Another anonymous Atos/Maximus death

From Atos Miricles on Facebook-


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A friend of the Atos Miricles admin passed away. The following was shared on their Facebook page with permission, from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.


Maximus did my husbands assessment for pip last August- he applied for pip and ESA following a serious illness the year before.
As you know the illness was unforeseen and was not as a result of lifestyle choices other than to try and do all the right things in life.

Maximus did nothing wrong and the decision makers at the dwp awarded him pip and ESA SG – he was assessed by atos for ESA.

We’d been living on my wage since his illness and because I was working we were entitled to nothing for rent and so forth.
He followed Drs orders to the letter and was well on the path to recovery.
He had embarked on an OU degree and had distinctions in every piece of work. By next spring he would be fully qualified and was in line to get a first on his degree
He was planning on being able to work self employed in his new profession. He looked forward to returning to the fold of the tax payer as he had been all his life.

Even if he had had millions he would always have paid tax as he always said it was right that those of us who have, give a hand up to those who need a bit of help.

Pip is supposed to be for exactly what he was using it for – the extra expenses of living with a disability but he was looking forward to the day that he could just ring up and say he didn’t need the pip anymore that he had recovered and whilst recovering had done a degree and retrained.

Two weeks ago he had a pip reassessment form through. A three year award that he waited 13 months for, gave him just 11 months without the stress of being made to feel like a benefits scrounger.
He called them and was told that ‘this is a new thing. We are sending to people a year before their award ends but there’s nothing to worry about’
He did worry, he was beyond worry. The nightmare was back.
I found his pip award letter when I was getting his driving licence and birth certificate to take to the registrars office to collect his death certificate.
It says on there that they would be in touch from 14 weeks before the award ends in August 2016

So they lied to him for the last time.
He had a massive stroke the evening he finished completing the new form.

His suffering is over, mine begins anew every time I have to see his empty chair, give the funeral arrangements to dozens of friends who are shocked and heartbroken, every single minute is hell.
Nothing anybody says or does can stop this from being an open sore

Thank you for all your help *C* and it would be nice to stay in touch

Well done ids, Cameron and Osborne – another young mans life over.
He won’t appear on any statistics but those in my heart and that doesn’t matter because it’s already broken into thousands of pieces.

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#atos-2, #death, #deaths, #dla, #esa, #maximus, #pip, #wca, #wcas

Paula Peters Interview

#benefit-deaths, #deaths, #disability, #disabled, #dla, #paula, #peters, #pip

Group of student legal volunteers overturn 95% of DWP ‘fit to work’ decisions they take on

One legal advice centre helped 95 per cent of people declared ‘fit to work’ by the Government’s disability benefit checks overturn the decision, it has emerged.

Volunteers at the Bristol and Avon Law Centre have helped over 200 people in its local area challenge decisions by the DWP that they were “fit to work”, according to legal magazine The Lawyer.

Of these, only 5 per cent of claimants’ appeals failed once a legal professional took on their case.

The centre is staffed by law student volunteers who appear with claimants in front of a judge and a doctor at benefit appeals to help claimants make their case.

Nationally, the appeal success rate for disability benefit claims is also high – at 59 per cent, but the experience of the Law Centre appears to suggest that legal representation makes it go higher still.

Iain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions SecretaryIain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions SecretarySteep cuts to legal aid for people challenging benefit decisions have left many people without legal representation at appeals.

Law Centre welfare benefits adviser Andy King told The Lawyer that the centre would only be able to help a “tiny fraction” of the number of people it does without the help of the student volunteers.

The figures come amid questions about just how accurate the Government’s Work Capability Assessment actually is.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions last week show that thousands of people died soon after being found ‘fit to work’ by the Government’s disability benefits test.

The Department for Work and Pensions battled for months not to release the numbers, with its chief minister Iain Duncan Smith at one point telling Parliament they did not exist.

One legal advice centre helped 95 per cent of people declared ‘fit to work’ by the Government’s disability benefit checks overturn the decision, it has emerged

Volunteers at the Bristol and Avon Law Centre have helped over 200 people in its local area challenge decisions by the DWP that they were “fit to work”, according to legal magazine The Lawyer.

Of these, only 5 per cent of claimants’ appeals failed once a legal professional took on their case.

The centre is staffed by law student volunteers who appear with claimants in front of a judge and a doctor at benefit appeals to help claimants make their case.

Nationally, the appeal success rate for disability benefit claims is also high – at 59 per cent, but the experience of the Law Centre appears to suggest that legal representation makes it go higher still.

Iain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions SecretaryIain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions SecretarySteep cuts to legal aid for people challenging benefit decisions have left many people without legal representation at appeals.

Law Centre welfare benefits adviser Andy King told The Lawyer that the centre would only be able to help a “tiny fraction” of the number of people it does without the help of the student volunteers.

The figures come amid questions about just how accurate the Government’s Work Capability Assessment actually is.

Figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions last week show that thousands of people died soon after being found ‘fit to work’ by the Government’s disability benefits test.

The Department for Work and Pensions battled for months not to release the numbers, with its chief minister Iain Duncan Smith at one point telling Parliament they did not exist.

In June the British Psychological Society said there was “now significant body of evidence that the WCA is failing to assess people’s fitness for work accurately and appropriately”. It called for a full overhaul of the way the tests are carried out.

The WCA appeals system has also been fraught with controversy with a very high rate of overturns and delays lasting months and blamed for hardship

Some payments for the Employment and Support Allowance benefit were cut in the Chancellor’s recent budget, with Mr Duncan Smith arguing that the previous cash level created a “perverse incentive”.

Homelessness charity Crisis last year warned that an increase in sanctions for the ESA benefit was in danger of contributing to a rise in homelessness for disabled people.


The above article is from the Independent. Find the original here.


#assesment, #atos-2, #benefit-deaths, #deaths, #fit-for-work, #maximus, #wca, #wcas

Victim’s sister: The DWP know they are killing people

#death, #deaths, #dwp, #kill

The story of how one man died soon after the DWP’s benefit tests found him ‘fit to work’

The Department for Work and Pensions has released statistics showing that thousands of people have died soon after being found fit to work by its disability benefit tests.

The DWP says the figures alone “provide limited scope” for understanding why people died. Here is one case study from 2014.

Trevor Drakard was found dead in his Sunderland home a few months after his incapacity benefit was stopped. He had killed himself.

Mr Drakard, 50, who had recently been assessed as “fit for work” and ordered to find a job, was in the process of appealing against the decision with assistance from Citizens Advice Bureau when he took his own life in July 2014.

An inquest in September of the same year in Sunderland heard how Mr Drakard, who had suffered with epilepsy from the age of six, was left feeling depressed “due to the stress of losing his benefits”.

Mr Drakard was described as a “lonely man” with few acquaintances who had recently lost two of his closest friends. He had suffered from meningitis at five months old which left him brain damaged, causing severe epilepsy when he was six.

The hearing was told how Mr Drakard would meet his parents for a meal three times a week.BANS1

His parents explained that they were unable to contact their son to ask him to sign some documents relating to his benefit appeal. They visited Mr Drakard’s home and found their son’s body in his bedroom.

Tests found that he was still taking his epilepsy medication and the senior coroner ruled that Trevor Drakard had taken his own life.


From- The Independent


#benefit-deaths, #cuts, #death, #deaths, #fit-for-work, #welfare-cuts

The True Cost Of Austerity

FOR nearly five years the public has seemingly accepted the mantra that austerity is needed.

After gaining a majority in May’s General election, the Conservative Government has a clear democratic mandate to carry on cutting back on public spending – so we can expect another five years of cuts to the frontline services and the safety net we, as tax payers, provide for ourselves and others. But these cuts come at a cost – and, at times it seems that cost can be calculated in human lives.

It would, however, be unfair and wrong to say that the 2,400 people who died within two weeks of being declared ‘fit for work’ (see Page 11) died as a result of the Department of Work and Pensions’ decision to withdraw or slash their benefits.

The vast majority of them didn’t. They died because they were sick, infirm and dying – and, therefore, were manifestly not ‘fit for work’ by any standard acceptable in the modern world.

The DWP says that: “The mortality rate for people who have died while claiming an out-of-work benefit has fallen over a ten-year period.”

This weak, mealy mouthed response to a shocking statistic completely misses the point and tells us nothing.

People will die while they claim benefits, just as they will while working, or crossing the road, or trying to do The Times crossword. The mortality rate is irrelevant.

What is relevant is how often Atos – the private French company the Government and DWP had paid to do their dirty work – apparently got it so badly wrong.

Between April 2011 and April 2012 Atos declared 203,000 were fit for work. That’s approximately 400,000 over the two year period that those 2,400 people died. In those terms, statistically, the deaths rate seems low. However, 10,600 people died within six weeks of being declared fit to work.

And how many were not dying, but genuinely were unfit for work?

Statistics suggest 30% to 40% of people who appealed their Atos assessment won their case. Shockingly, this figure rose to 70% to 80% for people with adequate legal representation.

What seems clear is that Atos clearly got it so wrong, so much of the time – a fact the Government acknowledged by changing provider and hiring Maximus to do the job.

We can only hope that they do this job far better than Atos.

For the true cost of austerity is often not human lives. It is sacrificing compassion and empathy – and if we sacrifice those attributes in the name of austerity, then we risk being dragged back to the dark days of Dickensian workhouses, and of slaves being quite literally worked to death.


From-: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/true-cost-austerity/story-27690980-detail/story.html#ixzz3k82lxYPb


#austerity, #benefit-deaths, #cut, #cuts, #death, #deaths, #dwp, #mortgage-cuts, #welfare-cuts

Grieving mum shocked after DWP call demanding son’s whereabouts – one day after his funeral

A MOTHER was called the day after her son’s funeral to ask why he hadn’t attended a meeting about his Jobseekers’ Allowance.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has apologised to Jacqueline Brown, who says she was appalled to receive the phone call on Tuesday, despite filling out all the necessary forms to tell them what had happened.

Jacqueline’s son, 31-year-old James, was first taken to hospital with meningitis several weeks earlier.

“I think it’s disgraceful what they have done,” she said.

“Less than 24 hours after I buried my son I was taking calls demanding to know where he was.

“No mother should have to go through this.cropped-rose_485_lrg-copy-wordpress

“I did everything they asked and they have lied to me and continued to keep contacting me.”

James was found unconscious in his Toothill home by police in June and was first taken to the Great Western Hospital before being transferred to the John Radcliffe in Oxford to treat an infection in his brain.

Despite the treatment, he did not regain consciousness and remained in a coma for several weeks. Before he died on July 24, Jacqueline remained hopeful he would recover and was concerned he would lose his Jobseekers Allowance while in hospital, leaving him unable to pay rent.

“I went into the Jobcentre and the person I spoke to told me I would need to get legal advice first,”  said Jacqueline.

“I asked if there was a form. He went away and came back with the form I had to fill in.

“I came back a week later with all the documents, including one from the hospital to say James was there.

“This time the man was really helpful and stamped everything to say it was in order.”

But the money was stopped and Jacqueline was told it was because James had not attended meetings.

She was given power of attorney of her son’s affairs but still the DWP were not convinced,.When her son died Jacqueline was advised to fill out an online form which should have notified every department.

But the devastated mother continued to be contacted, culminating in Tuesday’s call about the missed meeting. A DWP spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Brown. We are sorry for what has happened and have been in touch with Mrs Brown to apologise.”


The above article is copied from http://m.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/13617071.Grieving_mum_shocked_after_DWP_call_demanding_son_s_whereabouts___one_day_after_his_funeral/?ref=fbpg


#benefit-deaths, #benefits, #death, #deaths, #dwp, #sanction, #sanctions