38 Degrees Logo38 Degrees Logo 38 Degrees Logo


August 30th, 2012 by

For months now, people who are sick or living with a disability have been made to go through lots of tests and interviews to qualify for the benefits they need to get by. “Proving” you are living with a disability has become a long, drawn-out process, that can make life harder, not easier, for people living with a disability.

To make matters worse, this week we’ve found out that the government’s new approach to “testing” people isn’t working. More than 100,000 people were denied the money they needed, and put under pressure to work when they can’t.

Atos, the multi-million pound private company that delivers these tests for the government, has been getting away with making big mistakes. Their errors have meant 110,000 people were deemed “fit to work”, when they weren’t. Yet despite this terrible performance, Atos have hardly paid a penny in fines. In fact, they’ve made enough profit to sponsor the Paralympics next week.

So, as politicians get ready to stand on the sidelines and applaud Britain’s Paralympians, let’s send them a powerful message: don’t forget your responsibility to the rest of the UK’s people living with a disability - start making Atos pay for its mistakes.

Sign the petition now to tell Iain Duncan Smith, Minister for Work and Pensions, to stand up to Atos and sort out disability benefit tests.

The Paralympics are one reminder of the value that people living with a disability add to life in the UK. But for many people living with a disability, finding work is impossible. Sometimes that’s because of the nature of their disability, and sometimes its because workplaces don’t try hard enough to include them.

When someone has a disability that prevents them from working, they deserve proper support they can rely on – not taken away at a moment’s notice because of inaccurate tests. As politicians get ready to support Team GB’s Paralympians over the next fortnight, let’s make sure they start treating the rest of the people living with a disability in the UK with the respect they deserve.

The government has the power to hit Atos where it hurts: financially. They can stop awarding contracts, set higher targets and fine them for poor performance. If enough of us sign the petition demanding this happens, then the government will be forced to hold them to account.

Sign the petition now to demand the government stands up to Atos and sorts out the disability benefits problems.

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts

Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Carol

    I have just signed the petition and am glad 38 degrees is taking this on. However, I’m a little confused by the mention of targets. I thought that was part of the problem – Atos had targets of getting X number of people off benefits and they are therefore being over zealous in their efforts to maximise profit. What targets would they be fined for missing?
    We should be campaigning for a complete overhaul of the system as I don’t think fines would have much impact on a multi-million pound IT company.

  • helen greaves

    People get heard.Follow link to this year’s 2012 (year 3 ) public review of sick benefit system and have your say about yours or families experience of ESA,DLA assessments.

  • helen greaves

    People get heard.Public consultations.Our views sort on your or families experience of ESA,DLA assessments.Follow link to (year 3) 2012 review of the benefit system.Tell them how it really is.Please pass link on….

  • Charlie

    smith and Grayling do not have the balls to fine their pals at Atos,fining them would show people they got it wrong,call me dave!put Grayling in that job,£10,000,expenses cheat.

  • Phill

    The government has no intention of fining or punishing ATOS because they already know what they are doing. They were the ones who gave them permission in the first place. Fines wouldn’t do anything anyway and will never happen because the collusion between the government and ATOS is utterly corrupt and they believe themselves to be above the law. Which they are, because nobody will take them on legally. They are planning to retest every disabled person over the next 3 years.

    And if you’ve only just found out their tests are bogus, where have you been? On another planet? ATOS are not “making mistakes”, they are blatantly discriminating against disabled people with the government’s blessing. Don’t fall for the pretence that it’s being done without MPs knowing about it. Of course they know about it. They just don’t care.

    If you want your protest to mean anything, stop pussyfooting around the issues and pretending the government is a group of innocents who have been fooled by ATOS. They’re not. They’re part of it.


    REMPLOY ive never seen such nice people live on t.v protesting,you nver get good people like that inthe work place and they want to shut it down,madness…

  • Sven

    I am disabled, having an incurable brain disease.

    I am dreading my forthcoming interview with ATOS because, given their track record, | am bound to be told I am fit to work. As I am, until I have an attack and drop an expensive piece of equipment, or am found staring into space, or hallucinating.

    Once this happens I fear I will be just one more homeless person

  • http://www.facebook.com/miguel.b.mendonca Miguel Mendonca

    All – please contact your MP to ask that they sign the Early Day Motion (435) on Atos, the WCA and Mental Health: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2012-13/435

    This can be a powerful way to get things moving in the right direction.

  • chris

    Private companies are the cause of the huge rise in welfare spending since the new government took power in 2010, and the reason for the poor old sick and disabled in being left penniless under gruelling and unfair interviews with the sole aim of denying benefit.

    This will be a bigger scandal than the MPs expenses when it does break.

    Because private companies are taking the welfare budget, that has risen around 15% in the last 3 years, whilst the vulnerable are being left with nothing. This billions of taxpayers’ money.

    Austerity is therefore not happening, because public sector borrowing is rising to pay for all these private companies taking benefit money out of the mouths of the poor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.mayo3 Barbara Mayo

    i have just failed in my appeal against atos, i have 3 strokes , my left side is nearly tott numb,i cant even do simple things, like wash my own hair, yet ive been told ive got too go back too work, no 2 days are ever the same, they r bad days, or awful days, well if anything happens too me out there, my family have been told too sue this government, full of nasty people, shame on you all