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Atos scandal victims speak to the Daily Record

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Atos scandal victims speak to the Daily Record Powered By Docstoc
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Atos scandal victims speak to the Daily
Record
AFTER Scotland's newspaper highlighted the Atos scandal scores phones in. Here are just
three cases.
                                                         A DRIVER forced back to work by Atos
                                                         after a serious ankle injury was told by
                                                         his employers he wasn’t fit to do the
                                                         job.
                                                         Delivery driver John Blair lost the use
                                                         of his ankle ligaments after a crash,
                                                         but was assessed as fit to work as he
                                                         “could use a wheelchair” in a bizarre
                                                         Atos-Department for Work and
                                                         Pensions decision.
                                                         When John was refused Disability
                                                         Living Allowance to support his three
                                                         kids, he was given his old job back
                                                         delivering car parts.
                                                         But without the use of his right ankle,
                                                         John, from Motherwell, lasted five
                                                         days and was left living on child
                                                         benefit and family tax credits for three
                                                         weeks earlier this year.
                                                         John, 59, said: “I’m not a scrounger. I
                                                         was 17 years at my previous jobs.
                                                         “The assessment is done on a points
                                                         basis. You need 15 points. They said it
                                                         might be possible to return to work in
                                                         a wheelchair. They gave me zero
                                                         points.
“I had to plead with my employers to let me return. But the pain of driving was
unbearable and they decided it was too dangerous, so I had to give up my work.”
John took his case to an independent appeal but it was thrown out.
While he was trying to work, John did not qualify for jobseekers allowance and,
from February to March, had to support son Lee, 15, and daughters Nikki, 14, and
Danni, 12, on just £170 a week from family allowance and family tax credit.
He said: “For a growing family, it was a disaster.”
John now gets employment support allowance – an extra £71 a week but still has
no disability living allowance. He said: “Is that not why I worked and paid my
taxes all of those years? So that in my time of need there would be a safety net?
“I’ve written to Iain Duncan Smith and the letter one of his minions sent back was
a joke. I ripped it up.”
                                                  GERARD Barrett says he was
                                                  made to feel like a “beggar” by
                                                  Atos after he was forced to
                                                  give up his well paid job when
                                                  he suffered nerve damage
                                                  during a gall bladder op.
                                                  The 52-year-old, of Prestwick,
                                                  Ayrshire, said: “I have chronic
                                                  neuropathic pain and am on 23
                                                  tablets a day.
                                                  “The people at Atos made me
                                                  feel like some kind of beggar.
                                                  They have decided I should not
                                                  be getting any money.
                                                  “I just lie in my bed most of
                                                  the day with the pain. Lying
                                                  down is the only way I get any
                                                  relief. I’m on sleeping pills
                                                  which are so powerful the
                                                  doctor says I should only take
                                                  them every second night.
                                                  “So on the nights when I take
                                                  them, I get a few hours sleep –
                                                  and when I don’t, I struggle to
                                                  get any.
                                                  “Atos deemed me fit to work. I
                                                  couldn’t believe it. If I could
                                                  work, I would.
“They are demonising the disabled. I got one year’s money and then I was cut off –
that was it.
The married dad-of-three added: “I had a great job with a courier and was on
good money. I wouldn’t just not do it for no good reason.”
                                        PETER Leckie, 59, worked for 41 years
                                        without claiming a penny in benefit.
                                        But after Atos ruled surgery on his neck
                                        had worked – despite the fact he can’t
                                        walk more than 30ft – he went 11 weeks
                                        without any cash.
                                        Peter, of Sandyhills, Glasgow, said: “I
                                        was a delivery driver and worked in the
                                        days before health and safety was a big
                                        concern. My problem now is basically
                                        wear and tear.
                                        “I have a spinal injury which causes me
                                        severe pain and have a diagnosis from a
                                        neurosurgeon. My problem was caused
                                        through hard graft.
                                        “I was told I was eligible for support but
                                        Atos came to their own conclusion and it
                                        was taken away. I went 11 weeks just
                                        there with no money.
                                         “I also have depression, which has been
                                         made worse by the way I have been
                                         treated by Atos. I felt like I was some
kind of criminal. They made me feel like a lump of s***e.
“People who are medically unfit and have real problems are being targeted in a
ridiculous way.”
The dad-of-three added: “Atos are just going after everyone and anyone. They
seem to be a law unto themselves.”

				
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Description: AFTER Scotland's newspaper highlighted the Atos scandal scores phones in. Here are just three cases.