Who are Atos?

The problem here is that the DWP has outsourced the conducting of the Work Capability Assessments (WCA) to a company that specialises in IT – by their own admission. The company do not have the expertise to provide the skills necessary for conducting this brutal assessments. In my case, they have very limited knowledge on mental health conditions (I will talk about this later). They are therefore not fit and proper to carry out these assessments.

Who are the DWP?

About DWP
The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for welfare and pension policy and is a key player in tackling child poverty. It is the biggest public service delivery department in the UK and serves over 20 million customers.


This is the government department responsible for reading the reports from the WCA. They also set the rules for the WCA and the brutal descriptors that are included in the WCA.

What is a WCA?

The WCA is an assessment devised by the government, and carried out by Atos, to assess a persons ability to work. The files below detail what is contained in the WCA and the proposed barbaric changes to the WCA.

Details of the WCA
Proposed changes to WCA

As you can see, the WCA is a brutal and barbaric way to target the disabled – giving no distinction between physical and mental health – to get them back into work – regardless of whether they can cope with it or not!

A decent MP decided to table a motion in parliament to have the WCA debated on it’s fitness for purpose. Some of the stories recounted are truly awful. The government and Atos must not be allowed to continue with them.

The minister for the DWP had the following to say. It sickens me!

Just a few facts and figures with regards to the WCA. These are from July – November 2012.

WCA Outcome Decided
Fit For Work Outcome
Incorrect Decision Made
Appeal Outcomes
Total cost of administering the assessments in 1 year: £110m. Total cost of appeals in 1 year: £60m.

The appeals added a little over half the cost of administering the assessments to the taxpayer. Had the correct decisions been made right from the off, the taxpayer would have saved £60m. All it takes for this to happen is for a primary care doctor to be contacted before the questionnaires are sent out and only those who needed to be called in for assessment would. It would save money on the cost of administering them too.

Various organisations have come out against the WCA – the most notably being the British Medical Association. You can view what they say here

You can read a bit more about it in the following post: Diary of a Benefit Scrounger: #esaSOS

How can I get involved?

You can view the WOW Petition website

If you are from the UK, you can sign the e-Petition to petition a rethink on this brutal reform (You only have a few more days to do so – it will be decided on Jan 28th)

You can also use the following letter to email to your MP. Find your MP here.

Letter asking MP to vote against ESA changes

I urge you to sign the petition and contact your MP. This motion has to be stopped. The disabled and vulnerable cannot be expected to bear the brunt of the cuts to welfare. This is unfair to that section of society.

In my next post I will talk about my most recent Atos WCA and how flawed it was.