Friday 16th December – 2pm
Triton Square, London NW1
Disabled people, benefit claimants and supporters will be holding a Real Victorian Party and Picnic in Triton Square, home of disability assessment company Atos, this Friday 16th December from 2pm.
The event is part of a month of action targetting Atos and the government over the brutal benefit cuts and Work Capability Assessment regime currently in place for sick and disabled claimants. As well as speeches in which people will speak of their experiences at the hands of Atos, a minutes silence will be held for all of those who have died as a consequence of Atos assessments.
Several claimants have tragically committed suicide due to the stress of the assessment process whilst thousands of others are now caught up in lengthy and distressing appeals. Some people judged fit for work have died of their illness whilst awaiting an appeal against Atos' decisions. People with terminal illnesses, severe mental health conditions and debilitating conditions have all been judged fit for work by Atos' scant assessment regime which ignores the opinions of GPs and specialist consultants in favour of a brief computer based interview.
It was announced last week that even patients undergoing chemotherapy will be expected to attend assessments at which they may be judged 'fit for work' by Atos. This could lead to cancer patients being referred to mandatory work activity, 30 hours a week unpaid work, just to keep the meagre levels of benefit available on Job Seekers Allowance.
Events will also be taking place outside Atos offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh on the same day, whilst a rolling mass phone complaint to Atos is also being held in the run up to Christmas.
For full details of all events please visit: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com
This event is part of a month of festive action against Atos and the benefits cuts which has also seen a protest against Atos' position as IT Partner for the Paralypic Games outside the Paralympic Goalball Test Event, a demonstration called by Boycott Workfare outside a lecture at the LSE given by Iain Duncan Smith and a Downing Street protest about soaring unemployment held by the Right To Work Campaign.
To join the Rolling Festive Phone In to Atos contact +44 (0)20 7830 4444 or +44 (0)800 783 3040 (Freephone) and make a complaint about the companies treatment of sick and disabled people. For more details visit: http://benefitclaimantsfightback.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/a-rolling-festive-phone-in-to-atos-healthcare/
Around 40% of appeals against Atos' decisions are successful, rising to 70% when people have representation. A recent investigation found that the benefits appeal system is already on the brink of collapse. Recent figures suggest that Atos have only carried out 56,000 assessments against a target of 11,000 assessments a week from April 2011: http://www.ersa.org.uk/hub/details/571
This form of disability assessment is shortly to be extended to around 3 million claimants on Disability Living Allowance.
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Press Release: Welfare Campaigners to Hold Xmas Party Outside Atos HQ
From Benefit Claimants Fight Back: