Socialist Worker

Atos disability tests found ‘unacceptable’

Issue No. 2363

Protest at Atos head office last year

Protest at Atos head office last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Thousands of disabled people found fit for work by hated contractors Atos healthcare were finally vindicated this week.

Faced with mounting criticism, the government audited 400 Atos assessments—and found around 160 of them “unacceptable”.

They had serious errors and gaps in the evidence used to justify the removal of Employment Support Allowance.

Almost a third of people found fit to work have had the decision reversed after an appeal. And thousands have died.

Elenore Tatton died just weeks after Atos assessors told her to look for work despite a brain tumour.

Claimants have been “forced to crawl on the floor in tears of pain and humiliation”. Atos workers say they have been warned not to let too many people keep their benefits.

The government has now told Atos to overhaul procedures and retrain assessors. It is bringing in other firms to do some of the work.

This is a victory for campaigns such as Disabled People Against Cuts.

But the government remains determined to push disabled people off benefits—with millions of assessments for the new PIP benefit still to come.

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Tue 23 Jul 2013, 16:10 BST
Issue No. 2363
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