ATOS involvement in the Paralympics is nothing more than pure hypocrisy. It has been reported today that another one of ATOS’s victims has died. Cecilia Burns, who was fighting breast cancer, was told by ATOS that she was fit to work, and as such lost part of her benefits, only to have them reinstated at appeal. Now, I’m not claiming that ATOS killed her; however, I would bet good money that the stress, worry and extra work needed to fight the ATOS decision won’t have helped her illness. Nearly 60% of all appeals are upheld against ATOS’s assessments, which is hardly surprising when they deem you fit for work so long as you have a finger and can push a button. I kid you not. An undercover Dispatches documentary last month, showed just how utterly corrupt, heartless and unworkable their assessment criteria are.
The documentary proved beyond any doubt that the assessments are corrupt and that the whole process is entirely geared up to kicking disabled people off benefits, regardless of whether they are fit for work or not. Unless you are a total vegetable, the chances are good that they will deem you fit for work, and therefore not entitled to full benefits. Even then, you will still be required to attend further assessments to make sure your condition hasn’t changed or improved. Jesus wept! As anyone who knows anything about genuine disabilities will tell you, they don’t get better; they only get worse as you get older.
I have Cerebral Palsy and I have had from birth, there is no cure or effective treatment for what I’ve got, save for lots of operations to stop the muscles from tightening up to crippling levels (as they did when I was a teenager). I am not faking my condition, and believe me I wish there was a cure, but there isn’t. Consequently, I have to manage the best that I can and I need the extra financial assistance I get, as well as my car, otherwise I would be stuck at home and unable to contribute in any way to the world. Granted, I am not as bad as some and I can go out and work, but the work that I can do is very limited. I can’t for example work full time 9-5, for five days a week with only a month’s holiday a year; I would be worn out and most likely dead within a year. Therefore, I earn very little and I don’t have the abilities or prospects to be able to relocate or move into another area of employment. Effectively I am stuck.
Therefore, given how heartless, unworkable and how much extra stress and worry these assessments are putting on genuine disabled people, ATOS’s involvement in the Paralympics is the sickest, cruellest joke going. Disability fraud accounts for about 0.5%, and whilst I totally agree that the “bad back, salsa dancing brigade” need to be weeded out, these assessments need to be made more realistic and compassionate. I mean, nearly everyone can push a bloody button, but good luck finding a job where that’s all you have to do, that pays more than what you’d get on benefits.
Also, the 0.5% who commit these frauds against the system and claim disability benefits when they shouldn’t is way less than the number of MPs who fraudulently claimed on their expenses, for second homes, mortgage payments and family members working for them.
Alas, as I keep banging on, until this apathetic nation collectively gets off its backside and takes a leaf out of the French playbook, nothing in this country is going to change. Our political elites will keep sodomising us and abusing the weakest members of society, whilst failing to tackle money wasting bureaucracy, Quangos, tax loopholes and all kinds of corrupt fiddles and schemes.Whilst, you watch the Paralympics, spare a thought for all those poor disabled people who are being abused and treated like dirt by ATOS and the heartless assessments