Benefits assessment firm causing 'fear and loathing' among claimants, says MP
People who are fit and healthy are unlikely to have heard of the company Atos. But anyone who has had to apply for sickness benefits may find that the name triggers – according to one MP – a sense of "fear and loathing".
Atos is responsible for carrying out the government's drive to assess everyone claiming incapacity benefit, to decide whether they may actually be well enough to work. Atos staff are testing around 11,000 benefit claimants a week, to determine how ill they really are and whether they are eligible for benefit payments.
Since the last government launched a campaign to cut the number of sickness benefits claimants, the process has been controversial, with charities and politicians warning that vulnerable people have wrongly had vital payments removed.
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Questions and answers: taking the test
A Guardian reader agreed to be accompanied to his recent work capability assessment. He has epilepsy and Asperger's syndrome and has been suffering from anxiety. He lost his job last year because of his ill health.
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source of the photo
this is also an interesting take on ATOS - "The IT Contractor that thinks it's a doctor".
Mods - sorry if this has posted multiple times - LJ keeps erroring :(