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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32177
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I would like advice about the D.W.Ps decision to refuse me

Customer Question

I would like advice about the D.W.P's decision to refuse me ESA following the cessation of incapacity benefit from next year. ATOS are, of course, tasked with assessing whether new or existing claimants are 'fit to work' following a highly dubious and contentious 'medical examination and assessment'. I fell foul of one of these 'so-called' medicals which was an absolute travesty.
I am bitter and angry at the treatment and outcome of my encounter with an ATOS 'examiner' last year. A male nurse about half my age who callously and cynically misrepresented me from the moment I arrived. I believe the whole charade was a fait accompli designed to move me from one set of 'stats' to another. Because my Wife has DLA, RP and pension credits, they said at the job centre: 'it didn't really matter' as what was taken from me (!) would be recouped by my (our) joint income as pension credit or carer's allowance. Therefore, no real saving to the taxpayer -as such- just a bit of 'creative book-keeping' by them and IDS can claim the credit- if not exactly- 'cover himself in glory...'
Can you tell me if there is any way I can redress this balance; re-instate my IB as ESA; expose the D.W.P / ATOS shenanigans for what they are and generally recover my dignity and composure. I really wish I could sue the pants off them for the stress and antagonism they have put me through. I am a 59 year old man, have been in receipt of IB / IVB (it's predecessor ) for twenty eight years and have never, ever, experienced anything so amateurish, tawdry and disgraceful as the dealings I have encountered by this bunch of 'cheapskates'- in the last six months or so- and most certainly not, in my entire existence as a IB claimant. I have attended regular 'medicals' (real ones-not- that sham one, last Nov.) over the years. Conducted by bona fide DOCTORS -not some unscrupulous 'jumped up' "Nurse" and I have never encountered any untoward or insurmountable obstacles !!!...In all that time.
There is dumbing down and there is dumbing down- then it seems there is D.W.P (current or recent transition) and the accursed ATOS...
Excuse the length of this enquiry, but I'm sure that you will appreciate the need for some history and explanation, etc. Here's hoping you can shed some light and possibly a little hope on my predicament. They obviously feel I should go away and be grateful- the authorities- that is; I am, after all, probably, one of the lucky ones. My anger stems from being treated like some malingering hypochondriac. My G.P, incidentally, post-'decision' has been-as ever- sympathetic and supportive. It makes a mockery of all my previous assessments and the trust and relationships forged- in a relatively small community- over very many years...
I think that's about it... Over to you.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.

So, is short, you've been refused ESA?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Yes, in short. I have, indeed, been refused ESA from IB ( effective from 13/ 01/ 2013) following their idea of a medical examination and assessment. I understood from all the media reports following the reforms by IDS's Dept. that 'goal post would be moved' and new / existing claims for either benefits would be much more difficult to qualify for. The reforms of 2010-2014, of course, would render IB a defunct or discontinued benefit; to be replaced by ESA.

I was, however, unprepared for the slick and unscrupulous speed at which they would endeavour to (effectively) dis-entitle me.They didn't take any notice or noticeably record any of my dialogue at the so-called medical. I wasn't even examined or allowed to remove my coat. The whole charade was an utter sham and sick joke. The 'examining officer' was a male 'nurse', apparently. He spent most of the time busily tapping His keyboards and possibly-at best- paying 'lip service' to my entreaties... There didn't appear to be any goal posts, at all. I have been to bona fide medicals in the past- this bore no resemblance whatever to any that I have attended in the past twenty eight years !...Outrageous and really quite unbelievable. It is patently obvious that my attendnce there- that day- was academic and meaningless. The resultant outcome and decision was 'scripted' in advance- a fait accompli.

What advice might you be able to offer me ?...Hire the services of a lawyer, like Michael Mansfield or Fiona Shaw ?!...

Expert:  Jo C. replied 5 years ago.
Ok. Would it be possible to try to summarise your response?

I'm afraid your posts are exceeding the word length and I cannot view them all on my iPad.

Just a few short sentences is fine. Please don't put yourself to detail