Atos Disability Benefits Row
Epileptic Colin Traynor's Death Blamed On
Stress Of Being Found 'Fit For Work’
Posted: 26/09/2012 19:52 BST Updated: 26/09/2012 20:04 BST
The parents of a man who suffered from epilepsy and died after being stripped of his benefits have
blamed his death on the stress of being found 'fit for work'.
Colin Traynor, 29, was marked as being able to work as part of the government's overhaul of the
He appealed against the decision but died before finding out the result which was ultimately successful.
His family learned the appeal verdict five weeks after his death in April.
Mr Traynor's father Ray said: "I firmly believe - 100% believe - that the system this government
introduced has killed my son."
Mr Traynor told Channel Four News the appeal process should have been carried out more quickly,
which would have eased his son's stress.
He criticised the bureaucracy which he believed led to delays in hearing the appeal.
"I don't want some government minister telling me what he can do, some penpusher in London - they
don't even know my son, they've no idea whatsoever," said Mr Traynor, from Oldham, Greater
"You've got to change the system we've got today. You've got to stop other people going through this.
"The assessment is wrong. There are other people like my son out there with different illnesses, and
they are going through the same (thing).
"People are dying."
The original work capability assessment was carried out by the French firm Atos, which has sparked
anger with some of its controversial decisions to judge people fit for employment.
But ministers believe the new system is fairer in deciding what sort of work claimants can perform.
A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: "A decision on whether someone is well
enough to work is taken following a thorough face-to-face assessment and after consideration of all the
supporting medical evidence from the claimant's GP or medical specialist.
"We encourage people to provide as much medical evidence as possible when they apply for
Employment Support Allowance, and often people who are found fit for work only provide the
necessary evidence when they ask for a reconsideration or an appeal.
"Since 2010 we have considerably improved the work capability assessment process, giving people a
more tailored and personal service."
In a statement, Atos said: "Our trained doctors, nurses and physiotherapists strictly follow the
guidelines given to them by the Government when conducting assessments and make no decisions on a
person's eligibility for benefits."