The appointment with the death squads has arrived

I am kinda numb right now. On Saturday I got the letter I had been dreading since June. The date and time to go for a Work Capacity Assessment.

Letter from Atos with date for WCA

This is the test which the Government pays a French IT company £100m a year to administer and is known to be flawed. Thousands of people have already died waiting for the assessment or after being found fit for work. People who have terminal cancer, heart disease, even a man in a coma have been found fit for work.

This is the way I see it. Whilst I might be able to work, doesn’t mean that anyone actually wants to employ me. The biggest difficulty I have is that previous jobs have failed because I did not receive help from my employers which I am entitled to under the equality act. My last contract at the Olympic Games went south despite my attempts to ask for help, they citied that they could not be flexible with me because LOCOG was not being flexible with them.

Employment law in the UK is not sufficiently tough enough to guarantee employment for every disabled person who wants to work. Although it is technically illegal to use disability as a reason not to hire someone, they will find a way not to hire you. Even if you are up front and honest with them, getting the right help once you have a job is still difficult. So is it not surprising that I have worked 3 jobs since 2010, each one lasting no more than 3 months.

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) and before it Incapacity Benefit have been my safety net when things have broken down, when I did not have the energy to go to work any longer, when I could not face the people I worked with. But now its all going to be taken away, because I am pretty sure that they will find me fit for work, possible not even eligible to ESA; despite me having a doctors note to the contrary.

What I really need is help, to make them realise that I am disabled, that I need help and that unless an employer is willing to help me out, then I cannot work.

If you or anyone you know is able to help, please let me know. You can leave a comment or email: seth@autismisanotherworld.com. I am also on twitter: @nerd8192

2 thoughts on “The appointment with the death squads has arrived”

  1. I presume you’ve already filled out the ESA 50 questionnaire (the pink form)? Did you have any help with it? Do you have someone who can go to the WCA with you? If you need time to find someone you trust, you can postpone the WCA until a suitable date.

    Then on the day, try and only tell them what you can’t do. So if they say ‘can you go to places you don’t know by yourself’ and you can’t, try to just say ‘no, I can’t’ but don’t add ‘ but I can go to the shops down the road from me’. This makes it less likely they will think everything is ok.
    The best advice I’ve ever been given is ‘tell them about the condition, not yourself’.

    When you get out from the WCA, get your companion to help you make some notes. Where you kept waiting? Did the assessor introduce themselves? What qualification do they have? What did they ask? Get it all down when fresh so you have it if an appeal.

    And if they find you ‘fit for work’ and phone you to say, make sure you tell them verbally you want to appeal and then you’ll also need to write to them to say it as well, stating you want to claim the appeal rate while it is reconsidered.

    Good luck. They can be horrific, but you also don’t get to hear about the ones where people get their award fairly and with the minimum of hassle and they do happen all the time. I’ve helped plenty of people with them.

  2. You can also get a list of descriptors from citizens advice which basically tells you what scores you get for certain conditions. You MUST take someone with you or they deem you capable of travelling alone. If you take any medications and need reminding to take them that alone can score you very highly. A gentleman i know has just requested his be recorded as that is allowed now. You can also ask for someone with some experience of mental health to interview you if you have anxiety/ depression issues.

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