MPs raise concerns with benefit testers
Published 21 Aug 2012 11:30
AYRSHIRE MPs have put a company who deal with
fitness to work claims on the spot after concerns were
raised by constituents.
Atos, who were given a contract to conduct the tests by
the Department for Work and Pensions, has been
criticised by local people who claim the company is
working to targets and denying them essential benefits.
Labour trio Sandra Osborne, Cathy Jamieson and Brian
Donohoe met with representatives from the company
last week to put these claims to them,
Atos said that more people disabled people are being
turned down for claims due to tougher rules laid down by
A large numbers of people found ineligible for benefit are appealing against the
decision to find them fit for work; about 41 per cent of those refused support go to
tribunal and 30 per cent are subsequently granted the benefit at a cost of around
£60m a year.
Sandra Osborne said: "Clearly the Coalition Government has introduced
Employment Support Allowance with a view to removing as many people as
possible from disability benefits regardless of their needs and abilities."
Cathy Jamieson said: "I have had a number of constituents contact me about
their experiences of the Work Capability Assessment carried out by ATOS.
"Many have been concerned that the process does not take enough account of
long term conditions, such as MS and Parkinsons, or that the impact of
completely or partially losing a limb is not fully recognised.
"There still seems to be a real disconnection between the policy and what people
say they experience in reality."