82 thoughts on “DWP denials: They would kill you and call it ‘help’

    1. Wendy Smith

      Yes I agree this is an excellent post, but why is’t anyone asking who are PriceWaterhouseCoopers, what qualifications do they have to “provide independent advice in relation to strengthening quality assurance processes”. Mr Hoban’s former employer. The connection with the Minister implies an inappropriate relationship from the get-go.
      My daughter used to work for this company, and as far as I am aware they are an Accountant firm, so I ask again What qualifications do they have to strengthen quality assurance processes???????

  1. Alex Casale

    I am getting confused now. So much evidence of what this government is really up to led me to believe they are genocidal. Now I wonder if they are also giving us a choice and adding euthanasia too!

  2. Alex Casale

    “From a psychoanalytical viewpoint, denial is a pathological, ineffective defense mechanism..On the other hand, according to the stress and coping model, denial can be seen as an adaptive strategy to protect against overwhelming events and feelings.”
    Therein is the appeal of denial to humans. Denial allows someone to keep going unchanged despite reality. Denial is the path of psychological and moral least resistance.

  3. Samwise Gamgee

    I can’t believe what I’m reading here, not because I doubt the accuracy or truth of this article, but because I refuse to believe this country has ended up being governed by such a corrupt, heartless, and dare I say downright evil government.

    The DWP seem to be rotten from head to toe, and IDS, Hoban, McVey et al should all be out of a job.

    1. Anthony Turtle

      Sorry Samwise, but you better start believing or it will be you next!

      First they came for the socialists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
      Then they came for the disabled,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t disabled.
      Then they came for the trade unionists,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
      Then they came for the Jews,
      and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
      Then they came for me,
      and there was no one left to speak for me.

  4. samspruce

    I recall in the opening remarks by Carl Jung in his book “Answer to Job” that because of the rapidly declining situation in Europe he was writing the book somewhat hastily. I am feeling the same way at the moment. There is no time to do the rigorous analysis and explanation of what is going wrong. In fact to do so is playing into the mechanism of the decline. A quote that says something from Jung’s book “The invasion of evil signifies that something previously good has turned into something harmful . . . the ruling moral principle, although excellent to begin with, in time loses its essential connection with life, since it no longer embraces life’s variety and abundance.” Unfortunately it seems that the paradigms used to justify the current political policies have lost their connection to reality. Personally, because I am in the proverbial, I find it all very frightening. (P.S. Thank you and keep up the good work.)

  5. Nick

    They would kill us all and call it “help”. That is very true and that is what they will do given the chance all in the name of helping you

  6. Peter Griffiths

    I had a letter from my Consultant Psychologist advising ATOS that I was attending a psycho analytic group therapy session on a weekly basis – it is a three year programme, and specifically stated that external undue or untimely pressures from the outside world would have a detrimental effect on my mental health. However, ATOS chose to ignore this, in fact stating that being as I was able to attend a weekly therapy group, it proved that I should also be able to carry out work focussed activity without ill effect!!! The tribunal, (six months later) had no additional information, only exactly that which ATOS held and on the day I just didn’t feel well enough to attend. However, with the SAME information and without my personal submissions, the Tribunal did take the Psychologists letter seriously and awarded me Support Group status! ATOS ignore the opinion of professional medics who have years and years or training and expertise and instead choose to rely on a piece of french software and the opinion of what are little more than administrative assistants! Scandalous!

  7. aussieeh

    Personally I think this will continue, the suicides,the deaths, the corruption, right up until these fascist politicians of all colours and their corrupt companies and friends are all where they should be, in the Hague. After all one more death is one less payment. There are not enough derogatory terms, names, or words to describe the excrement that is our government,,

    1. Mike Sivier

      One more death is in fact 52 fewer weekly payments per year. It adds up to a lot of money over time and – sadly – I think that is what they are all about.

      Not SAVING money – that’s not it at all – but taking it from people who need it to survive, giving it to their friends who are already rich, and sitting around watching what the poor, sick and disabled do to survive.

  8. atomicks2013

    Again, an excellent and thorough post.
    You really couldn’t make this stuff up.The absurd, cruel and unjust logic of this excuse of a government, is I think, intentionally designed to not be believed.

  9. Big Bill

    We might add it’s unreasonable to expect mentally ill folk to be able to assess and supply to Atos what constitutes the most pertinent information on their conditions precisely because they are, er, mentally ill. In their often confused states, how can they be expected to know?

    1. Mike Sivier

      In fairness, I think that point was made in court, and in the previous Vox Political article on the verdict. Having said that, there’s no reason not to repeat it as many times as necessary for it to seep into public perception.

  10. Mark Williams

    i wonder when the court of human rights will act on all this this government is killing it own people and saying it is help well lets help them get them out of power and in the court let see what they say then about the so called help

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  12. stephenjblake

    Excellent post. I’ve been interviewed by Atos. The lady introduced herself as being medically qualified to a District Nurse level. She promptly stated that a GP and Specialist were mistaken in my diagnosis. So my ESA cancelled, my appeal rejected. I get to the DWP to claim Job Seekers. I ask them what I do with my Doctor’s note that says I should not work for 3 months. I’m told to rip it up or get my Doctor to cancel it because they will not give me any money if I don’t.

    As it is I feel well enough to work now, but I am staggered at how the bully boy system works. I was shocked to find that they think Doctors and Specialists are in cahoots with you to falsely claim.

    This has been the first time I’ve claimed anything in my life. The lack of respect and dignity given to people is shocking.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The question of the duty of care really hasn’t been addressed at all, has it? If they’re getting you to rip up notes from your doctor before they’ll give you any benefit money, something has gone badly wrong.

      1. Big Bill

        Apparently they shouldn’t be doing it under any circumstances. This is from an FOI “A person can claim JSA even when they have a fit note from a doctor or
        other medical practitioner. A determination, following a Work Capability
        Assessment, that a person does not have limited capability for work is
        based on what an individual can do, rather than simply a diagnosis of
        their medical condition. The determination applies across the social
        security system, including JSA. Jobseekers may, however, restrict their
        availability for work in the light of their condition.” so under no account should JSA advisors be suggesting fit notes should be ripped up before JSA can be paid. Stephen Blake, above, should have contacted his MP and complained immediately. Here’s the url for the FOI https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/claimants_not_eligible_for_esa_o Further, it’s not up to JSA advisers to determine who is or isn’t fit to work. This is from another FOI “Jobcentre Plus advisers cannot decide that a claimant is unfit for work, especially where
        a Tribunal has decided that a claimant does not have limited capability for work.” Here’s the url for that one https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/152088/response/369042/attach/html/2/FoI%201046%20reply.pdf.html Perhaps it’s not too late to complain, vigorously, about the treatment received.

      2. johncresswellplant

        The Department of Work & Pensions operates SOLELY on a basis of what is required EXPLICITLY under Social Security law (other laws notwithstanding). Social Security law DOES NOT require or even recognise “Duty of Care” in relation to claimants.

        The Department has no “Moral Obligations”.

        Civil Servants are still bound by The Armstrong Memorandum as slightly amended and are under other obligations to anyone – least of all the public!

      3. Mike Sivier

        But the fact that a DWP decision on ESA overrules a doctor’s diagnosis places them in a very actionable position where it comes to that duty of care. It MUST lie with somebody and CANNOT still be the doctor’s when he or she has been overruled.

      4. Big Bill

        We need a test case. Someone has to sue their Dr for failing in their duty of care and it has to be established that duty of care lies elsewhere (and where) during the Atos process.

      1. Mike Sivier

        No we’re not farm animals, but Bill is right when he refers to the Conservative Party’s attitude to us. They really do think we’re livestock.

    1. Matt

      This is also what is happening in America too, i have several friends there who say exactly the same

  13. Jonathan Wilson

    There is also a touch of 1984 in the language used and its failure to take into account individual outcomes… in its own words a person dying, getting better, getting work, or dropping so far of the radar due to homelessness is all considered “a positive benefit outcome” as far as the moronic DWP IBS, mcVile statistics are concerned; not to mention the ridiculous change from “sick” ot “fit” note… dear god! I’m just angry that there doesn’t seem to be a coherent condemnation of the abuse of statistics, false claims, out right lying, by the other parties and neither is there a concerted effort to counter the deamonisation of people who are ill/disabled/unemployed by the condemed government.

    Its strange how over the years, and especially with the changes to ESA, bedroom tax, obc, PIP etc; how my views have changed from generally “conservative” to a much more left leaning stance… especially as in my view “conservative” should also include the conservation of important systems such as the NHS and social security and minimum living standards, not the rabid selling off of everything and anything by the current lot… good on paper, but stupid once its done when everything becomes so much more expensive, even to the gov, than doing it in house…

    One of the funnyest things is the very companies that provide “contracted out” services don’t contract out themselves anymore, rather they buy companies that can provide outsourced services to themselves and then inter-company invoice which reduces the cost overheads and keeps money withing the group as a whole while individual areas/companies/departments produce a profit on paper, where as before a department, say IT, would be counted as a lost making large overhead/wage department.

  14. Thomas M

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this government brings in voluntary euthanasia and then takes away everyone’s benefits. The sooner it is voted out on it’s ass the better.

      1. Nick

        they wouldn’t need to they just have to carry on as they are now with their DWP scare tactics on those that live alone by phoning them up and scaring them to death by just stopping their benefits for the sheer hell of it

        it’s happened to me many times in the past but i don’t live alone and my mp is active so are the police to see I’m OK

        without my mp or the police i would be dead simple as that

  15. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    This is another excellent piece by my brother, Mike, over at Vox Political. It shows the government’s lying again about the ATOS contract. Contrary to what their new spokesman, Mark Hoban, would have us believe (and what happened to the proper Disability minister, Esther McVey?) ATOS’ contract is framed so that they do not take into account any additional information from medical professionals. The only opinion that matters is that of ATOS. And ATOS’ contract with the government makes them exempt from healthcare regulations. Once upon a time, when thriller writers thought of an out-of-control government agency, responsible for the deaths of millions under a Right-wing administration with complete contempt for democracy and the rule of law, it was the CIA under Richard Nixon. Well, Watergate is history and Nixon has gone the way of all flesh. The baton of corrupt, murderous organisation has gone from the spooks to ATOS and the Conservatives. I hope it won’t be too long before they meet with Nixon’s fate.

    1. Big Bill

      Er, Nixon was pardoned. That’s not the fate I’d like to see for the DWP ministers involved in this scandal.

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  17. Guy Ropes

    You state that “There is a culture of unaccountability across the system”. Unfortunately for most British folk (99%) there is a lack of accountability across all strands of Government, most notably (and this is quite a claim in view of what is revealed here) in the Criminal Justice System. If justice cannot be seen to be done, then we all are well and truly up the creek without the proverbial.

  18. Alex of the underworld

    Off topic if I may :
    The Queen, Prince Philip and a slew of old, massively powerful types, are getting on in years. As they ready to up stumps and retire to the pavilion, I have noticed Governments worldwide, with blighty at the forefront, have for several years, been working in overdrive to put in place what I can only see as a high figure scorecard to depart with. A scorecard made up of, among other groups, as many disabled people as possible. This big killing push could be a swan song by the fat controllers of this now fascist, commie, marxist, communitarian, disablist, Darwinian, all the ists and isms, de-populationistas planet.

    just a thought from a disabled bedroom tax paying pauper.

      1. Nick

        yes he does make a valid point

        we are now seeing in Egypt who by and large are very decent people who have always shown me the utmost courtesy on the many times I’ve visited. however they are no mugs and are a very astute race of people unlike the British people and can tell a bad apple having lived with one all their life and are now making waves to get the right sort of leadership in place which they rightfully deserve and are putting their lives on the line unlike those in the uk to secure a decent future for there country

        With the way the west is being run by so called political leaders who in reality haven’t a clue we may find that at some point this country along with the rest of Europe goes the same way as Egypt in order to get their countries back on track as failure to do so will spell the end for certain groups of people

        The world at this time is controlled by the USA and the uk and that in itself has very undesirable effect in unstable countries as it makes for their leaders to behave inappropriately with their own people with a mindset of well the usa/uk behave badly with their people so we can do the same which is not the attitude to take

        The days of a country just persecuting it’s people to make a quick dollar are coming to an end and Egypt are going to fight tooth and nail whatever the cost to get the right leadership they and many other countries so desperately need in going forward

        Leading a country is very simple at the end of the day as all you have to do is to offer honesty and integrity with great transparency and above all listen to your people and put there needs first second and third and from that view point you will not only succeed but heal the vast wounds from the past and bring over time peace and happiness once more

  19. aaron

    are we not going to talk about the thousands of people who are abusing the system and claiming money when they are fit to work? I want a system where the sick are cared for AND the benefit fraudsters are put to work.

    1. Mike Sivier

      We have been talking about it.

      The conclusion we have reached, over the past few years, is that EVERYONE wants a system where the sick receive care and the benefit fraudsters are put to work.

      We won’t get such a system from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

      It seems clear that they want to kill off the sick and disabled, under the pretence of attacking scroungers, in order to cut expenditure from the benefits budget. That’s right – their actions are killing the people they are meant to be protecting. Not directly, no – but cutting their benefits has driven many to suicide, or to death caused by the medical conditions their assessors claimed did not exist.

      Benjamin Franklin, paraphrasing Sir William Blackstone, once said of the justice system that he would rather a hundred guilty people go free than one innocent be made to suffer.

      We know that thousands upon thousands of innocent people have died under this government’s policies, yet we are told that the guilty are still taking taxpayers’ money.

      What we are saying, therefore, is that the Coalition’s priorities are not only utterly wrong but also utterly perverse. The innocent have been persecuted while we are told the guilty are free. And the Coalition’s response is that it will continue doing what it is doing.

      That is why everybody is so upset about what’s going on.

      1. Nick

        it a very clever con by IDS and only a court of justice can get him to explain himself for these deaths in the name of help as that is how he sees himself in his own twisted way

        To ids’s logic if he killed thousands and helped just one sick or disabled person into work then he would say there you are I’ve helped someone

        IDS type of logic is absolute madness but it’s working well for him and he wont stop until the bitter end like all psychopaths

    2. vomsters

      Less than 1% of the money paid out to sick and disabled people is down to a combination of fraud and error. That is based on the DWP’s own estimates and includes errors made by their staff as well.

      Before you start spouting IDS-style “statistics” about the “not-really-sick-you-don’t-look-sick-to-me-so-you-can’t-be-sick-you-scrounging-scumbag” tabloid rubbish that caters to your prejudices, check the facts.

      1. Guy Ropes

        It wouldn’t require the Attorney General to issue a PII cert. It would seem that any State servant can – like the Police for instance. They did so in respect of ‘evidence’ which they thought would be embarrassing to them if Leveson ever made it public. They have no need to worry of course as M’lud can exclude anything he damn well wishes (and does). Interestingly – in respect of PII orders – the executive at Index on Censorship, supposedly a beacon of democracy and free speech, don’t know how to discover if a PII refers to anything they might want to print. A list of such orders, maybe, might be useful? This is not conjecture, I approached them personally. Such negative encounters only foster the deepest suspicion.

      2. Mike Sivier

        For clarity, we’re talking about PII certificates. The letters stand for Public Interest Immunity. You should be able to work out the rest from there.

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  21. townmax

    this current cabal of ministers changed the guidance on WCA in 2010, within a month of being in office, they made the following rule that a doctor does not have the ability to assess a persons capability to work, but a HCP does (1 has 8 years of training, the other 4 weeks).
    also if mental health is the illness, then an esa50 does not need to be returned, however the circumstances should be that a visiting officer should go out, gather the info from the claimant before a WCA takes place. this gov’t changed it so visitng officers dont have to do it, but a claimant must request a visit for help with the form (something else this govt dont advertise), and a visiting officer goes to the house.
    the esa50 is a claimants voice in this matter, seeing as mental health people need the most help with this, it gets systematically ignored. and even when filled in, unless there is something from consultants or a medical expert, it gets ignored by the HCP.
    your freindly CONservative cabal has also changed that if an SDM goes against the advice of ATOS they have to justify it with a manager, and can also face scrutiny nationally if they are ‘blipping’ the stats.
    this is the reason why in fact 80% of NO LCW claims are overturned on reconsideration or appeal, not the 38% they try to claim. this is why atos has cost this country in appeals over £500mn in the last 5 years. but not 1 penny is paid back by ATOS. time to bring the medical tests to public sector without targets.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s all very interesting – but possibly would have been more so without the abbreviations. For the sake of casual readers, HCP is “healthcare professional”, WCA is of course a Work Capability Assessment, SDM is Service Delivery Manager and LCW is Limited Capability for Work.

    2. Nick

      the best way forward with all this DWP CRAP is to just remind the DWP management of the severe consequences of getting it wrong you kill a person and in doing so you put your genuine staff under pressure themselves of committing suicide and of taking their own lives because working under such a terrible regime

      many times a DWP staff member has broken down in tears when speaking with me on the phone over the years they would love to do the job right but are unable to for various reasons

      my answer to them is always the same and that’s get out ASAP or you too will end up dead through the stress of it all

  22. TCP

    Well wrote. It’s all about saving money and nothing more. The powers that be couldn’t give a toss about the long-term sick and disabled and how ill they are or if they are going to die, as long as they get people off benefits. These people at the top are the real scroungers who claim for everything going; feathering their nests along the way and making sure that they benefit from all angles and live the high-life, whilst dictating to the minions what they must and must not do and what they can and can’t have. They sicken me even more.

  23. Jane Wright

    At the time of reading all these comments I am just getting ready to visit a gentleman, taking him a meal, as he has had no money since mid may this year,, all benefits stopped as he was unable to attend atos assesment, despite sending in letters from gp requesting home visit due to severe agoraphobia. This gentleman has not been out of his home for at least 3 years, he does not answer the door or the telephone, which I would consider to be a valid reason for being unable to attend for medical, but no, in their infinite wisdom they decided that as he did not attend that all his benefits were to be stopped, he did not refuse to attend he really and honestly could not. I visit this man every day and have to listen to him saying he would be better off dead e.c.t. . All this has made his condition much much worse,, who is accountable for this????

    1. Nick

      Jane only this man’s mp will get his benefits restored and nobody else
      all you need do is for either of you to contact his mp with a brief outline of what you have just written

      his mp will then contact him ASAP and his benefits will be restored ASAP

      1. Jane Wright

        Thanks for this advice, this gentleman now has a tribunal hearing at court, set for this saturday, I have written to them to ask can I appear for him to answer any questions the judge may have as I do not think they should judge this just on the paperwork, otherwise they may well just come to same conclusion, I think it may be too late for intervention from mp at this stage but if the court outcome is unsuccesful then that will be the only other option

  24. Gordon Ralph

    i attended my WCA and because i managed to sit in a chair with arms for 25 mins they think i can work!, what the “expert” failed to notice or ask is that i was actually resting all my weight on my elbows !.Now i am appealing against their decision, and this is their basis of me being able to work that i can sit in a chair for 25 mins!!. I suffer with severe spinal stenosis, amongst other things !if you saw my MRI scans my spine is virtually broken in two.!.i asked to have copies of my scans …£25 i have to pay for my own pictures of MY body !!,. and my Dr isn’t much help either he gets very “grumpy” when i talk to him and he says i have to put up with it as everyone has to do what the government policy states !!…..Really…. we are all going to hell in a hand cart !!!! if there is a god we need him now !!!!

  25. Fukiko Stuart

    Best thing to do is get figures of how many have died because of this assessment and make it as public as possible. Considering how the internet works, information will be widespread and travel exceptionally fast!

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  27. ghost whistler

    Each time I see his face, I am filled with almost religious fury. Mark Hoban is simply the most appalling creature.

    The WCA is no kind of test or assessment, diagnostic or otherwise.

    I had a more thorough assessment from the CAB adviser when getting help appealing the WCA outcome. She went through the criteria – the full descriptors in detail as laid out by the DWP (not the ATOS interpretation, or the decision maker glibly rubber stamping it) – with me properly. Conversely the ATOS assessor, who in my case was pleasant enough, just thought it was a trite affair, like afternoon tea.

    This whole situation is more surreal than a mad hatter’s tea party.

  28. nobodysreadingme

    One thing that infuriates me is that I had to go for an ATOS assessment. This was conducted by a qualified medical professional. The decision wasn’t made by her. It was made by some bloody faceless bureaucrat with no medical qualifications

  29. aussieeh

    Hello Mike
    Off topic, I received your book yesterday got it from Lulu as you advised looking forward to a cracking read
    All the best and keep on truckin
    Andrew

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