Sunday, 30 December 2012

My ATOS story; MPs and adjudicators and a sorry conclusion

So now to the end of my story.

L, the lovely lady at DWP, actually wept when I rang her to ask what on earth could I do next.  She simply couldn't believe the outcome, and her frustration on my behalf was tangible.  She sent me an appeal form for the matter to go to tribunal; and I contacted my MP.  I sent him reams of emails that had passed between us and DWP over the months; and to give him his due, he acted quickly and went to the head honcho at DWP for an explanation.  I felt at once elated but also just a little bit cheated by the response - there was no acknowledgment of the failings in my case, or explanation that stood up to scrutiny.  I was, however, to have my full award reinstated without the need for future renewals (although that's turned out to be a shortlived relief with the impending doom that is PIP).

So what next?  Without the satisfaction of any kind of worthwhile or meaningful apology (DWP bloke did say sorry, but I didn't believe him), I decided to take the case to the Ombudsman - but to do that I had to undergo the hurdle that was DWP's complaint system.  We wrote to the Adjudicator - only to find that that office is just another extension of DWP, manned by DWP staff.  It took them 18 months to deal with our complaint, during which time they made repeated errors of their own, and even tried to dictate what we could and couldn't complain about!!!  I really am not exaggerating, we even had to use their labels and terms.  They offered me a really paltry sum for our phone calls, and denied that there was any kind of case to answer.  And I was simply too drained, after all the lies, and hurt, and indignity, to take it any further.  I never even checked my bank account to see if they did, in fact, make the payment.

And to this day I feel like I let everyone down by just giving up.  But I no longer had any fight left.  Maybe someone will read this and think "ah, you got the money you wanted, that's all you did it for" - but they'd be very, very wrong.

What will the future hold?  I'm pretty certain that PIP will remove such independence as I now have.  My conditions are already listed to be constantly reviewed, as they apparently aren't as chronic, degenerative or debilitating as the rest of the world believes.  I haven't got the power for that kind of fight ever again.  I doubt I'll ever make another claim again.

I may have got the money in the long run, but deep down, I know that they've won.


  1. Evil bastards aren't they. Is it any wonder their atrocious malevolent incoherence, incompetence and unfeeling bastardliness wears people down. I salute you for what you achieved, as I know only to well the personal cost of fighting.

  2. By the way, thank you for an excellent series of blog articles - and congratulations on prevailing as you have.

  3. Jen, would you like me to put you in touch with another friend (she's on Facebook) who has had her own struggles and battles with ATOS? I would have to ask her as well, of course.
    I was in tears reading your entries . . .
    J xxx

  4. The hyperlink of the word "bank" above has nothing to do with me. Please do not click it.

  5. And Doug - praise from you is truly worth something. Thank you xx

  6. So SO sorry to hear all this. Hope the new year brings you and yours some peace & happiness.

  7. You didn't fail, Jen; you fought as hard and as much as you could and did get some result. Ultimately, we want to hold the whole damn lot of them to account.