A Guest Post by Pennyessex
I had to attend the ATOS WCA last year and was placed in the ‘work activity group’ even though the Doctor who saw me wrote on the assessment ( I have a copy) that my condition is progressive and will deteriorate making it unlikely that I will ever return to work.
I worked up to 2 years ago when my consultant insisted I stopped. I receive DLA both components and am disabled. However, because ESA placed me in this group I had to attend the job centre 6 times for ‘work based interviews’.
My job centre has no disabled parking, the offices are upstairs ( there is a lift at the staff entrance) so each visit was painful and stressful for me as I have very little mobility. It would have been laughable if it wasn’t so demeaning.
The job centre interviewer said she was supposed to offer me 1 of 3 options:
1) a years subscription to the gym (I have severe psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis) out of the question.
2) a college course for basic life skills
3) a 6 week back to work course i.e writing CV etc
I’m a Doctor of Psychology!!! I have more qualifications than all of them put together ( no I’m not being big headed, I’m showing how ludicrous it is).
All this because ESA wouldn’t take my word or the word of my GP or consultants. The report the Doctor wrote at ATOS was quite accurate, she listed my lack of movement etc so who then decides that a person who is unable to move much, is in constant pain should be placed in this group?
The girl at the job centre said she was having to see many like me who should never be in this group.
Her words “if you have longer than 6 months to live you get put in this group”.