Tuesday 18 December 2012

A Testing Journey

I have my Work Capability Assessment (WCA) on Sunday.

Yes, you read that right: A Sunday. And, yes, 2 days before Christmas. I presume Atos are working weekends in order to claim overtime expenses from the DWP.

I've read news reports about people getting all precious and going to the press saying "why would they want to assess me? Look at me... I'm clearly not fit for work." Erm... that's the point of the assessment: To look at you.

But there was something in the envelope that made my jaw drop in disbelief: A suggested journey plan.

"What's wrong with that? Surely that's Atos being helpful in giving you directions to their centre..."

They told me to take a route that's not wheelchair accessible.

First of all they tell me to walk 16 minutes to Kings Cross tube station. I'm not going to get pedantic about that; I talk of going for "a walk" despite being a wheelchair user. They tell me to take the Circle Line to Edgware Road and then walk another 9 minutes to the testing centre.

Edgware Road has no wheelchair access. In fact the closest wheelchair accessible tube station is Kings Cross.

You have to remember this isn't just a random travel leaflet shoved in with the letter; this is a tailor made journey plan for someone coming from my address to the testing centre at that specific date and time.

Atos haven't seen me in 4.5 years. It's possible that some of my health problems may have changed. But one thing that has not, and will never get any better is my lifelong mobility impairment.

Atos and the DWP know I'm a wheelchair user because of an incurable impairment. My impairment's incurableness is the reason I have an indefinite DLA award.

Further proof that Atos believe in miracles.


  1. Maybe ATOS are hoping that because it is so near to Christmas that a miracle will occur. #ATossers

  2. Hah. I suppose if you've got the spoons you could make an early start on the complaints to Atos; this has got to qualify as an individual one in its own right.

  3. good luck but don't be surprised if it doesn't happen. i've had my assessment cancelled twice by them. First time they lost my file and second time there was "an incident!" whatever that means!

  4. Its a trap. They will say "If you can follow a planned route your fit for work.". The whole system is a con.

  5. ATOS are hoping you will magically be able to walk and take their route. That way they don't even need to look at you before declaring you fit for work. Sneaky bastards.

  6. Thanks to the wonders of modern fiddling, you no longer have a lifetime DLA award, you have an 'until we feel like it' DLA award, soon to be a 2 year PiP award (maybe).


  7. so, if you turn up, you're fit for work. But if you don't turn up, your benefits are stopped. I was "lucky" that I didn't require an assessment and got put into the support group.

  8. I wouldn't be able to travel for an assessment, I wonder what would happen.
    Would they do a home visit?

  9. I know this is late, but I only just found this blog ... ATOS just take the first 'public transport' option given when you put the relevant postcodes into Google Maps - I know, because my travel directions from them are exactly the same as the ones I get when I Google it - right down to the three minute mile I was supposed to walk to my nearest bus stop, and the incorrect road name of said bus stop (which, if you didn't know the area well, would take in the totally opposite direction to the one you needed to go).