Sunday, 6 January 2013

Happy with ATOS

There's a blogger (on depression) called Depressed Moose - Garry Williams. Worth reading (certainly more meat than I'll ever manage!)

In September, he had his ATOS interview. Two weeks later he was told that he qualified for his benefits.

I envy, and am pleased for, the Moose on this matter. (I was about to write "congratulate" and "success", but there is nothing about depression that warrants either of those two words - not even keeping the benefits to which, after all, one is entitled by contract with the state and our society.)

The Moose writes "...despite all the negative publicity about them I can only speak based on my experience with them and my advice to anyone due to have a medical would be to ignore everything you read because it will only make you ill from stress! Go into the medical with an open mind and be 100% honest about how you feel and how your illness affects your daily life.  Don’t assume anything will count for or against you just reveal everything!"

I have one (sort of) quibble - so far! - with what he writes: "I can only speak based on my experience..." He's wrong. There is a wealth of evidence, individually anecdotal but overwhelming and overwhelmingly consistent in the flood: ATOS fails most people (many of whom are desperately ill, and up to 70% of those who are failed* are found to have been failed wrongly. And many of those who succeed in their appeals are almost immediately put through the process again. Etc. Etc.)  *If they have representation, of course.  And are alive and well enough to attend an appeal.

We can all speak with that wealth of evidence, including the Moose.

His experiences put him very much in the minority... and he knows it.

By the way, DWP, I ask again. If I live near Farnborough, why do you insist that my local Jobcentre is at Hyde, beyond Southhampton? For pity's sake, Luton and Sevenoaks are both closer, and would be easier to get to!

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