DWP fit to work exam

wbabbington

Well-known Member
After being on incapacity benefit for a number of years and having sick notes issues every six months (am always hopeful that in six months time I won't need a new one but it hasn't happened yet), the inevitable DWP questionnaire has dropped through my door to be completed and sent back. I'm fully expecting to be asked to attend an examination, as from what I've read most people are. I've seen a few people on here mention that they've been along for assessments so am just curious what sort of things you were asked and what 'exercises' you had to do?

I'm obviously going to try and fill the form in with as much detail as I can, but despite telling them I'm in a wheelchair, don't have much arm movement, and get tired very easily, and have to rely on the wife for pretty much everything, I've already resigned myself to having a fight on my hands for much of this process. So any heads up anyone can give me as to what too expect would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

bouncer

Well-known Member
The "exam" is certainly mainly (or was) more pyhsical reason you can't work, over mental.

Things like can you sit in a chair?
Can you life both arms to shoulder hight.

Basic questions to find out what work you CAN do. Rather than why you cant. (Normally office)

IMO it is a witch hunt.
 

liamt

Member
The "exam" is certainly mainly (or was) more pyhsical reason you can't work, over mental.

Things like can you sit in a chair?
Can you life both arms to shoulder hight.

Basic questions to find out what work you CAN do. Rather than why you cant. (Normally office)

IMO it is a witch hunt.
they have to fund their pay rises somewhere. :devil:

MPs Are In Line For £20,000 Pay Rise
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
After being on incapacity benefit for a number of years and having sick notes issues every six months (am always hopeful that in six months time I won't need a new one but it hasn't happened yet), the inevitable DWP questionnaire has dropped through my door to be completed and sent back. I'm fully expecting to be asked to attend an examination, as from what I've read most people are. I've seen a few people on here mention that they've been along for assessments so am just curious what sort of things you were asked and what 'exercises' you had to do?

I'm obviously going to try and fill the form in with as much detail as I can, but despite telling them I'm in a wheelchair, don't have much arm movement, and get tired very easily, and have to rely on the wife for pretty much everything, I've already resigned myself to having a fight on my hands for much of this process. So any heads up anyone can give me as to what too expect would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Fill in your form, and answer their tick-boxes, as things would be on your worst day.
Put in all the details of who you have seen, like doctors, specialists, etc.

Remember to also write a little note, that if you are called, you would like it recorded, as ATOS-sers are liars.
Don't put a phone number on the form, that one can be used to mark that you have communication skills, when they will phone you, and obviously can go against you.

Also, if you do have to go for one, make sure you have someone with you, to take notes, get the CS rep's badge ID, etc, also if they won't record it, record it yourself, on a phone for example, and write it up as notes after.(don't let them see you record it, they will freak out)

*You will be watched in the waiting area*

Be prepared for your form filling/information to mean absolutely zilch, when it comes to your "face to face" with one of their, for lack of better words, customer service representative, and for their software to not have the slightest connection with your illness/disability, or for ATOS(an IT company), to care, which then is incorrectly given to the DWP to grade your case.

My elderly Father in Law - Three points, fit for work.
Disability - Dementia setting in(some form of Pressure Hydrocephalus was diagnosed, or Spinal Dementia, something along those lines), lower body problems, after falling from a scaffolding at work years back, bodily functions failing(bowels/bladder), with daily accidents, motor functions impaired, due to blood clots on the brain, from several falls, had 2 removed, speech impaired, now fully under Social Care for daily needs(we can't manage it any more, he's too much of a handful, for both myself and wife), and is just at that point of being as they class "of pensionable age" so it didn't matter anyway, pass or fail.

CS Rep - not a nurse, but wore an ID badge for a practitioner, who apparently had a face transplant, as the persons photo on the badge wasn't even the same colour as the person we spoke to.

Repeatedly avoided giving us her name.

Waiting time - 54 minutes, "Face to Face" time - less than 14 minutes.

Most of that spent trying to get sense out of him about the weather, and talking about his wife(who is dead), and how his son visits him(also dead).

Utterly disgraceful company, their tactics are shameful, and a true waste of hundred of millions of pounds of taxpayers money.

Funnily enough, my daughters ex-boyfriend works or worked for them..those conversations were eye opening to say the least, about what goes on "in the office".
 
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RottenFox

Distinguished Member
The "exam" is certainly mainly (or was) more pyhsical reason you can't work, over mental.
Oh, they have what they call, "Mental Health Champions" now, people who aren't qualified in Mental Health, advising their Customer Service Reps on what to do, and how to do it.
But not every area office/dept has one, it's mainly like NHS 24 I would imagine, but after the fact.
 

Duncan G

Well-known Member
:)
After being on incapacity benefit for a number of years and having sick notes issues every six months (am always hopeful that in six months time I won't need a new one but it hasn't happened yet), the inevitable DWP questionnaire has dropped through my door to be completed and sent back. I'm fully expecting to be asked to attend an examination, as from what I've read most people are. I've seen a few people on here mention that they've been along for assessments so am just curious what sort of things you were asked and what 'exercises' you had to do?

I'm obviously going to try and fill the form in with as much detail as I can, but despite telling them I'm in a wheelchair, don't have much arm movement, and get tired very easily, and have to rely on the wife for pretty much everything, I've already resigned myself to having a fight on my hands for much of this process. So any heads up anyone can give me as to what too expect would be much appreciated. Thanks.
You need 15 points to pass the medical.
If you have good days and bad days, describe how you are affected on bad days

The first questions asks about your ability to mobilise on flat ground using a wheelchair. You have a choice of three distances, 50. 100 and 200 meters. You get points if unable to self propel yourself without stopping within the stated distances. 15 points if you cannot move 50 meters without stopping, 9 points for 100 meters and 6 points for 200 meters.

Another question asks can you move from one seated position to another located next to each other without assistance. If no, 15 points awarded.

Another question asks if you can walk up or down two steps unaided using a hand rail. If not, then 9 points applies.

Another question asks if you can stand unaided at a work station. If no, 9 points.

So as you are a wheelchair user, I would think you will get 15 points for inability to mobilise 50 meters or inability to move from one seat to another without help.
 

wbabbington

Well-known Member
Thanks for the replies (can't figure out how to multi quote in the app!).

@bouncer, the kind of things you've said there are what I was thinking, eg raise your arms, pick stuff up etc.

@rottenfox sounds like you know the system well. Hope your father in law managed to get the decision reversed on appeal. Ie already spoken to them on the phone, as they rang me to tell me the form was coming out so I guess they know I can answer a phone, well speaker phone anyway.

I will have someone with me anyway as I need them to help me get in and push me around etc, it i like the tip about recording it. Will certainly make sure my phone can pick it all up. Guess its looking like I thought it might, their minds are already made up.

Made me smile that on the day I got the questionnaire there was an article on the BBC website from a Dr who had just quit saying how despite what ATOS publicly say, in all his meetings it was all about targets and ignoring medical notes etc.
 

wbabbington

Well-known Member
:)

You need 15 points to pass the medical.
If you have good days and bad days, describe how you are affected on bad days

The first questions asks about your ability to mobilise on flat ground using a wheelchair. You have a choice of three distances, 50. 100 and 200 meters. You get points if unable to self propel yourself without stopping within the stated distances. 15 points if you cannot move 50 meters without stopping, 9 points for 100 meters and 6 points for 200 meters.

Another question asks can you move from one seated position to another located next to each other without assistance. If no, 15 points awarded.

Another question asks if you can walk up or down two steps unaided using a hand rail. If not, then 9 points applies.

Another question asks if you can stand unaided at a work station. If no, 9 points.

So as you are a wheelchair user, I would think you will get 15 points for inability to mobilise 50 meters or inability to move from one seat to another without help.
Thanks Duncan some great stuff there. I take it by 'pass' you mean be found not fit to work?

It must be said the media have done a job on even me, even with all my issues I feel embarrassed and that I'm somehow 'cheating' the system by still claiming IB and that the moment I go in there everyone will be thinking I'm a scrounger. Its slightly unnerving to say the least.
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
That phone call was from the DWP, not ATOS-sers themselves.

Not all areas are awarded points, some aren't even considered, no matter what they say.
And I'm almost positive Mental and Physical are separate now, so you can't get 9 from Physical, and 6 from Mental, it all has to be one or the other.



But Yeah, he got it reversed after a phone call, and call for a re-consideration, and a letter outlining what we had gone through.

Now, only a couple of months later, he is now going to be re-assessed for Attendance Allowance, so another uphill struggle, although he can't be refused for that, on the basis he's a pensioner now, and is under full Social Care, and his care needs are getting greater, he isn't ever going to get better... so a pointless money wasting exercise on their part.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I recently appealed against a decision to put me in the work related activity group. They found, or rather a state registered nurse found, that I could push a button or turn the pages of a book. Yet, in their prognosis they stated 'that work is unlikely in the longer term'.

Atos did not call me in for a face to face interview but made their decision from my filling in the form. Whether or not they looked at consultants report that clearly stated a severe spinal injury and osteoarthritis of the whole of the spine, a degenerative illness that is not going to go away, I have no idea.

Since the beginning of this year I feel that my health is on an escalator going swiftly downhill. But I'm in a fairly happy position of not having to worry about what the DWP decide as I have a fire service injury award that is enshrined in law, so I will not lose any money. So I'm fighting them out of principle.

Although I have not heard anything about the appeal the DWP sent me a letter, saying that because of my age I would not be required to attend any back to work interviews. When I telephoned and asked for clarification I was told that they thought I would probably not recover from my illness (which quite frankly would take a miracle) by my 65th birthday. In that case why am I not in the support group a question that the person on the other end of phone felt she was not qualified to answer.

Atos are getting big bucks to find as many people fit for work, regardless of whether they are or not. The genuine sick and disabled will request an appeal, the malingerers will go onto job seekers allowance and rightly so.

Anyway, you may get some help here:
How To Subscribe
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
Saw a news article a few days ago about an ex-Navy Doctor who went to work on ATOS. He resigned and is now whistle blowing after seeing his medical diagnosis overturned or reversed by ATOS (non-medical) administrators.

Found the report - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22561006

I can't imagine why they would do that unless their contract includes bonus payments based on the number of applicants rejected. If so that is obscene.

I'm all for rejecting an applicant where it is valid, but to do it inappropriately just for the sake of some extra money is abhorent.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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wbabbington

Well-known Member
Saw a news article a few days ago about an ex-Navy Doctor who went to work on ATOS. He resigned and is now whistle blowing after seeing his medical diagnosis overturned or reversed by ATOS (non-medical) administrators.

Found the report - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22561006

I can't imagine why they would do that unless their contract includes bonus payments based on the number of applicants rejected. If so that is obscene.

I'm all for rejecting an applicant where it is valid, but to do it inappropriately just for the sake of some extra money is abhorent.

Cheers,

Nigel
Thanks that was the article I was talking about that I read the day my form arrived. Shocking that these things are going on and the bottom line is more important than someone's welfare (in the care sense not the welfare system sense!).
 
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RottenFox

Distinguished Member
I can't imagine why they would do that unless their contract includes bonus payments based on the number of applicants rejected. If so that is obscene.
There are "incentives" and "bonuses".
 

SBT

Banned
Failed mine miserably

15 points needed from 17 questions and I got the grand total of 0 :eek:

I've come to the conclusion that you would need to be just a head to receive the full 15 points :laugh:
 

liamt

Member
Failed mine miserably

15 points needed from 17 questions and I got the grand total of 0 :eek:

I've come to the conclusion that you would need to be just a head to receive the full 15 points :laugh:
what is actually wrong with you SBT? from memory you are ex forces and a rather large chap who likes to live in sub zero temperatures.... just being curious, tell me to **** off if you like. :laugh:
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
Failed mine miserably

15 points needed from 17 questions and I got the grand total of 0 :eek:

I've come to the conclusion that you would need to be just a head to receive the full 15 points :laugh:

Then get on the phone to JC+ and ask for a GL24, and a copy of the ESA85 assessors report (Get the person you are speaking to's name, and number.)

Tell them you want a reconsideration and you should be placed on the Assessment rate of ESA. - this will keep housing benefit/council tax, benefits, etc at their discounted rate, so you won't get in the crapper with the transfer over to JSA(if it happens).

Then, I would get onto the CAB/local welfare rights office, they will guide you through what to do next regarding reviews/appeals.

You know, fact finding, making copies, checking statements, filling in the form, etc, and checking into matching what you put down, with what was said/written.

The welfare rights office are the ones who do the good work, the CAB can help too, but your city/town should have a WRO for you to go to locally.
 
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SBT

Banned
what is actually wrong with you SBT? from memory you are ex forces and a rather large chap who likes to live in sub zero temperatures.... just being curious, tell me to **** off if you like. :laugh:
**** off :rotfl:

Nothing to do with being a fatty or liking the cold :laugh: but was diagnosed last year with MS.

Not sure how they can class me as fit for work though.Some days i can be fine,others i can't get out of bed.

I wouldn't employ someone in my situation.
 

SBT

Banned
Then get on the phone to JC+ and ask for a GL24, and a copy of the ESA85 assessors report (Get the person you are speaking to's name, and number.)

Tell them you want a reconsideration and you should be placed on the Assessment rate of ESA. - this will keep housing benefit/council tax, benefits, etc at their discounted rate, so you won't get in the crapper with the transfer over to JSA(if it happens).

Then, I would get onto the CAB/local welfare rights office, they will guide you through what to do next regarding reviews/appeals.

You know, fact finding, making copies, checking statements, filling in the form, etc, and checking into matching what you put down, with what was said/written.

The welfare rights office are the ones who do the good work, the CAB can help too, but your city/town should have a WRO for you to go to locally.
Thanks for all the info,but looking through all the questions they asked i actually do fail them.
They have obviously been set out to get as many people of the benefit/allowance as possible.And from their point of view the test works very well.
 
I actually work for the said company in the IT Hardware side of things so nothing to do with me - stop throwing bottles at me :)

I have a question that I would appreciate answered as the comments made by RottenFox, while are biased, come from what I would consider a fairly knowledgable point of view.

The way I see it, and I could be wrong, is the DWP have employed Atos to carry out these assessments. If Atos or another 3rd party had not been contracted to do this then it would be the DWP/NHS/Local authorities themselves that would be doing these assessments.

Do people dislike Atos and the assessments because they are the ones carrying out the assessment?
Would the problems and dislike be the same for the DWP if Atos or a 3rd Party was not involved?

I agree if Atos is changing results to meet targets and payments then that is disgusting but if they are changing results because the assessment outcomes (regardless of how stupid the physical tasks and questions are) are in-line with DWP guidelines then it is surely the guidelines that are the problem rather than the company doing the assessments?

Not trying to ruffle feathers just trying to better understand.
 

RottenFox

Distinguished Member
**** off :rotfl:

Nothing to do with being a fatty or liking the cold :laugh: but was diagnosed last year with MS.

Not sure how they can class me as fit for work though.Some days i can be fine,others i can't get out of bed.

I wouldn't employ someone in my situation.
You answer the questions based on a bad day, not as you were on a good day.
As you never know when a bad day will happen, or indeed if you are affected during what you would call a "good day".

So you may fail given what you answer today, but tomorrow, or the last time you were affected badly, it may be a different story.
 

liamt

Member
**** off :rotfl:

Nothing to do with being a fatty or liking the cold :laugh: but was diagnosed last year with MS.

Not sure how they can class me as fit for work though.Some days i can be fine,others i can't get out of bed.

I wouldn't employ someone in my situation.
wow man, i never knew :( sorry to hear that

as above, just answer all questions as if you are on a bad day. shocking to think they are trying to force people with MS into work (its not as if there are the jobs available anyway!) what a bunch of arses.
 

SBT

Banned
You answer the questions based on a bad day, not as you were on a good day.
As you never know when a bad day will happen, or indeed if you are affected during what you would call a "good day".

So you may fail given what you answer today, but tomorrow, or the last time you were affected badly, it may be a different story.
But they don't word the questions that way.

For example,if you can lift one arm above your head today but cant the rest of the week.You are classed as being able to lift your arm.

To them it's what you can do,not what you cant.

Another question is Can you usually manage to begin and finish daily tasks?

Usually I can,but the days I cant are dismissed, so I get another 0 point for that one.
 

SBT

Banned
wow man, i never knew :( sorry to hear that

as above, just answer all questions as if you are on a bad day. shocking to think they are trying to force people with MS into work (its not as if there are the jobs available anyway!) what a bunch of arses.
Thanks mate

I'm all for getting scrounger off benefits,but they do seem to be targeting all the wrong people/easy targets.

For me to score 0 it does make me wonder if anyone ever actually reaches the 15 mark?
 

SteveCritten

Distinguished Member
**** off :rotfl:

Nothing to do with being a fatty or liking the cold :laugh: but was diagnosed last year with MS.

Not sure how they can class me as fit for work though.Some days i can be fine,others i can't get out of bed.

I wouldn't employ someone in my situation.
Sorry to hear that mate, my wife was diagnosed a few years ago and she received the allowance for the first 6 months then she was honest on the form saying she was getting better with the interferon injections and it was stopped. Same as you she can sometimes just have niggles but other times hardly walk so we just have to make do without her income.
Good luck mate.
 

liamt

Member
Thanks mate

I'm all for getting scrounger off benefits,but they do seem to be targeting all the wrong people/easy targets.

For me to score 0 it does make me wonder if anyone ever actually reaches the 15 mark?
yeah, i agree. especially with another scrounger born yesterday :laugh:

i bet even these guys only get a 14.... they could do telemarketing i guess:

 

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