Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Atos Assessed

From Scotland's Daily Record: 
More than half of people stripped of disability benefits after being ruled “fit for work” by Atos were left unemployed and without income, according to a Government study.

The Department for Work and Pensions, who hired the French IT firm to help them slash the benefits bill, have admitted finding out in a survey that 55 per cent of people who lost benefits in the crackdown had failed to find work.

Only 15 per cent were in jobs, with 30 per cent on other benefits.

The DWP claimed people left high and dry were given “tailored support” to find jobs.

But the extent of the hardship suffered by the Atos victims in the study will only add to the growing public fury about the firm and their methods.

Atos have assessed patients with terminal illnesses as “fit for work”. And thousands of victims of genuine, chronic conditions have complained of being humiliated by the company’s tests.

So far, Citizens Advice Scotland have received a shocking 24,000 complaints about Atos, who rake in £110million a year from the taxpayer for their controversial work.

The extent of unemployment among people denied benefits after Atos assessments was revealed by the DWP after a Freedom of Information request.

A later, follow-up survey of 590 of the claimants revealed that 43 per cent were still jobless and without income. Twenty-eight per cent were receiving benefits and 29 per cent were in work.

The snapshot surveys were taken between April and June 2009 and included in a report compiled for the DWP in 2011.

The figures were released to a member of the public under Freedom of Information law on September 10 this year.

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