PIP assessors are lying on their reports

Atos: Welcome to Hell

This is a modified version of an original post, which Vox Political put up in good faith after seeing the message elsewhere, requesting permission to do so, and receiving no objections.

The original message referred to assessments for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) carried out by Atos, and contained warnings that made it too important to be allowed to disappear beneath more ‘current’ material, as is the way on social media sites.

It warned that – unless they are watched very closely – PIP assessors are not recording the correct information during interviews with claimants.

Examples were provided of misleading statements being typed up before the claimant had answered the relevant question, and of clues to other problems being ignored by the assessor, who had to be asked to insert them into the report.

It also warned that these are not isolated incidents.

The author of the original message has now asked Vox Political to remove that content, for reasons that may be deduced fairly easily, considering its nature.

However the article has clearly struck a nerve with the public, as the high number of comments telling a similar story demonstrates. This is why it is remaining here, in an altered form, and you are encouraged to report your own experiences of the assessment procedure.

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  1. chloe December 13, 2014 at 12:11 am - Reply

    Yes I totally agree the same thing happened to be a few weeks ago leaving me feeling very upset and confused I am in the process of appealing my assesment was full of complete lies

  2. joanna may December 13, 2014 at 12:50 am - Reply

    They wouldn’t have the nerve to do that Mike, because they would then conclusively know what is wrong, at the moment winging it is enough for them and seemingly acceptable to their bosses.

  3. Angela December 13, 2014 at 1:19 am - Reply

    I thought ATOS weren’t doing the assessments any more, I thought CRAPITA had taken over, not that they are any better, but am I wrong?

    • Mike Sivier December 13, 2014 at 1:54 am - Reply

      This is PIP not ESA, bear in mind.

      • Robert December 13, 2014 at 11:50 pm - Reply

        Have my pip assessment next week with atos. Do you have any tips or advice.? I am recording the interview following advice given by mind. Thanks rob

        • Mike Sivier December 14, 2014 at 12:43 am - Reply

          The best advice on this blog is provided by people who have themselves been through the process, as they appear in this comment column. Otherwise, I always recommend the good people at Fightback or 4UP on Facebook.

      • Alun December 14, 2014 at 1:47 am - Reply

        best advice i can give is don’t openly film it, they will refuse to carry out the assessment and bring someone with you, you are entitled to have someone accompany you.

    • Mark December 13, 2014 at 2:01 am - Reply

      Both ATOS and CRAPITA do PIP assessments it depends on what part of the country you live in.

      • Alun December 13, 2014 at 4:55 pm - Reply

        Capita did my PIP assessment, although it took a long time to get my claim processed after the assessment they did agree and i was awarded PIP. i don’t see how Capita is worse than Atos when they have never purposefully lied in my case.

  4. Jeffery Davies December 13, 2014 at 6:14 am - Reply

    They won so many contracts has atos rewarded for their
    complicity in denying ones rights but atos has been show it’s
    not to be trusted capita maximus too but telling the truth well
    If they did that then all going through their doors would be be
    passed unfit for work atos tell the truth its like the boss rtu ids
    hes another who cant tell it

  5. paul wogden December 13, 2014 at 8:12 am - Reply

    I had a pip assesment at home from this she deduced i could walk 400mtrs , she manually took my BP and put it down as normal i took it straight after in front of her with my own machine which gave a reading 20 points higher she said my reading was higher because of white coat syndrome, i received the transscipt of the meeting i thought it was for somebody else,

  6. Catriona Price December 13, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

    i was refused dla due to the lies that was told about me, this was by capita they used my answers and twisted them to suit themselves!!

  7. sue December 13, 2014 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Someone needs to do a fly on the wall documentary, more often now cameras are being hidden in nursing homes to catch the bad carers-which is a good thing, where would we stand if we hid a camera or recorded our assessments without the assessors knowing?

    • Mike Sivier December 13, 2014 at 11:54 am - Reply

      Experience suggests they would either refuse to accept the evidence or would declare the assessment invalid and put the claimant back into pre-assessment limbo or mandatory reconsideration hell.

      • Barney Turner December 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

        This is from 2013 (apologies if you`ve already seen it).
        Dispatches, “Atos Undercover”, qualified GP who got a job as an assessor, & just how much the ‘accurate assessments’ are biased in favour of being declared ‘fit for work’ – & some very interesting facts (e.g. assessors are expected to declare only 12% of claimants as ‘unfit for work’ = a target to DENY claimants their entitlement):


    • Alun December 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      Such things have been attempted before, there are youtube videos of people who filmed their assessments. there are also youtube videos of people trying to film it and being refused to have the assessment carried out and an automatic refusal.

  8. c hay December 13, 2014 at 10:06 am - Reply

    I have had my esa stopped following assessment , and mandatory reconsideration.I unfortunately have menieres disease .
    on attending the job centre appointment I was made to wait 10 mins even though the person seeing me was clearly just filling in time, then informed I was late so couldn’t be seen , they remade appointment and again I waited 10 mins this time the person seeing me had someone with them . so I asked the floor manager to re make appointment as clearly I wouldn’t be seen if same rules applied . to be told no I wasn’t late as they always allow 10 mins !!!! making appointments 10 mins later than given time .so the first time I was 10 mins early …they seem to make up these cat and mouse games and enjoy it. when I did see the person the first thing they said was its blindfold and cig time !!!!!! why talk to us like that do they really think having a disability is a lifestyle choice

    • Barney Turner December 13, 2014 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      “By any means necessary” is the JCP`s claim refusal/sanction policy these days.
      Sorry to hear about the c*ap they`re pulling with you.

  9. Alison Rudkin December 13, 2014 at 10:29 am - Reply

    ATOS ‘lost’ important documents both from my GP and Consultant more that twice. I had to ask again and again to be seen by a qualified assessor. I never saw anyone who understood my condition (which cannot be cured). They then suggested I took a couple of years off work to see if I felt better, but told me I was not entitled to any benefits. I finished up retiring early on a reduced pension. These people are only in it for themselves.

  10. Hellyn Windoog December 13, 2014 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Yes, my PIP assessment was full of lies and omissions. Bare faced as well as I had my son with me and his evidence was ignored. Now have the task of doing a reconsideration to get what I’m due for my condition..so so unfair.

  11. peterwytt December 13, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    The problem is they are not Medical Doctors, They are not even trained Nurses. It should be done my the person’s own Doctor who knows the history of that person.
    Atos is put in place deliberately by the Government to cut the real numbers down to cut cost, they are not interested in any person’s health and well-being, only money matters to them.

  12. Norma Roberts December 13, 2014 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    My advice to everyone is have the assessment recorded, if you can ask for this with PIP? Also, answer all questions which pertain to your illness, and/or disability, as fully as possible, not with just “yes” or “no”. If you do not explain exactly how things affect you they will assume you do not have any, or any significant, problem with that activity. These assessors infer an awful lot of capability from yes and no answers! For example, I was asked if I had a garden, I answered “yes”, that was all I was asked about the matter. The subsequent “medical” report stated that, because I did gardening, I had no problem with a whole host of physical activities! I was never asked who did the gardening, for all they knew I could have had the garden paved over, a relative/friend could have looked after the garden for me, or I could have a jungle outside my door!

    I’m wise to that trick now, next time I have an assessment I will give a full and detailed answer so, that if the answer is “yes”, I will be saying, “yes, BUT…..!” This will be recorded, so, if they twist my answer in the subsequent report, at least I will have proof of what was actually said.

    • clouty December 13, 2014 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Unlike the ESA Work Capability Assessment there are no arrangements in place for official recordings of PIP assessments:
      what follows is from this FOI link:
      Claimants may use their own equipment to record their face-to-face consultation, should they wish to, subject to any reasonable conditions the Department chooses to impose on such recordings.

      These reasonable conditions are:
      *The claimant must inform the provider in advance that they wish to record their consultation. This is to allow the provider to ensure the HP scheduled to carry out the consultation is willing to be recorded. If the HP is unwilling to be recorded, an alternative appointment should be made with the HP who is willing.
      *The claimant must be able to provide a complete and accurate copy of the recording to the HP at the end of the consultation. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only. Mobile phones and laptops are not suitable mediums for recording consultations.
      *The claimant must sign a form in which they agree that they will provide a copy of the recording and not use the recording for unlawful purposes.

      Possibly the most economical system would be a pair of cassette recorders or dictaphones.

      • Mike Sivier December 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

        These regs raise the question: Why would a healthcare professional be unwilling to be recorded?

      • Barney Turner December 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

        I`ve been informed that you can pick up USB recorders for approx. £20 ea. that are suitable for this purpose. Sorry I can`t provide a link

  13. concernedkev December 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Someone needs to get an updated copy of the terms of the contract. In the original contract it states a list of conditions that must be assessed by a registered doctor.

  14. concernedkev December 13, 2014 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    Re my above comment a copy of the original contract can be found at this link

  15. Atos Miracles (@AtosMiraclesfb) December 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I have had many assessments for DLA since 1992 and the majority were complete lies….one doctor even managed to move my GP’s surgery 98 metres in his report so that he could report I walked 100 metres. This culture of lying has been going on with assessors for a long time – it is nothing new to those of us who have spent decades under constant assessment. The consequences for me nearly killed me.

  16. wildthing666 December 13, 2014 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    I had my PIP in York, the assessor said only one of the 2 people with me could come in with me I nearly walked out until she relented and said they could both come in. I hit ATOS with A SAR within minutes of getting home within a week I was on enhanced rates of both mobility and care, I still had one payment of my old award to go but 10 years for the new award.
    If they have another person in the room don’t they have to ask the person been assessed if it’s OK and book another appointment if they say NO!

  17. clouty December 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    Contradictions, omissions and unfounded assumptions characterise my daughter’s recent PIP report. Hey ho, that’s ATOS working to targets for you. I think it’s a gift if we have to go to tribunal.

    ps: where’s the original post? Did Fightback give you grief?

    • Mike Sivier December 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      An issue was raised, let’s say.

  18. Paul Clark December 13, 2014 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    I know this is to do with PIP assesments but after reading this excellent article I wanted to tell you about the same thing happening with my ESA assesment with ATOS, and it looks more and more like a deliberate policy to lie. I wonder what sort of cut ATOS takes for everyone they say is fit to work? The assessor put in her report that I had parked my car in a car park 400 yards away and walked from there. This was a blatant lie. Using my blue badge, I had parked on the double yellows 10 yards from the building’s entrance. The really annoying thing was the fact you couldn’t even see this car park from the building!! Altogether there were 11 differences to what I told them to what was on her assesment. I was turned down for ESA because of it. On the bright side, I appealed the decision and won. I was in the appeal hearing a full 7 minutes before they said they’d heard enough. That’s one good thing about appealing… There’s nobody from ATOS on the appeal panel. Good luck and all the best to everyone on here who’s suffering because of this. And thank you to Mr Sivier for caring enough to highlight this, and other disgraceful acts forced upon us by this greedy, uncaring self serving government.

  19. SandS December 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Capita are guilty of this, too.

    My assessor was typing up replies as I was speaking. Most of the time, it was to trip me up with questions regarding time and frequency [my condition is a fluctuating one, rated severe, and it cycles rapidly – several times a day, every 3-5 days, sometimes I spend 2 weeks in a severe emotional state – and at other times I get clarity. Then unpredictability it flares again].

    “So it’s sometimes.” was something they were fond of saying a lot whilst this was going on. ‘Sometimes’ to them means 1-2 times a month; to me it’s 2-3 times a day. I had to force myself to drive this home lots of times, enough that their typing felt deliberate.

    I also had to insist things I said were noted down, like how I struggle with asking my GP for evidence, that said GP has me on a psychiatric help referral, that I’m receiving help from a mental health charity and to contact my MHRW there, etc – and that they must be contacted for a fair assessment.

    I feel that, because of the nature of my condition, the questions were aimed at what stood the greatest case of finding me ‘fit for work’ – the matter of time and fluctuation, ignoring the fact it’s a lifelong illness that may well return after a period of seeming peace.

    This is all something we shouldn’t be forced to do. I’m sick of it.

    They were also reluctant to say they were a mental health nurse when I asked. They just nodded but didn’t say anything. Their ID was cheap and plastic, full white, with barely a legible photograph, imo.

  20. adam collinson December 14, 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    Ive just had my PIP assessment at home last week. Im so extremely nervous about the outcome. Its causing me great anxiety. The assessor only asked questions about what I could do on a ‘good day’. I have a fluctuating illness and I replied about so called good and bad days. Every day is never a good day. Just bad and worse. I explained this. She tried to make it sound like I did all this stuff around the home. I stressed this wasnt the case. Most days I cannot do the things she was trying to make out I cpuld do. She kept asking about me walking to thr bus stop and how far it is. I get a bus maybe twice a month max! But she was questioning me like it was a regular thing. Im so scared and really worried about my report. I dont know if I csn cope if I get turned down. I have very little ‘fight’ left as it took nearly a year to get ESA.

  21. joggon December 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    i’m due for my DLA to be re-assessed in the new year. Last time at my ESA medical they also told lies about me, put me in the WRAG but with the help of MIND I was reconsidered and put in support group.
    My last DLA assessment 2 years ago, they cut my mobility completely. When I saw my advice worker at MIND, he couldn’t believe how i was not getting any sort of mobility allowance. I get the lowest rate of the DLA care.
    I am stressed about how this might work out after my assessment – going to be a great xmas and new year with the thought of the upcoming DLA to PIP assessment in my mind all the time, doesn’t help reading all the bad experiences others have been having.
    Hopefully in 5-6 months this bunch of rich highly privileged pigs that call themselves the government will be history, but then, will it be any better for the sick, disabled and poor people who have to rely on benefits under the next government – whoever they might be?
    I don’t feel like voting for any of the big 3 parties, def not ukip either. We need a new party that stands up for everyone. The Greens may have good intentions but I think most people just think they are a bunch of woolly tree-huggers when they hear the name Green Party.

  22. Rachel December 16, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    I applied for PIP on 18th December 2013.
    An assessor finally came out to visit me towards the end of May. I may as well have not been in the room, she just made things up. Because of her ‘report’, I was denied, and my reconsideration was denied also. I requested a copy of the report she wrote and it’s a work of utter fiction. One example being that I was telling her I applied because my condition prevented me from earning a living as I was no longer physically able to go out and work a market stall-she wrote in her report that I regularly go out into town to sell the things I make.
    I have a date for my tribunal in January but feel that all this stress and anxiety has been caused by her lying about me. Is there anything that can be done about the fictitious report she submitted that has totally screwed me over?

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