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PIP lies frm DWP-ATOS whistleblower recorded audio evidence

PatientNLPatientNL Posts: 5
I am new to the forum. I thought someone might be interested in this story from a Rheumatoid patient about PIP.

I emailed the following along with recorded evidence to:

BBC News
DWP Noel Shannahan, Director General
Mark Harper MP, Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, Conservative MP for the Forest of Dean.
Guardian News

“I applied for my PIP and after typical months of waiting for Atos assessment I finally had the assessment and last December I was told I 'do not meet the criteria'. I have appealed but today surprise surprise, I phoned DWP who said they have not received it, so it is on-going and is the reason I am emailing this (don't trust their post / or email for that matter), if the BBC receive it then they must receive it also.

The reason I am contacting the BBC is to expose lies by ATOS appointed by the DWP as evidenced in the recording attached of my recent ATOS assessment and to complain to the BBC and DWP about this matter to change it for patients like me in the future.

As soon as the assessment session started with the ATOS nurse, she was very prickly and caused tension to say the least and I was upset and crying. She saw me reach for my phone to check if my daughter had text and was ok and she asked if I was recording it which gave me the idea, after this point her manner completely calmed drastically as we both knew she suspected me of recording it.

My rejection letter states various questions I was asked in the assessment and marks my score as Zero.

However you can hear from the recording that I answered the questions very differently from what the letter says - so they have just lied and made it up and I have the voice recording to prove it -see attached letter and recording.

Start from around 20mins into the recording.

EG
Preparing food
- rejection forms says 'you can prepare and cook a simple meal unaided - this gives you a score of zero
- You can hear me crying on the recording saying I can't cook, my daughter does everything.

EG
Washing and bathing
- rejection form says 'you can wash and bathe unaided, this gives you a score of zero
- You can hear me crying on the recording saying my daughter has to help me wash and bathe

... and it goes on, me crying barely being able to breathe at some points I am that upset at recalling the difficulty I and my daughter face daily - but all the questions on the rejection form have made up lies with scores of zero by ATOS/DWP. Where did they get those answers from, not me.

The only reason I recorded it was because the lady was very difficult from the start and had me crying so I thought best record it.

I have various disease - severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, Vasculitits, Ocular migraine, suspected TIA / Mini stroke, other CVD problems.

My 11 year old girl is my full time carer - because she is under age she has to work for free, ie she gets no money for it - if she was older she would get pad - is that not child labour for free? We live alone my daughter and I. I hope you understand that it is difficult to answer questions about my daughter looking after me, giving me my toxic medication, cooking and bathing me because at the front of my mind I am always fearful social services will intervene and take her away, but it is a fact she is my carer and gets nothing for it.

I hope this is useful for other people like me.”

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello PatientNL and welcome to the Arthritis Care forums :)

    I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience with ATOS. As you'll see, from many threads on here, you are by no means alone. I hope, if you appeal, you'll have more success with Maximus who, I believe, have now taken over from ATOS. We usually advise people to enlist the aid of CAB when filling in forms.

    You are quite right that your 10 yr old should not have to help you bathe, dress and cook. Have you ever enlisted the help of an Occupational Therapist? Mine got me my bath lift which enables me to be completely independent in the bath. Without it I would be unable to either have a bath or a shower. I also have dressing aids which I bought from disability stores. Again, with them I am virtually independent but without them my husband has to dress me. There are many things around which help with our independence from thick-handled kitchen tools to toileting aids. You can also ask your pharmacist to put your medication in an easier dispenser though I admit, when my sons were young, I just asked them to open mine for me :oops:

    You can self-refer to an Occupational Therapist to ask about such things. Just go to your local government website and find the telephone number for Adult Social Care. I hope they will be able to help you as much as they've helped me :D
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • tkachevtkachev Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    I'm sorry that you had such a distressing time but I can tell you that you are not the first and won't be the last. Sadly the twisting and ignoring of given information is very common as is not acknowledging medical reports and treatment.

    They are also very good at losing post!

    I believe you have to inform them if you are recording the interview so I am surprised she carried on. Its not clear if you started recording after she asked you if you were or whether you told them you were but weren't/ Hope that makes sense?

    However I think you are right to complain and hope any mistakes they have made (they won't admit to lying) are admitted and you get an apology.

    Best wishes Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Is this your experience or not? For what it's worth I am guessing not, because as I read (past tense) it you have chosen to report second-or-third handed someone else's PIP interview and I wonder why.

    The scare stories abound because they are news; the success ones, however, are not good copy so ergo they gain little or no interest in our media-driven age. I may soon be changed from a lifetime award of Higher Mobility DLA to PIP (and rightly so) but for those who are approaching this for the first time your post will only alarm, not encouarage. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • PatientNLPatientNL Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    REPLY TO Stickywicket:

    Thank you for the kind welcome. I do use some aids, many I found unhelpful. Thanks for the tip about an occupational therapist.

    RE YOUR COMMENT:
    You are quite right that your 10 yr old should not have to help you bathe, dress and cook.

    REPLY:
    I and my daughter do not have an issue with her helping. What I take issue with is the fact that because of her age she is discriminated against being paid for the care-help she gives me.
    If she were older, she would be financially compensated. This seems unjust.
  • PatientNLPatientNL Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Tkachev
    Thank you for the kind welcome.

    RE YOUR COMMENT:
    Sadly the twisting and ignoring of given information is very common as is not acknowledging medical reports and treatment.

    REPLY:
    I was shocked to hear the assessor tell me that she did not have a copy of my PIP application with her AND that she could not read it, which is why she said she was asking me all the questions. I could not believe that my detailed application had not been read.
    She said that they do not work in a joined-up integrated way with other Health and Care organisations. She made clear she had not and will not be requesting any medical records including prescriptions. I was lost for words. What, how, really?! Unbelievable.

    RE YOUR COMMENT:
    I believe you have to inform them if you are recording the interview so I am surprised she carried on. It’s not clear if you started recording after she asked you if you were or whether you told them you were but weren't

    REPLY:
    The data protection point has been raised by a few. I was naive in this respect and may well have left myself exposed. However, it is my understanding as a result of the recent NHS Francis Report, Jeremy Hunt’s recent initiatives and the Prime Ministers comment in Prime Ministers Questions in Parliament pre the Budget announcement to quote David Cameron ‘any one who is worried about being prosecuted for coming forward with information, should be reassured by the assurances that have been given ...it’s in every bodies interest that we get absolutely to the bottom of what happened and if people should be punished for their failures, they should be’

    View at 17:38 Minutes http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05gxcq3/prime-ministers-questions-18032015

    This is specifically in relation to a matter not concerning PIP however the same rules should apply – i.e. one rule for all, no special favours for ATOS.

    I record everything everywhere I go – helps to go through eg GP consultation repeatedly. At the assessment I forgot to record – until she started being rude, difficult and antagonistic and made me cry. I am a very strong lady, I don’t do crying. So her behaviour is what jogged my memory to record it.

    If that naivety means I have breached a data-protection law, they will sue me perhaps and I will face the consequences.

    I clearly needed to expose this huge fraud and lie. I am no Edward Snowden but I know my conscience does not allow me to let the government and its multi billion pound private sector contractors like ATOS to treat other patients like me the same dishonest way. I have to stand up for what is right and blow the whistle on lies.


    The government cannot look the other way when wrong doing is done by ATOS as evidenced in my recording.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I feel for all those who have been denied benefits but my energy levels, disabilities and other commitments are such that I really don't want to get into the politics of ATOS who are, in any case, no longer doing these assessments.

    We normally suggest on here that people enlist the aid of CAB or DIAL UK to help with appeals.

    As for your daughter being your carer. You say
    PatientNL wrote:
    I and my daughter do not have an issue with her helping. What I take issue with is the fact that because of her age she is discriminated against being paid for the care-help she gives me..

    Children's Society chief executive Matthew Reed says: "Our new analysis shows that caring can cost children dearly. They are missing out on their childhoods and school, gaining fewer qualifications and therefore are less likely to earn a decent living.”

    My two sons helped with many household tasks when they were at school (laundry, washing up, cleaning and, sometimes, cooking). I think it was good training for them and I also think everyone in a household should pull their weight within limits appropriate to their age. But my collection of aids and appliances has ensured my personal care remains – literally – in my own hands apart from hair washing which has long been way beyond me.

    Do give an Occupational Therapist a try. They may be able to help both you and your daughter to regain some independence.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Have you made your daughter's school aware she is your carer? If not please do.

    As for recording the interview, it does state clearly on the appointment letter that if you are doing this you must inform the assessor in advance and give them a copy of the recording , apart from anything else it is a courtesy, there are some situations as well in which you can't audio record, I use one a lot at work, with permission and after explaining why, however I am not allowed to use it for any meetings to do with Child Protection.

    My recent PIP assessment was with ATOS and I must admit after reading the horror stories I was not optimistic, however my assessor was very polite, did ask lots of questions, but they have to, had my application form and also took copies of the additional information I took with me. I was awarded standard rate for daily living, and have asked for a copy of his report not because I want to challenge it but to add to my file. He also explained that the assessors do not make the decision.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Right, things are a little clearer now - I apologise for misunderstanding your initial post.

    You obviously have a great deal on your medical plate, and I feel for you but feel more keenly for your daughter. She must be under considerable pressure with the responsibility of caring for you, and more than likely missing out on the more carefree aspects and of childhood, but children can only be employed once they reach a certain age so your point is essentially null and void. As an ex-teacher I also hope that her school is aware of what she is dealing with. Quite how being paid would make her circumstances any better remains opaque. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • SloshSlosh Posts: 3,194
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I just want to second what DD has said. Please if you haven't already done so inform your daughter's school. I would advise asking to speak to the school's SENCO/Inclusion Manager, ifyou go on the school's website they will have their SEN offer on there which will give the name and contact details. They will be able to put in place support for your daughter in school such as a learning mentor and also signpost and refer to other services such as Young Carers.

    I work as an Inclusion Manager myself so if you want to PM me about this please do.
    He did not say you will not be storm tossed, you will not be sore distressed, you will not be work weary. He said you will not be overcome.
    Julian of Norwich
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