I suggest a campaign about ...

Transparancy in the Welfare System for the Sick.

Campaign to force the DWP (department of work and pensions) to release the software (LIMA) used by ATOS at benefit assessments for incapacity benefit, and ESA (employment and support allowance).

This software is owned by the DWP, and the DWP gets royalties when other companies use it.

Despite heavy critisicm of both the software, and the system in general, from many parties, the sick are routinely being denied benefits due to incorrect assessments.

We believe the software is not fit for purpose, and if it was made available to the public, for inspection, then it could be proved to be not fit for purpose.

The DWP will not allow the public, nor MP's, nor tribunals, not even the people who set benefit law, to inspect the software.

They claim it will cause contract problems, as well as other spurious claims.

One claim is it only runs on ATOS hardware, that is not true, it is standard software running on standard equipment.
Another that some people put forward is it could enable duplication of the software (commercial interests would be put at risk) - we argue who would want to copy something that is failing the sick in such great numbers?
The logic and protocols behind the software are all publicly available so it could be written from scratch anyway - the only reason for a copy of this software is to show it is not fit for purpose.

Obviously showing it is not fit for purpose WILL damage their commercial interests, but so what - do the commercial interests of the DWP and ATOS come before the rights of the sick and disabled, is money more important than justice?

This is software funded by the TAXPAYER and they should have the right to know if the correct means are being used to classify who is sick and who is fit for work.

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      • Anonymous commented  · 

        Disabled People Against Cuts : www.dpac.uk.net/

        Some MP's have signed a letter highlighting how bad things have got with ATOS and other general matters regarding the sick and disabled. You can get involve, take a look and now.

      • Anonymous commented  · 

        Unite people, if not aslready done so vote for Pats e-petition suggestion on here. It's still current campaign suggestion, got 148 votes on here, got 4 months to run & 39,249 signatures. whats to lose now,enough been taken, just maybe it will make a difference on here. Put aside past issue, unite. I've never had a vote returned in 7 months,so have none left, can you reuse votes if not voted for a cause by taking from one you have thats not running & reusing it on a new campaign?

      • graham commented  · 

        thank vanessa and i agree with you

      • Peter Morris commented  · 

        Two young women in their 40's, friends of my wife, who both have Multiple Sclerosis have each been assessed by DWP / ATOS and have been awarded NIL disability points. This means they are the same as a 100% fit and healthy person. Their disability is not being recognised at all by DWP / ATOS in a cruel attempt to get them off the incapacity component of the ESA payment. Absolutely Outrageous!

      • Rose commented  · 

        The problems is these tests are assessments only and are not medicals. Yes people who are ill or disabled can do things but not for long enough or in a manner that an employer would be looking for to employ someone.

      • Vanessa commented  · 

        These kids of test don't work well for people with complex conditions such as Autism and they are bringing a similar test into DLA. Many severely Autistic people and their carers will be left without disability benefits and carers benefits even when the person is a child. Carers will be forced to work whether they can do that and still care properly for the person they care for as the person will no longer count as disabled- they could even be forced to leave people who are not safe to be left unsupervised on their own because of it. When it comes to children childcare for children who need 1 to 1 support can be unreliable as to what days you can get and constantly at risk of closure or even non-existent. Yet if they are teenagers if they are not counted as disabled the parents may be expected to leave them to let themselves in after school and look after themselves during holidays.

      • David Calvert commented  · 

        Once a claimants benefit is stopped so are their free prescriptions leaving a a sick person with no money or means to treat themselves,eventually people stop taking much needed medication and become even more ill. Not only does this place an increased burden on NHS and hospital resources it merely creates a nation of even sicker people. Atos Healthcare is purely a waste of money, medical evidence from qualified consultants and GP’s is sufficient then this money could be invested in the NHS where it is most needed.

      • But You Look Alright commented  · 

        Paul Simmonds you have been reading too much Daily Mail propaganda with your brain in the off position.

        Under the ATOS computerised medical tick box system, you need to score a minimum of 15 points under various descriptors to qualify even to be put in the Work Related Activity Group - (WRAG) which means you are not fit for work at present, but may be at some point in the future, with compulsory attendance at work help sessions and management of your medical condition.

        These are some of the descriptors that under the ATOS computer scoring system will mean that you fail to score enough points and will be declared fit for work;

        -Cannot mount or descend 2 steps unaided even with a handrail :9 points - fit for work
        -Cannot mobilise (using an "imaginary" wheelchair, even if you do not normally use one,) more than 100 metres without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion; 9 points - fit for work

        -Cannot for the majority of the time remain at a work station either standing or sitting in an adjustable chair for for than 30 minutes before needing to move to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion: 9 points : fit for work

        -Cannot pick up a one litre carton of milk with either hand :9 points: fit for work

        -Has some difficulty conveying a simple message to strangers: 6 points : fit for work

        -At risk of losing control of bowels leading to extensive evacuation or voiding of the bladder: 6 points: fit for work.

        -At least once a month has an involuntary episode of lost or altered consciousness: 6 points: fit for work

        -Cannot learn anything beyond a moderately complex task such as the steps involved in operating a washing machine: 6 points: fit for work

        -Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leading to significant risk of injury to self or tothers such that you frequently require supervision to maintain safety : 9 points: fit for work

        -Is unable to get to a specified familiar place without being accompanied by another person; 9 points: fit for work

        -Engagement in social contact with others is not possible for the majority of the time due to diffficulty relating to others or significant distress: 6 points: fit for work

        Occasionally has an uncontrollable episode of aggressive or disinhibited behaviour (such as taking all clothes off) that would be unreasonable in any workplace: 9 points; fit for work

        The only things that will get you in the Support Group i.e NOT fit to work, with no work preparation activity required are:

        -Cannot mobilise 50 metres - even in an "imaginary" wheelchair, even if not ordinarily used

        -Cannot move between one seated position and another located next to each other without physical assistance

        -Cannot either press a button or turn the page of a book

        _Cannot raise either arm to chest

        _Cannot understand a simple message
        Cannot learn how to complete a simple task such as setting an alarm clock
        (If you are capable of learning this but not anything beyond this : 9 points :fit for work )

        _Cannot convey food or drink to own mouth without physical assistance

        -Cannot chew or swallow food

        There is no room within this system to say that at some times you could perform a certain activity, whilst at other times not.

        There is little opportunity to score for severe pain, debilitating fatigue as comes with many illness from Cancer to M.E.

        It is practically impossible to pass with a severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia, due to the emphasis on physical descriptors.

        People with terminal illness will be signed fit for work unless they can show they only have 6 months to live.

        People have been signed fit for work with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, severe mental illness, house/bed bound for years with M.E., severe heart disease, failed lung function, severe arthritis, conditions causing intractable pain, on the waiting list for operations, even while still IN hospital.

        Still think 80% are "faking it" Paul?

        One day, maybe tomorrow, this will be YOU. A fall down stairs, a car crash,
        a routine check up that finds cancer, a neuro-degenerative disease etc etc., arthritis that leaves you in so much pain you cannot sleep?

        Think you will be quite so cocky then? Or do you think maybe the fact that you have paid your Tax and National Insurance against such an eventuality, should be there to help you? Or should we just throw you out on the street as a waste of fresh air?

      • nita commented  · 

        Hello... ticking boxes can only work for me if the right questions are asked alongside which they never are... I am not one thing or the other; i'm not a yes or no...i have chronic epilepsy,vertigo & anxiety spectrum disorder... how on earth can i tick the physical descriptors when i can do them one minute but not the next??? I also have continence & eating problems which are known to my GP but now they are asking if i have to be tube fed....obviously anorexia doesn't count unless you are nearly dead....all i know is just the thought of this unfair assessment is dominating my days & night since last march so i'm killing myself for them...

      • Gordon Craig commented  · 

        Should we consolidate our votes to make them count and pick a campaign that best suits the "No Confidence/ General election vote?" I personally feel no confidence says it all and should then lead to a general election.

      • Paul Streeting commented  · 

        The system needs to be more realistic. I would like to see the people who do the assessments have more personal input into the questions. Because someone can lift a carton of milk or sit while being grilled by ATOS does not mean they can do an 8hr day and all the pressures that a job involves.
        The questions need to be more relevant, and they are not.

      • enrobsokcuf backwards commented  · 

        There are many sick/disabled people who would like to work if they were physically able,I am one of them.Unfortunately, having a chronic ,painful ,degenerative rheumatic/arthritic disease makes it impossible.
        Just because I can pick things up from a desk or put a pen in my breast pocket doesn`t mean that I could hold down a daily job even if it was only part time.
        I don`t know how my condition will affect me on any day until I wake up from my already broken/disturbed sleep.

      • Arabella Just commented  · 

        what happens to people who are too disabled to work. the people with mental disablities,physical disablitites. this is all very confusing for me to understand, let alone someone with special needs...

      • jools commented  · 

        Please do something about this as the disabled are tired and ill and do not need yet another fight on their hands

      • PeteA commented  · 

        Isn`t it about time that the govt and DWP devised a simple and fair way of seeing whether people are able to work or not?
        A system run by Medical professionals who assess peoples disabilities/illnesses and how they affect their ability to hold down a job long term rather than a computer orientated line of questions with no relevance to work capabilities designed to fail people rather than assess them accurately..

      • Tim commented  · 

        To take benefits away when one has paid in is totally wrong and maybe illegal.. I am currently on ESA Contribution Based in the Limited Capability for Work section... In the New Year I will be appealing this decision as I should be in the support group.. I have MS.. and as anyone with MS knows.. It is progressive and there is no cure.. I feel Gideons decision to take ESA away from all contribution based applicants who are not in the small percentage of people who are in the support group is wrong and immoral.. To say I am worried.. would be an understatement.. I have considered suicide.. and will carry out should my allowance be cut.. I hate politicians.. particually Tory ones..

      • Gary commented  · 

        This should be released as it cannot take into account good days bad days.

      • Ranald commented  · 

        It seems we have our very own DM troll, how very sweet of you Paul Simmonds to share your repugnant and distorted views with us.
        If the DWP had even a scrap of decency it would offer up LIMA to public scrutiny but then we all know that it doesn't care about anything more than appeasing its government masters.

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