Atos still kills

Atos adminster fake tests for PIP – Personal Independence Payments – denying them to many disabled people

DPAC – Disabled People Against Cuts – were out yet again the following day, which was the finale of their week of action for the London World Para Athletics Championships, an event which gives the government a great deal of positive media coverage because of their support for the para-athletes while the media fail to cover their attacks on the many more disabled who are not athletes which discriminate and kill.

Moira Drury “was effectively abandoned without support and income by a glacial and bureaucratic benefits system” She was not well enough to attend a work capability assessment and her benefits were stopped. She had no income for the last seven weeks of her life, and stopping her benefits meant she became liable for full council tax and receiving a bill for almost £2000 was the last straw.

DPAC’s target for this action was ATOS, the company whose proven incompetence and bias lost them the contract for Work Capability Assessments, despite which they are still carrying out PIP (Personal Independence Payment) assessments of the disabled for the Dept of Work and Pensions. It is a clear statement that the DWP doesn’t concern itself with the reliability of these assessments but just wants a system that cuts down the number of people it has to make payments to, regardless of their actual needs – and cares nothing about the hardship or even death that this will cause.

DPAC state that Atos use inadequately trained and qualified staff to produce assessments that are “riddled with lies and inaccuracies” and the many cases that are overturned on appeal because of real medical evidence which was available to the assessors but disregarded. They say the assessments should always be carried out by suitably medically qualified staff and that there should be no financial incentives to end or reduce benefit or targets in reducing the claims that assessors are obliged to meet.

An academic study published in BMJ Open last November linked cuts in UK Government spending since 2010 in health and social services to “a substantial mortality gap”, with analysis showing around 120,000 early deaths – a figure they estimate will reach around 150,000 – 170,000 by 2020. As the Independent article states, this is around a 100 extra deaths a day, and Atos must take its share of the blame for carrying out these reprehensible policies with fraudulent zeal.

The protest outside Atos’s offices close to the Euston Road was rather smaller than expected, perhaps because a week of campaigning had tired some of the disabled protesters, and also because for many the cost of coming to the protests is difficult to afford on their limited benefits.

Some had transport problems getting to the event, and only turned up as it ended – in the now traditional DPAC way – with a short block of one carriageway of Euston Road.

More at Atos still killing the disabled.


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