nelson

    their just bullies did you know they partake in something called pester power to bully and harrass claiments right wing dwp staff practice this knowing it may push people over the edge. i was unofficially told this buy left wing dwp staff . so we need a campaign against staff who bully claiments by hanging up on them and aggravating stressed angry claiments , loosing paperwork ect to create misery . sanctioning ect pester power its called in the trade. and their horrid phone service is privately operated and numbers changed regular wrong numbers given out and it generates nice profits for that private company. and theirs supposed to be a free number for mobile callers but no-one gets told . annd i was so shocked what i was told i forgot to ask it.

    1. glynn

      Pester Power is best delt with by exposing home addresses of dwp-they find that very difficult and it’s the treatment they can do nothing about. We all live in public places
      so careful monitoring and some inside help has shown to be very effective.

      1. Mike Sivier

        If you are referring to the true extent of the Atos deaths, to which I refer in the headline, then you should be aware that I am deeply involved in legal action in order to force the DWP to release those figures. The only statistics currently available are now more than two years out of date.

  7. Clutter

    What’s. with these people? They’re public servants and we’re the public and have a right to know how many people these draconian policies are killing.

  8. Sonophos

    Since when has it been legal to investigate an individual based on the fact that they have made an FOI?

  9. Graeme Beard

    There’s an old saying; “If you don’t ask the question you don’t have to live with the answer.” In this case it’s more; “If you don’t give the answers then you don’t have to suffer the backlash and public fury.”

    There is a cull underway and it’s time people were made aware of it. Although when I read some of the comments posted elsewhere I wonder if the majority even care. On saying that if figures such as these were revealed to the public then maybe they would begin to wake up.

    “Justice will never be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those that are.” Ben Franklin.

  10. Joe Bauwens

    Sadly not surprising. Many councils cottoned on to the ‘vexatious’ argument against Freedom of Information disclosure within about 18 months of the legislation being introduced, and now use it as a blanket reason to deny all requests.

  11. oldcroc

    appeal to the Information Commissioner. DWP is abusing the ‘vexatious’ exemption – it is not intended to shield the government from politically challenging fallout. this information is of great public interest, and the DWP should be monitoring the impacts anyway.

  12. j henry

    the truth will always out…at sometime…these people have built a wall of secrecy around what they are doing…they are the lowest of the low….how can they live with themselves knowing what they are doing is so wrong….what goes round comes round…the truth will out and i hope this goverment and the ministers responsible are held to account…hitler and his henchmen paid the price…these people are on a par with them…hitler wanted to stigmatise the disabled..turn everyone against them….then murder them ….this goverment is doing exactly that…driving people with severe mental problems over the edge…taking away the only security they had….they are doing the same with the unemployed by calling them scroungers…this is to make you feel ashamed if you are claiming benefits…telling everyone thats working they are paying taxes for the unemployed to sit at home all day watching jeremy kyle…sad thing is a lot of people are believing it….there is an old saying that says it is always better to give than to receive….this goverment is hell bent on destroying and breaking up the current welfare system and the nhs….it will privatise the nhs under the guise that it is better value…they must be stopped….

    1. james mcgregor

      I think I should point out that benefits are not paid by the TAX PAYING PUBLIC,,,it’s your own money,,,”Benefit” is derived from the word “beneficiary” which is someone having money held in “trust” which is your bond,,,,,ie,,birth certificate,,which is a copy of the bond,,, THEY KEEP. they just drip feed you tiny amounts of it to keep you from starving. wish I could tell you guys all I know, and have found out over the past few years,,,but I’d be here till the end of the year,, 🙂

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  14. jeffrey davies

    did we think otherwise the denial factory of ids carries on its not causing deaths its not causing taking benefits away from those but with this man at the helm the denial will be steadfast ids hasn’t any humanity but pure greed jeff3

  15. Mike Sivier

    I have just contacted Dame Anne Begg, chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, to let her know what’s been going on here. Information Commissioner next, then… oh, I’m sure I’ll think of something.

    Actually, I’ve already thought of several things, and they’re all in motion already. I hope you’re reading this, DWP interlopers!

    1. Joseph Smith

      Mike, I wonder if there’s any percentage in listing the names of those in the DWP whose actions are discriminatory or borderline illegal. So we know who they are and they will then know we are coming for them in order they face questioning for their activities. Secondly, would it worry, scare them knowing that they cannot hide?

      1. Mike Sivier

        I don’t think there would be – it would open the site up to counter-claims that I was stirring up hatred against these individuals and matters could get very nasty, very quickly.

  16. valen1971

    Mike, I think that now is the time to compile your blogs, notes and responses from the DWP and approach a sympathetic national media outlet so that the public at large are fully informed of the DWP’s attempts to cover up/ignore matters that are in the public’s interest to know.

  17. Phil The Folk

    This is just OUTRAGOUS!! I have emailed both Michael Meahcer MP and Andy Love MP for their comments, and will keep you posted on their replies Mike.

      1. Mike Sivier

        No – I moderate comments that are insulting, aggressive or libellous out of the column, especially when the commenter is adding nothing to the discussion.

  18. valen1971

    I would e-mail the two MPs who cover the Thurrock area but they are unsympathetic Tory drones who can’t or won’t think for themselves.

  19. Stephen Bee

    I wonder if the DWP Universal Jobmatch System has any vacancies advertised for Hangmen and Guillotine Operators? LOL

  20. voodooshacklady


    I am actually stunned. Their vexatious reasoning is preposterous. The longer this goes on the worse it gets for them!

    I did not get a reply to my FOI request……. maybe I was the vex that broke the camel’s back?

  21. MochaSoul

    Can we raise a FOI request to find out how many FOI requests on these questions they have declined so far?

  22. Mark Williams

    Some sensitive information might not be available to members of the public. If this is the case, the organisation must tell you why they have withheld some or all of the information you requested.

    An organisation can turn down your request if they think it will cost them more than £450 (£600 for a central government organisation) to deal with your request.

    They might then ask you to be more specific so they can provide the information you’re looking for.

    If an organisation doesn’t provide you with the information you request, you should first contact them and ask them to review their decision.

    If you are still not satisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

    what the ICO can do

    How do I know if my complaint is about getting information?

    You should follow the advice on these pages if any of the following apply to you:

    You have asked an organisation for information held about you and the organisation has not responded, has only given you some of the information, or has told you it won’t provide the information; or
    You have asked for official information from a public authority, and the organisation has not responded, has only given you some of the information, or has told you it won’t provide the information.

    If the above doesn’t apply, you can go back to the main Complaints page or call our helpline on 0303 123 1113 to ask for advice about the type of complaint you should make.
    Before you complain to us

    First, write to the organisation concerned and give it an opportunity to put things right. Many problems can be solved quickly without us getting involved. You can call our helpline on 0303 123 1113 for advice to help you to solve the problem.
    What happens if I cannot solve the problem myself?

    If you have contacted the organisation about the problem but have been unable to solve it, we may be able to help.
    What can I expect?

    If necessary, we will look into your complaint. If we think the law has been broken, we can give the organisation advice and ask it to solve the problem. In the most serious cases we can order it to do so.

    We cannot award you compensation. Our main aim is to get the organisation to change the way it works so that it does things properly in the future.

  23. Simon

    I have read this with avid interest, and all the comments made by all of you thereafter. I’m really very shocked that we are now living in an age where the government is so corrupt and the “public servants” (they do not deserve that name, they should strike out of disgust, but they never will because they are being paid…and money is the root of all evil) are continuing this crap because no one wants to lose their job. Well it’s about time a major revolution happened. We need to change the opinion of the people in the middle to uprise against those at the top! Those below, like myself, will happily follow suit…but you see the government supports these middle people because they are happy & comfortable and therefore they support the government in some way (or at least don’t contribute in any counter argument in any major way). I have never been political really and I am quite in the dark about a lot of things, but I’m reading more and more about it and because it is becoming more relavent to me wit each day I live. I am truly disgusted we live in a world where we are govorned by a bunch of rich wankers who only want to keep the rich “richer” and will go to any lengths to supress the weakest in what seems to me to be an obvious attempt at killing off a certain section of society. The last time we were witness to this (not me personally…I wasn’t born then) was during world war 2 by the Nazi’s as they attempted to wipe out the Jewish people, but not just them, anyone who stood in their way. How the f*ck is this different? Are we all so blinded that we can’t act with the same sense of duty which we upheld in 1939? I sincerely hope we do react and with the right force, because there are clearly many people who should not be walking this earth in the shoes they have paid their way to crawl into. This government is a massive disgrace. Voting another government will not change a thing, it will just bring another group of the same into power. We need massive change and the only way that will happen is if we physically get off our arses and take these bast*rds by force!

    1. Mike Sivier

      Readers of this blog will be aware that I will not condone violence (although a proportionate reaction to violence that is inflicted upon a person by another, in order to prevent harm from taking place, is permitted by the law).

      Your comments about corrupt government/public servants are pretty much correct and address the main issue facing the British people today. It isn’t the huge debt mountain – it’s the poor quality of political leadership.

  24. Gary Mason

    This scum took my benefits off me quite a while ago…iv got rheumatoid athritis…they wont pay me a bean;;;i was homeless a few years back too…i worked 20yrs down the Mines.then in construction…im sorry i paid a penny in tax`s…to this shower..keep fighting Mike…Thank you…

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  30. John ohara

    Good on you. IDS is a weak spineless individual, a known liar and a fraud. Look a Bettsygate 2001/2 and check his degree obtained from a university which does NOT and NEVER has had degree courses. Because he’s a weakling and vulnerable take the cue from them, go for him. Sign every petition there is to have him questioned for manslaughter and bring in his history.

  31. Mick

    I am being harassed to the point of suicide by the DWP. My doctor gave me a letter to say I was to ill to attend a ATOS interview, so they just put me into the work seeking group without any consultation at all. I have ME and Fibromyalgia and spend most days heavily medicated for pain.

    Now they are threatening to stop my benefit as I cannot attend a work related interview at the local Job Centre. Like a lot of people that suffer chronic pain I have developed mental issues as well. I hate to leave the house, I cannot deal with any of the pressure being applied by the DWP. My wife is my appointed representative but they often refuse to deal with her even though they have been to visit me and I signed papers to make her my representative, it seems that only the department that arranged this is aware of this. I cannot cope with all the harassment and am now looking at suicide to escape from this constant harassment, my life is so hard without the extra anguish of constantly being bullied by the DWP.

    I feel that there is no hope of any help and that they will never leave me alone until I am dead.

    My only regret is that my wife and four children will suffer as a result but as I cannot work and they will starve/ be evicted form our home for not paying the council tax if I don’t, then the only way that someone will feed them is if I am dead. I used to own my own company and earned good money. We bought our home and I tried my best.

    If I am dead then my wife could work part time as she would not have to look after me. I hate my life it is so miserable without the DWP just constantly bullying. I love my family so very much but the way the system is now I an just depriving them of any chance of a life of their own.

    Thanks for listening.



    1. Mike Sivier

      Don’t you even think of giving up, just because a bunch of office-jockey pen-pushers want what they call a “positive benefit outcome”!
      Your situation is very similar to that of Mrs Mike (except she doesn’t have ME; she has other conditions).
      First thing to do is go to your doctor and get help for your mental health condition. If you are considering suicide, that is a clear indication of MH problems and your doctor must act on it. This will also help you with the DWP.
      Appeal against the WRA group decision. You are obviously not going to be well enough to work within the 365 days allotted to people in that group. The fact that you are considering suicide as a result of the Department’s treatment of you is a factor in your favour, and your situation is another blot on the Atos record sheet.
      Do not put up with any bullying. The DWP has standards of behaviour to which it must adhere – they are on a document you can download from this address: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/financial-redress-for-maladministration.pdf
      And contact your MP. Even if they’re a Tory, there is a lot of discontent with what is going on and they need to know the situation.
      You do NOT have to put up with any bullying, you DO have rights, your family should NOT have to be deprived of you and you most certainly CAN stand up to them.
      Also, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau – perhaps visit http://www.adviceguide.org.uk first before contacting your local office. They helped us – they can help you.

    2. kittysjones

      Hi Mick,

      Please don’t give up, not only will that devastate your family and friends, but it will hurt the hearts and psyche of so many campaigners here, too. Every single death has hit us very hard,and demoralises our community more and more.

      First of all, the DWP have to make reasonable adjustments by law to accommodate your health conditions. That’s according to the Equality Act 2010.. You can request that you simply maintain contact by phone or by email.That’s what I did when I was in the work-related activity group.

      Secondly, you can appeal the decision to put you in the WRAG,and ask to be placed in the Support group, but you will need to do this quickly. The DWP may actually review the decision based on any evidence you send in from your GP, and put you in the Support group anyway.

      Your money should not stop if you appeal, because you have already been judged to be sufficiently unfit for work to be placed in the WRAG.

      Please don’t give up. It can get better, it did with me. I was suicidal when I was told to look for work. I appealed, won, and was placed in the WRAG, then second assessment saw me placed in support group.

      If you decide to appeal, I wrote a guide that is very up to date to help people with claims, assessment and appeal here.. It’s a long read, but has a lot of useful information, based in a legal framework to support your case


    3. Jon Maiden

      Hi Mick,

      There is always a positive solution to any scenario and the future can always be much brighter than you may currently think is possible. Mike has already outlined a number of practical steps to help remedy your situation. The CAB have helped me immensely before and I would certainly second Mike’s recommendation to get in touch for support. The situation the DWP have put you in is plain and simply wrong. There will absolutely be a simply way to resolve this quickly and ensure that you can live comfortably with your wife and children.

      There are many, many people who understand and sympathise with your situation – please never think that the treatment you have received at the hands of the DWP & co typifies the general feeling of the population. It doesn’t. The vast majority of people support you and feel you are fully deserving of whatever support the state can offer.

      Never even think about giving up though. Your wife and children would never, under any circumstances, be better off without you in their lives. Your love and company is worth so much more to those closest to you than anything else.

      If you feel it would help to talk things through with someone you could contact the Samaritans for free on 08457 90 90 90. Their qualified advisors will no doubt be able to guide you on the best steps to take to make your future a bright one.

      Keep strong. Keep fighting. And know we’re fighting by your side against this cruel and vicious government.

      Take care of yourself Mick,


    4. Atos Miracles

      hello Mick, I hear what you’re saying and understand a lot of where you’re coming from as have the same conditions as you and have been harrassed by dwp for 21 years. I am telling you it IS possible and also necessary to survive this. I PROMISE you it is possible. not just empty words…I would have not survived without help and there is help…others are offering it and i am offering it too.

      There’s the practical aspect. Kitty’s advice about the equality Act is spot on …it is used all the time for the problem with attending interviews. Longer term there are other ways we can practically help you and PROTECT you from further harrassment. Lots of people will reach out, care and help because they have been/are going through it.

      PLEASE take 5 minutes to read this. it helps a lot of people. Honestly… http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/

      You WILL be causing a lifetime of pain for your family if you go. I’m sorry to say that but you need to know the facts when making a decision. i have loved people who then committed suicide and the mourning in those circumstances can be much, much worse than even the other types of pain from other types of deaths. For children and spouses it IS agony. many people think they are releasing their loved ones when they commit suicide, they are doing it because they love others but i can tell you absolutely that they are chaining them further.

      But words are empty without help. I urge you to link up with others (though the net). The ME support groups and facebook groups such as Atos Miracles https://www.facebook.com/ATOSM where you can get practical and emotional support and not feel so alone in your suffering. You can private message Atos Miracles, ask for admin ‘H’. (me). Let’s combine truths get Atos/dwp off your back .- there are ways and means. There IS hope. I promise you i would not say that unless I truly believed that.

      I’m sure all for us here who have replied would like to hear back from you.

      There’s never ever been another you on the planet before and there won’t be again.

      ~H xxxx

      1. Mick

        Thank you all so much, hate to admit it but your replys brought tears to my eyes. I’m reading all your advice and help, we have tried to battle this alone for so long with no help, to get all this in just one day is quite overwhelming, in a really good way. Thank you all. I don’t want to leave my family, I love them all more than words could ever say, only want a way forward for them and some respite for all of us from the DWP. We feel so battered inside. never get a chance to recover before the DWP attack again. Sounds strong I know but that’s how it feels. Thank you so very much.

      2. Nick

        I’ve felt like this for 33 years in which I’ve been under the DWP. They have left me looking like a prisoner of war but i fight on… and I’m still here.

    5. nerdbrain

      Hi Mick

      I wanted to lend my moral support to you too. I’ve been off work for 5 years after a nervous breakdown and I’m sure I’d be much better by now if I wasn’t on the ESA merry-go-round. Unfortunately I’ve got worse and just this week have been diagnosed with the chronic fatigue. It’s not clear yet, but I don’t think it’s ME in my case, I understand the two are a little different but have much to learn about it all. All I know is I’m exhausted and traumatised by the government with their constant threats to take the little I have away from me.

      I can’t offer you any more advice, the advice given here is brilliant and I can assure you the support offered by these chaps will get you through. No one will be left behind, we will support you through this, and we will prevail. You are a good man, a good husband, a good father, and while I do not know you, I care very much about the pain you are going through and urge you to be strong and keep talking. There are many people who know what you’re going through and we all want you to be OK!

      This government are making life unbearable for so many, we must keep talking, keep expressing ourselves, keep sharing information, supporting each other and ultimately find a way through. My dad died last year, after 2 years of serious dementia, he hated Thatcher, and while I miss him desperately, I’m so glad he can’t see what’s happening. This country is clearly descending into a fascist state, but not on my watch! I’m determined we will smash this fascist state, for my dear old dad, and for everyone!

  32. Carmen Peruga

    Hi Mick

    These times are very hard for someone with your condition and all the advise Mike has given is really good and I am sure it will help you and your wife to get through this.

    PLEASE do not give up !!! My Father committed suicide over 35 yrs ago and ‘the pain’ it left me with is still there today. It is not a solution, it creates more ‘pain’ >>>

    If you can ? talk to your Wife about these feelings, if not go straight to A & E and tell them how you have been pushed to the brink, or your doctor, go for a walk (if you can) or if we can, I will get you my number and you can call me !!!

    Although it seems helpless ,,,, there are people who really care about what is happening to people in your situation …. we are organising, lobbying and things WILL GET BETTER !!!!

    Please find someone to talk to, let all of the stuff in your head out ….

    Sending much Love n Light Mick

    Carmen xx

  33. Gillian Haney

    Hi, i can’t read all of this at the moment but just wanted to say Mick, if you add me on Facebook i hope to be able to help you, i have M.E and have been through a long horrible hell with Atos but won, Love from Gillian Haney, pic of me in black and purple x

    1. Mick

      Thanks Gillian,
      I looked on Facebook but can’t find you, maybe I’m just not doing it right !?!
      Is you photo in black and white, and you are wearing glasses? That’s the only one in the UK that came up on my Facebook

      1. Gillian Haney

        Hi, i got chance to read some of this now, no that’s not me, i have flowers around my head! My friend asked if i would talk to you as I’ve been through very similar experience, you really can’t give up, i totally see how you are seeing it, but if you get help to fight you will get there in the end, i took it personally at first but it’s not at all, they are bastards BUT if you are genuinely too ill which you obviously are you have to get what you deserve in the end, you have to fight for your loved ones and yourself, i can explain more if you like, please try and get to your local cab if you can , I’d try and find you but I’d need a surname, i have thought of suicide a few times too but i won’t ever do it, you really really don’t have to x

      2. Mick


        This is what I get if I copy my Facebook I.D on the top of my page.

        My user I.D is kaptain.keelhaul. Not a fan of Facebook just made an I’d so I could keep an eye on my kids without embarrassing them by being on their friends page as their Dad. You know how kids at school can be.

        Hop this helps. My avatar, actually looks like me 😉

  34. Dee Betteridge

    I am a 57 yr old female. 2 years ago I found out that my Husband raped my Daughter (his step-daughter) I attempted suicide within a hour of finding out as I didn’t know how to deal with it. The hospital were fairly unsympathetic but my GP was great. I had my ATOS interview which lasted all of 5 mins and was immediately put in the support group. 2 months later I took another overdose as I couldn’t sleep, every time I close my eyes I see a video playing in my head of what my Husband did. My GP put me on Clonazepan and sleeping tablets and upped my anti-depressants. In Feb this year, I had my 2nd ATOS interview and scored 0 points. I cried all the way through the assessment, yet the only thing she wrote was “tearful, may be depressed”. 2 months ago I tried again, this time I had 5 respiratory arrests in the ambulance. I am awaiting a tribunal date and am anxious and stressful. I don’t go out, I go to bed at 10 and get up at lunchtime next day, I sit in my pj’s all day as I think ‘what is the point’ as far as doing anything.I know I have hurt my children and grandchildren and I have promised them that I won’t try again, BUT if I lose my appeal I really don’t know what I’ll do. When you’re this low, death feels the only way out, you lose your will to fight the b*******s.
    I hope I can get better, but due to my Husband I lost a beautiful house, a great pub and my self respect and dignity. He took my life away from me but unless it’s happened to you I suppose it’s hard for people to understand why, 2 years on, I am still suffering.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’m sure that everybody on this group who has expressed support for Mick would do so for you as well – and the advice that has been offered to him may also be useful for you.
      I know people who have gone through similar experiences to yourself – reliving the traumatic moment when you close your eyes is something that a person close to me has been going through for many years. You can survive it; you can get past it. There is more to life than that, and imprisoning yourself within it is exactly the sort of thing that would please your persecutors.
      Why not go outside and smell the flowers for a couple of minutes. It’s still a beautiful world to live in.
      So why not, you know, live in it for a while? 🙂

  35. anthony

    we keep them in power …. WHY? ……… they ( the government ) lie to us all …… steal from us all …….. they never tell the truth as is ……………….. they change the LAW to suit themselves ………… who pays for it all …US……….politicians prosper whilst the hard up families can not feed themselves ……… just so they can have banquets

  36. Stephen Bee

    I have read all the replies above and my heart aches for everyone going through this horrendous period in English history/ But there’s a saying//”What doesn’t kill you,,,makes you STRONGER” We CAN NOT and MUST NOT let them win. We are all in War Mode and the ENEMY is our Government. Mutual support will help you through..don’t give up! for those needing support the 4UP group on facebook can be a lifeline. I’m normally Pacifist by nature but the last 2 and a half years have made me hardened. Select committees are starting to make ripples n waves as is the UN (Shame on the ECHR for not taking these clear violations of Human Rights matters on board). The evidence couldn’t be clearer. COWARDS the lot of them. History will be their judge! I just hope the Midland Hotel in Manchester has taken extra insurance out for the upcoming Tory Conference in two weeks time..We need revolution now!

  37. Atos Miracles

    Just to reiterate for those struggling, the net has become the communities we used to have on our doorstep. Groups such as ours can hold your hand through the worst times, give you a laugh, show the way….we all need each other to get through this. Take it a breath at a time….don’t let them win. x

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  40. Joseph Smith

    Its my fervent hope that any DWP readers on here fully realise that being an accomplice to manslaughter carries a very heavy personal penalty. If you think or believe either Cameron or IDS will defend or protect you are wrong and deluded. It’s virtually a cast iron guarantee that up to 15000 suicides (or more) cannot be hidden, sooner rather than later IDS will be questioned and to protect himself he will squeal like the pig he is, also being a total coward he will seek to apportion blame, if your involved you will be fingered. To lessen the impact, better to come forward now and be the whistleblower. The consequences for continued cover up will destroy you. There will be thousands of witnesses from family and friends, doctors, etc etc. time is running out DWP people, you’ve been warned.

  41. Mike Sivier

    Patrick Wall has been trying to post information on here relating to allegations of underhand or possibly outright illegal behaviour by DWP employees (or so it seems).

    I’m not letting any of that material go up on this site. If people have allegations to make, they should make them in the appropriate places and not try to use someone else’s website as a place to pass messages.

    For all I know, these comments could be nonsense designed to bring the site into disrepute.


    There is compelling evidence out the that the ICO are conniving and colluding with Rogue Judges to circumvent the FOIA 2000 and section 77 in particular.
    One of the most important FOIA cases of the last decade is currently before the Court of Appeal.I refer to Dransfield v ICO&Devon County Council GIA/3037/2011,in which the UT Judge Wikeley made NEW LEGISLATION and NEW Legal DEFINITION to suit his vexatious decision against me Alan M Dransfield, the Exeter FOIA Campaigner.

    The section 14 vexatious decision has been made on a whim and is the getoutofjail card played by the ROGUE PA’s nationwide wishing to cover up their dirty laundry.
    This particular case has even been discussed in the House of Lords.

    I fully understand that VEXATIOUS EXEMPTIONS must be available to protect against public cost wastes.
    The ICO and my local PA the Devon County Council are CLEARLY seeing me the requester as vexatious and not my request as required by Law.
    Only last week the ICO consider 15 of my FOIA requests as vexatious on the same day.
    The ICO are the main instigators of this heinous crime of perverting the course of Justice.
    There is demonstrable evidence available in the ICO decsion to warrant a FULL and PROPER Public Inquiry into the conduct of the ICO Maffia.

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  44. Alan M Dransfield

    No doubt the DWP relied upon the Dransfield case GIA3037/2011 as a court authority.
    There will be a lot of eggs on a lot of faces if and when the Court of Appeal overturn Wikely,s vexatioud decision .

  45. Jeffrey Davies

    yes there very very very many atos deaths but its the governments fault they now but then culling the cattle it seems is rtu ids way yet its come close to me brought home how can someone whose been put or parked up forgotten about has in rtu ids thoughts be able to work so so many yet my best friend thought after being made ftw but thought it was a mistake he put right the following day at his local jcp but sadly he died around 14hrs before this assessment on how he was going to get himself back to work there are very many many stories we each have least we forget jeff3

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