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The Failings Of The DWP And ATOS In The Case Of Peggy

October 18, 2015

From the Fightback forums.


In November 2010 Peggy, my cousin had her Parkinson’s support worker fill out a claim for DLA she was 63 at that time. They did not hear anything until April of 2011, when an ATOS doctor visited her at her home. His report said she had no problem getting up and albeit slow, no problem with walking. Despite Peggy’s son making numerous calls to the DWP he kept getting told DLA had been refused in January 2011, even though they had no knowledge of this, the DWP also denied any knowledge of sending out a doctor in the April.
In August I took over the case as I had worked for the benefit system many years before. On contacting them they again said benefit had been refused in Jan and had no knowledge of an ATOS doctor going to see her in April of that year. I sent a letter with a copy of the appointment from ATOS threatening an MP complaint and requesting copy of the doctor’s report, giving them two weeks. I received a letter finally three weeks later again saying benefit had been refused and no copy of medical.
At that point I contacted Bob Ainsworth, a Coventry Labour MP, to intercede. He did so and I got a letter of apology and after some weeks of waiting as they had to go to their repository, a copy of the report. I submitted an appeal as it was their fault for delay they accepted, based on my cousin’s health. She would not walk outside on her own as she was prone to falling, she had got stuck in the bath so was now unable to wash herself, she was suffering from hallucinations because of the potency of the Parkinson’s medication, all of which was told to the ATOS doctor but he did not put down.
The ATOS doctor did bring up a very upsetting event from her past some forty years earlier which had no bearing on her current condition, which as you can imagine upset her greatly. I complained to ATOS and received an apology, when I pushed it further the doctor claimed he had not mentioned the event, so it came down to he said she said.
By this time my cousin who gets very muddled did not want any contact with DWP as she could not handle them, and it upset her greatly. She needed the money for the extra help of heating, taxis etc, she had no extra ability to pay for these extras she now needed through no fault of her own.
Towards the end of November 2011 I requested compensation hoping this would make them look at case again which they did, but still no joy. My cousin then started to fall over in the street and as she was on a first floor council block we were getting worried for her safety as her hallucinations were also getting worse. I submitted a fresh claim for DLA in Dec 2011 keeping the old claim in appeal. She was then moved to sheltered accommodation in March 2012. The fresh claim Peggy received the higher rate mobility and care, but they still wanted to pursue earlier claim to tribunal.
I spoke to DWP and stated this was a waste of money, now she is due high rate but last year not even the lower rate it made no sense, but sense never comes into it. I informed the women that my cousin was now so bad one look at her struggle to walk, which she could not do unaided anymore, we would have won and what a waste of money and stress. My cousin who wanted to be left alone by that point, and unprintable what she called DWP, but who could blame her, she agreed to attend hearing in April. As predicted she won the case and the money was backdated.
The case took from November 2010 to April 2012 to settle. I estimate it most have cost DWP 20-30 thousand pound to fight. My cousin was and is very sick women, with numerous ailments but still had the humiliation of going to court. Is this a ‘scrounger’ or ‘feckless’ women or someone who deserves humanity, I will let you be the judge of that.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 18, 2015 5:45 pm

    Reblogged this on campertess and commented:
    Oh god, how can this keep happening again & again to people. How lucky that Peggy had someone to fight her corner & even then she was ready to throw the towel in, think about the folk without anyone to help them so they just accept the decision because they think they have no choice. This happened to my Sister & she was told that as she had got no points so could not appeal, this was in 2013 & we didn’t know any different. Shortly after the decision my Sister committed suicide. The money that is wasted on appeals & tribunals could very easily be given to the claimants at the start & how many lives would’ve been saved.

  2. October 18, 2015 6:55 pm

    The problem is that the ATOS doctors when they do home visits only fill in the same work capability assessment, so they don’t write down the facts just the same nonsense that they have already had, and as we all know only pain can stop you walking 50 metres, and if you can get to the kitchen you can plan prepare cook and present a main meal for one. Friend of mine was recently told she had her PIP stopped because ATOS without being her had decided she could work 40 hours a week and she should start to look for work to receive job seekers, apparently they didn’t notice she is 68 years old and has exactly the same disability she had 40 years ago.


  1. The Failings Of The DWP And ATOS In The Case Of Peggy | Same Difference | sdbast

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