Petition Tag - atos

1. Reform employment support allowance (ESA)

Atos Healthcare is a joke and the whole thing needs rethinking.

I'm too sick to claim JSA but too well to claim CSA. I'm in hospital in a few weeks for a hysterectomy on a tumour that is 15-12 inches in my womb. I have written a letter and will try and post it on here so you can see the issue.

2. UK Disabled Community Against Welfare & Benefit Cuts

The UK Disabled Community needs to send a clear and unequivocal message in one unified voice to call on the Coalition Government to see us all as equal members of society and not treat us as a tool to steal our disability benefits and services to bail out the Country in this time of Financial Crisis.

Can we set a precedence to get 1 million signatures so that the Coalition Government will have no option but to take note of us and not just ignore or deflect our arguments & comments and to stop building this climate of hate against disabled people.

Please leave a question for your Local MP to pose to the Coalition Government, which we will add to the Petition when we deliver it to No.10.

3. ESA is not fit for purpose

ESA or Employment Support Allowance is the benefit which has replaced the old incapacity benefit.

Thousands of disabled people are being transferred from incapacity to ESA. The problem is the tests are not fit for purpose, and the support disabled people are meant to get to help find work is not there. Many genuinely sick and disabled people are failing the ESA tests, those people are being abandoned by all the political parties. The tests are carried out by ATOS a private healthcare firm who are paid on results, the more people fail the test, the more ATOS gets paid.

Disabled people feel scared, many are not in a position to appeal after they lose benefit, they don't have the confidence or the strength. Its not that disabled people don't want to work. Many do but we need more support, more help, we need workplaces that are accessible and have proper facilities. This isn't the case just now so throwing disabled people into the jobs market is impracticable at best and cruel at worst.

ESA doesn't even take into account the way health conditions affect people. So there are people who are too ill to hold down work, too ill to work more than a couple of hours, even terminally ill people losing benefits and being told to find work, some have died before they could appeal.

At the moment all the political parties are supporting ESA. Douglas Alexander has just announced that Labour will be supporting the government in its roll out of ESA, they paln to move every disabled person in the country from incapacity to ESA. The disabled community are appealing for your help. We want the political parties to listen to us and stiop the roll out untill such time as there have been a complete averhaul of the system. All we ask for is justice and fairness.

4. Against Governement Reforms for the Sick and Disabled

Many people with severe medical conditions and disabilities are being automatically forced to undergo a Work Capability Assessment by the private company Atos Healthcare, and having their ESA sickness benefit cut off as a result.

Atos Healthcare is contracted for £500million over 7 years and is working under contract to the DWP to meet the government's target of forcing 1 million claimants onto Employment Support Allowance. Those claimants suffering from the following conditions (Atos' descriptions of the conditions, not mine) are, by policy, automatically required to undergo an assessment: Alcohol Dependence, Anxiety, Depression, Drug Dependence, Panic Attacks.

Those suffering from the following are, by policy, to be ‘tentatively’ invited: Agoraphobia, Anorexia Nervosa, Bipolar Affective Disorder/Bipolar Disease Manic Depression, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Eating Disorder, Learning Difficulties, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Phobic Anxiety, Social Phobia.

Those suffering from the following may be invited if so advised by the 'Medical Advisor': Mental Retardation, Mental Subnormality, Parkinson's Disease, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophrenia, Severe Depression.

All of us who sign this petition support it, even if we are expats or residents of other countries.

5. Sack Atos Healthcare Immediately

Atos Healthcare has the £80million-per-year contract for 7 years to act for Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to 'assess' sick people claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

They have been working to the previous government's target of pushing 1 million claimants onto Jobseekers' Allowance, and there are some well-documented abuses of vulnerable individuals such as refusing to allow note-taking or tape-recording of the assessment, failing to report truthfully where the claimant has demonstrated incapacity, inadequate facilities for those who are ill during an assessment, a computer system which gives garbled versions of examinations to DWP and various other abuses.

Update, August 2011: Owing to lack of free time there is only so much the admin can do regarding this petition. Anyone wishing to do more than sign this petition can write at any time to David Cameron, 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA. You can also ask everyone you know to view the petition and, if they agree to sign it and ask everyone in turn they they know to do the same. Advertising it on Facebook and Twitter would also increase attention for the cause. Thanks for reading this.

Update, March 2011: Atos' contract is now worth £300 Million as the Government rolls out medical testing of I.B. patients with the eventual aim of testing disabled claimants too. To look at deaths reportedly caused by Atos, Google "Sack Atos" and "Atos deaths".